Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that it has acquired special effects startup Zync Render, bringing the company that rendered the special effects for Looper, Star Trek Into Darkness and dozens of other feature films to its Cloud Platform and making its billing plan more flexible to avoid losing clients in the transition.

Google

“Creating amazing special effects requires a skilled team of visual artists and designers, backed by a highly powerful infrastructure to render scenes,” product manager Belwadi Srikanth wrote in a blog post. “Together Zync + Cloud Platform will offer studios the rendering performance and capacity they need, while helping them manage costs.”

Unlike Stackdriver acquisition, Zync clients will have to switch to Google Cloud Platform

Now that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is aggressively pushing its own cloud services the competition between it and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Web Services has been getting more intense. Even though the two tech giants have been around for years, both having lived through the dot-com crash, they haven’t been direct competitors for most of that time.

When Google acquired Stackdriver, which offers services that let developers track and monitor apps running on the cloud, it decided to let clients keep using Stackdriver with whatever cloud provider they preferred, whether it be Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (NYSE:RAX), or one of the smaller providers. But this time they will move Zync Render entirely to the Google Cloud Platform, forcing the movie studios and marketing firms that have gotten used to Zync to switch. While smaller companies might chafe at the transition costs, the decision to bill by the minute instead of by the hour should make up for that with extra flexibility.

Cloud competition is heating up

The competition between Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has also gotten more intense in other ways, with Amazon recently suing a former executive that went to work for Google, claiming that he is violating a non-compete clause (Google says that it put restrictions on his activities to avoid directly competing with Amazon, a claim that Amazon obviously rejects).

As with the incessant patent disputes between rival mobile phone manufacturers, we can expect Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to both ratchet up the legal pressure as part of the larger fight for cloud computing market share.