RenderCloud to Launch at Great Northern Way Campus
A consortium of Vancouver-based production, technology and media companies have joined forces to launch RenderCloud, a high performance server farm that will allow studios to render in the cloud and leverage high-speed network interconnectivity to workshare on large projects. The RenderCloud project, the first of its kind in Canada, also makes it possible for Vancouver’s production and media communities to compete with global production centers in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The announcement of the super-computer processing hub was made jointly by the Vancouver Studio Group, Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC), Scalar Decisions and BC Film and Media, all partners in the development of the RenderCloud computing center.
“RenderCloud will help all of us to keep Vancouver firmly positioned as the epicenter for production whether that’s feature films’ special effects, animation, or gaming,” said Catherine Winder, President and Executive Producer of Rainmaker Entertainment, who serves as the spokesperson for the Vancouver Studio Group. “The opening of RenderCloud makes us competitive with such cities as London and New Zealand, and puts Vancouver into consideration for the next generation of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings productions.”
Winder added: “While those of us that comprise the Vancouver Studio Group will be RenderCloud’s initial clients, this vital piece of digital infrastructure will be open to all. “RenderCloud will definitely be the catalyst for growing Vancouver’s digital economy.”
Scalar Decisions, working closely with Great Northern Way Campus, and the Vancouver Studio Group companies Rainmaker Entertainment, Image-Engine and Digital Domain, crafted the business model and secured the space, power, bandwidth and financing necessary for the venture. Located at GNWC’s Centre for Digital Media, RenderCloud will anchor Vancouver’s emerging hub for the digital economy. Initially slated to house over 600 servers, Scalar is expecting to grow RenderCloud to 1,500 servers by this summer, and, long term, RenderCloud will be capable of housing 5,000 servers. The joint venture will allow for clients to not only pay for server technology on an “as-needed” cost-per-day model but also to sublease their resources to other studios during slower production periods. Ultimately, RenderCloud will allow BC film studios to compete with US, UK, New Zealand and Australian counterparts through reduced budgets and increased performance.
“RenderCloud – which sits next to the Centre for Digital Media and the future home of Emily Carr University— is a key piece of infrastructure in our redevelopment plan to build Vancouver’s digital district. Whether it’s the digital and creative businesses, academic institutions or the artists studios and galleries that call this Vancouver neighborhood home, Great Northern Way Campus is the ideal location for a visual effects and animation processing centre tapping into BC power and internet grids,” said Matthew Carter, president, Great Northern Way Campus.
Darren Sharpe, General Manager of Scalar’s Western-Division, said, “As an experienced IT solutions integrator and managed services provider, Scalar is proud to bring this service to the digital media studios of BC and beyond. This innovative project is the culmination of over a year of infrastructure design by our most experienced architects, and we look forward to delivering more value-added services to the digital media community in the coming months.
“Digital media is changing the means by which content is created, distributed and consumed,” said BC Film and Media president and CEO Richard Brownsey. “RenderCloud will definitely contribute to our competitive position and to our success in international markets.”
The RenderCloud consortium originated with the Vancouver Studio Group’s Rainmaker Entertainment, Digital Domain and Image Engine, who found that by consolidating and sharing cloud computing services, they could create a dynamically scalable environment that would provide incredible speed in rendering digital media – key to producing today’s 3D, animation and special effects for feature films, television and games. The RenderCloud cloud computing center will also provide enormous flexibility in technological infrastructure as well as in the storage and management of digital media assets, all with easier manageability and less maintenance.
RenderCloud is the new cloud computing center located at the Centre for Digital Media on Vancouver’s Great Northern Way Campus. Home to the latest innovations in cloud computing, the center enables parallel processing capabilities which support a wide range of services for its members and their clients. RenderCloud was created through a joint partnership between the Vancouver Studio Group, which represents production and media companies, including Rainmaker Entertainment, Digital Domain and Image Engine; Great Northern Way Campus, an 18-acre district emerging alongside the Centre for Digital Media and the future home of Emily Carr University; Scalar Decisions, an experienced IT solutions integrator and managed services provider; and BC Film and Media is a not-for-profit organization established by the provincial government with a mandate to expand and diversify the film, television and digital media sector in British Columbia. RenderCloud offers a wide variety of cloud services. For more information, visit www.scalar.ca/rendercloud.
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Media Contact: Jeff Pryor/Priority PR