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Cuda rendering is it also used when you make movie?

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peter butler
Cuda rendering is it also used when you make movie?
on Nov 21, 2012 at 4:51:36 pm

Hi everyone.

I own a Mac Pro with a ATI card so obviously can't take advantage of the CUDA capabilities in AE6. I've been using the new raytracing engine which is very slow when previewing which I'm assuming is because I have an ATI card.

My question is, when I "make movie" does AE still use the GPU or does it then purely use the CPU's?
Also I know you can set how many CPU's AE uses but is this just when previewing or is this also when rendering the final movie?


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Paul Roper
Re: Cuda rendering is it also used when you make movie?
on Nov 21, 2012 at 6:04:09 pm

If you have a card with CUDA cores (eg. an Nvidia card), AE uses it when rendering (Make Movie) as well as previewing. However, it only uses it for the new Raytraced 3D features and one or two other effects. Most of the processing is still performed by your CPU(s). I'm hoping that future releases of AE will push more effects processing onto the GPU.

- Paul


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peter butler
Re: Cuda rendering is it also used when you make movie?
on Nov 21, 2012 at 6:08:05 pm

I see, thanks for the info Paul. It's a shame it on;y works with Nvidia cards. As far as I can tell you can only use the 4800 with the Macpro unless you start hacking things to work.


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Paul Roper
Re: Cuda rendering is it also used when you make movie?
on Nov 21, 2012 at 6:14:31 pm

I've got a pair of Quadro 4000 cards in my Mac Pro, and they speed up 3D rendering in AE to a just-about-usable speed. The difference with most 3D scenes to render is in the area of 10x - 20x faster on the GPU (just a vague guesstimate - it depends on bucketloads of factors). But it's still woefully slow compared to a dedicated 3D program like Maya. I haven't had the chance to play around with Element 3D yet, which uses the power of the GPU, and seems to fly along.


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peter butler
Re: Cuda rendering is it also used when you make movie?
on Nov 21, 2012 at 6:23:00 pm

Yeah Element uses Open Gl 2.

I thought it would be easier to use 3D text in After Effects rather than having to keep rendering in Maya.

Unfortunately it looks like I may as well stick with rendering everything in Maya.

To be honest I don't see the point of the ray-trace engine as it is. Even with a top of the range 6gb Cuda card the rendering is so much slower then if you were to do the same thing in something like Mental Ray. Even Maxwell would render faster and with far more realistic results than the times I've seen quoted for AE.


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Cuda rendering is it also used when you make movie?
on Nov 21, 2012 at 10:53:10 pm

> To be honest I don't see the point of the ray-trace engine as it is. Even with a top of the range 6gb Cuda card the rendering is so much slower then if you were to do the same thing in something like Mental Ray.


This feature was not intended to replace dedicated 3D applications. It was meant to give simple text and vector graphics extrusions to people who don't have or know how to use a 3D application like Cinema 4D or Maya. If you have those programs, use them for what they're great at.

The things that we were trying to replace were the hacky, ridiculous workarounds that we saw people using in After Effects to get 3D-ish text by stacking hundreds of layers or using a quirk in the Shatter effect.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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Paul Roper
Re: Cuda rendering is it also used when you make movie?
on Nov 22, 2012 at 10:11:34 am

...and indeed AE CS6's 3D features are a fantastic addition - I use them a lot for simple 3D as Todd described; I just wish they'd work faster. But even a slow render time is often faster than setting up the scene in Maya, rendering it (quickly, using CPUs), importing it into AE for comping/grading. Peter, do you use 'BG Renderer'? http://aescripts.com/bg-renderer-basic/ It allows you to render your comp in the background while you get on with other stuff. You could set up your own script using the command line to do exactly the same thing, but for $15 I let someone else write it.

But I think the big question everyone thought of when AE's 3D was extended when CS6 came out, was "can I import an OBJ model?". Maybe CS7? CS6.5? Please?! Or is Adobe's thinking more along the lines of "well, Element 3D can do that, we'll leave it to them" (in the same vein as Particle Playground not being updated for years, presumably due to the existence of Particular).

- Paul


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peter butler
Re: Cuda rendering is it also used when you make movie?
on Nov 22, 2012 at 1:42:50 pm

Thanks for the reply Todd,

Yes I think it's great that you are addressing the fact that it is now easy to do basic 3D text in AE. Sorry if I came across to harsh on this. I really do think Adobe are going to great lengths to listen to their customers.

I just think it's a shame that if you have an ATI card it's so much slower. To be honest I don't know how much slower it is than if I had an Nvidia card. ButHfrom what I've read, there are real advantages to going with Nvidia. having a Mac doesn't leave me many options.

Paul, I haven't used the render in BG feature, that sounds quite useful.
It would just be nice to be able to make decisions on timing, composition and the look, faster then what I currently can with raytrace switched on. Even if I turn everything down to draft the render of each frame is really, really slow.

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.


Peter


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