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Papyrus Studio Creates Brand New Service Stream on AWS


Papyrus Studio is a Thailand-based company that provides visual effects and animation services for films, television shows, commercials, as well as video games. It works on an average of 5 large-scale projects yearly, with companies around the world, including Japan, Taiwan, and the United States.

From its inception, Papyrus Studio decided to build a cloud infrastructure for three reasons. First, it needed flexibility to scale its compute capacity based on the size and complexity of individual projects; second, the prices of physical hardware, such as servers and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), were becoming increasingly expensive. A cloud infrastructure would allow it to pay for just the compute power it used, without any upfront infrastructure commitments; and finally, it wanted to keep a small core team, and collaborate with freelance animators across Thailand for larger projects.

Papyrus Studio chose to work with Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the AWS Cloud would provide the flexibility to adapt to future business needs without overcommitting on its initial budgets. Compared to an on-premises setup, Papyrus Studio estimates that being on the AWS Cloud helped save 60 percent in infrastructure costs, and halved the rendering times of its visual effects and animation projects.

In 2021, the studio was also able to tap the cloud to offer rendering farm services to clients struggling with the global chip shortage. This additional revenue stream now makes up 30 percent of its monthly revenue.

Papyrus Studio Case Study

The cost- and time-savings are benefits that we experience on a day-to-day basis. However, working with AWS has also unlocked opportunities beyond the media and entertainment industry.”

Katha Nabadalung
Founder, Papyrus Studio

Tapping the cloud to boost productivity

Using a combination of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling, and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to scale its compute capacity, Papyrus Studio estimates that it has saved up to 40 percent on rendering time monthly compared to an on-premises setup. At its peak, the studio was able to render up to 12,000 frames/month, compared to the 5,000 frames/month that most studios with an on-premises infrastructure could render.

Being on AWS has also allowed Papyrus Studio to tap on a wider pool of talent. The animation studio maintains a core team of just 10 employees, including 1 developer and 6 senior animators. However, it can contract up to 40 freelance or part-time animators across the country for individual, complex projects. The cloud also negates the need for expensive hardware setup to support remote collaboration across teams. Papyrus Studio was able to continue operations and service its clients, for instance, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to create a new revenue stream

Tapping its AWS infrastructure, Papyrus Studio also created a new revenue source by providing rendering farm services without any impact to its own projects. Using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to take advantage of unused Amazon EC2 capacity, the company was able to scale its compute capacity 4x while enjoying up to 65 percent cost savings.

One of its first clients on this service is a major Thai film studio. Even though this client had about 1 million hours to render per year on average, its on-premises infrastructure only had enough compute capacity to render about 70 percent of its total needs. Papyrus Studio stepped in and helped it complete render more than 150,000 Hours within 2 months, helping the major Thai studio meet its deadlines. While Papyrus Studio has yet to officially launch the service, demand for the service has grown 5x since its soft launch in January 2022.

Exploring opportunities in AR and VR

Looking ahead, Papyrus Studio plans to expand its services to game developers and studios, specifically those that are developing computing-intensive titles based on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality environments.

“The cost- and time-savings are benefits that we experience on a day-to-day basis. However, working with AWS has also unlocked opportunities beyond the media and entertainment industry,” said Katha Nabadalung, founder of Papyrus Studio. “What’s more, the AWS team has introduced us to architecture and engineering firms, and discussions are currently underway for us to provide animation and graphic rendering services. These are invaluable opportunities in new sectors that we wouldn’t have otherwise had.”

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About Papyrus Studio

Papyrus Studio is a Thailand-based studio that provides visual effects and animation services for films, television shows, commercials, as well as video games.

Benefits of AWS

  • Reduced capital expenditure by 60 percent
  • Reduced time-to-market for renders by 40 percent
  • Tapped its cloud infrastructure to provide rendering farm services

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) offers the broadest and deepest compute platform, with over 500 instances and choice of the latest processor, storage, networking, operating system, and purchase model to help you best match the needs of your workload.

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Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling

Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling helps you maintain application availability and allows you to automatically add or remove EC2 instances according to conditions you define.

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Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

Amazon EC2 Spot Instances let you take advantage of unused EC2 capacity in the AWS cloud.

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Amazon FSx for Lustre

Amazon FSx for Lustre provides fully managed shared storage with the scalability and performance of the popular Lustre file system.

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AWS Gamelift

Amazon GameLift is a dedicated game server hosting solution that deploys, operates, and scales cloud servers for multiplayer games.

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