What is Amazon Nimble Studio? - Amazon Nimble Studio

What is Amazon Nimble Studio?

Welcome to the user guide for Amazon Nimble Studio.

Amazon Nimble Studio is an AWS service that builds the infrastructure that you need to operate a cloud-based studio for producing visual effects (VFX), animation, and interactive content. Nimble Studio provides virtual workstations, cloud rendering, and shared storage to content creators so they can quickly scale resources to meet an increased demand for content.

With Nimble Studio, production studios can leverage a global workforce securely in the cloud, thus reducing the costs of added physical infrastructure and technical staff. Using state-of-the-art AWS security, your admins can keep your valuable studio resources secure, while allowing your teams to access the tools they need, such as scalable high-speed storage, licenses, and near-limitless rendering.

Supported software and operating systems

You can use Linux or Windows operating systems (OS) with Nimble Studio. Most user-based credential logins from Foundry, Autodesk, and Adobe can be used.

Nimble Studio supports bring your own (BYO) floating licenses for industry software. This includes industry standard digital content creation applications such as Houdini, Nuke, Maya, Vray, and many more. Nimble Studio doesn’t support node-locked licenses.

Blender is included on Nimble Studio workstation Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). Whereas, for Farm worker AMIs, you can find Nuke, Houdini, and Blender in the AWS Marketplace.

Remote team management

Rapidly onboard and collaborate with artists remotely and securely with Nimble Studio. Our scalable service will help you meet the demands of animation and VFX production teams who might not be cloud technology experts. An added benefit of a remote studio and workforce is that it can reduce production costs and upfront capital investment, while you continue to grow.

Security with Nimble Studio

Amazon Nimble Studio’s state-of-the-art AWS security gives your account admins and project owners the ability to add or remove artists, assign resources, and share projects.

AWS IAM Identity Center (successor to AWS Single Sign-On) (IAM Identity Center) provides secure artist access to web identities in the Nimble Studio portal. Nimble Studio portal includes workstation and file system access control via AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory (AWS Managed Microsoft AD), enabling directory-aware workloads for your production security needs.

Pricing for Nimble Studio

Pricing for Nimble Studio is primarily based on usage. To calculate your estimated costs for running a cloud studio, see Nimble Studio Pricing.


Even if you don't use use your studio or any of the infrastructure that is created by your studio, you will be charged for storage and other studio resources. If you aren't using your studio, we recommend deleting it so that you don't accrue unnecessary charges. For information about your AWS bill, see the AWS Cost Explorer Service and AWS Budgets.

Setup and deployment

The beauty of Nimble Studio is that setup and deployment takes a few hours, not weeks.

StudioBuilder is Nimble Studio’s deployment tool, and is accessible through the AWS Marketplace.

StudioBuilder builds the infrastructure and pipeline that you need to start working on day one. Create your studio environment using the Nimble Studio portal, name new projects, and invite artists to onboard.

Here are some of the features you get with Nimble Studio:

  • AWS IAM Identity Center (successor to AWS Single Sign-On) (IAM Identity Center) for seamlessly connecting to remote teams, assets, and resources

  • On-demand access to powerful virtual workstations using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)

  • Integrated render farm through the AWS Thinkbox Render Farm Deployment Kit (RFDK)

  • Amazon Machine Images (AMI) functionality and templates

  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies and roles

  • Amazon FSx storage for Windows and Linux

  • A virtual network through Amazon Virtual Private Cloud

Storage for Nimble Studio

Render workers on Nimble Studio are configured to access the shared storage for your studio, known as the Z: drive on your Windows virtual workstation or /mnt/fsxshare on a Linux virtual workstation.

Users also have a profile in the AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory. This is called a profile directory, and is usually C:\Users\your-user-name\ on Windows, or /home/your-user-name on Linux. A profile directory isn't accessible to other artists or render workers.

How to get started with Nimble Studio

After you’ve familiarized yourself with the Concepts and terminology for Amazon Nimble Studio page, visit the Getting started with Amazon Nimble Studio page. In it, you’ll find links to helpful information and step-by-step instructions for deploying a new cloud studio and configuring it for your team.

If you’re an artist in film, VFX, or interactive content, the Artist tutorials for Amazon Nimble Studio tutorials will show you how to launch a virtual workstation, and use Nimble Studio to collaborate and create remotely.