Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Amazon Web Services is now a Blender Corporate Patron

Amazon Web Services has become the latest tech giant to back open-source 3D tool Blender, joining AMD, Epic Games, Facebook, Nvidia and Unity as a Corporate Patron of the Blender Development Fund.

AWS will donate at least €120,000/year towards development of Blender for at least three years, with the money going to fund development of Blender’s character animation tools.

AWS backing guarantees Blender at least €360,000 in funding over three years
The news makes Amazon Web Services the sixth major tech firm to become a Corporate Patron of the Blender Development Fund since rival Epic Games’ watershed $1.2 million donation last summer.

As with AMD, Facebook, Nvidia and Unity Technologies, its Corporate Patron status will generate the Blender Development Fund at least €120,000/year.

AWS has also become the first major donor since Epic Games to commit to funding Blender for at least three years, meaning total funding of at least €360,000.

Money will fund overhaul of Blender’s character animation tools
The donation is also unusual in that the money will be used to fund development of a specific toolset.

According to the Blender Foundation’s blog post, the money will fund the ‘Animation 2020’ project to “redesign and upgrade Blender’s character animation system for the coming decade”.

The specs for the program were reviewed by AWS creative director Jason Schleifer, previously head of character animation at DreamWorks Animation.

After leaving DreamWorks, Schleifer co-founded cloud animation production platform Nimble Collective, which was acquired by AWS last year.

Other 3D technologies tied to Amazon Web Services include the Lumberyard game engine and renderfarm management system Deadline.

“It has always been my preference to work closely with industry talents on improving Blender,” said Blender Foundation chairman Ton Roosendaal. “Thanks to AWS’ support, we can recruit additional top developers to help us bring character animation in Blender to new heights.”

Read the Blender Foundation’s announcement that AWS has backed the Blender Development Fund