You cannot distribute DL'd files, anyway, so you can stop wasting time right here. If you want that, your whole workflow would have to have been set up differently from the beginning. Now it's probably too late. Still, 8 hours doesn't sound too bad, all things considered. People have rendered 30 second clips much longer than that....
Hm, I think I may have noticed that when I tried to import a .prproj and network render as a test. It did seem to only hog one of my machines. I thought it might have been something I did wrong. I did find that importing the .aep(s) the normal way did work abeit there's some prep work in alt dragging them on top of the missing footage files. However I also noticed some Premiere Pro stuff didn't make it right as usual. What workflow would you recommend?
If you have a Premiere Pro project that contains linked AE files as source footage then AE will have to open up in the background to run and render those files. Also, all linked Comps in AE will have to be in the same AE project.
If you open up the Premiere Pro project in AE then what do you think will happen to the linked files? AE will have to open them up and render them so that they can be rendered in AE.... See the problem.
Dynamic Link and AE as a comp are only useful in PPro if you're finishing your project in PPro. If it were my project as soon as the edit was close to final I would have rendered all of the dynamic linked files and bring the footage into PPro. Now you'll have no problem in AE doing the final color grading.
Most of my long form projects that require a final color grade are rendered from PPro or FCP or Avid to a production codec and then the footage is brought into AE for the final color grade if I need things like Colorista. Other wise the final color grade is done in Speed Grade or the entire sequence is sent out for color grading by boxing up a bunch of hard drives and bringing the entire project into a grading studio.
Also, all linked Comps in AE will have to be in the same AE project.
They don't. Storing all dynamically linked comps in a single AE project was just the first workaround found when CS5.5 introduced the bug with incremental names in Dynamic Link workflow. Avoiding incremental naming effectively allows storing dynamically linked comps in different AE projects. What is more, PrPro project can contain dynamically linked comps from different Suites.
I can atest to what Fuzzy said. I use differnet After Effects projects to manage different assets. Anyway, thanks guys, this has been enlightening. As for my workflow I think I'll go ahead and render everything in After Effects after I'm sure the final cut is good. That way I can get the fastest rendertime out of Premiere. That seems to be the only option at this point. I've best testing this workflow since 5.5 and it seems the AE comps just bog down the renders and playback too much when the final cut comes into play, but the workflow is so speedy as far as complicated effects are concerned. At least the render farm can speed up the effects rendering.
Sharing Assets always slows things down. AE will render faster than AE and PPro rendering at the same time.
I mis spoke a bit about Dynamic Link only using one AE project file. AE will only access one project at a time when it's redering via Dynamic Link. This costs just a bit in render time while the other projects cue up for rendering. The more assets in the different projects the longer the cue up time.
I only use Dynamic Link to work on sequences or scenes. In any NLE my movie is cut up into scenes. Each scene has it's own Sequence (timeline) and the final movie is cut by bringing all of the scenes into the final sequence. That's the way I learned to cut film, and it's still the most efficient way to put together a movie longer than just a few minutes. Once a scene is pretty well locked I render all of the Dynamic Linked files and move on.