90-Second Beer Poll: Cloud Rendering

Apr 28, 2015



I participated in a panel at NAB on cloud rendering and thought it would be interesting to ask our clients their thoughts on the subject.  Are you rendering in the cloud?  Do you think you will?  What's getting in your way?  I wasn't sure, so I figured I'd just ask via a survey.

The problem is that surveys suck are boring.   Maybe we can rethink that.  In this case, we promised to keep it lean (90 seconds to fill out) and we said we'd get the results back to everyone for review and discussion.  And we promised beer.  That combo seemed to work: 125 different studios responded.

Here are the results from our first "90-second beer poll" on Cloud Rendering.

Planning to render in the cloud?

There is clearly a lot of ambition amongst our community to move rendering into the cloud within 5 years.  But after looking at the results, I wish I had asked if this was "all" rendering or "some" rendering.  Will studios only look to the cloud for burst rendering to handle those production spikes?  Or perhaps it'll start there with studios slowly migrating as local nodes need to be replaced?  Or maybe we'll see some big jumps?  Either way, it looks like studios are planning to invest here.

What's getting in the way?

I saw many comments here that security could mean two things:  internal requirements and comfort around cloud security vs. client requirements (the major studios or others paying for the work).  Either way, clearly security is an issue.

I was expecting the "Cost" answer, as I've heard many clients say they keep running the numbers and it still doesn't make sense for them to do all rendering in cloud.  However, Kevin Baillie from Atomic Fiction has a killer response to this in our panel where he argued it's actually cheaper.  I'll try to get him to do a guest post here to run you through that logic.

Here's some keywords that floated to the top in the "Other" 40% category:

What render queue system do you use?

No real surprises here for us.  I do think it'll be interesting to keep an eye on what these local render queue systems do about rending in the cloud.  Deadline has some interesting new features in this area, for example.

And that's all that fit in 90 seconds.  I think I owe about 500 beers (I did not specify one per person), and I'll happily oblige (will host drinks for those of you going to FMX next week... details to come).

We'll look to do more of these beer polls in the future.   Let me know if you have any ideas on what we should ask about or any questions about the data we collected here.

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