I'm hoping for some Zaxwerks help with setting up our new render farm. We have 4 Quad Xeon Intel X-Serves running individual copies of After Effects. Each instance of AE CS3 has our copy of Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator Pro 4.3.1 installed. We have set up a Watch Folder on our shared XSan that we are collecting using Multi-Machine Sequence settings. It's working great, except that none of the Zaxwerks Textures (Image files, texture maps) that we are using in our local workstation material bins are being copied over. When our image sequences are rendered, all the custom textures and reflections are missing and we get generic Zaxwerks 3D shapes without the textures.
We have tried creating a central shared "Zaxwerks Textures" folder on our XSan that all the render nodes can see, then relinking paths to them in the main AE comp through the material set-up window. No luck - even though the render nodes have access to this central folder, the links to our textures are not intact after collecting. Clearly, when the After Effects application collects a project, it doesn't copy over the 3rd party plug-in Invigorator Textures or Invigorator Swatches folder from the AE plug-ins folder.
We have tried copying over and replacing the Zaxwerks Swatches folder into each plug-ins folder on each of the 4 After Effects application folders on each render node. The generic Zaxwerks shapes still render but the materials are still missing.
Where should these custom images used in the texture maps be copied to? Should they be put somewhere in the AE folder collected for output in the watch folder? Or should the images be dropped loosely in the Zaxwerks 4.3.1p Mac folder in Plug-ins?
Is there a way to use Invigorator to collect or export all materials/textures/images/source files used in materials in the project so that they are easily imported into each copy of AE CS3 in the render farm? The vector data seems to be making it to the render nodes but the image data is missing. Maybe it's the specific location of where these files need to be placed that we are not understanding.
We use Zaxwerks a lot and hope there's a simple solution to this.
Sr. Broadcast Designer
New England Sports Network