aerender json aware
It will be great to have aerender JSON aware. at this point in time aerender is only evaluating $.eval(file) while rendering.
This would help the community a lot by avoiding paying for a lot of plugins. Interestingly the footage(json file) is working great with aftereffects but not with JSON footage
Even adding the .json file as a layer does not fix the issue, as that layer simply refers to the .json file with footage().
Have you tried adding the json file as a layer in your comp? If you're only referring to your JSON file with footage("yourfile.json") in an expression, it won't get collected with your other assets.