Thursday, July 1, 2010

Speed Up Rendering in After Effects using GPU

Lastly I found good way to increase speed of rendering and preview in After Effects CS. Since After supports OpenGL and using GPU for many things it gives great opportunity to be faster and more efficient.

Here are few steps that you should know to use that feature.

Render with OpenGL

OpenGL is a set of standards for high-performance processing of 2D and 3D graphics for a wide variety of applications. For After Effects users, OpenGL provides fast, high-quality rendering for previews and final output by moving rendering from the CPU to the OpenGL hardware (GPU).

To use OpenGL in After Effects, you’ll need an OpenGL card that supports OpenGL 2.0 and has Shader support and support for NPOT (Non Power of Two) textures.

OpenGL in After Effects supports the following features:

  • Shadows, except point light shadows (Colored shadows appear gray.)
  • Lights (eight maximum)
  • Masks
  • Alpha channels
  • Track mattes
  • Intersecting layers
  • Transformations for 2D and 3D layers
  • GPU-accelerated effects, including Alpha Levels, Bevel Alpha, Box Blur, Brightness & Contrast, Channel Blur, Color Balance, Color Balance (HLS), Curves, Directional Blur, Drop Shadow, Fast Blur, Find Edges, Gaussian Blur, Hue/Saturation, Invert, Noise, Radial Blur, Ramp, Sharpen, and Tint.
  • All blending modes except Dissolve and Dancing Dissolve
  • Metal property settings for 3D layers
  • Cone feather settings for light layers
  • 2D motion blur
  • Adjustment layers
  • Anti-aliasing

Turn it on

When OpenGL does not support a feature, it simply renders without using that feature. For example, if your layers contain shadows and your OpenGL hardware does not support shadows, the output will not contain shadows.

To enable OpenGL for rendering final output, click the underlined text next to Render Settings in the Render Queue panel, and select Use OpenGL Renderer.

To enable OpenGL for rendering previews, choose Edit > Preferences > Previews (Windows) or After Effects > Preferences > Previews (Mac OS), and select Enable OpenGL.

To see what features your OpenGL card supports, choose Edit > Preferences > Previews (Windows) or After Effects > Preferences > Previews (Mac OS), and click OpenGL Info.

To modify the amount of texture memory, choose Edit > Preferences > Previews (Windows) or After Effects > Preferences > Previews (Mac OS), click OpenGL Info, and enter a value for Texture Memory of no more than 80% of the installed video RAM (VRAM) on your video card.


In my case I have real time preview and rendering time was 3 times more faster than when using CPU. If you have opportunity to use GPU do this.

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