Render Farm Instructions for After Effects

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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, submit at ticket or send an email to

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.

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.
  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.

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.
  1. Now that you’ve confirmed your job is queued in After Effects correctly, save your project.
  2. From the File > Scripts menu, select DeadlineAfterEffectsClient.jsx
  1. A Submit After Effects To Deadline pop-up window will appear. Make sure the Group field is set to mac.  Click the Submit button.
  1. Click Yes in the pop-up window that appears asking if you want to use Mercury Software Only.
  1. A pop-up window will appear letting you know that your job was submitted successfully. Click OK.
  1. In the Submit After Effects To Deadline window, click the Close button.
  1. Close your After Effects project file without saving.

To view your project in the render queue, see Render Wrangling with Deadline.

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