RenderGarden is an Adobe After Effects script that splits your comp into a specified number of segments.

It then renders them to multiple background command line windows (which we call, Gardeners).

By segmenting the comp into multiple seeds, you can fully maximize your CPU cores on a single machine or across multiple machines with network rendering.

“It takes about 3 months to produce 95% of an episode of ‘Our Cartoon President, and Render Garden makes everything go more smoothly. But for the last 5% of the show we only get two or three days… in which case Render Garden makes it possible.” says Brian Maffitt, Technical Director at Late Night Cartoons. [toc]

Compatibility With GPU Plugins

RenderGarden helps speed up CPU-intensive operations by running multiple instances of AE render concurrently.

Plug-ins that heavily rely on the GPU can not run multiple instances (Gardeners) at the same time due to the GPU over-saturating.

These projects can render with a single Gardener, but this prevents RenderGarden speed-ups on a single computer.

Note that these GPU-heavy projects can still see a RenderGarden benefit when used in a multi-machine render farm setup, assuming each render node has a single Gardener and compatible GPU.

And on a single workstation, they can be used with one Gardener which still gives you added functionality over AE including background rendering and post-render actions.

The following GPU plug-ins have been reported as problematic and are officially not supported:

  • NeatVideo
  • video copilot

RenderGarden Core Features

The main features of RenderGarden for Adobe After Effects are:

1. Seeds

By segmenting the comp into multiple seeds, you can fully maximize your CPU cores on a single machine or across multiple machines with network rendering.

RenderGarden will split your comp into a number of segments for rendering called seeds.

RenderGarden Seeds

1 Seed is equivalent in speed to the native After Effects render queue, but will render in the background so that you can continue working in After Effects.

If there is more than one seed, your comp will be split into multiple segments.

These segments/seeds can be rendered concurrently on a single computer or on multiple computers over your network.

2. Gardeners

After you plant your seeds, RenderGardener will render the specified number of seeds as segments to multiple After Effects renders running in the Mac OS X Terminal or Windows Console.

RenderGarden Gardeners

Once the render process begins, the Terminal/Console windows may be hidden behind After Effects and will need to be brought forward if you would like to view the progress.

3. Network Rendering

Each RenderGarden license gives the user the ability to use the After Effects submit script on one computer,.

However, you can run the stand-alone Gardener application on an unlimited number of render nodes.

Network Rendering RenderGarden

For best results when network rendering, all files involved with your project, including the footage and render output destinations, should be on the same shared drive.

If your Seed Bank is on one drive but your output is on another, you run the risk of a render node sending the output to a different location than you expected.

This is even especially likely to happen if you set your render destination to somewhere on your local boot drive, like the Desktop.

  • Grid multiple computers together on your network.
  • Render QuickTime/AVI Movies or Image Sequences.
  • Hyper-threaded Rendering is supported on each render node.
  • Easy to set up.
  • No custom scripting or network config.
  • Unlimited Render Node licensing.

4. Background Rendering

You can continue working in After Effects while your comps render in the background.

Option for Post-Render transcoding to MP4 and/or QT. Render multiple comps in sequence or in parallel.

5. Render Monitoring

Monitor local and remote renders using the RenderGarden Monitor panel directly in After Effects.

Re-Plant, Kill, and Delete jobs or seeds. Check the status of renders including progress and estimated completion time.

Render Monitoring

Manual or automatic refreshing of active jobs.

Display Terminal/Console logs directly inside After Effects.

RenderGarden After Effects User Interface

By default, the RenderGarden ScriptUI panel is minimized to the bare options required to submit a render.

RenderGarden After Effects

Once you have the preferences or prefs, configured you can work with this minimized UI which can be conveniently docked into your After Effects workspace.

What Is Included In RenderGarden Package

After Effect Script for submitting renders to RenderGarden.

Gardener Application (this automatically picks up RenderGarden files and renders them in the background).

RenderGarden Speed Test Results

The following image illustrates the speed test results of various projects rendered in After Effects Renderer as well as RenderGarden.

RenderGarden After Effects


RenderGarden License includes one submit the script for Adobe After Effects which is used to submit your comps from the Render Queue to the After Effects command-line tool – AERENDER

RenderGarden splits your comp into a specified number of segments, referred to as seeds.

Seeds are then rendered by multiple command-line windows which we refer to as Gardeners.

Segmenting the comp into multiple seeds maximizes your CPU cores.

The network rendering option gives you the ability to add an unlimited number of free render nodes that run Gardener to scale your rendering.

RenderGarden not only makes distributed rendering an option, but it also raises the bar for the kind and quality of work you’ll be capable of doing.