The options for scaling up animation capabilities in the cloud continue to expand with the launch this week of Simple Animation, a virtual workstation offering from Madrid-based render-as-a-service provider Summus Render.

As usual, the promise is twofold. First, cloud-based infrastructure can save money by allowing you to only fire up workstations as they’re needed in different stages of a project, rather than keeping them on hand in a physical facility. Second, the cloud allows geographically distributed collaboration as contributors around the world can access exactly the same storage pools. Autodesk Shotgun is integrated with Simple Animation’s pipeline for team-based project management, the company said.

Simple Animation will allow customers to spin up workstations at different levels of processing power and pay per terminal on a weekly (50 hours), monthly (200 hours) or annual (200 hours/month) basis. Discounts are offered for “studio packs” that include between three and 12 terminals and require an annual commitment.

Hosted on IBM Bluemix servers and running VMware’s Horizon 8 platform, Simple Animation’s offering utilizes Nvidia Tesla M60 GPUs and Nvidia Grid software for accelerated graphics performance on virtualized workstations and applications.

Prices vary widely, but a single entry-level workstation can be had for as little as $660/month (€559) with no annual commitment, and a “studio pack” consisting of four entry-level, six mid-level and two high-level systems runs about $10,500/month (€8,982) with required annual commitment. A chart at the company’s website lays out the options.

Not listed on the website is the cost of individual software licenses, which must be paid in addition to the virtual workstation fee. Licenses for software from vendors including Adobe and Autodesk will be available for purchase via the Simple Animation platform, or users can bring their own licenses, the company said. Render nodes are available through Renderfarm, an on-demand rendering offering of Summus Render.

Simple Animation: