Oscars! Oscar for the QbaQ rendering engine and Azure?!!


Florian Kainz work the Technical Achievement Award for the design and development of the robust, highly scalable distributed architecture of the ObaQ render queue management system.  (Don’t get Florian confused with the Austrian Football MidFielder.)

I get the distinct feeling that the creators of this system are keeping it under wraps (keeping it secret), there is NO information on the internet.  It looks like it is use by ILM since all of the movies that are referenced are from ILM. 

It is likely a good bet that this QbaQ is a tool used to render digital effects, similar to Azure.

Well, Microsoft could assist you in dealing with digital rendering using Azure.  It appears that Pixar has the best in market though, and they lead with the Azure in the cloud.

Here is how I found the information directly:

First I checked out the technical Oscars at: http://www.oscars.org/awards/scitech/winners.html

But a little research work (and as you know I do only a little work each day), I was able to follow the ILM path over to Pixar

Here is how I did it:

Went to the ILM site, observed that Rango was something ILM did and it was their first full length animation.  Ummm

So I searched for QbaQ and ILM, which lead me to:

http://gfxspeak.com/2011/04/08/plume-digs-deeper-to-add-quality-haze-to-rango/

A quick read of the article, I found a link to Pixar’s RenderMan renderer which was used for the final pass.  I followed that link to:

https://renderman.pixar.com/

I clicked on find out more on that page and then noticed the “How to Buy”, which lead me to Curriculum for Educators, so I clicked Learn More (don’t click the Curriculum for Educators, leads to a 404):

https://renderman.pixar.com/products/tools/education.html

Then I noticed at the top there was a tab that said “What’s RenderMan?”

https://renderman.pixar.com/products/whats_renderman/features.html

And then clicked on the FAQs: https://renderman.pixar.com/products/whats_renderman/faqs.html

Then I noticed the banner at the bottom of the page: RenderMan On Demand:

https://renderman.pixar.com/products/tools/faq-cloud.html

Which in the paragraph 5 states:

What operating systems does RenderMan On Demand support?

  • RenderMan On Demand currently runs on the Microsoft's Windows Azure platform.

And so there you go.  (You can buy Pixar’s RenderMan from JourneyEd for $124 for a one year student subscription, which sounds like a good deal.

Although Azure didn’t get the Oscar, like one of the gaffers or grips, it worked in the background of the awesome work of ILM and Florian Kainz.

Like always, Microsoft, blue collar worker software, hardworking and not prestigious.

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