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Introducing OpenCue, an open source render manager for media and entertainment

January 24, 2019
Todd Prives

Product Manager, Cloud Rendering

Today, in collaboration with Sony Pictures Imageworks, we’re pleased to announce OpenCue, an open source, high-performance render manager specifically built for the needs of the visual effects and animation industry.

As content production continues to accelerate across the globe, visual effects studios are increasingly turning towards the cloud to keep up with demand for high-quality content. While on-premise render farms are still in heavy use, the scalability and the security that the cloud offers provides studios with the tools needed to adapt to today’s fast paced, global production schedules.

Studios producing high-quality content can often have hundreds of shots to render even in the smallest jobs—and managing the sequence in which shots are rendered is an essential part of any post-production pipeline.

To solve this problem, Google Cloud has worked with Sony Pictures Imageworks - creator of some of the most iconic feature film visual effects and animation over the last 25+ years - to help open source their own internal queuing system, Cue 3. The system has evolved via several iterations over the last 15 years at Sony as a fully-featured, high performance render manager specifically built for the needs of the visual effects and animation industry, having scaled to over 150,000 cores between Sony’s on-premise data center and GCP for their recent projects. GCP has adapted and developed Cue 3, which is now being renamed as OpenCue and available as open source software.

Sony’s strong history of developing software tools has made this an ideal partnership. 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 seen everywhere. In addition to our involvement in Kubernetes and Tensorflow, we have joined the Academy Software Foundation as a founding member to work with the industry’s leading studios and software providers to provide standard, open source tools for the VFX community.

The full OpenCue source code, executables and documentation are now available for anyone who wishes to get started. Tutorials and sample projects will be available soon.

We hope that OpenCue can help all studios to better take advantage of the scale and power of GCP and are looking forward to seeing what amazing visual content users will create next.

To learn more about OpenCue, visit the github repository.

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