OpenCue logo

Google Cloud and Sony have joined forces on the launch of OpenCue, a new open-source render manager for VFX and animation.

Google said OpenCue is based on Cue 3, the internal queuing system developed at Sony Pictures Imageworks over the last 15 years. At Sony, the system has been scaled to over 150,000 cores shared between Sony’s own on-premise data center and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for recent projects. With additional development by GCP, the system has been open-sourced and renamed OpenCue.

“Sony’s strong history of developing software tools has made this an ideal partnership,” said Todd Prives, GCP product manager, media & entertainment, in a blog post announcing the OpenCue release. “Sony has developed and contributed to industry standard software packages such as OpenColorIO and Alembic, which are now critical pieces in the pipeline of hundreds of studios worldwide for the daily creation of content that we view on all devices, be it at the movies, on television or on mobile devices.”

OpenCue deployment diagram

This diagram from the OpenCue wiki shows how various components interact in a large-scale deployment.

OpenCue incorporates a number of widely used open-source technologies, such as the Python programming language and the Postgres relational database. The main components include Cuebot, a management utility that can run in the background on a workstation or in a server cluster for higher availability; CueGUI, a graphical user interface for monitoring and managing jobs; CueSubmit, a PySide2 app for submitting render jobs that can run as a plug-in for applications including Autodesk Maya and Foundry Nuke; and RQD, a software daemon required on all OpenCue rendering hosts.

Per the documentation, native multithreading supports Katana, RenderMan and Arnold.

OpenCue’s source code and executables are now available in a GitHub repository, along with a wiki containing documentation and links to (as-yet-unused) mailing lists for users and developers. Tutorials and sample projects are coming soon, Prives wrote.

OpenCue on GitHub: