Art and culture

AWS Intros Cloud Rendering Service for VFX and Animation Studios

Complex visual effects and computer graphics can mean extensive (and expensive) computing needs, and to address this, Amazon Web Services is launching a new cloud rendering service.

AWS Deadline Cloud, aimed at entertainment and other industries with computing-intensive needs, makes its infrastructure available, the model is structured so that users only pay for what they need and when they need it, for instance, on tight deadlines.

In today’s era of filmmaking, VFX and CG are, of course, used in many features and series. Antony Passemard, general manager of creative tools at AWS, notes that VFX rendering might take “a few hours per frame on large complex frames for a movie, for example.” A full VFX-heavy scene, therefore, “could be many days of rendering, or many, many, many machines are working in parallel.”

He reasons that many other rendering options available to VFX studios are more expensive, including building a pricey render farm on-premises or potentially other cloud services. He explains, “Even when you’re not rendering, you’re still paying somewhat of an underlying infrastructure cost. With Deadline Cloud you only pay for when you render. When you have downtime in your production, it costs you zero.”

“That enables the customer to really scale to thousands of machines, just for the jobs they need,” he continues, adding that the service is also designed to help companies track their budget. “We built many tools in that regard to make sure that the productions have very clear and granular visibility on their spend,” he says.

According to Passemard, Deadline Cloud has built-in integration with numerous popular content creation tools, including Autodesk’s Arnold and Maya, Foundry’s Nuke and Side FX’s Houdini.

Customers that have tested AWS Deadline Cloud include Company 3, Animaj, Assembly, Griptape and WeFx. Autodesk, Foundry, SideFX, Chaos and Maxon are among the software partners that tested the service.

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