GridIron software has announced that it's discontinuing development and support for its X-Factor network rendering plug-in for Adobe After Effects.

X-Factor used grid computing technology to boost After Effects preview creation and rendering speed over the application's networking rendering system. It was created for After Effects 6.5 but never updated for the current version 7.0.

GridIron says that the main factor in its decision was performance.

"With the adoption of new multi-core and multi-processor computers," said Ben Piercey, director of product management, in an email to X-Factor users, "many of our users are seeing better performance using their local and powerful workstations with GridIron Nucleo Pro than they have seen with X-Factor over a network".

The company says that as new hardware gets faster and more powerful, networking render farms will be retired in favour of host-based rendering, which are easier for companies to administer. GridIron also notes that X-Factor wasn't the easiest application to use, and says that updating it to work with After Effects 7 would make it more difficult and unwieldy.

Sales and support will continue for GridIron's Nucleo and Nucleo performance-improving plug-ins for multi-core and multi-processor workstations.