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labs: AERender (AE render droplet for OS X). . .


Just like the MayaRender app, but for After Effects. A quick and easy way to launch AE renders without using the resources necessary to load up the After Effects UI and load each preview frame into memory. Plus this gives you the ability to launch multiple renders at once if you so choose.

Essentially just another way to render in the background (inspired by Lloyd Alvarez’s great BG Render script on, but without ever having to open AE. Render speeds should also be slightly quicker this way as well since no resources are used by the app and only the render engine.

AEae_v1.1 download page. . .


Here is a quick demo of the AERender & AEae apps (both available in the “labs” section of this site.

QuickTime Version 960×600 (27MB)

iPhone Version

Enjoy! If there are any issues or concerns please contact:


133 Responses

  1. PJ Palomaki says:


    To get this script working in CS6:

    1. Command-click the ‘AERender’ app
    2. Select ‘Show Package Contents’
    3. Navigate to ‘Contents->Resources->Script’
    4. Double-click ‘main.scpt’ to open the script in AppleScript Editor
    5. Replace path ‘/Applications/Adobe After Effects CS5/aerender’ with ‘/Applications/Adobe After Effects CS6/aerender’
    6. Save
    7. Done!

    • PJ Palomaki says:

      Sorry, correction:
      Step 1. CONTROL-click the ‘AERender’ app

    • andrew says:

      This man speaks the truth! Sorry I haven’t had time to update this, extremely busy recently

      • Rob Bellon says:

        Some fine wisdom here. For Creative Cloud users, it also seems to work with After Effects CC. There’s just a small difference in what you change the path to, namely:

        “/Applications/Adobe After Effects CC/aerender”

    • Ellen says:

      Hey PJ Palomaki

      I cannot find the path /Applications/Adobe After Effects CS5/aerender’ …

      This is what he shows me:


      [AErender v1.1…]
      -Drop the project file you would like to render onto this applet and whatever is configured in the Render Queue of that project file will begin
      rendering in Terminal.

      This is not a queueing app. This is a stand alone droplet that will startup seperate renders for any files dropped onto it. For queueing you can use my RenderQ app.

      2014.01.10 – v1.1
      -universal version
      -custom shell color settings
      2010.05.01 – v1.0
      -developed basic functionality


      –Set Double-Click behavior. . .
      on run


      set dropped_items to choose file with prompt “Select the projects to render:” of type {“aep”} with multiple selections allowed


      end run

      –Set drag and drop behavior. . .
      on open (dropped_items)



      end open

      –Set Check for prefs behavior. . .
      on checkForPrefs()

      –Check if preference file exists

      set file_name to “com.andorulabs.AErender”

      do shell script “/usr/bin/defaults read ” & file_name
      set prefsExist to true
      on error
      set prefsExist to false
      end try

      –If preference file doesn’t exist, create a new one
      if prefsExist = false then

      –Set location of After Effects
      set apps to path to applications folder
      set AE_path to choose file with prompt “Where is the After Effects aerender executable located?” default location apps
      set app_path to the quoted form of (POSIX path of (AE_path as text))

      do shell script “defaults write com.andorulabs.AErender path ” & app_path

      end if

      end checkForPrefs

      –AErender function
      on AErender(dropped_items)

      repeat with current_item in dropped_items

      –Set the project file path
      set projectfile_path to the quoted form of (POSIX path of (current_item as text))

      –Set the Render Command
      set AE_path to quoted form of (do shell script “defaults read com.andorulabs.AErender path”)
      set render_cmd to AE_path & ” -sound ON -project ” & projectfile_path

      –Launch Render in Terminal

      –Terminal Shell Settings
      set shell_settings to (path to resource “AERender.terminal” in bundle (path to me)) as string
      tell application “Finder” to open file shell_settings

      tell application “Terminal”
      do script with command render_cmd in front window
      tell front window
      set custom title to “AERender”
      end tell
      end tell

      end repeat

      end AErender

      Any help would be great! 🙂


  2. Akiba says:

    Can this script work on a directory? In other words, I have a folder with 80 files in it that all need rendering. Can I use this script to run the render on all the files in the folder? If not, can I get you to enhance this script for my needs? I would be very grateful…($)


  3. Chris says:

    i did the script change for cs6 and get prompted with this error message every time:

    “aerender ERROR: After Effects can not render for aerender. Another instance of aerender, or another script, may be running; or, AE may be waiting for response from a modal dialog, or for a render to complete. Try running aerender without the -reuse flag to invoke a separate instance of After Effects”

    any ideas?

  4. jb says:

    wow, very usefull thanks a lot !

  5. jos says:

    The script edit does not work. 🙁

    When I start AErender it says the script is uncompiled? EDIT or OK?

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  7. Matthew says:

    This is awesome! Any chance of a PC version in the future?

  8. Ricky Diaghe says:

    This is a godsend! Thanks so much Andrew and thank you community for explaining how to make this work with ae cs6.

  9. Allen Dale says:

    Hi! i’ve downloaded the cs5 version. When i want to use it, it says file “AERender” is damaged and con’t be opened. You should move it to Trash. I need help, whats wrong with it?

  10. Gabriel says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you for your script!
    I’ve been using it extensively, but it stopped working for me today. It keeps looking for an older file that I rendered in the past, and not the file that I need to currently render. How would I fix that?

  11. patrick says:

    Anyone knows if there is a version that works with Adobe CC?

  12. Awly says:

    I installed , the universal version.
    First time you launch it, the app is asking this :
    «Where is the After Effects aerender executable located?»

    and I don’t know where I should find it.

    What ever I pointing to, the Terminal is showing this line :
    « /Applications/Adobe After Effects CS6/Adobe After Effects is a directory »

    What should I pointing at?

  13. Guillaume says:

    I can’t find the preferences in OS X 10.9.4 Maverick. I want to delete them but it is not in Macintosh HD/library/preferences/

    What do I do? I also check in the main.script but I do not know which lines to change. Help please!!

  14. Miguel R, says:

    I did the same mistake, when prompted i pointed to the AE app dander than the aerender.
    Is there a plist I can delete so the droplet can work as if launched for the first time?

    • Kyle says:

      Only 4 years too late! I actually just downloaded this app locally for the first time and accidentally did the same thing when trying to set this up on my macbook pro to work with CC2018. I navigated to the app itself instead of the “aerender” executable file located within the After Effects CC2018 folder. Since I had to just figure this out on my own, figure I’d post what I did so the info is here for the next unlucky soul. Here’s how I reset the app to ask me where the executable was again, so I could get the path right:

      1. Right-click (or control-click) the main AErender app
      2. Select ‘Show Package Contents’
      3. Navigate to ‘Contents->Resources->Script’
      4. Double-click ‘main.scpt’ to open the script in AppleScript Editor
      5. search “set prefsExist to true”
      6. Change “true” to “false”
      7. Save and close script editor and then re-open AErender app
      8. It should prompt you to navigate to executable file again. This time, navigate to the correct file path: Applications > Adobe After Effects CC 2018 > aerender
      6. Save
      7. Repeat steps 1-4 to go back into the script you just changed.
      8. search “set prefsExist to false”
      9. Change the “false” you typed earlier back to “true” (this will prevent AErender from asking you to re-navigate to the executable every time you open it)
      10. Save.
      11. Done!

      This was all I needed to do on my comp to get CC2018 renders going correctly through this app.

  15. george says:

    I downloaded this but I don’t have a mac I use a windows 7. It doesn’t seem to be working. Is there a way to fix this?

  16. Bruno says:

    Tks Andrew! Nice work.

    Have just one problem: If I select two projects using the aerender app, it will open two terminals and render th ae projects simultaneous.

    But in terminal, if I put:

    ‘/Applications/Adobe After Effects CS6/aerender’ -sound ON -project ” (the location of project 01)’ ; ‘(the location project 02)’

    the two projects will render in sequence. It would be really fantastic if the app could do this.

  17. J says:

    I download the app but it is not working. I am running –
    OS X Yosemite Version 10.10.1 with AE CC Version 13.2

    And this is the error that I receive upon loading my AE file into the app…

    Last login: Wed Jan 7 11:26:22 on ttys000

    GR02:~ gr02$ ‘/Users/gr02/Desktop/XXXX_Sc00_Sh00_1920X1080_24fps_MSTR_v01.aep’ -sound ON -project ‘/Users/gr02/Desktop/XXXX_Sc00_Sh00_1920X1080_24fps_MSTR_v01.aep’

    -bash: /Users/gr02/Desktop/XXXX_Sc00_Sh00_1920X1080_24fps_MSTR_v01.aep: Permission denied

    GR02:~ gr02$

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  20. patrick t says:

    Is there a windows version of this?

  21. AL says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you so much for this plugin, I have been using it ever since I’m using AE CS5.

    But it seems to have issue with AE CC2014 v13, it worked up to AE CC v12

    Here is the error message from terminal

    After Effects error: The file you are attempting to open was created with After Effects version 13.2 (Macintosh 64) and cannot be opened with this version.

    is there are new version or a way which I can fix this issue?

  22. Francis says:

    I’ve been using aerender for two years, it’s soooo useful.
    I just upgraded to CC and I can’t get it to work.. 🙁
    I went through the comment in this page, but no luck…

    Any cues?

    • Allen says:

      I think we are on the same boat, It stills works with CC 2013 to me just not CC2014

    • AL says:

      there are a work around for me, I try to save the .aep file down to CC2013 v12, then it would worked for me.

      • Francis says:

        I finally got it to work on CC2014 (first delete prefs, then I installed it in the AFX folder (actually it might just have been the prefs)) Also, I did not pay attention the first time I got prompted to select the aerender exec file…

        Now it works like a charm!!!

      • Francis says:

        Pretty website by the way!

  23. Conor says:

    I tried getting this to work for CC 2015 but haven’t had any luck. I opened up the coding in apple scripts editor and didn’t see anywhere where I could update the language. Anyone get this to work with cc 2015?

  24. Olivier Beaudoin says:


    Does anyone have trouble rendering Ray Traced 3D scene with AE Render?
    Does is support this feature?

  25. Gavin says:

    Has someone got this to work with CC 2015? Thanks.

  26. Lukas says:

    To make the script work, you have to:

    – Navigate to ‘Contents->Resources->Script’
    – Double-click ‘main.scpt’ to open the script in AppleScript Editor
    – find com.andorulabs.AErender (it should be 3 times in the script file)
    – add a number at the end of each occurence, like: com.andorulabs.AErender1 (or com.andorulabs.AErender2)

    This will force the app to create a new preference file, and on the next run it will ask you to navigate to the aerender in the Adobe After Effects folder.

  27. Anastasia Isachsen says:

    Hi Andrew!

    I heard a lot of good feedback about AErender. So would be nice to get it working!
    My question is :could you write detailed step-by-step instructions from the moment of download: how to install it, activate and make it work, please? All the directories, scripts, etc.
    Would be helpful to a lot of people, I am sure:-)

  28. thomas says:

    Anyone got this working on adobe2017 cc?

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