You misunderstand. Serialization has nothing to do with activation. The installer may want the serial to determine the installation language and in order to allow specific components, but unless you launch the full AE on this particular system, it will never be activated. Should work just the same without a serial, though.
Every installation needs to have the serial number entered. This is because of a licensing restriction for codecs that Adobe licenses from a third party.
Please give a link to the page of the Help document that says otherwise.
Here is the link to the directions I am following: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103a4f2dff7-79a2 a.html
I have had a render farm up and running using these directions. For some reason this is no longer working.
I entered the serial number and got a message from the installer that I had used my activations. I have not launched AE so I am not activating, correct? When choosing "trial" instead, the render engine link launches AE, not the engine, until I select "continue trial". By entering the serial number before installation I still get a message about only having 30 days as a trial version.
If the serialization has nothing to do with activation, then why is the installer refering to exceeding activations??
Am I using the wrong serial number somehow? It's hard to tell when I have 3 entries in my product list all of which say version 10. I am not sure why there are 3. Must mean that I have bought an extra license??
I don't see the part on that page that says that you don't have to activate the software. It was true in the past that you could install many render engines and not activate them. It is not true now. This is not because Adobe decided to limit the functionality; it is because we are complying with a license agreement that we have with the makers of the codecs.
The word 'activation' in this context means that you have entered a serial number for the application and it therefore has the characteristics of the full application. Mylenium was mistaken about serialization having nothing to do with activation.
Your single-user retial license allows you to activate the application on two computers with one serial number. If you need more, then you might want to look into a volume license rather than purchasing additional single-user retial licenses.
So the concept of the "render only" version is obsolete in 5.5 and up? If I need a volume license for the render engines then I might as well just use the full version on each computer, each rendering part of the animation. Adobe might want to develop some other method of network rendering. For example, Vue allows 5 render engines per license. I can then buy a license for 5 more render engines, not a license for the whole application, just the render engines.
Since the Watch Folder method is flaky to begin with, I can't see any justification of paying for more licenses for something that is not 100% usable.
I'll just go back to using version 5 with no more upgrades...