Founder Piotr Chomczyk discusses his new visual artist and team cloud workplace that provides high-performance computers for real-time media sharing on animation and VFX projects.
As remote work and collaboration seem to be the new normal, many freelancers and studios have found their day-to-day production efforts have moved from the studio to home, possibly permanently. If artists weren’t prepared for this disruptive change with powerful home workstation setups and fast network connections, they quickly found themselves in need of an appropriate production technology plan to safely and effectively meet project and client needs.
This need provided the spark of an idea for Renderro - a cloud workplace for filmmakers and animators. Renderro provides artists and studios pay-as-you-go access to high-performance cloud computers for everyday video editing, graphic design, and animation tasks. It also allows for easy media sharing and real-time collaboration with team members around the world.
We had a chance to discuss the new platform with Renderro founder Piotr Chomczyk, who has been working closely with VFX artists for the past decade. He discussed key issues of cloud-based computing and what his startup offers the community.
AWN: Piotr, tell us about your background and what led you to create Renderro.
Piotr Chomczyk: It’s a pleasure to talk with you and share Renderro with your readers. For the past 12 years, I have been working as a filmmaker and post-production supervisor in the film and TV industry. I worked for companies like Channel + and Discovery, doing commercials, documentaries, and TV series. Part of that was working with VFX artists and teams.
The idea for the Renderro Cloud Workplace for filmmakers and animators came to mind when I noticed that for every new project, I always had to set up a whole new workflow - all technical and media management, along with team management. When I was doing a project in Los Angeles, I worked with an international team, where editing was done in Burbank, but the rest of the post-production process was happening in Poland and the Czech Republic. Managing all this mess made me think about ways to make all these people working across the world feel like they were working together in the same studio. And that was the moment I came up with the idea for Renderro.
AWN: Is Renderro mainly for filmmakers? What about 3D artists, modelers, or agencies working with niche-specific software?
PC: Just because Renderro was born in the film industry, doesn't mean it's limited just to filmmakers. Actually, a big portion of our most active user base is people working with 3D designs. There are no limits as to what type of software you can use on your Renderro Cloud Computers. You can install any programs and licenses as you would your own machine.
AWN: How exactly does your system work? How can users provision and get started using cloud computers?
PC: It works exactly like your standard high-performance workstation, just in the cloud. After you register on our website, you go through some basic setup steps where you pick your storage plan and the tech specification of the computer you want to work with. The storage works like standard, NAS-like drives that you typically work with in the studio. The Cloud Computers come with four basic setups, so you can pick a machine that will be adequate for your daily tasks. The important part here is that those Cloud Computers can share the same storage. That allows you to use a cost-effective setup for editing and modeling, and switch to a powerful rendering machine to get your renders done in minutes. This is what's behind the system’s “scalability."
AWN: How cost-effective is the platform? It seems like an expensive solution for an artist or small studio.
PC: It's only as expensive as you want it to be. Moving your work to the cloud offers you a way to work in a pay-as-you-go model, paying only for the resources you are actually using. The Renderro Computers are billed on an hourly basis and the Renderro Cloud Drives come with a simple monthly subscription for the storage you need.
Many of us are used to working in a gig-based economy, meaning the projects come and go and there are different loads of work, which can change on a week-to-week basis. Imagine starting your career as a freelancer and being forced to spend $5K or more on a workstation to work on and deliver a project that might only require a few days effort. That’s a big investment needed for your first gig. Not to mention the risk of something breaking down.
With Renderro, you have the same or even more powerful resources available at any time and billed only for the time you are using them. No gig? No costs. Busting your buns with work? All the power you need.
AWN: What about users who already use Dropbox or Google for their cloud storage?
PC: Renderro Cloud Drives are different than cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google drive. With our drives, you can work on files in real-time without the need to transfer them back and forth to your Renderro Computer. If you have all your work archives in cloud storage, that makes it even easier to move your work to Renderro. The cloud-to-cloud transfer speed starts with 1 GB/s, so you will have your files ready in minutes.
AWN: Who exactly is using the new system? Studios or mostly freelancers?
PC: Both. For studios, we offer a way to keep all the creative work in a single place, easily accessible to all team members. The media is always there in the cloud drives, and everyone can access the resources they need. For freelancers, it's an easy way to cut costs and get your job done faster. Physical workstations usually come with a high upfront cost and there are a lot of accidents that might happen during work. This is all taken care of by Renderro and offered in a flexible, pay-as-you-go model.
AWN: I’m sure readers will have many other questions; we only touched the surface of discussing what the platform provides and how it really works. Where can people find more details about Renderro?
PC: Interested readers can find everything they need by visiting our website. From there, they can learn more and get their questions answered as well. My hope is that your readers will check us out and give the platform a try. All new users are getting $10 credits for any Renderro Cloud Computer and a free monthly subscription for the drives to test if it works for them.