AWS Thinkbox Plugins Are Now Available as Open Source


With Krakatoa and XMesh source code accessible for Autodesk Maya under the Apache 2.0 open source licence, artists and studios have more access to goods and tools; artist tools streamline rendering, VFX, and simulation workflows.

Krakatoa and XMesh, two AWS Thinkbox plugins for Autodesk Maya, are now accessible under the Apache 2.0 open source licence, according to an announcement from Amazon Web Services (AWS). A set of AWS Thinkbox artist tools that streamline rendering, VFX, and simulation workflows may be found on GitHub for Krakatoa and XMesh for Autodesk Maya. Krakatoa is a toolkit for managing, manipulating, and rendering volumetric particles, and XMesh is a programme for caching geometry.

AWS is going to open source its artist tools and is giving artists and studios more access to AWS Thinkbox products. Additionally, the AWS Management Console offers free pre-built binaries for download.

The 1,200 artists at Scanline VFX employ a variety of content production tools, but practically all of their work is bookended by the use of Autodesk Maya for animation and rigging, Houdini for effects, and Autodesk 3ds Max for rendering, simulation, and effects. Artists can switch shots between the two creative tools as the scenes develop by using AWS Thinkbox XMesh, a plugin for quickly caching and loading huge files.

“With the AWS Thinkbox tools available as open source, we can contribute to the path forward and take control of how it evolves,” explained James Braid, Scanline VP of Technology. “XMesh has always been part of the decision-making process for migrating to the latest content creation application version. Now we can determine our own timelines and add our own special enhancements if needed. Open sourcing gives us more control over our destiny.”

For a few projects, Scanline also employs additional AWS Thinkbox artist tools in addition to XMesh, with Krakatoa being the most frequently utilised. Sebo continued, “AWS Thinkbox plugins give artists the ability to iterate quickly. They were developed by people that understand the fast-paced nature of the VFX industry and how to optimize workflows, which make them ideal tools.”

For example, Scanline used Krakatoa to create crowd animation cycles and digital trees for Aquaman, instanciate rain particles for The Batman, and add CG snowstorms to Game of Thrones’ eighth season.


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