Join Todd Kopriva for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the ray-traced 3D renderer, part of After Effects CS6 New Features Overview.
After Effects CS6 uses a Ray Traced 3D Renderer to render compositions that contain extruded text and shape layers, or 2D layers bent in 3D space. The term ray traced 3D refers to the fact that pixel values are calculated by projecting rays of light through each pixel. After Effects keeps track of how the ray of light passes through or reflects off various objects in the geometry in the scene, and uses that information to create a 3D image. The primary determiner of quality in Ray-traced 3D composition is the number of rays per pixel.
Here we see that the renderer being used in this composition is Ray-traced 3D. If I click this we see Ray-traced 3D is the renderer in the Compositions Settings dialog box, and we can click Options to set the Ray-tracing Quality. I currently have this set rather high to the value of 12. Let's see what happens when I bring this down to 1, which is the equivalent of the draft mode for the Ray-traced 3D Renderer.
Click OK. And here, we see rather poor quality, but it's very easy to drag and orbit the camera around with no hesitation whatsoever. Instead of clicking this button and then clicking the Options button in the Composition Settings dialog box, a shortcut is to Ctrl+click or Cmd+click on Mac OS. To go straight to the Ray-tracing Quality.
I've moved this up to 2. Click OK. Things look better. And responsiveness is still very good. Ctrl+click. Let's move this up to 4. Click OK. Now things are actually starting to look almost usable. We still have a little bit of noise, and there's just a tiny bit of lag as I drag around.
I'll Ctrl+click again. Bring this up to 6. Click OK. At value of 6 the responsiveness is not quite as good. I still see a tiny bit of noise and the anti-aliasing isn't perfect here. So I'll do this one more time, go up to 8, and click OK. And I think the results here are quite nice so, I'll just leave it at that. And that's really what you should do in general when you're using the Ray-traced 3D Renderer.
You should not set the ray-tracing quality any higher than necessary because performance declines as you increase the number. So, set it as low as possible for the quality that is acceptable to you. This will differ from scene to scene. In addition to getting rid of the noise that we saw, increasing the ray-tracing quality will also improve motion blur and anti-aliasing.
- 3D animation
- User interface changes and removed features