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After Effects CS5 Multi-machine render issues....

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jason friedrich
After Effects CS5 Multi-machine render issues....
on Jul 5, 2010 at 11:30:29 pm

Hi guys,

We have done multi-machine renders with After Effects CS5 with ONE comp and it's been fine. However, we have tried a multi-machine render with MULTIPLE comps and have set everything up fine. What we are noticing is that after a few render's with some of the comps, some of the machines tend to lose sync and the watch folder window keeps looking for the project to continue to the next comp?

Why the loss of sync? Any suggestions?

Also, we are still learning this stuff, what can we do POST-render to automate the re-assemble of a PNG sequence back to an AVI or MPG?

Thanks for everyone's time!

Jason


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects CS5 Multi-machine render issues....
on Jul 6, 2010 at 12:56:04 pm

[jason friedrich] "We have done multi-machine renders with After Effects CS5 with ONE comp and it's been fine. However, we have tried a multi-machine render with MULTIPLE comps and have set everything up fine. What we are noticing is that after a few render's with some of the comps, some of the machines tend to lose sync and the watch folder window keeps looking for the project to continue to the next comp? "

I haven't done a multi-machine render with CS5 yet, so I can't help with this if the issue is specific to CS5. My general advice for multi-machine renders:
  • Check that all comps are set for multi-machine render and output
  • Check that all the required footage has been collected to shared storage
  • Check that all permissions are set properly
  • Check that all required fonts and plugins are installed on all machines.

Also, reviewing the log file may yield some clues as to what's going wrong.



[jason friedrich] "What can we do POST-render to automate the re-assemble of a PNG sequence back to an AVI or MPG?"
  1. Nest your multi-machine render comp (let's call this "MAIN") within a new comp ("MAIN Output") by dragging it in the Project pane onto the new comp button.
  2. Add both "MAIN" and "MAIN Output" to the render queue, and make sure that "MAIN" comes before "MAIN Output."
  3. Set "MAIN" for multi-machine rendering as you normally would, but set a post-render action of "Import & Replace Usage." This creates a chain of dependent render items; the footage in "MAIN Output" will be the image sequence from the multi-machine render of "MAIN."
  4. Set "MAIN Output" for whatever render settings and output module you'd like, but keep in mind that AE's render queue is not capable of multi-pass encoding, so you're better off with intraframe-compressed MOVs or AVIs.
  5. Collect and render. All working nodes will collaborate on the "MAIN" render. When "MAIN" is done, one of the machines should pick up "MAIN Output" and write out the movie file. Please note that if your comp has audio, you need to handle that separately, as it won't come through with the image sequence. You could render and re-import your audio into "MAIN Output" ahead of time.


Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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jason friedrich
Re: After Effects CS5 Multi-machine render issues....
on Jul 14, 2010 at 12:23:42 am

Hi,

Thanks for the input. We are still having machines 'drop off' the render queue.

We have windows server 2008 as the centralized storage. There are 4-quadcore boxes that have the networked shared folder mapped. The permissions are all good.

What seems to be happening is that after a few comps are rendered, a machine will totally lose the render 'list' and the watch window pops up and keeps going through the finished comps, but, never picking up on the remaining items to be rendered. It's driving us nuts. Usually, if you shut down the render engine and restart, it seems to pick up the watch folder project and carry on.

Any suggestions?

Jason



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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects CS5 Multi-machine render issues....
on Jul 14, 2010 at 3:19:23 pm

[jason friedrich] "What seems to be happening is that after a few comps are rendered, a machine will totally lose the render 'list' and the watch window pops up and keeps going through the finished comps, but, never picking up on the remaining items to be rendered. It's driving us nuts. Usually, if you shut down the render engine and restart, it seems to pick up the watch folder project and carry on. Any suggestions? "

That's very odd behavior; how many machines do you allow when you collect files? What does the log file say?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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