What is cloud rendering?
28 January 2022
In the age of digital transformation, data is growing in number.
For audiovisual professionals, managing projects or processing heavy 3D data requires solid and heavy infrastructures capable of computing increasingly complex images. However, with the sanitary crisis, the need for access to increasingly sophisticated and high-performance software and hardware infrastructures has become so great that it creates a challenge.
The solution? Cloud rendering.
A virtualization of hardware and workflow
If in the past it was mandatory to have a powerful hardware and software infrastructure to enjoy high quality content, with the cloud, these constraints have been faded.
Indeed, the cloud is a service that alleviates the customer by virtualizing the hardware and providing instant access to it, at anytime and anywhere (whether at work or at home) thanks to a provider via the Internet. It is a new way to consume digital content by offering flexibility and a reduction in hardware costs.
Today, the cloud has proven to be an essential tool in the “new normal”. Indeed, it is an alternative solution to ensure activities or benefit from numerous services in a period of lockdowns and remote activities.
These observations are backed up by a recent study by the Cloud Industry Forum showing that 91% of IT managers say the cloud has played an important role in accelerating digital transformation in 2020.
Furthermore, 88% of companies anticipate an increased adoption of cloud services in the next 12 months. The cloud is also proving to be an excellent collaboration tool, which the need and relevance of which has been demonstrated since the health crisis. Indeed, users can share the content they want directly and in real time with anyone. They will be able to browse and interact freely with said content.
Ultimately, this trend will inexorably increase and eventually become a normality in the years to come.
Cloud and rendering
The cloud comes in handy for 3D rendering, whether it is precalculated or real-time. Indeed, both usually require adequate performances and hardware to obtain a very qualitative final rendering, both on the graphical and interactive aspects (especially for real-time rendering).
It should be noted that the pre-calculated rendering allows having very high-quality graphics, even photorealistic. It does not offer any interactivity because, as its name indicates, everything is calculated upstream by a computer. By the way, the calculation of a single image can sometimes take several minutes, even hours. Whereas for the real-time rendering, it integrates the notion of interactivity because the image is calculated instantaneously just before being displayed on a screen and this, countless tens of times per second: in theory, at least 30 times per second to have a feeling of fluidity and up to 90 times per second for virtual reality experiences.
Although it is common to think that pre-calculated rendering is more qualitative than real-time rendering, with the latest technologies, the boundaries between the two are starting to become more and more blurred.
No more powerful, expensive and expensive configurations, the cloud will automatically manage all the necessary graphics processing remotely through virtualized servers. Some of them will be performed in “render farms”, server parks dedicated to the rendering of very complex scenes. This digitization of the process allows us to be free of hardware and take advantage of external power.
The use of the cloud for rendering has thus given birth to the notion of “cloud rendering” which can be exploited in various contexts: Project review, gaming, engineering, imaging… As long as it requires displaying images!
This technology is especially suited for product configurators. We had made a webinar on this subject that you can watch again now for free!
The pillars of cloud rendering
The perfect rendering would mix interactivity, speed of rendering and photorealism.
However, there is another problem: the connection, and therefore the bandwidth. Indeed, the more images there are to load and the higher the resolution required, the more the bandwidth will be consumed. The advent of fiber and 5G will be able to significantly reduce the latency time and ensure a faster image refresh and a high resolution.
For instance, with a powerful cloud rendering, it may be possible to fully enjoy both interactive and photorealistic experiences (such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for example).
Eager to find more information about 3D tech?
Light And Shadows believes in the potential of 3D technologies. We strive to better meet the needs of each of our clients, in order to provide them with a memorable virtual experience.
You can find all the information about the integration of 3D technologies in the marketing process by downloading our white paper (English version).
Feel free to contact us for more specific information about cloud rendering and how we can help you with this technology!
Krups: The creative process behind the video
From 3D data – usually provided by the client – the 3D graphic designer team at Light And Shadows is able to bring products to life in video for marketing purposes. However, the creation of a professional and photorealistic 3D video is based on a precise creative process.
From pre-production, through production to post-production, explore the behind-the-scenes details of the Krups video.
Everything starts from the development of the idea, the story to tell through the video. After writing down the ideas for the script, the storyboard is created. This is the illustrated version of the script that defines the various camera angles and the intentions of the film.
For Krups, the intention was to highlight the accessories that make up the robot, their modularity, and the ease of use of the robot in a cinematic atmosphere.
This is why it is possible to find several times in the final video, close-ups on the mechanical or electronic elements of the food processor.
Being the backbone of the whole film, the storyboard will be used as a reference to reproduce the scenes in 3D later in the process.
- Animatic / Layout 3D
Then, comes the animatic (or 3D layout) which consists in recreating in 3D the animation and the camera perspectives as envisioned in the storyboard.
This is a rather simplified version of the 3D scene using primitive objects (knowing that at this stage the assets are not yet ready). The animatic will not only give an idea of the timing of each sequence, but it will also ensure consistency with the intentions of the storyboard.
This pre-production process will help the 3D artists to visualize the different shots properly before going into production.
After making sure of the consistency with the storyboard, the artistic direction of the video must be defined.
Therefore, the 3D artists use numerous auditory or visual references (text, colorimetry, light, etc.) to create a moodboard. These references can be former productions of the client or works made by third parties. By gathering these references in one place, the ideas will be centralized, and the storyboard’s guidelines will be followed.
Then, the next task is the building of the scene in 3D. In other words, it is about modeling the props, the environment… Everything that will make up the final film.
- Asset optimization
First, for any 3D animation, it is wise to optimize the 3D models. Because of their density, i.e., the large number of polygons contained in the models, they can be unusable or weigh down the creation process.
To know how we optimize 3D data, we already explained it through this article. This tedious step is crucial to deliver the smoothest possible experience.
Once the optimization is done, it is time to apply the materials on the 3D models.
From the references provided by the client, the 3D graphic designers will recreate the materials directly in the virtual scene. Thus, it adds the first aesthetic and realistic layers of objects and scenery.