I'm at a small company with several Mac Pros (multi-core) running AE CS6. We would like have background (aerender) renders watching a single folder on a server. We want background renders to be watching the folder because we need to be working in AE while things are rendering in the background. We're currently using the AE Render Engine (launched several instances of) to watch a folder but this is less than ideal as we want it more in the background (no watch folder popup) and we don't want to have to launch several instances of it each time we want to watch the watch folder. I guess we want a more automated solution.
Our ideal situation would be that when we startup our machine (or launch a script) it will launch several instances of aerender to watch a folder on our server. All projects and footage files are on a common shared server seen by all client machines. Any projects we send to the watch folder will be picked up and rendered by a renderer.
I've tried creating a watch folder folder on the server and having (via command line) aerender try opening a "Watch This Folder.aep" in that folder. This made the aerender watch the folder and even pick up a "collected files" project in there. However, the render crashed for some reason when trying to render a Quicktime movie. The aerender didn't crash when I (via command line) directly launched the original, "non-collected files" project; so, I doubt it's a permission issue.
Is there any way to do this? Any ideas why the aerender engine crashes when it opens a project from watching a folder?
How about using AME instead of AE. AME will look for a watch folder also. I haven't tried it and don't have time to give it a test but I use AME almost exclusively for my AE renders because I never have to stop working and wait for a render.