Todays tip comes with a pre-flight check list:
1. You must have an ATI video card (I haven't worked out how to do this with nVidia cards yet, sorry Ryan! ;) )
2. These instructions are for the Mac but WILL translate to PC.
Okay, so the aim of todays tip is to get EI previews to go from looking like the top row of the image below, to looking like those on the bottom row.
It is really easy and involves no restarting or anything technical. Let's get started.
If your ATI card is a card upgrade, skip the first two steps.
1. Go to the ATI website > drivers section, and download the file called "ATI Displays 4.5.7". These are the drivers for your card.
2. Install the drivers (no restart required).
3. Go to System Preferences and click on ATI Displays
4. Click on 3D
5. Press 'Add' and select EIAS Animator from within the EIAS 6.x folder.
6. Select 'Best Quality' from the Preset drop-down menu. Move a camera in Animator for this to take effect (no need to restart it, all changes made to the OpenGL settings are LIVE).
The obvious question is: How much does this slowdown OpenGL performance?
The answer: Not much, if at all. I've tried this out on three card types (128 meg 9200, 128 meg 9600, 256 meg X800XT) and there was no noticeable slowdown except for when i was running video capture software in the background — and even then there was only about a 5% difference — In some cases, previews were faster, no kidding.
Just so you know my tests were serious, I tested projects that ranged in size from 180k polys to 3 million polys. The 180k poly animation preview ran at 102fps on both settings (X800XT).
Is there a catch? Yes. Isn't there always! Saving previews to disk overrides the override settings for some bizarre reason and will ignore this trick. I don't think saving previews to disk was given the overhaul that general OpenGL was given in version 6 so I assume that this is to blame, anyway, doing a diffuse render is MUCH (up to 5x) faster then saving previews to disk (go figure).
Download a Photoshop file of a scene I'm currently working on; see before and after these settings are applied.
Well, that was a long winded tip! Hope some of you enjoy the 'upgade' :)
If you don't, just delete EIAS Animator from the ATI preferences and you're done!
I personally, will not be going back,
PS. I generally have a maximum of 2 Animator view ports open at any one time (using alt-1 through 6 to change between the ortho views).