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This getting started series is an entry level guide for VFX and Animation studios to help you get started on AWS. These tutorials are designed for small teams who are looking for ways to scale, work remotely, and improve collaboration. In this series we’ll walk through how to set up cloud-based virtual workstations, cloud storage, and cloud rendering.

Your virtual studio can expand and contract as needed to meet the needs of production, and you will only pay for what you use. This series will get you started with fully cloud-based solution. You can customize beyond the tutorials to fit your specific production needs. You may want to take additional steps to secure your data according to your individual security compliance goals.

What you'll accomplish:

Launch high-powered virtual workstations using GPU-backed Amazon EC2 G4 Instances so artists can use digital content creation tools such as Blender.  

Connect your workstations to cloud storage with Amazon FSx to enable collaboration on shared project data.

Build a cloud render farm with Amazon EC2 Spot Instances and AWS Thinkbox Deadline, to render shots with incredible compute elasticity and cost control.

Perform basic administrative tasks using the AWS Management Console. You’ll learn how to start and stop Amazon EC2 instances, create your own custom image which you can use for provisioning new digital content creation cloud desktops.

What you'll need before starting:

An AWS Account: You will need an AWS account to begin setting up your cloud-based studio. Sign up for AWS.

Skill level: A basic understanding of content production pipelines is helpful, but not required.

AWS Experience: Some prior experience with AWS is helpful to complete this project.

Cost to Complete:

The total cost of running Studio in the Cloud will vary depending on your needs and configuration. If you complete the implementation guide tutorials in a time frame similar to what is estimated for each step, and that you require a minimum amount of storage and compute time, we estimate that the cost to complete the tutorials will not exceed $150-200 USD. The total cost of your Studio in the Cloud depends on how many hours it is running and how much of each service you consume. Items such as shared cloud storage and render hours can vary widely depending on your particular use case. In addition, costs for AWS services differ slightly from Region to Region. This estimate excludes the licensing costs for additional software that you choose to use. For a more accurate estimate of your cost, we recommend using the AWS Pricing Calculator, which factors in the pricing for your particular Region.  

To see a breakdown of the services used in this project and their pricing, see Services Used and Costs.

Need more resources to get started with AWS? Visit the Getting Started Resource Center to learn more.

Visit the AWS Thinkbox Studio in the Cloud page for access to videos and more resources.

Visit the Studio in the Cloud for Content Production page to learn more.