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Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac

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Rod Duarte
Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 12, 2018 at 8:55:14 pm

Hello!

So, I'm using my PC to work in After Effects, but I want to render everything on my Mac Pro.

Now, I've thought of three ways to do this:

- Exporting the project and then importing on the mac
- Networking them both via Simlink and access everything anytime from either computer
- Using the mac as a render farm

I'm currently trying to make the first option work, but I've hit a snag with the plugins. I've found out I can't just copy the plugins folder because the mac AE just gives me a million errors if I do that.

So I guess this is a two part question. First how do I move my plug-ins to the other machine, and two, how best to use these two effectively?


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Jim Scott
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 13, 2018 at 12:21:57 am

Mac and Windows plug-ins are not interchangeable. You're going to need to get Mac installers for all of your plug-ins.



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Rod Duarte
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 13, 2018 at 2:04:57 am

That doesn't work though... That means I need to go and do two installs every time I get a new plugin?
I find it hard to believe that in this day and age, there's no better way to do it.
Are you sure?


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Jim Scott
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 13, 2018 at 2:29:47 am
Last Edited By Jim Scott on May 13, 2018 at 3:59:29 pm

In the past some plug-in makers actually required you to buy each version separately, but nowadays most include both with your purchase - a Mac installer and a Windows installer. I only use a Mac, but as far as I know if you're going to use a plug-in on a Mac and a PC you will need to do two installs. If your plug-ins didn't include a Mac installer when you purchased them, contact the developer for the Windows version.

Edit: I meant, "contact the developer for the Mac version," but you probably already figured that out.


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Rod Duarte
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 13, 2018 at 5:49:48 pm

Argh.

But wait, if it was two macs or two PCs... then there could be a networked plugin folder or something, right?
Like this, but instead of using dropbox maybe a local network folder?

https://zacklovatt.com/syncing-ae-addons-via-dropbox/


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 13, 2018 at 6:05:37 pm

[Rod Duarte] "...there could be a networked plugin folder or something, right?"

Sorry, but that's not how it works. Remember that a lot of After Effects' core code is still TWENTY TWO YEARS OLD, and things were very different then.

Be sure to write a thank-you note to Adobe for keeping up with the times.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 13, 2018 at 6:22:42 pm

[Rod Duarte] "But wait, if it was two macs or two PCs... then there could be a networked plugin folder or something, right?"

Only if those plugins were using floating licences. Which are usual in very expensive ones but not that much on the cheaper. You could have already installed the plugins during the time you've used to post these questions on this forums.


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Rod Duarte
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 13, 2018 at 7:59:49 pm

I could have, and I did.

That is not the point though. Here's a couple scenarios for ya:

- This machine is a gaming machine. It doesn't have the proper guts for AE. So I'm at the point where I have to render overnight, just to see it's not what I wanted the next day and I have to re-do it and re-export. Not fun. Meaning I'll have to get a dedicated workstation machine soon, meaning that's another full plugin install, and again for every subsequent ones I get. Just not professional.

- I collab with someone and they don't have the same plugins. Nightmare.

- Render farms. If a new machine still doesn't render fast enough by itself I'll have to move up to render farming. This means for each render machine it's a whole new installation of every plugin. Just no.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 14, 2018 at 1:05:13 am

On the rendering front, a relatively new piece of software may be useful. It's called Render Garden, and it lets AE use multiple cores on your machine. Just like AE could once do.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 14, 2018 at 2:19:36 am

[Rod Duarte] ". Here's a couple scenarios for ya:"

[Rod Duarte] "- This machine is a gaming machine. It doesn't have the proper guts for AE. So I'm at the point where I have to render overnight, just to see it's not what I wanted the next day and I have to re-do it and re-export. Not fun. Meaning I'll have to get a dedicated workstation machine soon, meaning that's another full plugin install, and again for every subsequent ones I get. Just not professional."

Either clone the system drive to the new machine or install the plugins. Because you're lazy doesn't make it unprofessional. In addition to that some plugins might have hardware ID's attached to them on install so when you change your hardware you'd still need to reinstall/reactivate them.

[Rod Duarte] "- I collab with someone and they don't have the same plugins. Nightmare."
[Rod Duarte] "- Render farms. If a new machine still doesn't render fast enough by itself I'll have to move up to render farming. This means for each render machine it's a whole new installation of every plugin. Just no."

These scenarios would require you (or the other dude) to buy the correct amount of plugins. Some plugins might come with two activations some could be node locked per machine. Some might even come with free render only plugins for render farms. If you're not ready to deal with that it's not an After Effects problem or a plugin developer problem. Circumventing that is kinda sorta illegal and all that.


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Rod Duarte
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 14, 2018 at 2:49:27 am

Get off calling me lazy do ya?

Dude no. A lazy guy would hire someone or a company, to do all of this. And I COULD.

But no, I learn and do it all myself and try to solve the problems. On hardware that I built too. Lazy doesn't even come close. It's about using my time effectively.

On that note, the time I use to argue with you here is definitely time I should use somewhere else. Like for instance checking out that Render Garden the other, MUCH more helpful, polite and always useful Dave suggested, thank you very much Dave! Here's to more people like you.


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Daniel Waldron
Re: Moving Plug-ins from PC to Mac
on May 14, 2018 at 3:51:04 pm

Most plugins only come with a license for 1 user/computer at a time, or maybe 2 for home and office or something like that. I work between multiple Macs and PCs quite often, and the solution is to simply download the installer for whatever operating system you are using and install the plugin. It's a little upfront work, but once it's installed you don't have to think about it again.

If you're collaborating with someone else, one of you needs to buy the plug-in for them, or you can "loan" them your license, which gets into fuzzy legal territory. It's no accident that it's not easy to copy to multiple users; companies want to make their money and prevent piracy. If you think you have a legitimate issue with the licensing or installing on multiple machines, contact the company and they'll most likely work with you to figure it out.


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