OTOY Rolls Out Blockchain-Based Rendering Platform RNDR

OTOY, a Los Angeles-based visual effects software firm, launched RNDR to allow more people to create 3D computer generated images. The company, which created software used for productions such as “Westworld” and “The Avengers,” relied on cloud, blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies to create a way that people can create 3D imagery rendered by shared hardware hosted in the cloud, and then sold and/or traded via blockchain. Doing so, says chief executive Jules Urbach, reduces the cost, time and labor of creating such assets.

VentureBeat reports that, “last fall, the company held an Initial Coin Offering for Render Token … a blockchain-based currency that people can invest in, as it represents a distributed graphics processing unit (GPU) rendering network.” The way it works, anyone with a computer “can contribute the spare cycles to a collective rendering machine when their computers aren’t being used,” artists submit their work, and the computers render it.

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The concept that Urbach envisioned some years ago is now RNDR, “available today to grant creators access to the largest GPU cloud network in the world, from the comfort of their bedroom.”

According to RNDR head of blockchain/project lead Kalin Stoyanchev, RNDR democratizes what has been a pricey part of 3D asset creation, and comes just as the demand for 3D imagery for virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and other CGI projects is growing. RNDR leverages “a distributed network of idle GPUs across its peer-to-peer network,” thus speeding up rendering and simplifying “the transactional process of rendering and streaming 3D environments, models, and objects.”

Any individual can lend their GPU in exchange for RNDR tokens. When a job begins, a creator’s payment of RNDR tokens will be held in escrow until the job is completed, at which time tokens will be approved for withdrawal. Users can watch the status of the rendering, and “as the job progresses, RNDR token usage increases, and once the job is complete, frames can be downloaded and the token transfer occurs.”

The RNDR team and advisory board include director/produce J.J. Abrams, Brendan Eich and Ari Emanuel. The project’s next phase will be to expand its global partnerships and grow “the platform to reach rendering-streaming through smart contracts and blockchain technology.”