I am not a graphics artist, but I have an idea to dramatically speed up 3D animation rendering.
I have the following assumptions about the work flow of a 3D graphics artist, and I would highly appreciate it if someone can please confirm/correct these:
1) Rendering is by far the most time consuming part of 3D animation creation.
2) A 3D graphics artist renders his/her animation multiple times during the creation process, rather than creating the entire animation and then doing a single batch render on a render farm at the end.
3) Deriving from 1) & 2) above, it seems that a Maya or 3ds Max plug-in that speeds up rendering 10x (no this is not a gimmick) would be very useful in improving the productivity of a 3D graphics artist.
4) The texture and other files that are necessary for rendering a 3D animation have a cumulative size on the order of several GB, but not much more than that.