Slugline. Simple, elegant screenwriting.

Red Giant Color Suite, with Magic Bullet Looks 2.5 and Colorista II

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  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
  • TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
  • The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    by Stu Maschwitz

BG Renderer for After Effects


This is really cool.

BG Renderer is an Adobe After Effects script by Lloyd Alvarez that allows you to keep working while your renders process in the background. It automates the process of launching aerender from the command line, leaving your interactive AE session unaffected. On todays multiprocessor and multi-core machines, even laptop, this luxurious experience comes with little performance penalty.

That, all by itself, is pretty much awesome. But wait, there’s more. The Pro version of the script allows you to set up post-render actions, such as emailing or text messaging yourself a note to announce the completed render. You can attach the log file to the email if you like.

You can also configure Growl notifications. You can then use any of several Growl-compatible iPhone apps, such as Prowl or Boxcar, to send push notifications to your phone.

If there’s anything better than continuing to work while After Effects renders in the background, it’s sitting in a café and having your phone tell you that an After Effects render is complete back at your desk.

All of this configured in a beautiful and intuitive GUI that docks in with the rest of the UI and saves with your custom workspaces. You’d think it was a native After Effects feature.

A beta version of this script kept me sane when I was onlining BRICK & STEEL. It’s difficult to describe just how quickly this little panel will become an essential part of your After Effects workflow. There are more features than what I’ve described here, many of which have dedicated video tutorials over at

The basic version is $4.99 and the Pro version is $19.99 (see update below). Does that sound expensive? Think of it as buying Lloyd a beer or two — something you’ll be dying to do after you’ve used the free trial, which offers the full Pro functionality for two weeks.

BG Renderer at

Reader Comments (7)

Thanks for the pimpin' review Stu. Just wanted to add that those are introductory prices that will go up in a couple of months.

January 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterLloyd Alvarez

Ya heard that? Buy the man a beer quick, before it becomes a bottle of Dom!

January 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterStu

Looks really great. Can't wait until something like this comes out on Final Cut Pro. Also love the cheap price.

January 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterJohn Hall

Does anyone know how the notification works when using many instances of BGrender? For example when I'm at a studio with several multicore machines I'll hijack them and open 2-6 instances per machine all feeding the same sequence using skip existing frames. Does the script know when the last frame is finished or would i get a notification for every instance? Also - and i'm not sure this is the place for feature requests - would it be possible to launch several instances from the bgrender panel (similar to some of the bg render scripts for nuke) or is saving the terminal file and reopening it the only way?

January 12, 2011 | Registered Commenterthomas panayiotou

Yeah, I used Nucleo Pro in the past but it was very expensive, finicky, buggy - this tool at a tiny fraction of the price is pure awesomeness. With CS5 and multi-core machines, it let's you squeeze every ounce out of every box.

January 12, 2011 | Registered Commentertest

To Thomas -

The new bgrenderer has a niffty new feature that allows you to save a bgrenderer launch file that you can place on as many machines as you want.

Every instance of bgrenderer will give whatever post render actions you have assigned to it (incl. growl). The trick I use to avoid this is to save a launch file without post render notifications for other computers. I then also launch a separate instance on my own computer with the growl check on. This way I only receive one notification upon completion of my render.

Bgrenderer now makes it very easy to launch several instances. You can either save a launch file and execute it as many times as you want or you can just reselect your render in AE and click BGrenderer again.

Check out Stu's link to BGrenderer and you will see that Lloyd has done a terrific job of outlying every function and provided video tutorials for many of the functions.

January 13, 2011 | Registered CommenterRoy Cullen

Can't you just use the Adobe Media Encoder to render your AE comps?

February 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterJon Walker
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Sorry, comments are disabled temporarily while I tweak some stuff.
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