Thursday, April 29th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Deadline is now free to use on up to 10 render machines

AWS Thinkbox has released Deadline, the latest version of its renderfarm-management software.

The update makes it possible to run Deadline in Licence Free Mode with up to 10 Render Workers, enabling indie VFX and animation studios to use it free on farms with up to 10 machines.

Use Deadline to manage renderfarms of up to 10 render nodes for free
In AWS Thinkbox’s terms, ‘Render Workers’ are machines running the Worker software, used to control the rendering applications running on the farm.

Previously, you could only run the software in Licence Free Mode with two Render Workers, meaning that you had to pay to use it on farms containing more than two render nodes.

Raising the limit to 10 should make it possible for freelancers and small studios to use Deadline free in production, rather than simply using Licence Free Mode to test the software.

Other than that, as the version number suggests, Deadline is a routine update: it adds support for VRED 2020 and 2021, plus support for version 4.2 of MongoDB, used to run the Deadline database.

Pricing and availability
Deadline is available for Windows Server 2012+, Linux distros, and macOS 10.13+.

The software should also run on non-server editions of Windows, like Windows 10: although AWS Thinkbox recommends not using them to host the database, that’s due to their TCP/IP connection limit of 10 new connections per second, so it shouldn’t matter for a farm with under 10 render machines.

Deadline is free to use with up to 10 render workers; for larger farms, it costs $48/node/year, including the first 10 that were originally free.

Read a full list of new features in Deadline in the online release notes