Autodesk has certified AMD-powered Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) G4ad instances for use with one of its popular Media & Entertainment software. Certification gives game developers, visual effects artists and visualization professionals looking to take advantage of the power and flexibility of cloud-based workflows the assurance that key art tools will run as reliably on virtual workstations as they do on local machines and will receive the same level of vendor support.
So what are G4ad instances?
Amazon EC2 G4ad instances let studios run software securely in the cloud on virtual workstations, with only the encrypted pixels of the desktop display being streamed to an artist's PC or laptop.
The instances are powered by AMD CPUs and GPUs, bringing the power of the Zen 2 and AMD RDNA™ architectures to the cloud. Their second-generation AMD EPYC™ processors provide up to 64 vCPUs per instance, powering CPU-intensive tasks like rendering and shader compilation, while their AMD Radeon™ PRO V520 GPUs accelerate viewport playback and simulation.
Available in five different configurations to suit all types of creative workflows, G4ad instances provide up to 40% better price performance over comparable GPU-based instances for graphics-intensive applications.
Network Bandwidth (Gbps)
EBS Bandwidth (Gbps)
Up to 10
Up to 3
Up to 10
Up to 3
Up to 3
How does Autodesk software benefit from running on G4ad instances?
The combination of AMD EPYC CPUs and AMD Radeon Pro GPUs in Amazon EC2 G4ad instances powers creative workflows of all types in Autodesk Media & Entertainment software.
For visualization professionals working in Autodesk 3ds Max or games and visual effects artists working in Autodesk Maya, the high vCPU counts of G4ad instances accelerate CPU rendering, reducing the time needed to generate high-resolution images and videos. The combined power of the processors also ensures that the Mudbox viewport remains seamlessly interactive even when working with very dense meshes, and that motion capture data plays back smoothly in MotionBuilder, even when working with complex character rigs.
What does Autodesk hardware certification mean for artists using G4ad instances?
Autodesk and AMD have now put the AMD Radeon PRO V520 GPUs used in G4ad instances through the same rigorous testing program as their counterparts in desktop workstations, ensuring that every key feature in the applications certified runs correctly on the hardware. Certification guarantees users of G4ad instances the same level of customer support as when running Autodesk software offline, even when streaming the viewport display to devices that would not themselves be certified, like tablets and netbooks.
How can Autodesk professionals benefit from moving to the cloud?
Amazon EC2 G4ad instances enable studios using Autodesk software to take advantage of the flexibility and scalability of cloud-based workflows, while ensuring a workstation-class experience for their artists.
Cloud-based workflows accommodate artists working remotely
With more people than ever now working from home, moving from physical to virtual workstations helps studios shift to new, less centralized team structures. For individual artists, being able to work in a familiar environment boosts creativity, while studios are freed to attract talent from around the world without having to worry about sourcing hardware or software licenses locally or providing technical support in person.
Cloud-based workflows scale easily as projects expand
Virtual workstations make it easy for studios to bring in freelancers for crunch periods, or to crew up when a project expands. Rather than waiting for new hardware to be delivered, managers can simply move artists to more powerful instances, or deploy new instances at the click of a button. Studios can even store and reuse virtual machine profiles for regular contractors, enabling them to begin work again immediately.
Cloud-based workflows reduce start-up costs
Renting virtual workstations on demand rather than having to buy hardware up front reduces start-up costs for small teams. For larger studios, prioritizing Operating Expenditure (OpEx) over Capital Expenditure (CapEx) makes costs more predictable, and reduces the financial risks of new hires being unable to work while waiting for workstations to be delivered, or of costly machines standing idle during quieter periods.
Cloud-based workflows simplify collaboration and data security
For commercially sensitive projects, working in the cloud simplifies data security. Since all of the project files are stored on the virtual workstation, and only pixels are streamed to the artist's machine, studios have more control over who can access confidential data. And with both in-house artists and external freelancers able to access the same virtual machine, teams can collaborate more easily on art assets or project files.
Thanks to Autodesk hardware certification for Amazon EC2 G4ad instances, studios that rely on Maya and 3ds Max, can now shift their production pipelines to the cloud, secure in the knowledge that they will continue to receive the same level of vendor support as with desktop workstations. Offering unbeatable price performance for graphics-intensive tasks, the AMD-based instances ensure that games, VFX and visualization studios can take full advantage of the power of cloud-based workflows.
Find full lists of graphics hardware certified for use with Autodesk Media & Entertainment software: HERE
George Watkins is a Product Marketing Manager for AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.