AWS for M&E Blog

AWS Thinkbox products now available free of charge

Today we are excited to announce that AWS Thinkbox products (Deadline, Draft, Krakatoa, Frost, XMesh, and Stoke) are now available at no cost. Thinkbox tools simplify rendering, VFX, and simulation workflows, and are in use by top studios around the world.

AWS Thinkbox tools include: Deadline render farm management software that helps studios optimize and scale their compute resources; 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.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is dedicated to supporting customers in content production, and this initiative is the latest effort to deliver greater access and more value to artists and studios. Customers can access the latest Thinkbox product downloads free of charge from the AWS Thinkbox download page on the AWS Management Console, streamlining the management and maintenance of licenses.

What does this mean for my Thinkbox software?

  • When upgraded to Deadline 10.1.23 and later, Deadline users will no longer need floating licenses or Usage Based License (UBL) hours to use the Deadline software. Draft will also be available at no cost. If you have an existing Deadline license, you can continue using Draft until the license expires. Once the license expires, you will be invited to upgrade Deadline to use Draft for free.
  • New versions of Krakatoa, Frost, XMesh, and Stoke are available for download free of charge.

Getting started

You will need to have an AWS account to get started. Please refer to the instructions here to create a new AWS account.

Customers using older versions of Thinkbox products
You are encouraged to upgrade to the latest versions of the products to leverage the latest features. However, if you prefer to stay with an existing version, you can continue doing so by logging in to the AWS Management Console and downloading a Thinkbox floating license from the floating license portal at no cost.


Floating license portal
The floating license portal offers Deadline, Frost, Krakatoa, Stoke, and XMesh licenses. You will be provided with a fixed count of 50K licenses for each product (except Draft) set to expire in one year. However, new license files can be downloaded at any time. Click here to access the floating license portal. You will need to provide your license server host name and the MAC address to download the license file. For more information about floating license portal, refer here.


You can also obtain UBL render time for Deadline and Krakatoa from AWS Thinkbox marketplace at no cost. Deadline and Krakatoa UBL are priced at zero dollars in the Thinkbox Marketplace. Refer to the documentation for more details on UBL.

AWS Thinkbox UBL Marketplace

Thinkbox product support
You can continue to find support for your AWS Thinkbox products through community forums and AWS Premium Support, depending on your needs.

To find out more, please visit our documentation.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How do I create an AWS account? Follow this link to create a new AWS account.
  2. When creating an AWS account, I am prompted to enter a credit card for billing. Will my credit card be charged when I download the AWS Thinkbox products? Creating an AWS account requires a credit card for billing and fraud prevention. There are no fees or charges for using your AWS account to access the AWS Thinkbox Download site. However, if you use any other AWS services, you would be subject to the pricing as listed on
  3. When setting up my AWS account, why do I need to add a payment method? There is no charge to download and use the AWS Thinkbox products. However, a payment method is still required in the event you use your AWS account to launch other resources in the console that are not on the Free Tier. Additional information: Why do I need to add a payment method if my account is covered by the AWS Free Tier?
  4. My AWS account is suspended or closed. How can I get the account un-suspended or re-opened? You can reactivate your suspended AWS account following these steps. You can re-open a closed AWS account by following these steps.
  5. What region should I pick? Does it matter if we are not in the US? The AWS Thinkbox products are available to download from 6 AWS regions (US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Canada (Central), Europe (London), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo). You can use any of the 6 regions and they can be accessed from any country or region.
  6. Is the AWS Thinkbox Marketplace Moving to the console? We are not moving the AWS Thinkbox UBL to the console with this update. You can access the UBL marketplace using this link, follow the instructions on the website to purchase third party UBL. The Deadline and Krakatoa UBL are priced at zero dollars. However, we recommend you “Checkout” items priced at zero dollars separately from non-zero priced items to have access to the UBL minutes immediately. The setup and usage for UBL will still be the same as before. Please refer to instruction on this link for details.
  7. Do I need to change the way I use / implement Draft? No, from an end-user perspective nothing changes in the way customers implement or use Draft. Customers with an existing Deadline license can continue using Draft until the license expires. After which, you be will be required to upgrade Deadline to use Draft.
  8. I cannot upgrade Deadline, how I can continue using Draft without upgrading Deadline? Contact Premium Support to get help upgrading to the latest version of Deadline.
  9. What about DraftPro? Is that available at no cost as well? DraftPro continues to require a purchased license.
  10. How do I get the installer for the software versions not available on the AWS Thinkbox Download page? Only those versions of Thinkbox products listed on the AWS Management Console are actively maintained and regularly updated to include fixes for known issues and downstream security patches. If you require access to versions of Thinkbox products that are no longer actively maintained, please connect with AWS Premium Support.
  11. Why are the products available on the AWS Management Console instead of AWS Thinkbox? We are unifying the AWS Thinkbox customer experience by moving the products to the console. This eliminates the need for customers to use their personal Amazon retail account to download the products. Instead, customers can now access the Thinkbox products from the console using their AWS account.
Bharathi (Batty) Muthukrishnan

Bharathi (Batty) Muthukrishnan

Batty is a Sr. Product Manager, Thinkbox, AWS.