Render Farm Instructions for After Effects

A render farm is a group of networked computers that work together to speed up rendering. This is achieved by parcelling out the frames to be rendered amongst the networked computers. The networked computers that do the rendering are called "workers".

CalArts has a render farm that works with Maya, Cinema4D, and After Effects. For render farm support, send an email to 2popsupport@calarts.edu.

Preparing and Submitting your After Effects Job

  1. In order for the render farm workers to render your shot, the project file and all assets used by that project file need to be in your Renderfarm folder on the server. Copy your project file and all assets for that project to your Renderfarm folder if they are not already there.

 01_RenderFarmFolder.png

If you are using fonts other than the default After Effects fonts or a plugin that is not installed on the lab workstations, those unique fonts/plugins will need to be installed on the render farm workers by the technical staff.

  1. Open your project file from the Renderfarm folder on the server and check that all your assets/media are loading correctly. The paths to your assets/media files in After Effects should all point to locations in your Renderfarm folder on the server.

 02_AE_pathToMedia.png

  1. Your After Effects project file can only have one job in its render queue. In the render queue, click on the blue text next to Output Mode. Under Format, select a type of image sequence, such as PNG sequence. Click Ok.

03_AE_renderSettings.png

The render farm cannot render out videos. You can marry your image sequence to audio using Premiere later and export from Premiere as a video file.
  1. Click on the blue text next to Output To and select a location in your Renderfarm folder on the server. Make sure Save in subfolder is unchecked. Click Save.

04_AE_renderDirectory.png

  1. Now that you've confirmed your job is queued in After Effects correctly, save your project and go to File > Scripts > Qube_Submit_RenderQueue.jsx.

05_AE_Scripts.png

  1. The Qube! ArtistView submission pop-up window will appear. The Frame Range field will be auto-filled with the frames to render based on After Effects' render queue. If the frame range is incorrect, you can manually enter a new frame range in this field. For example, 1-100. You can also use commas to separate groups of frames for example: 1-100, 150-170, 191, 192.

06_AE_qubeInAppSubmission.png

  1. The Priority field determines what order jobs will be rendered on the farm. Jobs with a higher Priority value will get rendered before jobs with a lower Priority value. Please set the Priority value of your job to a lower number if your job isn't urgent. You can increase or decrease the priority of a job after it has been submitted.

If your After Effects project uses a plugin that CalArts only has a limited number of render licenses for, then your job will be considered a Special After Effects Job. Plugins that make your job a Special After Effects Job inclide: Twixtor and DE:Flicker. If your project is using one of those plugins, see the Special After Effects Jobs section below before submitting you  job.

  1. Click Submit at the bottom right corner. Your job has now been submitted to the Qube! render queue. Close your project without saving your project file.

Saving your Project file after submitting could cause problems.

To learn how to monitor your render jobs, see Render Wrangling with Qube! ArtistView.

Special After Effects Jobs

If your After Effects project uses a plugin that calArts only has a limited number of licenses for, you need to do the following before submitting your job.

  1. In the Qube! ArtistView submission pop-up window, click on the Worker Selection tab. Next to the Groups field, click Browse. From the Groups pop-up window, select the After Effects Special group and click Ok.

07_AfterEffectsSpecial.png

  1. Submit your job by clicking Submit. Close your project without saving your project file.

Saving your Project file after submitting could cause problems.

 




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