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How to get render notifications on your iPhone

Editors spend a lot of time rendering and exporting, and it's very useful to know when a render is complete if you are not currently at your computer.

Render Watcher in Pro Media Tools can watch for renders and then perform various tasks when a render is complete. It supports Final Cut Pro 7, Compressor 3 and 4, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder.

Render notifications are not supported for Final Cut Pro X because it has background rendering and the alerts would be going off constantly, however you can get export notifications via Compressor or by adding your export folder to the Watch Folder pane. This also works for other apps not natively supported by Render Watcher.

There are three ways to get render notifications from Render Watcher on your iOS device - text message, email and push alert. (Compressor has email support already, however it is impractical for most users because it requires you to run an SMTP server on your computer.)

Push alerts are the most flexible option because you can customize them independently to make sure render notifications don't get lost in your regular email and SMS alerts.

Here's how to setup render and export notifications on your iPhone / iPad:

1. Download and install Pro Media Tools.

2. Launch the Render Watcher application and tick the boxes for all of the render notifications you wish to watch. If desired, add watch folders for applications not natively supported.

3. Go to the Actions tab and select all of the actions you wish to perform when a render is detected. There are lots of options here including playing a sound effect and showing the exported file in the Finder.

4. If you want to send an email or text message, tick the relevant checkbox and enter the destination email address or phone number (selected carriers only).

If you want to only setup push alerts, skip to step 5.

4a. Go to Preferences and enter the details for the account you wish to send email from. Presets have been included for common email providers but you will be able to get the relevant SMTP server information from your email provider's website. In most cases you should leave the Port field blank.

Note: Your email address and password are not sent to our servers and are stored on your computer in encrypted form.

4b. Click Send Test Email and if your settings are correct you should receive an email from Render Watcher in your inbox.

If you don't wish to setup push alerts, skip to Step 13.

5. To setup push alerts, make sure Display Growl notification is ticked in preferences and then download Growl from the Mac App Store for $1.99. If you don't want to pay for it or are running OS X 10.6 or lower, older versions are available here free of charge.

6. Download Boxcar for iOS. We favor Boxcar because it is free (with ads) but this feature should work with any push notification service that supports Growl, such as Prowl.

7. Sign up for a Boxcar account here.

8. In the Boxcar iOS app, sign in and tap the icon in the top left corner that looks like a grid of nine squares. Then tap Add Service.

9. Scroll down the list (it's not alphabetically-ordered) and tap the entry marked Growl. Setup the notification settings as desired and then click Save.

10. Download the Boxcar plugin for Growl. Unzip the .growlView file and double-click it to install. When prompted, select Yes to open the Growl preference pane or alternatively launch System Preferences and open it manually. If you are running the Mac App Store version of Growl on Lion, the preferences dialog is accessed via the menu bar icon.

11. Go the the Display Options tab in the Growl preference pane (called Displays in the Mac App Store version) and set Default Style to Boxcar. This will send all Growl alerts to your iOS device.

Alternatively, if you only want Render Watcher notifications sent to your device, go to the Applications tab, select RenderWatcherHelper, click the Configure button and then set Application's Display Style to Boxcar. RenderWatcherHelper will only appear in the list when it has displayed a Growl alert at least once.

12. In the Display Options tab, select Boxcar in the Display Styles list on the left and select the option to display notifications using Smoke (or whichever theme you prefer).

13. Enter your Boxcar login information below this and click Verify Login. If your login is accepted, click Preview and you should see a Growl alert on your desktop and iOS device.

14. Start a short render and wait for it to finish. If everything is setup correctly, you should see a Render Watcher alert on your computer and then your iOS device. If you don't see this, double-check that you followed the above steps correctly and that the name of the application is ticked in the Applications tab in Render Watcher or that you are exporting to a directory listed in the Watch Folders tab.

Render Watcher is just one of ten useful tools for editors, assistant editors and post production professionals in the Pro Media Tools suite. To find out more, see the features page, watch the overview video or download the free trial.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Feb 13 2012 to Tutorials, Adobe, Final Cut Studio