Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a cloud-based rendering service called Deadline Cloud.

Deadline Cloud will enable users to deploy and scale up graphics and handle visual effects (VFX) rendering on AWS cloud infrastructure.

The tool is aimed at customers in media and entertainment, and architecture and engineering. It can be used with content for TV, movies, ads, video games, and digital blueprints.

Users can also incorporate artificial intelligence-generated visuals and can build a cloud-based render farm that scales up to thousands of compute instances. The service is available in the US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Europe (Frankfurt), and Europe (Ireland) cloud regions.

According to the Amazon announcement: "The demand for rendering high-resolution content developed by creative studios and generative AI tools has led many organizations to set up their own on-premises infrastructure—render farms—that combine the power of hundreds, even thousands, of computing nodes to process rendering jobs."

These rendering jobs would be queued and can take weeks or even months to build and deploy, and then require complicated provisioning decisions for peak demand leading to inefficiencies, capacity constraints, and potentially missed deadlines.

“We are at a tipping point in the industry where demand for rendering quality VFX and the amount of content created using generative AI are outpacing customers’ on-premises render farm capacity,” said Antony Passemard, general manager of Creative Tools at AWS. “AWS Deadline Cloud meets any customer’s rendering requirements by providing a scalable render farm without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. Creative teams can embrace the velocity of content pipelines and respond quickly to opportunities to accept more projects, while meeting tight deadlines and delivering high-quality content.”

AWS already counts media, VFX, and post-production companies as its customers, including Animaj, Company 3, and SideFX.

While AWS has only just released a rendering-dedicated service, in December 2022 it was reported that Avatar: The Way of Water was rendered using AWS infrastructure after the project outgrew the capabilities of Wētā FX's own data center.

In March 2023, communications firm ELMNTL opened a new cloud-enabled post-production facility in Shoreditch, London. That location was built in partnership with Big Pic Media and Konsistent Consulting, the latter of which is an AWS-approved consulter though the cloud provider associated with the project was not confirmed.

In September 2023, CoreWeave and Vast Data partnered up for a cloud platform dedicated to workloads including AI, high-performance computing (HPC), and VFX workloads using CoreWeave's Nvidia DGC SuperPOD offering.