What License Do I Need?

We provide two different types of licenses. One type is referred to as ‘node locked’ which can only be tied to a single computer. The other type is known as a ‘floating’ license and while it’s hosted from one machine, many can borrow from there.

Asking about your options before you get a license to cater to your needs might make things easier or more flexible for you.

Node locked

Node locked licenses are the easiest to use as they don’t require a server. Instead, they are tied to a network card in the workstation the license is written for. This type of license is great for our 3D tools such as Krakatoa or Frost if they are only ever going to be used by one person on that one machine.

It’s also possible for us to tie the license file to a USB network device. In that case, it will be similar to a license dongle, though you will need to copy the license file itself to the machines you will be using. When our software starts, it will look for that device and the license will be active.


These licenses are slightly more complex to use, but perfect for studios where different people might need to share our software. Here you will need to install the license server, and it will be responsible for temporarily handing out licenses to users. We only provide this type of license for Deadline because the overhead of maintaining a farm file-by-file would be too high for both you and our sales staff. You should choose a machine that will always be available to everyone, so a server is a good choice. Hardware requirements are very low, meaning it should run great from anywhere.

With floating licenses, you will still need to configure the client software (Frost, Krakatoa, Deadline), but in this case it’s to use the server machine. It’s not too complex, and we have lots of great docs and people to help you with it.

Switching options

Normally we don’t swap between node locked and floating (you can always ask), so it’s best to make that choice during your trial period. As a good rule of thumb, if you’re a freelancer with a primary work machine, node-locked licenses are going to be your best bet. If you work with a few folks and have enough IT skills to handle licenses, one that’s floating is going to suit you perfectly. We’re always open to having a conversation too if you’re ever not sure.