Alibaba and Rayvision Pact To Offer Digital Effects Services

Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has partnered with Rayvision to launch a cloud computing-based digital effects service for the film industry.

The new Rendering Cloud service is a product of Aliyun, Alibaba’s existing cloud computing division, and Shenzhen-based Rayvision, which claims 70% of the existing rendering market in China. Aliyun currently operates the distributed computing system for Alibaba’s e-commerce products.

Rendering Cloud is aimed at China’s independent producers. It will offer a cloud based platform with 100,000 cores of computing power. Alibaba said that it will cut rendering costs by 40% and cut rendering time from months to weeks.

The move signal not only Alibaba’s further entrenchment in the movie industry. It also the greater demands for digital effects and high quality animation emanating from the Chinese film industry as it scales up productions and budgets.

“By providing computing capacity, we hope to help Chinese filmmakers produce Hollywood hits like ‘Kung Fu Panda’,” said Simon Hu, president of Aliyun. “We hope to integrate cloud computing with the film and animation industry, and serve global studios, enabling small studios worldwide to produce high-definition blockbusters with great visual effects.”

While not directly involved in the Rendering Cloud partnership, Alibaba Pictures said Wednesday that it intends to use the platform in its film projects and could become a strategic partner with Aliyun and Rayvision.

Alibaba recently said that it is considering shifting some of its film technology operations into Alibaba Pictures Group, the film production and investment company previously named ChinaVision, that it acquired last year.

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