Anybody know a place or tutorial I can watch for setting up aerender? I need to link 3 computers, thanks.
aerender [link] is the command-line renderer for After Effects.
AE also has a watch-folder render mode [link] which does not require use of the command line.
Below follows my standard introduction to network rendering:
How After Effects Network Rendering Works
You use Collect Files to get your project, its render queue, and all required footage together into a single folder. You configure the render nodes to watch that folder; once Collect Files is complete, it creates a render control file. On the render nodes, you select the folder to watch. When the render control file appears in it, the render nodes begin work according to the options it specifies. All watch folder network renders are done as image sequences, with each instance of AE on each render node working on one frame at a time.
There is no active communication among the render nodes, and the machine hosting the watch folder does not actively control them. Control is completely passive -- each machine looks at the shared storage to see if "Frame 0000" has been rendered yet. The first one to see that there is no image for "Frame 0000" will create that first file in the image sequence to claim responsibility for the frame, then begin rendering it. Finally, when the frame is complete, it overwrites the placeholder "Frame 0000" file.
As other render nodes join the party, they will see that "Frame 0000" already exists, so they will skip it and look for "Frame 0001." If "Frame 0001" already exists, they'll continue sequentially until they find the first frame that doesn't exist, create a file for it to claim responsibility for it, and begin rendering.
All the render nodes are also accessing footage from the shared storage, so that storage system is seeing many constant small reads and writes.
As you can imagine, this places some serious strain on the network and disk subsystem on the server.
Aharon Rabinowitz outlines a method for using multiple computers to render, but without watch folders (and without the coordination that watch folders allow). Depending on your needs, it might be worth trying:
Notes on After Effects Network Rendering
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Thank you so much for explaining this in detail. :)