Cloud-Based Service Shifts to Node-Per-Hour Pricing and Give Deep Discounts to Loyal Users

Cloud-based rendering, especially among small-to-midsize facilities that and can't afford to run, let alone maintain power-hungry local render farms, is entering a new era of productivity. Thanks to increased bandwidth and advanced security protocols, cloud-based services give users across a range of film, post, VFX, broadcast and design markets more render options for their projects for a whole lot less.

Controlling costs and managing tasks once up in the cloud, however, can get trickier. At SIGGRAPH this week, Render Rocket is introducing Render Rocket LaunchPad, a new open-source cloud-rendering app for Mac and Windows, as well as a companion cloud media management tool called Render Rocket Throttle, that it hopes will give Maya, 3ds Max and Cinema4D users a faster, more fool-proof way in and out of the cloud.

LaunchPad does exactly what it sounds like it does with minimal effort: Max, Maya and C4D artists launch it from within their software of choice and the app does the rest, automatically checking all references and networks paths in a scene file and submitting a single render job or a series of jobs to the Render Rocket cloud. While they wait, users can track the progress of launched renders. 

Throttle will give facility managers even more control, especially when it comes to costs. Throttle lets users scale up or down any number of servers cranking out their renders, giving studios an easier way to manage deadlines and budgets. If the budget is high and the client is breathing fire, the company suggests studios can "throttle up” to hundreds of servers or "throttle down" when tight budgets are driving the show. An artist can also prioritize his or her render job from within the Throttle application.

Render Rocket will also be phasing out its current cores-per-hour pricing and launch a new nodes-per-hour fee on September 1. With render nodes now costing between $1 and $4 per hour, the company says users will see up to a 35% decrease in costs with the new system. Regular users, which include Superfad, Sony Imageworks Picture Mill, Nike and Nokia, will get an even sweeter deal through the company's simultaneous loyalty discount program.

You can see LaunchPad and Throttle in action in the Intel Studio Lounge in Anaheim Convention Center room 201B, just off the show floor, from July 23–25.