How To Use Promax’s PLATFORM As An After Effects Render Node

By John Zdechlik

One of the many uses of PLATFORM is as an After Effects rendering node.

It makes a ton of sense – this big, beefy server is just sitting there most of the time. Serving up data isn’t that hard.

And once you click ‘render’ at your AE workstation, you are done working until it has finished, so being able to push that task off to another computer on your network is super intriguing.

A nice aspect of Adobe After Effects is that you don’t need to purchase a separate license for your render node – in this case the Promax Platform. If you have third party plug-ins, you may not be so lucky.

So we thought we’d give this a try and it worked great. We beefed up Promax’s instructions a bit, so we wanted to publish them here:

How to do an AE render using Platform

By John Zdechlik, Z Systems
(with tons of help from Taylor at Promax)

  1. Make sure that the AE render workspace is mounted and the project workspace is mounted (the project can’t be in the AE render workspace).
  2. Start After Effects and open up the project.
  3. (optional) Click on render queue tab, click on job, and hit ‘delete’ to clear the render queue.
  4. Select composition in Project window (upper left usually), then choose ‘Composition | Add to Render Queue’. Make sure gray box under ‘Render’ column is checked in render queue:

  5. Click on ‘lossless’ then choose the format as a TIFF sequence in the popup box. Click ‘ok’.

  6. Make sure that there is a destination in the ‘Output To:’ column on the render job – it doesn’t matter where it is (?).
  7. Save your project ‘File | Save’.
  8. Choose ‘File | Dependencies | Collect Files’.
  9. Make sure that ‘Collect Source Files:’ is set to ‘For Queued Comps’ (see picture).
  10. Make sure that ‘Change render output to’ box is checked – it should default to your project name.
  11. Click ‘Collect…’
  12. Browse to the root level of the AE render workspace which is mounted on your computers and click ‘Save’.
  13. A windows explorer window with that folder should pop up and you can monitor progress by looking at the .txt file

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