When will the Mac Version be available?

The Mac version is being worked on two stages:

First Stage: The Extension for After Effects is now available for Mac. This allows renders from Mac or Windows workstations to be sent to Windows machines using the existing app.

This works great for studios with mixed OS workstations, but dedicated render machines using Windows.

For instructions on how to install and use the visit https://www.kineticportal.com/renderbossmac

Second Stage: Full app available for mac. This will allow for complete cross-platform renders. Send from Mac to Windows, Mac to Mac, Windows to Mac, etc.

This version is in early stages, so there’s not exact ETA right now. We are hoping July this year, but is subject to change.

Do you provide render computers?
No. Render Boss is designed to work with your computers on your local network. Services that provide computing power are called render farms. More details in the next answer.
What version of After Effects do I need?

Officially, Render Boss supports After Effects CC 2019 and 2018. However, it should work all the way down to CC 2014. Unfortunately any version older than CC 2014 does not contain the necessary elements for Render Boss to work properly.

Do I need to have After Effects installed on my render machines?
Yes. But they don’t need a license.

Render Boss uses After Effects to do the actual renders, so you do need to have After Effects installed in all the machines you want to use to render. However, per Adobe’s License terms, Render-Only machines do not need a license.

Keep in mind that if the compositions you’re rendering need a certain third-party plugin, all the machines rendering it will need to also have that plugin installed. Some third-party plugins might have different license terms than Adobe and might require you to have a license per machine.

What’s the difference between Render Boss and a render farm?
With a render farm, you send all your files to an external service, they render it for you and then send those renders back to you. With Render Boss, you basically create your render farm in your own local network.

However, you don’t need to buy fancy new computers to speed up your own farm. You can mix and match older machines, as long as they can run After Effects. Any older workstation can help with a few frames, speeding up your render. Plus, Adobe doesn’t require additional licenses for extra render machines.

(third party plugins might have different license terms)

What are the Advantages / Disadvantages of Render Boss vs a render farm?
The main advantages of using an external render farm is that your computers are not used for rendering, and those services usually have dozens to hundreds of computers connected. So the render itself will probably be faster.

However, the main disadvantage (other than having to pay for each render) is that you have to prep and transfer all your media, assets, etc to the farm service so they can render it for you. Which, depending on the project, might end up adding much more time than it would have taken to render locally.

Render farms are usually a perfect fit for 3D renders from applications like Maya, 3dsmax, Blender, etc. Because they take a lot of computational resources, and usually only need to transfer textures, project files, etc. Which are much smaller than video files. However,  After Effects projects tend to have GBs of files and take less computational power, so it’s usually not the best solution.

With Render Boss on the other hand, all your files are already in your local network, so no need to transfer them over the internet. They start rendering immediately with a single button inside After Effects.

Render Boss makes it really easy to make your unused computers available to render, and if somebody needs to use a particular machine, he/she can stop the render on that machine, and the other machines keep going.