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AWS introduces a new service specifically designed for rendering projects in the cloud.

Amazon recently introduced a new service called Deadline Cloud, which allows customers to easily set up, deploy, and scale up graphics and visual effects rendering pipelines on AWS cloud infrastructure. We strategically launched the new service for the media and entertainment industry to align with the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas later this month.

With Deadline Cloud, customers in various industries such as media, entertainment, architecture, and engineering can leverage AWS compute power to efficiently render content for a wide range of applications, including TV shows, movies, ads, video games, and digital blueprints. According to Antony Passemard, the general manager of creative tools at AWS, this solution offers professional-grade capabilities.

Put simply, AWS is confident in the growing need for tools that assist media, entertainment, and other executives in effectively managing cloud-based rendering.

“We are currently witnessing a critical moment in the industry, where the need for high-quality VFX rendering and the volume of content produced through generative AI are surpassing the computing capabilities of our customers,” Passemard expressed in a blog post. “AWS Deadline Cloud offers a scalable render farm that caters to all customer rendering needs, eliminating the need for managing the underlying infrastructure.”

Our startup wizard in Deadline Cloud guides customers step-by-step in setting up a render farm. This includes inputting the size and duration of their projects to determine the appropriate instance type, as well as configuring permissions. Deadline Cloud efficiently provisions and manages Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances, taking care of the network and compute infrastructure. Additionally, Deadline Cloud seamlessly integrates with on-premises compute to efficiently execute rendering jobs for customers.

Deadline Cloud’s dashboard offers a comprehensive view for analyzing logs, previewing ongoing render jobs, and managing costs. Customers have the option to connect their own third-party software licenses with Deadline Cloud or utilize usage-based licensing for rendering with popular rendering tools and engines like Autodesk Maya, Foundry Nuke, and SideFX Houdini.

“With Deadline Cloud, creative teams can fully leverage the speed of content pipelines and swiftly seize opportunities to take on additional projects, all while ensuring timely delivery and maintaining top-notch content quality,” Passemard elaborated.

Deadline Cloud is now accessible in various AWS server regions, including the U.S. East (Ohio, North Virginia), U.S. West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo), and Europe (Frankfurt, Ireland).

Cloud-based rendering is a well-established practice. In 2015, Google made a significant move by acquiring Zync. In collaboration with Sony Pictures Imageworks, we utilized the technology from this acquisition to create powerful visual effects tools, showcasing the capabilities of Google Cloud. In other places, platforms such as Arch and Chaos Cloud have been offering on-demand cloud-based VFX infrastructure for a long time.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the transition of VFX workloads to the cloud. This is due to the rising costs of hardware maintenance and storage space, coupled with a decrease in work opportunities caused by work-from-home mandates and production shutdowns. As mentioned by Passemard, the increasing popularity of generative AI has resulted in a higher need for rendering hardware. This, in turn, has given rise to the emergence of new cloud-based providers that offer GPU acceleration.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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