OK so I read a few posts down that the CC plugins as well as a few other plugins aren't supported in trial version of AE. The adobe help files suggest installing render nodes as trial versions as they will still work, but I guess these plugins cannot be used over a network render envirionment then???
I don't want to install the licence on 4 different computers due to it only being 1 licence, but how else can we use these plugins?
Why can't you use the AE render engines ? You can install an unlimited amount over all your network with 1 licence of AE.
I am using the network render engines, the issue lies in that the plugins that I used in the construction of the AE file are not available on the network render nodes - this spits out errors that the plugins are missing in the .html report and does not render any frames. But how can I have these plugins installed on the nodes without full install?
You can install the plugins on your nodes, but be sure you have the proper version of your plugins.
So plugins needs to have a render licence to work properly on render nodes / to serialize correctly. So double check your licences before. Other than that you can install them with no problem.