AWS for M&E Blog

AWS showcases content production in the cloud at SIGGRAPH 2022

The annual SIGGRAPH conference reconvenes in Vancouver August 8-11 for the first time in two years and we couldn’t be more excited to connect with colleagues and friends from around the world to celebrate the state of the art in computer graphics, animation, virtual production, and visual effects. Join us to learn about the latest in cloud technology for content production.

Don’t miss our standout lineup of “AWS Innovators” on August 11 in Room 118 at the Vancouver Convention Center from 9:00AM-5:30PM. This full day of sessions features talks and panels from Animal Logic, Bardel Animation, Framestore, FuzzyPixel, HaZimation Studios, Netflix, NVIDIA, Pixomondo, Preymaker, Scanline, a fireside chat with Love, Death + Robots creator and Blur Studios founder Tim Miller, and more. Visit our AWS Siggraph landing page for a complete schedule.

See Amazon Web Services (AWS) throughout the conference at booth 602 for demonstrations of the latest cloud-enabled content workflows and products from AWS and AWS Partners that include Arch Platform Technologies, Autodesk, Blackmagic Design, Conductor Technologies, Dead Drop Labs, Epic Games, Foundry, Houdini, Isotropix, Maxon, TrackIt, TriumphTech, and Wacom. Attendees will experience a full content production pipeline, including an LED volume stage (at booth 1039), powered by AWS. If you’re getting into town early, you can also catch us at the DigiPro symposium on Sunday, August 7 at the Fairmont Hotel. We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver!

Amazon Nimble Studio adds GPU power to virtual workstations

We’ve announced an exciting new way for VFX, animation, and games artists to simplify connecting to high performance virtual workstations. Amazon Nimble Studio is introducing access to additional on-demand Amazon EC2 G3 and Amazon EC2 G5 instances, enabling content creators to stream GPU-backed virtual workstations through an intuitive artist-friendly portal. Nimble Studio provides virtual workstations, high performant file storage, such as Amazon FSx, and render farm capacity through AWS Thinkbox Deadline, empowering the creation of digital 2D and 3D content on AWS. By providing access to additional GPU-backed instance types, creators have more options to select the best virtual workstation for their needs. Visit the blog post for more details.

Picchu showcases the future of animation production in the cloud

In addition to new technology development, AWS in-house creative studio FuzzyPixel completed the animated short film Picchu, produced end-to-end by a geographically distributed team using Amazon Nimble Studio. Picchu follows the journey of a young girl named Mayu against the backdrop of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador and was written and directed by Amaru Zeas. As a creative team within AWS, FuzzyPixel artists are the first users of cutting-edge cloud-based solutions for animation production, and their feedback informs new production-tested features. Their experiences also shape tutorial content and training materials. Upon release of the short, the Picchu Blender assets are being made available for artists to use in their own projects and tests.

AWS Animation Producer Jennifer Dahlman explained, “‘Picchu’ is a both a creative and technical achievement. From the embroidery details on Mayu’s poncho, to the native plants that change as she journeys through different elevations, special attention was paid to honor the location in which it is set. At the same time, we’re pushing the technology and experimenting with how we structure our production workflows – experiments that larger and more established teams may not be able to afford to take. It’s an exciting time to be at AWS.”

Watch Picchu online here.

AWS Thinkbox software tools, including Deadline, are now free of charge

We are excited to announce that AWS Thinkbox products are now available free of charge. Thinkbox tools simplify rendering, VFX, and simulation workflows, and include Deadline render farm management software; Draft for simple post-render compositing tasks; Krakatoa volumetric particle rendering toolkit; XMesh mesh caching solution; Frost for generating a single mesh from particles; and Stoke, a particle simulation tool.

Users can access Thinkbox software downloads from the AWS Thinkbox download page on the AWS Management Console. In addition to providing greater access to Thinkbox products, this will streamline the management and maintenance workflows of licenses for all users. An AWS account is required to access Thinkbox software downloads free of charge from the AWS Thinkbox download page. Please refer to the instructions here to create a new AWS account and visit the blog post for more details.

Amazon File Cache (coming soon)

We announced at AWS Storage Day 2022 the upcoming availability of Amazon File Cache, a new service on AWS that accelerates and simplifies hybrid workloads. Amazon File Cache provides a high-speed cache on AWS that makes it easier to process file data, regardless of where the data is stored. You can have this service serve as a temporary, high-performance storage location, for your data stored in on-premises file servers, or in file systems, or object stores in AWS. Amazon File Cache enables Media and Entertainment, Computer Graphics, and Gaming customers to accelerate performance for VFX, media rendering, editing, and transcoding. Amazon File Cache will be Generally Available later this year. If you are interested in learning more about this service, please sign up for more information.

For more information about AWS at SIGGRAPH 2022, visit our event page or see our team during the show at booth 602.

Colin Cupp

Colin Cupp

Colin is the marketing lead for Media & Entertainment content production at AWS. Prior to joining AWS in 2018, he held marketing roles at Autodesk, Mochi Media, and Sun Microsystems. When he isn't working or renovating his fixer upper, he likes to explore San Diego beaches and parks with his family.