AWS for Games Blog

How to create an animation production pipeline with Flaneer on AWS?

Blog Authors: Jean-Régis De Vauplane and Martin Muller - Flaneer, Youcef Banchene and Hossam Basudan - AWS

Animation has boomed in recent years and it’s now present in nearly every film or television show. The increase in popularity is caused by animation’s ability to storytell and hold an audience’s attention. Although, crafting animations isn’t a cakewalk by any means. There are various steps involved such as coming up with characters, backdrops and planning out their movements before syncing everything together with sound effects. Although there are many moving parts, some tools can make the process less daunting. In this blog post we’ll see how Flaneer uses AWS to provide a cloud-based pipeline for studios who need assistance with their animated productions!

Flaneer is a cloud-based animation production platform that offers an easy-to-use, all-in-one solution for studios of all sizes. With Flaneer, you can quickly and easily create animations using the latest tools and technologies, without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. Flaneer’s animation production pipeline is built on top of AWS, which provides the flexibility and scalability needed to meet the demands of any studio.

What are the main issues when it comes to creating your animation production pipeline?

First, hardware is expensive for an animation production pipeline. Animation productions demand powerful computers, with high-end graphics cards and a lot of storage. This can be a significant investment for a studio, especially if they need to duplicate the hardware for remote and on-site workers. Additionally, after 2 or 3 years, the hardware is no longer top performance and needs to be replaced, which is costly and time-consuming for a studio. Furthermore, files management is made complex by the variety of files and the requirement to access them on-site or remotely. Finally, keeping track of licenses can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. While those challenges may seem daunting, there are several ways to overcome them and create a successful animation production pipeline. By carefully planning your workflow and investing in the right tools, you can ensure that your studio runs smoothly and efficiently.

Why would a cloud infrastructure like AWS help?

A cloud infrastructure like AWS can help overcome some of the challenges associated with animation production pipelines. First, it provides the flexibility to quickly and easily scale up or down as needed. This is important because it allows studios to meet the demands of their productions, without overspending on hardware that will only be used for a short period of time. Additionally, AWS provides access to powerful GPUs, which are necessary for rendering high-quality animations. Another benefit of using AWS is that it simplifies file access for both remote and on-site workers. With Flaneer, all of your files are stored in the cloud, so everyone has access to the latest versions. This eliminates the need to keep track of who has access to what, and ensures that everyone is working with the most up-to-date files. Finally, using AWS, Flaneer offers templates to make it easy to set up new machines in minutes. When you’re ready to add new workers to your studio, all you need to do is provide them with the appropriate permissions and they can get started immediately. While on premises it takes up to 3 days to setup a new machine to make it ready, it takes around 5 minutes with Flaneer. Indeed, there’s no need to spend time configuring hardware or installing software since your environment is already saved and ready to be deployed.

What are the frictions to overcome when it comes to building your animation production pipeline on the cloud?

To build your animation production pipeline on the cloud, there are several frictions you need to overcome. Firstly, you need a minimum internet bandwidth to stream animation content effectively. Secondly, you need an encrypted and performing streaming protocol to protect your content from piracy. Lastly, you need to get familiar with professional GPUs (non-consumer GPUs) to take advantage of the processing power of the cloud. However, despite those frictions, the benefits of building your animation production pipeline on the cloud far outweighs the costs. The cloud allows you to scale up or down as needed, provides global access to your content, and gives you the ability to track user behavior and tailor content accordingly.

Finally, keep in mind that the cloud only provides the building blocks for such a pipeline, it does not implement the solution on your behalf, or know what’s best. This is where Flaneer comes in! Flaneer is a turnkey solution that helps you quickly and easily set up your animation production pipeline on the cloud. Let’s dive into how Flaneer leverages AWS.

How Flaneer leveraged AWS to solve those problems?

Flaneer has done the work of implementing the cloud infrastructure for you, so you don’t have to. Setting up your pipeline with Flaneer is quick and easy, and leverages all of their experience with both creative studios and more importantly, AWS. One simple number to keep in mind is 6 months: this is how long it took one game studio to build the same infrastructure on AWS that they could have achieved with Flaneer in a day.

As an example, Flaneer leverages:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to give you access to the best GPU available.
  • AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) and AWS NICE DCV to let you stream your software in the best conditions, up to 4 screens in 4K!
  • Amazon Machine Images (AMI) to give you access to a pre-made template, or to let you build your golden image. That way, you can onboard new workers, with a pre-made machine, in 5 minutes instead of the usual week!

Overall, Flaneer leverages the breadth and depth of AWS services to provide an optimal experience to creative people. For example, Flaneer provides benchmarks and expertise on what Cloud Workstation might work best for your use case. Recently, 60% of Flaneer’s customers switched from g4dn based workstations to g5 workstations, seeing an increase in performances up to twice better than before! The result is awesome, in one click Flaneer’s client had the possibility to upgrade their machine and observe:

  • A render time of their Blender/Maya projects (on average) 40% faster than what they used before locally
  • A compute time to build Unity/UE4 projects (on average) 45% faster than what they used before locally

Flaneer also built an algorithm on top of Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) that lets you mount your files on your Cloud Workstation, and lets you use them as if they were locally on your computer. Flaneer also lets you connect other File Systems (such as other cloud providers, Google Drive, Synology NAS, etc). This is probably the most loved feature by Flaneer users. You can use Flaneer as your “single source of truth” for all your files, and connect it to everything else, and collaborate with your coworkers just like you would if you were at the same desk!

Let’s have a look at a production pipeline for a game studio would look like with Flaneer:

production pipeline for a game studio would look like with Flaneer

As you can see in this diagram, Flaneer offers dedicated playtest stations to be shared to thousands of users. Those instances contain only the exe of the game you want to test. Why is it cool? First, because you are in control of everything: your IP is not spread away, everything stays in your network. Second, you have access to a bunch of data (duration, screen recording, heatmap, etc). Third, you are sure that the players have the right configurations to run the tests. If you need, you can also launch a rendering from Flaneer’s workstation. Your project will be automatically deported to a dedicated render farm service, and your workstation still be usable for creation. Flaneer also manages all the heavy lifting when it comes to updates and maintenance of both the hardware and software for you. So you can be confident that your machines (especially the GPU) are always up-to-date with the latest software versions. Additionally, Flaneer gives you visibility into your cash flow on a monthly basis, so you can budget accordingly. With Flaneer, there are no upfront costs or long-term commitments required. You only pay each month, and you can cancel at any time. This lets you go over the pay-as-you-go model that AWS offers.


The cloud is the future of animation production pipelines, and Flaneer is leading the way by simplifying the use and the setup of cloud tools. Animation production can be a complex and time-consuming process. But,setting up a Flaneer pipeline on AWS, you can optimize your workflow and ensure high-quality results. By using our tips for optimizing your pipeline and troubleshooting common problems, you can streamline the animation production process and get your project completed on time and within budget.

If you want to dig further the remote access infrastructure topic, we suggest starting with the choice of the pixel streaming technology that would fit your needs. And the good news is that we’ve run some tests with NICE DCV, Parsec and Reemo and are happy to share the results with you here.