Jun 05, 2019
Industry Segment: Media and Entertainment Technology
OTOY Inc. is the definitive cloud graphics company, pioneering technology that is redefining content creation and delivery for media and entertainment organizations around the world. OTOY’s Academy Award-winning technology is used by leading visual effects studios, artists, animators, designers, architects, and engineers, providing unprecedented creative freedom, new levels of realism, and new economics in content creation and distribution powered by the cloud.
The visual world is evolving at breakneck speed. The demands on authoring and publishing state-of-the-art computer-generated imagery (CGI) are growing at an exponential rate. Films, TV, and games are increasingly built from complex GPU-based computer graphics, while sectors from industrial design to medical research are beginning to rely on high end visualization throughout their workflows. Across the industry we are also seeing order of magnitude increases in resolution, frame rate, and overall digital display surface area in the next 5 years. The centralized GPU cloud cannot scale to meet this demand, producing constraints that limit widespread access and economic viability of next-generation media production.
Finally, for consumers and artists, there is no easy way to share and exchange immersive real-time holographic media experiences. Downloads, subscriptions, and paywalls create too many frictions for the post-mobile immersive mixed and augmented reality experiences of tomorrow. A new economy built from smart contract technology is needed to make holographic media distribution and monetization accessible to the wider public.
With a vision to democratize high-end GPU rendering, OTOY has set out to make GPU rendering more efficient with the Render Network (RNDR), which uses blockchain technology to create a much more efficient, powerful, and widely scalable GPU cloud rendering network.
The Render Network, through the use of RNDR tokens, will be the first network to transform the power of GPU compute into a decentralized economy of connected 3D assets. The Render Network is designed to connect users looking to perform render jobs with people who have idle GPUs to process the renders. Owners will connect their GPUs to the Render Network in order to receive and complete rendering jobs, and users will send RNDR to the individual performing the render work.
Looking to build on the most scalable technology available, OTOY selected Algorand as a foundational blockchain to enable the Render Network. “I’ve seen a lot of technologies, but I’ve never seen a project as exciting as Algorand,” said Kalin Stoyanchev, Head of Blockchain at OTOY. “It’s the only platform that meets our scalability requirements.”
As the RNDR Network scales to tens of thousands of users, there are limitations to the amount of data that can be stored on chain with existing blockchain infrastructure like Ethereum. Lower latency and increased throughput is needed for OTOY to develop features like transparent reputation systems and real-time micro-exchange of 3D works produced on the network. OTOY is building a ‘photon driven economy’ where the semantic history of every photon rendered and consumed on the network is encoded on the blockchain in real time. Algorand is the first technology to make this possible — key for the next generation of media, an open metaverse.
Algorand has the unique scalability that can support expanding network’s user base and core functionality with greater transparency by not only processing blocks faster but also with less compute overhead. OTOY has demand for 25,000–50,000 users for the Render Network, but can only support 1,000 users on a system like Ethereum. “With Algorand, there’s no limit to the number of users because there’s no bottleneck,” said Stoyanchev.
According to the OTOY team, Algorand’s developer enablement resources are best-in-class. “From a documentation and getting started perspective, Algorand is so much easier than other blockchains in their early days,” said Stoyanchev. “They clearly did their research on best practices and knocked it out of the park. The API directory and clean SDKs make it simple for us to integrate. My team is very happy that they don’t have to go learn a new blockchain API infrastructure in less than a week. ”
Together, OTOY and Algorand are democratizing computing rendering power for the benefit of independent artists and major studios alike. With the joint technology, GPUs throughout the world can be leveraged efficiently and at scale through a decentralized system that tracks and manages render jobs. The platform increases accessibility to rendering power in a transparent way so that a hobbyist can function the same as a leading studio — saving both time and money.
OTOY’s objective, however, goes beyond solving the GPU efficiency challenge. The company’s ultimate goal is to solve many of the problems content creators face with regard to digital rights management, project management, micropayments, and more. For example, there is no universally accessible storage location for artists to store their work and know that it is theirs. Through Algorand and the Render Network, artists would be able to store and access their designs and creations.