Amazon Web Services has acquired Thinkbox Software, which makes technology used by media and entertainment architects and engineers to manage render farms — large systems for processing computer-generated graphics and video.
“We’ll be joining the Amazon Web Services family, and we’re looking forward to working together to deliver exciting customer offerings,” wrote Thinkbox in an announcement on its site today. “At this point, it’s still business as usual for us. We’ll continue to provide you, our customers, with remarkable support whether you work on-prem, in the cloud or both.”
Amazon overall has been making a smaller number of acquisitions, but the AWS division has continued to make selective deals, acquiring the NICE high-performance computing software company last year, and cybersecurity company Harvest.ai in January. In 2015, AWS bought online meeting startup Biba Systems, which resulted in the unveiling of the Chime online meeting service from AWS last month.
Also in 2015, Amazon Web Services paid $296 million to acquire Portland, Ore.-based video processing startup Elemental Technologies.
Thinkbox’s products include the Deadline render management system, Krakatoa volumetric particle rendering technology, Sequoia point cloud meshing tools, Draft image processing automation, and the Xmesh geometry caching system. Deadline works across cloud platforms including AWS EC2, Google Compute Engine and Microsoft Azure.
Financial terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, and Amazon declined to comment beyond that short announcement. Founded in 2010, Thinkbox had about 39 people as of last July, according to this interview with CEO and founder Chris Bond at the Siggraph graphics technology conference.
During the same interview last summer, Bond talked about a Thinkbox project, code-named Dash, that could give a hint as to what attracted Amazon to the company. He explained that Thinkbox’s clients said they wanted an automated system for deploying the Deadline render management tool in AWS.
Bond described the project as “Deadline as a Service,” allowing users to click a few buttons to create a render farm in the cloud. “The idea is that you can go to the store, pick the software that you want, pick the hardware that you want, and it will build everything for you automatically,” he said.