Please perform a full install of AfterEffects on the worker nodes, and note that this will not require a license on each host. 

    A "render engine" install will not install enough components to allow AfterEffects jobs to run properly.

    As of CS6 it's no longer necessary to activate the AfterEffect installation on each worker.  Please refer to the Adobe post here:


    A snippet from the URL:

    In After Effects CS6, you can now run aerender or use the watch folder functionality in a non-royalty-bearing mode, without activating the render-only instances of the application.

    In this non-royalty-bearing mode, the following codec-specific features are disabled:

    • decoding and encoding (import and export) of MPEG-2 video, including formats that are based on MPEG-2 video: XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD and other formats in MXF OP1a containers, and HDV
    • decoding of AC3 / Dolby Digital audio, which is used in AVCHD media

    All other formats that After Effects can import and export are enabled in non-royalty-bearing mode.

    To enable non-royalty-bearing mode:

    1. Install After Effects on the render-only machine.
    2. Place a blank file named ae_render_only_node.txt into one of the following locations, depending on the user account type:


    Mac OS:

      • /Users/[username]/Documents/
      • /Users/Shared/Adobe/ 



      • C:\Users\[username]\Documents
      • C:\Users\Public\Documents\Adobe



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