OpenCue: Upcoming open source render management by Google and Sony Pictures Imageworks

Check out details of open source render management named OpenCue.


OpenCue open source render management Google Sony

Google and Sony Pictures Imageworks are leading brands in various verticals of Media and Entertainment sector. Both holds strong positions in the industry. They are combining their technical resources and R&D team to develop OpenCue – open source Animation and VFX render management.

Google is venturing into the Animation and VFX industry slowly but steadily. In 2014, they acquired Zync Render, cloud based rendering platform. And now they are teaming up with Sony Pictures Imageworks. The collaboration will develop OpenCue. Currently this native multithreading render manager system is supporting three industry standard rendering packages – Foundry Katana, Pixar RenderMan and Autodesk Arnold. One thing to note that OpenCue actually doesn’t handle any of the actual rendering processes. It has all tools to break down these different rendering steps properly and then schedule and manage the different rendering jobs across large rendering farms, both local and in the cloud.

The core structure is based on Cue 3, native system of Sony Pictures Imageworks. For development of OpenCue, the system has been scaled to over 150,000 cores shared between Sony’s own on-premise data center and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). With additional development by GCP, the system has been open-sourced and renamed OpenCue. The goal of Google is to ultimately shift all the complex Animation and Visual Effects pipeline to it cloud platform.

Various technologies that are integrated part of open source render management OpenCue are as follows.

  • Python as programming language
  • Postgres relational database
  • Cuebot – a management utility to run in the background on a workstation or in a server cluster for higher availability
  • CueGUI – a graphical user interface for monitoring and managing jobs
  • CueSubmit – a PySide2 app for submitting render jobs that can run as a plug-in for applications including Autodesk Maya and Foundry Nuke
  • RQD – a software daemon required on all OpenCue rendering hosts

opencue workflow pipeline

Wants to make your hands dirty with OpenCue? Download OpenCue’s source code and executables at available in a GitHub repository. It also serves documentation and links to (as-yet-unused) mailing lists for users and developers. Keep looking the space for tutorials and sample projects.


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