It is important to note that our GPU accelerated modes of our plug-ins can provide you with different results than on the CPU. As such, it is not wise to mix CPU-generated images with GPU-generated images.
If a GPU is not supported, or we run out of GPU memory to run on, our plug-ins will return a green frame to let you know. So if you switch the Use GPU menu to ON and you see a green frame immediately, you know that you do not have a supported GPU. We do not fallback to CPU rendering in the case where there is an error on the GPU during a rendering of a sequence, because then you might get CPU and GPU calculated images intermingled and may not understand why your sequences are not looking proper from frame to frame.
When working completely on a single machine, you can simply pick GPU mode or CPU mode as you see fit… and render to RAM, to disk, etc. and all the frames will be rendered using the same mode. There are cases where you might send jobs out to machines on a render farm and the set of machine(s) may be a mixture of GPU-supported and non-supported GPU (or no GPU); or conversely, you may know that all the machines that will be rendered on are all GPU-supported, or all are non GPU-supported. As such, our plug-ins in After Effects that support GPU acceleration will present you with a “Use GPU” menu with 3 options:
This option causes the plug-in to run on the CPU. This mode should be used if you do not have a GPU that our plug-ins support. In addtion, the OFF setting might be advantageous if you will be sending a job to a render farm, and some machines have GPU support for our plug-ins, and others don’t. By selection OFF (CPU mode) you can be assured that all frames across the render farm will run in the same mode (all CPU) and all frames will be consistently rendered.
This option forces the plug-in to run on the GPU. If no GPU is present, or is not supported, a green frame is rendered. If working solely on one machine, you can try the ON setting. If you get a green frame, then your GPU is either not supported, or there is not enough GPU memory. Another use for this setting can be to determine which machines on a render farm do not have GPU support by looking to see which machines return green frames.
- ON if GPU supported, CPU otherwise
This mode is useful if your interactive session has a GPU, and you know that all your render farm machines are either all a) GPU supported or b) none are GPU supported. In this case, you know that all machines on the render farm will render all frames consistently on CPU, or GPU. In this situation, with this setting, you don’t have to remember to switch the Use GPU setting from ON to OFF before sending to the render farm. Note: we can still produce a green frame if we discover a supported GPU but run out of GPU memory, or other such error as the rendering progresses.