Otoy announced the opening of RNDR, a crowdsourced cloud based on blockchain, to the public. RNDR will reduce the costs of producing games and movies while putting Ethereum-based cryptocurrency in the wallets of those who lend the network their idle computer. RNDR’s peer to peer platform now enables the entertainment and games industry to drastically reduce the cost of creating those incredible, realistic scenes in shows like Westworld. An individual could theoretically make several hundred dollars a month.
Jules Ubach, CEO, and co-founder of Otoy, which today launched RNDR to the public.
You’ve probably never heard of Otoy because it works quietly in the background, helping to turn the work of artists, captured as code, into 60 frames per second of high-resolution 2D or 3D images through a process called “rendering”. Otoy adds a proprietary “secret sauce” of AI and machine learning to make the process faster and cheaper while eliminating “noise” or mistakes that sometimes mar the output. “Between AI rendering and de-noising and an ability to move objects around dynamically, we’re approaching being able to have full passive movies built with game engines,” Otoy’s co-founder and CEO Jules Urbach told Venturebeat in an interview at the Games Developer Summit in April.
This growth in demand for rendering services poses a problem referred to as “the GPU Cloud Gap”. An increasingly large amount of market segments are competing for limited resources, and this drives the price up. Centralized data centers that provide the necessary hardware (like Amazon Web Services) have been unable to expand fast enough to meet the demand and match competitive pricing.
The Otoy team has been thinking about ways to harness the countless millions of idle GPUs around the world to create a distributed, secure peer-to-peer network for years. When the Ethereum blockchain came along with decentralized security and currency needed for anonymous buyers and sellers, they were finally able to take what producers are already doing and making it better, cheaper, faster while generating substantial recurring revenue. Otoy maintains the underlying network, and RNDR users and content creators connect to each other within the system buying or selling computing power with Ethereum based “render tokens”.
Once a rendering job begins, a creator’s payment of RNDR tokens will be held in escrow until the job is completed. Throughout the rendering process, users can watch the status of a job and updates of the render, such as scene previews, or maximize the preview mode to see better details in the image. As the job progresses, RNDR token usage increases, and once the job is complete, frames can be downloaded and the token transfer occurs. “Customers are getting back their work and not knowing if Amazon did it or the decentralized nodes did it,” Urbach said.
Don’t spend that Ethereum you’re going to mint by lending your PC to RNDR just yet. RNDR uses a node matching and prioritizing protocol that searches for available rendering power. Depending on the circumstance you may not qualify for a job.
Jules Urbach, CEO and co-founder of Otoy, believes blockchain will be bigger than the Internet and will produce the next Google.
Today’s opening of RNDR to the public launches what the company calls Phase II of its development. Kalin Stoyanchev, Head of Blockchain/Project Lead of RNDR said, “Currently less than 1% of the world’s GPU power is accessible to creators. By harnessing the wasted, idle computing power of millions, with no expense in terms of hardware, we will have access to much more computing power, at a more affordable cost to creators, with the utmost security of their digital assets ownership.”
“RNDR’s next phase of development [Phase III] will be devoted to expanding its global partnerships and growing the platform to reach rendering-streaming through smart contracts and blockchain technology,” said Urbach. “Otoy is seeding the network with the key relationships we have in the industry, principally the major studios that use our technology and to more than ten million developers that use Unity and Unreal Engine.”
The privately owned Otoy was founded in 2008 by Urbach, Alissa Grainger (Co-Founder & President) and Malcolm Taylor (Co-Founder & CTO). Since then, Otoy has grown to over 60 employees across four offices with headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles, CA. The company’s investors include Autodesk and Yuri Milner’s Digital Sky Technologies (DST), and it boasts about a board of powerful advisers from Eric Schmidt of Google, to superagent Ari Emanuel of WME-IMG. The company declined to talk about other investors or its finances.