Licensing Overview

In this FAQ we describe our licensing options. We describe what we mean by interactive vs. render-only licenses. We also have a section that describes floating and other types of licenses (the type of license governs which machines may use a license). Note that interactive licenses may be non-floating or floating, and similarly for render-only. Interactive vs render-only licenses
Interactive vs. render-only
  • Interactive licenses must be purchased to use within use of an application that has an interactive front-end. That is, if the program is not command-line driven then you cannot use render-only licenses.
  • Render-only licenses, when available for a product and host application, only work with command-line versions of programs that have no interactive front end. Many programs such as Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Vegas Pro, Avid programs have no command-line versions, so you will see no render-only licensing option from us… note that their options of “render timeline”, or “render sequence”, are embedded within an interactive program so our render-only licensing does not apply. In addition, a render-only license for our products will only work on projects written from the interactive version of the application when an interactive license of our product is present and available at the time of saving the project. NOTE: For After Effects, the render-only licenses will not work with AE’s Render Queue nor AME, but only with the program ‘aerender’.
Floating and node-locked and other licenses

We have non-floating and floating licenses. Our non-floating licenses are meant to be used on a single machine at a time and come in two forms (depending on the host application).

  • Our non-nodelocked licenses only require that you have a registration key and name to install, and the license is not tied to any particular machine. In general, if you are a single user with a desktop and laptop, we allow you to install on both as long as you agree to only use on one machine at a time. If you are a site with 2 or more users, this allowance does not apply and you must purchase a license for each seat where a product will be used, or purchase floating licenses (described subsequently).
  • For our node-locked licenses, you may only use the license on a particular machine with a network device with a particular MAC address that you provide. The network device does not need to be on the motherboard, and can even be a USB-to-ethernet device that you can move from machine to machine, essentially using the USB-to-ethernet device as a hardware dongle. Read more use of USB-to-ethernet devices.
  • Floating licenses are dispensed from a central server machine on your site. Any machine on the network can check out a license for use, but you are limited to the number of licenses you have purchased. Say you have 100 machines on your site, but you know only a maximum of 10 will use our product at the same time, and don’t know which machines will use the license at any given time. In this scenario you can buy 10 floating licenses, and our server software will manage the check-in and check-out of licenses at your site across all 100 machines. Another win: with floating licenses your client machines will all have the same installation process for our product(s), and this can make management for the IT department much easier.
  • Read more about floating license details and installation.
Render farms and floating licenses

For use on a render farm, we HIGHLY recommend getting render-only floating licenses because they are much easier to manage. We’ve experienced some issues with some render management software (like Qube, RUSH etc.) that send a SIGKILL signal instead of SIGTERM to kill renders, and this can leave floating licenses checked out. You can initiate another render on the same render machine in that case (because you can run as many processes as you wish from the same machine without using another floating license, because the the licenses are per machine, not per cpu nor per process). After 1 hour our license server will automatically check “rogue” licenses back in.

Upon normal exits of renders you will not see these problems, which is why we feel confident offering GUI floating licenses. However, we always want to discuss the caveats with customers of our render-only use, so that you go in with eyes open.

Yes, we realize this has a bit of a downside. But unlike other software, we don’t keep communications open to the license server, which can really bog down network traffic. So there are tradeoffs. Many of our customers work with our floating render licenses just fine, even with the caveats outlined here.