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After effects tutorial-Hack GPU ray tracing for unsupported cards

Written By Sameer T on 6/28/13 | 8:58 PM

Today we are going to hack GPU ray tracing in After Effects. After effects CS6 is capable of doing GPU ray tracing. But due to the limited official support all the cuda powered graphics card are not available for this purpose in After Effects. But the fact is that we can simply enable the GPU ray tracing for unsupported graphics cards also. You need the CUDA powered NVidia graphics card. Simply follow the following procedure and you can get the GPU acceleration for Ray tracing.
Anyway this technique is not officially supported but you can get a good amount of acceleration in previewing and rendering. If you do not have a cuda card or your GPU memory is below 1 GB please do not try this technique.
Watch the video tutorial at the end of this page.
  • Open after effects.
  • Check whether your graphics card is capable of GPU ray tracing with in After Effects.
  • Go to edit, preferences, previews.
  • Click on the g p u information tab.
  • You can see my graphics card information and capabilities are shown here.
  • Under ray tracing you can see CPU is selected and a warning says GPU is not available is shown.
  • Under open GL tab you can see that my graphics card is Nvidia geforce 425 M, which is a cuda capable card.
  • But under cuda settings nothing is shown. It is because this card is officially not supported by after effects.
  • We can simply enable this card for cuda powered ray tracing.
  • Just note the name of the graphics card displayed in open GL section.
  • Close After Effects.
  • Go to Program files, Adobe, Adobe After Effects CS 6, Support Files and find ray tracer supported cards text document.
  • Open it in a text editor.
  • See my graphics card is not listed here.
  • Simply add the name of graphics card exactly the same as displayed in After Effects.
  • Save and replace the file.
  • Due to the restriction in windows 7, I was forced to save it in desktop.
  • We need to replace the file now. Drag and drop the file to the original location.
  • Replace the original file with the edited one.
  • Open the After Effects .
  • Check the GPU information once again.
  • See now we have GPU available for ray tracing.
  • And now after effects is showing the cuda properties of the graphics card.
  • Now we can switch between GPU and CPU.
  • If you are experiencing any problem after enabling this technique simply switch back to CPU.
Check this technique and share your experience below.


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