I analyzed ALL of the After Effects Cloud Rendering farms and picked the best one for you [2024 update]

This article was initially written in August 2022, and the last update was in November 2023.

Since the dawn of time, rendering videos was the synonym for After Effects artists to scroll Reddit or go for a coffee (or both). 

As the CPUs and rendering machines evolved, that “me time” for After Effects artists shrunk down, but there were still cases where you had to wait for hours to get the shot rendered. Long shots, effect-filled scenes, and complex motion graphics were the killer of render times.

Well, not anymore – I’m both happy and sorry for creatives because you can now use After Effects Cloud rendering and:

  1. Off-load the rendering to the cloud while you work on other stuff
  2. Render huge amounts of After Effects projects automatically
  3. Get insane render speeds because those render farms use beefy machines

This means that you can continue working while the videos render in the cloud. This allows for a more efficient workflow. It also means that there won’t be any more Reddit scrolling breaks. 

Sorry creatives! (by the way, as an ex-motion designer I’m totally on your side – so feel free to somehow hide this article from your boss for as long as possible)

In this article, I’ll gauge which After Effects cloud rendering solution is the best. I’ve evaluated their performance, UX, support, offering, and of course – the price. While doing my research for this article i noticed that a lot of other articles have outdated information - so i’ll try to be as thourough and detailed as possible.

Also, i’ll give you a fresh perspective on how you can render 100s of variations of the original video in the cloud (completely automatically), and save dozens of hours.

after effects cloud rendering blog post featured image
TL;DR: If you need to render 100s of video variations, your best bet is to use Plainly - a cloud After Effects rendering platform. If you need to render large, complex projects and only need a render farm then the best classic render farms are Turbo Render, Pixel Plow, and Super Renders.

Automatically cloud render 100s video variations

If you are a creative professional, you probably had projects where you had to create different versions of the original video. Maybe you have one of those projects right now - and you’re looking to offload this work to the cloud. These changes can be as small as changing one text value; one image layer, but it also can be more complex. The point is, the whole video has to be re-rendered. Those projects suck. It’s not creative work, and it’s very time-consuming – especially when you need 100s of variations.

Using a rendering farm, in this case, doesn’t work. You’d have to upload all of the different project files into the farm’s interface and manage 100s of concurrent renders. This gets pretty messy, and inefficient very fast.

That’s why I created Plainly. It’s a video automation tool for After Effects that renders video variations in the cloud. All you have to do is add your After Effects template to our Web App, pick which elements you want to change every time and connect a data source (which can be a simple spreadsheet). Plainly will take the data from the data source and automatically render variations in the cloud.

Plainly is an API first solution, so it’s like having an After Effects API, as you can set up fully automated video creation workflows and have dynamic data sources such as APIs, RSS feeds and similar. You can also automate the distribution of the finished videos to 3rd party storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox…etc.

Seems unreal? Book a here to see how it works, and save yourself dozens of hours in production.

After Effects Cloud Rendering Farms - An overview

Here’s a quick overview of all of the After Effects rendering farms available on the market right now:

Name Price* Notes
Plainly Monthly subscriptions, starts at $59 / month Render 100s of video variations automatically on the cloud.
Pixel Plow $1 - $15 (depends on the speed you need)
Super Renders $3 - $13 Up to After Effects 2020
Turbo Renders ~$13 Supports After Effects 2024
Render Now ~$9
For Renders $1 - $3
Garage Farm $7 - $21

* Pricing is calculated by how much time & cost would it be to render a 10 second (240 frames) project that takes 1 minute per frame to render on a machine running Ryzen9 5900x.

Do you need 1000s of varations of your After Effects project? Plainly is perfect for that. Upload your After Effects template into Plainly, select what elements you want to change in every render and then connect you data via CSV, Integrations or API. Sit back and relax while 1000s of videos are created automatically. Book a demo here and learn more.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one is perfect for your project. That will largely depend on your project, the complexity, the budget and similar – i’m just giving you the facts here.

After Effects Cloud Rendering Solutions

Pixel Plow

I actually used Pixel Plow a few years ago. It was for C4D though, but it’s still the only render farm I actively used for a longer period of time. I remember that it was a bit confusing to set it up at first, but after I got everything up and running – it was smooth sailing. 

Based on reviews, it definitely seems like PixelPlow is doing something right – look how much praise they get.

pixel plow reviews

This After Effects cloud rendering farm doesn’t state what kinds of processors they run, but I was pretty satisfied with the speeds I got. They have their own software which you download and use to create jobs. All you have to do is prepare your scene, package it up, and upload it to their app.

One useful thing they have in their app is that you can control the power you need with a simple slider. So if you want to save money, you can dial that slider down. Alternatively, if you need the project asap and the client is breathing down your neck – you can pump it up.

Since it’s very hard to calculate & compare pricing with these render farms as they all have different processors and different pricing models, we’ll calculate the pricing based on a real life project.

Let’s say you’re running a Ryzen 9 5900x on your machine, and that it takes 1 minute to render a single frame of your project. If you have a 10-second project (24 fps) that will take around 4 hours to render on your PC.

PixelPlow’s machines will cost you anywhere from $1 and $15 for to render out this project. You can use their CPU Render Cost Estimator to calculate the approximate costs.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way for me to calculate how fast it would be but the cost saving is significant comparing it to Garage Farm.


  • Pixel Plow uses high-performance computing resources to deliver fast and efficient rendering for After Effects projects.
  • Pixel Plow offers a range of pricing plans, including pay-per-minute and subscription-based options, allowing you to choose a cost-effective solution that suits your budget and project requirements.
  • Pixel Plow provides dedicated customer support to assist you with any issues or questions you may have during the rendering process.
  • Just like GarageFarm, Pixel Plow supports a wide range of output formats and popular After Effects plugins, ensuring compatibility and enabling you to utilize various effects, transitions, and features.

Anima Render

I gotta say, Anima Render has the best website out of these all. For some reason, all of the After Effects rendering farms left their website the same as it was when they started. And they all started 10 years ago.

Their After Effects cloud rendering farm uses dual Xeon CPUs or Threadripper 3970x’s if you want a bit more power. Similarly to other solutions, you’ll have to download their own bespoke app. That app will be your job manager. You’ll collect assets, upload projects, and create jobs – all through a single interface.

I really like that they have 24/7 support – that means two things: 

  1. They are mature enough as a company to have more than one support employee
  2. They won’t leave you hanging if you run into a problem

One downside of Anima Render is that it’s compatible with up to AE 2019. This might be a bit of a bummer because it means that you need to downgrade your projects. You can also forget about multi-core rendering, which was introduced in the latest After Effects. Although, the latter might not be that big of an issue – since the machines these cloud-rendering farms use are really powerful.

anima render chat support

Our 10-second sample project would be done in between 2 and 10 minutes on the Anima Render machines. The cost of this would be between $10 and $12.


  • Anima Render offers reliable customer support, ensuring that assistance is readily available whenever you encounter issues or have questions.
  • It provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface that simplifies project submission, management, and monitoring.
  • With Anima Render, you can confidently work with a wide range of output formats and popular After Effects plugins. This ensures compatibility with your project requirements, allowing you to leverage various effects, transitions, and capabilities seamlessly.
  • Alas, Anima Render is compatible with up to After Effects 2019

Super Renders

Although it seems that Super Renders focused mostly on GPU rendering in the past few years, they still offer CPU rendering which is needed for After Effects. They are running Dual Xenon’s (E5 V4) on their machines and they are based in the USA.

Similar to Anima, they don’t support the newest version of After Effects. If you want to utilize this AE cloud rendering solution, you’ll be able to do with AE up to 2020.

Managing your projects and rendering is done through their Web App instead of a dedicated app. This is really handy because that means that you can manage your cloud rendering from anywhere – even from your phone.

The 10-second project we talked about above would take between 1 and 5 minutes on the Super Render cloud farm. This is pretty fast compared to the other machines. The cost would be between $3 and $13.


  • Super Renders has great UI/UX, which makes it easy to use
  • Super Renders provides three ways to upload your project – sync tool, web browser, or Google Drive/Dropbox. Upload speeds are quite fast.
  • Bandwidth speeds can be an issue. This can be seen if you try to update a large file – the time to synchronize the entire folder can take hours.
  • Rendering is done through a Web App which is neat because you can manage your projects anytime, anywhere.

Turbo Render

With 10+ years of experience, TurboRender is definitely one of the best After Effects rendering farms. In comparison to other farms, they provide a lot more information regarding their support for After Effects, which i really like. The other farms focus on 3D Software and they rarely specific that they support After Effects. TurboRenders is really good in that domain, and they even support the newest After Effects 2024.

In order to work with Turbo Render, you’ll have to download their dedicated app, and you’ll do all of the managing through it. Upload the files, setup the rendering and monitor the jobs. Their servers are running Xeon Golds so you can rest asure that it will go through your project fast.

turborenders interface

One of the things that Turbo Renders advertise is the fact that each their user is under NDA - which i haven’t seen on other platforms, and it’s definitely a must have now when you think about it. If you will be doing client work, you don’t want it to leak.

I was a bit confused with their price estimates though - i was calculating how much it would take to render our 10 second sample project and it turns out that it’s 10 hours and 34 seconds, which is actually a lot more than 4 hours on our sample machine. The pricing is realistic though, as it tells us that it will be ~$13.


  • Dedicated app for faster file upload & download
  • Support for the latest After Effects versions
  • Secure working environment with an NDA included
  • 24h customer support, and even 4 hours of free rendering on sign-up

Render Now

In 2009 in the UK, an animation student in the UK called Chris linked up a few beefy PCs to render his student projects and that’s how RenderNow got started. Now, 14 years later Render Now is one of the best render farms out there.

Their workflow is based online, so no dedicated app and you’ll have to transfer files using FTP or 3rd party storage such as Dropbox or WeTransfer. If it wasn’t for Drobpox functionality i would be a bit worried for the file transfer speeds, but with Dropbox you can just email them your link.

rendernow rendering process

One thing that worries me a bit with Render Now is that it seems like it’s mostly for big, one-off projects since they mention emailing and them invoicing you manually - it seems like there’s a bit of manual work from their side. I’m sure that this has it’s benefits, but if you’re looking for a more dynamic workflow you might check PixelPlow or AnimaRender.

Their machines are running the golden standard, Dual Xeon systems and their system is actually in-house so that provides you with a ton of security.

As for our 10-second base project, that will take ~30 minutes and it will cost you ~$9 USD. You can do more specific calculations for your project on their pricing calculator here.


  • Online based workflow with Dropbox support
  • Quite affordable & fast
  • In-house, secure rendering farm.


For Renders has one of the lowest prices on the market, and that’s why i’m putting them on this list. 

Their workflow includes working in their Web App. So it’s similar to RenderNow above. With the render farms that require users to work in their Web Apps, i’m normally concerned about the UX (download speeds, how easy it is to set it up), but with ForRenders that all seems to be quite good.

forrenders UI

The rendering power, as with the other farms is there. They are running Intel Xeons and it should be quite easy to get through any of your projects.

For our 10 second base project it would take anywhere between $1-3 for the rendering. You really can’t beat those prices. You can play around with their cost calculator here.


  • Great UI in their Web App
  • Very affordable
  • Great documentation


GarageFarm has been around since 2010 and they have a 4.9 rating on their Facebook page. One of the big pros they have is that you can send renders directly from After Effects. You’ll then login into their cloud-rendering web app, and you’ll be able to track everything from there.

positive review of garagefarm

If you want to see more about their workflow, check their After Effects Guide and documentation. As of November 2023, looks like GarageFarm discontinued their After Effects plugin development - so beware as it might not work as good as before.

They have both GPU and CPU options, and their CPU nodes are running Intel Xeon V4 processors. They also have an option for AMD Epyc if that’s something you want.

garage farm cpus

It will take anywhere between 1 and 5 minutes for the Garage Farm nodes to render our 10-second sample project in the cloud. In terms of pricing, this will cost you between $7 and $21. 

I’d say that After Effects cloud rendering generally pays itself over multiple times in cases like this. Having the project done in 5 minutes, instead of 4 hours is definitely worth a few bucks.

You can play around with the calculations using their pricing calculator here.


  • GarageFarm excels in fast and efficient rendering by utilizing a powerful distributed computing infrastructure. This means your projects are rendered quickly and effectively, thanks to the combined processing power of multiple machines.
  • It provides scalability and flexibility to accommodate projects of all sizes, allowing you to adjust the number of dedicated machines as needed.
  • You can easily track the progress of your renders and access the completed files.
  • GarageFarm also supports a wide range of output formats and popular After Effects plugins, ensuring compatibility and enabling you to leverage various effects and transitions.
  • If you encounter any issues or have questions, GarageFarm offers 24/7 technical support.

The best After Effects Cloud Rendering solution

Do you need 1000s of varations of your After Effects project? Plainly is perfect for that. Upload your After Effects template into Plainly, select what elements you want to change in every render and then connect you data via CSV, Integrations or API. Sit back and relax while 1000s of videos are created automatically. Book a demo here and learn more.

Speaking objectively from the data we got through research, Pixel Plow seems like the best deal. What puts Pixel Plow in the top spot are the reviews they have and their pricing. The reviews tell a lot about how good the customer support is, and how fast their renders are.

The close second is TurboRenders - what i like about them is the fact that they support the latest After Effects versions, and the fact that their UX is quite good.

I have to say, I was pretty disappointed with the choices of render farms. Given how big the industry is, I thought there will be a ton of companies to choose from. If you’re doing any kind of 3D work, you’re covered. There are literally dozens of GPU render farms. After Effects cloud rendering farms are a bit different though. I found only 5-10 viable solutions, and only 7 of them were good enough to put on this list.

FAQs about After Effects render farms

1. What is After Effects rendering?

After Effects rendering is the process of generating the final output or "render" of an After Effects project. It involves calculating and producing the visual elements, effects, and animations within the project into a finalized video or image sequence. Rendering in After Effects converts the project's composition and layers into a viewable format that can be played back or exported for further use, such as video editing, motion graphics, or visual effects integration.

2. What are the main benefits of using After Effects render farms?

After Effects render farms offer fast and efficient rendering, reducing project rendering times. They provide scalability to handle projects of any size, eliminating the limitations of individual machines. Render farms optimize resources, ensuring cost-effectiveness by reducing the need for expensive hardware. They support a wide range of formats and plugins, enabling compatibility and creative freedom. Additionally, they often provide reliable technical support, resolving issues promptly and ensuring a smooth rendering experience. 

3. What is the best render farm?

Pixel Plow seems like the best render farm at the moment. What puts Pixel Plow in the top spot are the reviews they have and their pricing. The reviews tell a lot about how good the customer support is, and how fast their renders are. Other options include GarageFarm, Anima Render, and Super Renders.

4. How is render pricing calculated?

Render pricing is typically calculated based on the resources consumed during the rendering process. Factors such as rendering time, machine usage, number of frames, resolution, and complexity of the project are taken into account. Render farms may have different pricing models, including per-minute pricing, pay-per-frame, or subscription-based plans. The pricing structure aims to reflect the computational resources utilized and the level of service provided by the render farm. Most of the render farms have cost calculators which makes it easier for you to anticipate what the costs will be. 

After Effects rendering farms distribute the rendering workload across multiple machines, allowing them to work simultaneously on different sections of a project. This significantly reduces rendering times by utilizing the combined processing power of the machines.

6. What are the advantages of using a cloud-based rendering farm?

Cloud-based rendering farms provide virtualized render farms hosted in the cloud, offering scalability, flexibility, and on-demand resources. They eliminate the need for physical infrastructure, allowing you to access powerful rendering capabilities remotely and pay for only the resources you actually use.

7. Can you use a render farm for After Effects?

Yes, you can use a render farm for After Effects. A render farm is a collection of high-performance computers or servers that work together to render complex graphics and video projects. This can significantly speed up the rendering process, especially for large or resource-intensive After Effects projects.

8. How does an After Effects rendering farm work?

An After Effects rendering farm is a network of powerful computers that work together to speed up the rendering of After Effects projects. You submit your project, it gets divided among the farm's machines for faster rendering, and you can monitor and download the completed work when it's done. This is especially useful for large or complex projects.

9. Can I render After Effects online?

Yes you can, you can either use Plainly if you need a platform that will automatically render variations of your After Effects project or a render farm such as Pixel Plow or Turbo Renders to render large, complex projects.

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