Both Cinema 4D and Red Giant offer render-only licenses that can be used with command-line tools such as Deadline and Qube to distribute render jobs in a network.
C4D & Redshift
Cinema 4D render-only licenses are bundled with Redshift CPU, so network rendering using the CPU is possible at no additional cost. Redshift GPU requires a separate subscription per render client.
Commandline (render-only) instances will first attempt to checkout a render-only license. If a render-only license is unavailable, an available GUI license will be checked out as a fallback. To prevent GUI licenses from being used by render-only clients for C4D, you can use RLM grouping or an environment variable :
MAXON_RENDERONLY = true.
Red Giant licenses will also first attempt to checkout a render-only license. You can prevent GUI licenses from being used for render-only clients setting the environment variable
MAXON_DISABLE_RENDERONLY_FALLBACK = true.
When using an RLM server and client system your licenses of Cinema 4D, Redshift, Red Giant Complete or Maxon One will come with render only options. This will allow you to continue to use your editing license (e.g. Maxon One) while rendering your project on other systems (e.g. Red Giant plugins). In this article, we will focus on how to make sure that your machines are set up correctly to use Red Giant plugins in your After Effects projects in a render only environment.
The first thing is to ensure that the machine you intend to render on has Maxon App installed and is correctly pointing towards your server. For more information on this, please see the instructions outlined in these FAQs HERE.
Note: You are able to license using a scripted Maxon App installation without the GUI but there currently isn't a way to confirmthat you are connected to the RLM server without checking out a license and looking at the server GUI. However, the Maxon App GUI will indicate if you are correctly connected and have licenses available.
Once you have confirmed that the render machine is pointing towards your server correctly and has picked up the RLM license, you can start considering your render. After Effects has a render only engine that you can utilize called aerender. When using this engine, your client machine will check out a render only license if one is available.
Please note that if you are wanting to render using the machine that was recently editing, it will utilize the current license it used to activate the plugins.
For example, if you are using a Maxon One license to create your project with Red Giant plugins, you will want send it to the render queue, set up your export options, save the project and close After Effects. Wait a full two minutes before using aerender. After two minutes, the Maxon One license will automatically be released and can be used on another machine.
If you start your render immediately after closing After Effects, it will continue to use the Maxon One license if you use aerender prior to letting the two minute clock run out. Alternately, you can manually remove the license from theRLM server GUI.
The aerender option is found in the same folder as your After Effects program. You will need to go further down into the Support Files folder if you are on Windows. Run this from the Command Prompt/Terminal and then let aerender know where your project file is located. In the below, 'path/to/testproject.aep' should be replaced with the actual path to the project you intend on rendering.
Win: "C:\Program Files\Adobe After Effects\2022\Support Files\aerender.exe" -project path\to\testproject.aep
Mac: /Applications/Adobe\ After\ Effects\2022/aerender -project /path/to/testproject.aep
You can also use multi-machine rendering. This is common with rendering farms where you can offload the work to other computers that are on the same network. This will require a compatible system with access to the project and all its dependencies and a common folder into which the rendered frames can be placed once finished. You can read more about this setup HERE.
Once a render farm machine picks up a rendering project, you can confirm that it is using the license by viewing the RLM server GUI.
As always, if you run into any issues or continue to have questions, please don't hesitate to contact our support team for further assistance HERE.