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Running Autodesk Software on Amazon with Otoy

Posted by Cory Mogk, 3 February 2014 9:34 pm

Before we get into the how, let's look at some reasons for why you might want to try this:

  • You don't want to bother with downloading and installing software to try it out
  • You want to run some software on a platform that you do not have access to (eg running 3ds Max on a Mac)
  • You want to investigate increasing your compute power (eg do computationally heavy things like rendering or simulation on extra machines)
  • You want to explore working with remote software

To try this out, there are a few things you need to do. It can seem a little overwhelming but it's actually pretty straightforward if you stay calm.

  1. Create a login and sign in to the AWS Marketplace
  2. Search for Otoy's Octane Cloud Workstation Autodesk Edition
  3. From that page, select the region that you would like to access a server in and press the big Continue button
  4. You'll need to do a little set-up on this next page, specifically setting up a Key Pair so that your instance is secure.
  5. Once that's done, you should be able to launch your instance with the 1 click button

    (yes, it has been more than 1 click and you still have a couple more but the sentiment is nice)  
  6. It should take 2-3 minutes to get your instance rolling so just be patient - if you've just setup your AWS account, it can take a couple of hours to get that verified (that wait was agonizing for me)
  7. When that is set, you can download the remote desktop launcher from AWS, point to your key pair file and decrypt the password to login to your instance
  8. You'll see a desktop something like this (I've actually shrunk mine down so it's easier to do a screen cap). From here, launch the software as you like. 
  9. Here's a short video clip of Maya running.
  10. You have storage with the AWS account and instance so you can save your data between sessions. Here you can see a small MEL script I wrote. For the little demo movie, I made the character with Project Pinocchio and downloaded the file from my Autodesk 360 storage.
  11. When you are done, make sure to stop or terminate your instance so that you're not being charged for further computer time. If you stop it, your data will be there for future sessions. If you terminate, you're wiping everything.

This is pretty cool to try out and does open some possibilities for how things may work in the future!

Should you want to know more, here are some additional resources:

Enjoy!

Update: I've posted a follow-up on running your software in a web browser with this same technology.

18 Comments

Martin Breidt

Posted 6 February 2014 12:30 pm

Is there a way to test-drive this, e.g. through subscription?

Cory Mogk

Posted 6 February 2014 3:09 pm

Hi Martin,

You'll have to do this through AWS.

Cory

visualz

Posted 6 February 2014 6:27 pm

sweet

chipnuts

Posted 7 February 2014 5:56 pm

So, is there a cost associated with this? In one place it says $0.00, in another it says $522.00 estimated monthly charges AWS infrastructure.

Cory Mogk

Posted 7 February 2014 6:36 pm

you'll have to pay for the Amazon instance, billed by the hour (less than $1/h for all the cases I looked at). Maya and Otoy are free. $522 looks like the price if you ran one Amazon instance 24/7 for a whole month.

movieskool

Posted 7 February 2014 7:54 pm

3ds max up and running on AWS instance but viewports aren't drawing correctly, and show the desktop contents or other open window remnants (e.g. maxscript editor or listener) through the viewports...

Screen Capture Example

Any suggestions? Would also appreciate guidance on multiple instances grouped for a render farm...

Many thanks.

Cory Mogk

Posted 7 February 2014 9:40 pm

Hi Movieskool,

I've asked the 3ds Max team for their thoughts. Wondering if changing your display mode might help?

As for the renderfarm, I haven't tried going that far with it. If others have, we would love to hear about it.

Cory

chipnuts

Posted 7 February 2014 9:47 pm

Ok, that's reasonable. I figured it was a 24/7 for a month thing. The breakdown on mine shows about .75/hour. Not too shabby. It's not quite as powerful as my current workstation, but will work in a pinch if I need to access some other way on a less powerful machine.
One problem I had though, which not sure if it's a problem or not since I'm sure this is a testing phase. It asks me to activate the software I tried opening or run it in trial mode. What if during this testing phase I connect to a machine that has less time available? Or is there a way for me to actually activate it. Sending in an activation did nothing.

chipnuts

Posted 7 February 2014 9:55 pm

Also, I was able to get my grids back by changing the Display Driver from Nitrous DX11 to Nitrous Software. Not sure which others worked as I only tried the latter.

Cory Mogk

Posted 7 February 2014 9:55 pm

Just click through the trial mode acceptance and you should be good @chipnuts. I'm pretty sure if you got my instance the counter would start from scratch for you. If you want to try using your regular license you could but you shouldn't need to.

chipnuts

Posted 7 February 2014 10:02 pm

Yep! It's good to go. Going to try the rest. The refresh is a little laggy, but that's pretty standard for RDP. I like the idea of being able to spin up multiple instances for possible distributed computing. This would also be great if you have an underpowered machine and need to do some quick stuff.

A great start!

Cory Mogk

Posted 10 February 2014 6:14 pm

keep us posted on your progress @chipnuts

dobert

Posted 11 February 2014 1:50 pm

I played around with it this weekend and it is very cool. I am going to try it out on my $200 Chromebook next to see you it feels.

Cory Mogk

Posted 11 February 2014 2:06 pm

That would we great to hear, Daryl. One of these days I will see what happens from a tablet

Cory Mogk

Posted 11 February 2014 11:23 pm

I've missed something cool with this and don't quite have it sorted out. For those with graphics issues, give this page a read: http://aws.otoy.com/docs/ paying particular attention to the section on launching this with a URL (eg http://aws.otoy.com/?connect=//:8090/?NOCRYPTO=1;STATUS=1;AUTOLOCK=0;WAN=12;GUID=) as opposed to the RDP. This will run the instance directly in your browser and help with display issues. If I can get my side worked out, I'll post more details.

Cory Mogk

Posted 27 February 2014 2:52 pm

Part 2 is up - running in a browser instead of with RDP: http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/cory/running-autodesk-software-in-a-web-browser-with-amazon-and-otoy

Glen_Whelden

Posted 3 March 2014 4:16 pm

It seems silly having to pay for 3dsmax when Maya is free. Why?

Cory Mogk

Posted 3 March 2014 4:29 pm

Not quite sure what you mean, Glen? 3ds Max and Maya are both available in trial mode for this.

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