Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Google Cloud launches Zync Render 2.0

The latest Zync Render client reel. Google Cloud has just launched version 2.0 of the online rendering service, making it possible to render on up to 48,000 CPU cores and adding new GPU render options.

Originally posted on 2 May 2019. Scroll down for news of Zync’s closure to new users.

Google Cloud has launched Zync Render 2.0, the latest version of its online rendering service.

The update makes it possible to render on more CPU cores and larger virtual machines, introduces new GPU rendering options, and adds support for V-Ray for Cinema 4D.

A production-proven online rendering service
Previously an independent service based on Amazon’s EC2 cloud, used by studios including Atomic Fiction, Zync was acquired by Google in 2014, and relaunched in 2015 using its own Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Since the relaunch, the list of supported software applications has steadily grown, with Zync now supporting 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Maya and Nuke, and the Arnold, Render-Man and V-Ray renderers.

To judge from the latest client reel (embedded above), its current users are mainly small-to-medium-sized commercials and branding firms, although the platform was also used on the last Power Rangers movie.

More CPU rendering capacity and new GPU rendering options
Google Cloud describes Zync Render 2.0 as a “complete Google-native rewrite of the application, providing benefits such as faster job start-up time [and] increased compute scalability”.

Users can now render on up to 48,000 CPU cores, with each virtual machine supporting up to 96 CPU cores.

According to Google, Zync has also “taken advantage of the multitude of GPU offerings available on GCP”. The Zync site specifically namechecks Nvidia’s Tesla P100, but you can see a full list here.

Updated 9 May 2019: We double-checked with Google, but only the P100 is currently available on Zync. That isn’t really a ‘multitude’ in our book, but it is a powerful card.

GPU rendering options currently seem to be available only for 3ds Max and Maya with V-Ray GPU, but we’ve contacted Google to check if there are any plans for Arnold GPU.

Updated 7 May 2019: Google told us that there is no public announcement about Arnold GPU, but that “we work closely with Autodesk and are looking forward to continued collaboration”.

Other changes include a new quota-management system aimed at larger studios, with the option to set usage quotas on a per-user, per-project or per-site basis.

Updated 30 April 2021: Although Google hasn’t made any public announcement about Zync Render’s future, users have shared emails from the company saying that Zync will officially shut on 1 June 2021.

At the time of writing, Zync is closed to new users and has been for several months.

Read more about Zync Render online