14 Replies Latest reply on Apr 9, 2009 2:42 PM by Navarro Parker

    How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE

    juskocf Level 1
      I upgraded my display card from Nvidia 8600GT to GTX260+ hoping to have a better and smoother scrubbing of the timeline in AE. But to my disappointment, there is absolutely no improvement at all. I checked the OpenGL benchmark of the 2 cards with the Cinebench software and the results are almost the same for the 2 cards.

      I wonder why the GTX260+ costs as much as about 3 times the cost of the 8600GT, but the OpenGL performance is almost the same.

      Any idea how to improve the OpenGL performance please ?

      Regards
        • 1. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
          Have you considered, that your motherboard may be the bottleneck? No increase in performance sounds like the PCIe slot is not able to work in higher modes and may simply be stuck at the default 4x or so...

          Mylenium
          • 2. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
            bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
            And I'm curious where and how you got the idea OpenGL could actually be improved.

            Editorial opinion: On Macintosh, the whole OpenGL thing is a ruthlessly cruel joke. Terrible waste of money for all of us who have chased the dream after falling for the Marketing Hype. We really ought to know better.

            bogiesan
            • 3. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
              Navarro Parker Level 3
              Bogie, I hope you mean OpenGL on the *Mac version of After Effects* is a cruel joke, and not OpenGL on the Mac in general.
              • 4. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                juskocf Level 1

                Hi, Mylenium, I am using ASUS P5KR MB with PCIe x16, CPU Q6600 . So I don't think its a bottleneck. I had check with 3DMark06 and the the score was about 14xxx, not bad. I guess the GTX260 is designed for gamers only, so they don't emphasize on the OpenGL performance. Just wanted to see if anyone has any ideas on what the settings of AE or tweaking with Nvidia driver that can boost the OpenGL performance.

                 

                Best Regards

                jusko

                • 5. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                  Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  Your expectations of what OpenGL is capable of in AE may be too high.  OpenGL will accelerate some things like 3D transformations, opacity and blend modes.

                   

                  As soon as you apply a non-OpenGL capable plugin (which means just about everything)then you've lost the advantage of OpenGL - in fact, using OpenGL with effect-heavy compositions may actually be slower than using it without.

                   

                  There's no advantage to be gained by buying top-of-the-line display cards if AE is your only requirement.  Any mid-range display card will do everything that AE is capable of using.

                  • 6. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    Yepp, Andrew is of course right. Anything non-OpenGL will break the rendering acceleration and even multiple instances of OpenGL-eneabled effects will eventually run out of resources, forcing After Effects to revert to software-only mode. Nothing can change that. Generally, though, I wouldn't say OpenGL in AE is overrated, Adobe just don't do a good job of telling people what it's actaully good for and what its limitations are.

                     

                    Mylenium

                    • 7. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                      juskocf Level 1

                      But to scrub the timeline smoothly, I think OpenGL plays an important role.  Also, some 3D plugins such as Boris Continuum 6 need OpenGL to smoothly maneuver the 3D objects.  Just wonder why the OpenGL Performance of such an expensive card should be so weak.

                      • 8. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                        Anti-M Level 1

                        Think that's bad...I have a Nvidia QuadroFX5600 with 1.5 gigs on her...and OpenGL almost never works....And I am only dealing with 1366x768 images and animating very small parts of it at 15fps and less than 3 seconds of animation most of the time....

                        • 9. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                          juskocf wrote:

                           

                          But to scrub the timeline smoothly, I think OpenGL plays an important role.

                           

                          No, not necessarily. General things like footage I/O performance can be much more critical in that case. Generally speaking, AE only uses OpenGL in 2 specific situations: When navigating 3D space and with hardware-accelerated effects. It doesn't do so consistently, though, as any non-accelerated function, such as a specific effect or exhaustion of the avialbale resources can negate that.

                           

                          juskocf wrote:

                           

                          Also, some 3D plugins such as Boris Continuum 6 need OpenGL to smoothly maneuver the 3D objects.  Just wonder why the OpenGL Performance of such an expensive card should be so weak.

                           

                          It's not the card, it's what the card does. See my above comment. Specific to the Boris stuff: Geometry manipulation is far simpler than pixel shaders. Most cards will allow you to manipulate bazillions of polygons - as long as they are untextured and only use simple shading, you will not see any impact on performance. Things get dicy, when it needs to use textures and load those textures into the graphics card's memory. Either loading those textures takes longer than the shading calculations, or, if you use multitexturing (different images combined with transparencies or blendmodes), you'll at some point reach the maximum. It's really a mixed bag. Ultimately the root of all evil is, that AE is not build around OpenGL because at the time it didn't exist, but rather the other way around OpenGL was plugged-on at some point and now there is a number of situations where one gets in the way of the other...

                           

                          Mylenium

                          • 10. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                            juskocf Level 1

                            Thanks Anti-M and Mylenium for your responses.

                             

                            I just borrowed a 9600GT from a friend to see how it performed. Tested with Cinebench in default, the same system and configs as I tested my GTX260. The 9600GT scored 5100, 1000 marks better than my GTX260.


                            My expectations of the GTX260 were that everything should be better than my cheaper 8600GT or my friend's 9600GT.  But contrary to all my expectations, its not the case. That is my main disappointment.

                             

                            Best Regards
                            jusko

                            • 11. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                              Navarro Parker Level 3

                              Yeah, I'm not sure where this started, but AE's OpenGL capabilities have seriously been over marketed by Adobe. Even the most basic $49 current gen GPU is going to max out AE's capabilities.  But then again, I knew people who spent thousands of dollars on old NuBus Afterburner cards to speed up Infini-D rendering, which didn't do a thing.

                               

                              I guess the promise of hardware acceleration is too tempting to pass up.  After all, who doesn't want their current machine to render faster by only spending a few hundred dollars on a new graphics card.  Sadly, reality does not meet expectations.

                              • 12. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                                TimeRemapper Level 4
                                But then again, I knew people who spent thousands of dollars on old NuBus Afterburner cards to speed up Infini-D rendering, which didn't do a thing.

                                Anyone else remember "Blue Ice" cards?

                                omg.

                                 

                                 

                                • 13. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                                  Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                                  Navarro: It is true that OpenGL doesn't improve rendering speed and that non-OpenGL effects can get to a point where Fast Previews become kind of a moot point. BUT... for CS4 there are significant upgrades that would certainly take advantage of a medium to high-end graphics card. For example, AE now uses Adaptive Resolution for OpenGL previews. This means that things do work in more circumstances in low-end cards, because AE manages to dynamically drop resolution for OpenGL accelerated previews.  If you do have a better card, the preview will be much higher quality. And CS4 also got the ability to preview depth of field when you interact with cameras and OpenGL accelerated previews for nested compositions.These last two are examples of OpenGL features that would work to some extent in lowly cards (that is a good thing, I think), but really, really work much better if there's more power.

                                  I think the ability to have a smooth experience (ie, the mouse doesn't feel like it weghts a ton) when interacting with 3D elements, dragging cameras, lights and so on, and have a responsive preview is certainly very useful. Yes, there are limits to it. But a higher-end card may give you a higher resolution preview and would take more before being defeated. Ultimately, they will be defeated

                                  Personally, all succesful rendering models I know use OpenGL as much as possible for previews (and in AE, as much as possible is always a moving target) and software rendering for final renders. When OpenGL is the main engine, everything drowns easily since OpenGL is very good for some computations and inadequate for complex interactions between elements (as it tends to be the case when compositing elements).

                                  • 14. Re: How to improve the OpenGL performance for AE
                                    Navarro Parker Level 3

                                    Yes, there's Apple Motion OpenGL and After Effects OpenGL. And an intergalactic ocean between them.