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OpenGL rendering quality....?

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Scott Morrison
OpenGL rendering quality....?
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:04:35 pm

Cheers everyone.

I have a TIF sequence animation, imported into AE. I've noticed a decrease in quality if the comp is rendered using OpenGL, rather than without. I was under the impression that OpenGL accelerated rendering due to the GPU, but had nothing to do with the quality of the final output.

Am I missing something here?

Thanks for the help.


Scott Morrison
Just an amateur trying to learn


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:06:59 pm

Yes, you are missing something. Sorry.

Despite the Adobe propaganda, DO NOT use Open GL when rendering. It is rarely useful, often harmful, and the folks at Adobe don't even use it for rendering.

'Nuff said?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Todd Kopriva
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:12:49 pm

Hey, what propaganda? I routinely say that I find OpenGL rendering to only be useful for two things:

- the OpenGL - Interactive preview mode
- occasional test renders when all that I care about is the timing of the animation, not the visual fidelity

The After Effects team as a whole says pretty much the same thing.

In fact, here's a quote from near the top of the page about rendering with OpenGL:
"Important: Because not all features of a composition can be rendered with OpenGL—and because some features that can be rendered with OpenGL are rendered with different results—you may only want to use OpenGL rendering to accelerate previews and to provide faster rendering for non-final results."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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Scott Morrison
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:20:24 pm

Thanks Dave and Todd, for the information and VERY prompt responses. You guys are the best.

Note to self: OpenGL bad....(except for preview).

Scott Morrison
Just an amateur trying to learn


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:24:35 pm

[Todd Kopriva] "Hey, what propaganda?"

Oh, I'm talking about stuff that comes out of the marketing department. Certainly not what comes out of the guys who actually have write the documentation.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on Apr 1, 2010 at 3:33:39 pm

I should probably add that my job is primarily involved in marketing and advertising, and I happen to use Adobe products, particularly AE. I'm not an Adobe power user who moonlights in marketing. Thus, I can spot marketing weasel words and weasel strategies a mile away.

Hence the "propaganda" comment. I write in a related vein here at the station every day!

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael Todd
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on Jun 7, 2010 at 1:16:53 am

Hey Guys

I wanted to ask if you guys would please clarify that the quality of OpenGL rendering not being as good as software is a known issue ?

I am finding that in a project I am currently working on and wanting to test how much faster OpenGL was (which it was) but the source footage which is a 1280x720 .png sequence in a comp the same size and set to square pixels and has no effects applied to it is appearing noticeably more blocky/pixelated than with OpenGL disabled .

As an interesting test I provided AE with the same sequence that was 2048x2048 (power of 2) and the result is better but softer but still not as defined as the original source being rendered without OpenGL .

I have the latest card drivers and although nvidia says that they now support OpenGL 3, AE CS4 which I am currently running is only showing as using version 2.1 . This is on a Windows 7 x64 platform is that makes any difference in this case .


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on Jun 7, 2010 at 3:34:14 pm

There are a number of effects and setings in AE that Open GL can't deal with. Thus, when rendering a comp of any kind of complexity, you're almost guaranteed to have problems with Open GL.

Just do like everyone else in AE-Land does: turn off render acceleration for Open GL, forget that it exists, and get on with life.


Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Todd Kopriva
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on Jun 7, 2010 at 4:22:10 pm

It's not that it's a "known issue" (which implies a bug). It's that the purpose is simply not for anything other than fast _test_ renders and previews. This isn't just me talking. As I said in my previous message on this thread, the engineer who is responsible for this feature looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if there were any circumstances in which OpenGL rendering should be used for final output. That's why there's a big note with the word 'Important' in bold type at the top of the section in Help about OpenGL rendering.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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Petrache Nicolae
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on May 24, 2013 at 4:35:20 pm

this is some kind of joke i assume. i buyed a 1000$ nvidia video card certified by adobe as compatible and i just thrown the money on the window. a project made with opengl is done in 15 min and in software mode in 2-3 hours? you talk about preview...like with this card i have flawless play in the project. exactly for what are we supposed to spend the money? for video cards wich can't be used in your software becouse it makes the image horible? if this is well known, why do we have the option to use hardware encoding via opengl?


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Todd Kopriva
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on May 24, 2013 at 5:27:47 pm

> why do we have the option to use hardware encoding via opengl?


For rough, fast previews.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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Petrache Nicolae
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on May 24, 2013 at 5:58:02 pm

yes, for "fast" preview i can activate the option from bellow the image . and for encoding, why do we have the option to render via opengl? or do you don't know what you have made? you should be shamed...such big company to use such fake advertise...unbeliveble


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Michael Todd
Re: OpenGL rendering quality....?
on Jun 7, 2010 at 4:25:04 pm

Thanks for the reply .

Sure I've been seeing this sentiment all over the place but I was trying to get to the bottom of how bad it actually is .

From my experience so far it seems to have failed at the first hurdle due to not being able to correctly draw footage that has come straight into the comp with no effects or scaling etc . Is this what most people get ?


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