5 Replies Latest reply on May 12, 2010 12:22 PM by Mylenium

    Network render engine with projects over 2gb?


      I recently set up a network render farm using Adobe CS4 and adobe's render engine.  I have no problem collecting my files over my network using the renderfarm for projects with resource files and project files smaller than 2 GB.  However, working with HD footage, my resource files are usually significantly larger than this. When ever I try to collect my files over the network to my watchfolder in projects over 2GB AE always fails. Adobe clearly states this issue in there not so helpful, help guide:



      and for those with eyes like mine, the NOTE reads:

      "After Effects can’t copy source files that are largerthan 2 GB using the Collect Files command: you must copy them manuallyto the (Footage) folder in the Collect Files folder."


      I'm sure this is a simple issue that simply requires someone who has actually set up a network renderfarm (adobe technical support was very helpful in taking my money and reading to me this line from the manual) The problem is this vague line does not describe how to build the corresponding folder structures in your watch folder.  I've tried mimicking the folder structures that AE generated on my watch folder with projects less then 2GB but have had no success.  I feel like, and this is just me speculating, but there has to be some file brought to the watch folder, along with the resource files that triggers my watch folder into action.  I guess to summarize, how do I use my CS4 network renderfarm for projects with resource files over 2GB.   Any suggestions would seriously brighten my boss's day (& since I pushed so hard for this render farm and indirectly brighten mine)



        • 1. Re: Network render engine with projects over 2gb?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          I'm not sure I understand what you are asking. If the footage files are stored realtive to the project, you only need to re-create this structure, regardless of whether the project can be collected or not, i.e.


          - project

          --- folder 1

          --- folder 2

          --- folder 3



          AE never stores more path info than it has to, so you can keep projects portable. If your files are larger, you should manually copy them to such a structure and then use the respective replace footage commands to update the path info inside the project. Once done, you can manaulyl copy the files to the watch folder and it will render just as well.



          • 2. Re: Network render engine with projects over 2gb?
            Luke_nexgen Level 1

            My man. The replace footage step was what I was missing.  Nice.

            • 3. Re: Network render engine with projects over 2gb?
              Luke_nexgen Level 1




              Thank you so much for your help, we are now rendering files larger then 2gb and without copying the files and duplicating them on our network drives. Could you also give us a hand with trying to optimize our render farm machines so that they will render as quickly as possible. We have two machines dedicated to rendering that have 4GB of ram and 2.53 ghz xeon processors that are showing 8 cpus in the task manager of the machines. When we are rendering only 4 of the CPUs show activity and we are unsure what setting in the preferences of our render engines below would be the absolute best for rendering speed, and to get those other 4 cpus to kick in. thank you in advance.



              • 4. Re: Network render engine with projects over 2gb?
                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                You don't necessarily want to use all 8 of your 8 CPUs for Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing. See this article for details:

                "Performance tip: Don't overschedule your processors"


                See this article and the pages that it points to for additional performance and memory allocation tips:

                "Performance tip: Don't starve your software of RAM"

                • 5. Re: Network render engine with projects over 2gb?
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  Mr. Kopriva-Man® has already pointed you to all the right answers. On your systems, you will probably never be able to use more than two physical cores. 4GB is really not much and stocking up on RAM is highly recommended. I would, however, add, that there is no all out perfect render setting for MP. This can hugely vary with the kinds of features, effects and footages you use - HD footage with lots of effects is more memory and I/O intense than stuff you only created with AE text layers and particles. One favors RAM and fast disks, the other processing power. It realyl depends.