Oversample or Adaptive for animations?


Hi Everyone,

Does anyone use the Adaptive option (in the Render Window the options are “None”, “Adaptive” or “Oversample”) when rendering animations? The default option is “Oversample”. I know many of you use “Adaptive” for creating still images but does anyone use it when producing animations?

The manual warns that the “Adaptive” option may produce flickering when fine details are present.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Joe T


Actually, now that most TV sets are progressive frames-based ones and the neat thing to produce is oh so sharply detailed imagery


The flickering will occur in the EI shaders because they aren’t bitmap images. The only way around this is to up the sampling for those shaders on an as-needed basis, which will take longer to render.


Thanks Juan and Evan,

I have always used the default (Oversample) Anti-Aliasing option when producing animations, but I’ve noticed a nice sharpening of details when I take a snapshot of my work with the “Adaptive” option selected. I knew Adaptive was great for creating still images and I just wanted to know if Adaptive was a common (or a rare) choice for animations.

Joe T


Hey Joe,

I’ve been using adaptive AA frequently for the past 4-5 years. I have a client who is really concerned about sharpness and so I converted to adaptive for those projects. As it turned out adaptive worked very well and rarely produced flicker so I have made it my default setting. Most projects are HD so as Juan suggested that makes sharpness more critical and may solve some of the aliasing issues too. On the occasion I do have an issu , I may render on oversample for that element on those occasions.

Oddly enough I have found that if I’m compositing into existing live film or video oversample often seems to work better. As it turns out live media (film/video and even still photography) is often very soft compared to CG. Depending upon the source sometimes extremely soft. I find that oversample often works well for this.

Aggressive bump maps are usually the most problematic thing when using the adaptive setting so I try to pull back my bump maps if they fizzle in tests. If I need bump maps of a particular setting and I have a big move that brings the noise frequency of the bump too close to the pixel resolution of the frame I will sometimes run separate passes with different bump settings on the same object. I can selectively transition the passes in and out in the composite to control fizzle while still using adaptive.

Hope this is useful.



Hi Bill,

Thank you very much for your detailed response; it will be very useful to me (as your past suggestions have also been). I have already begun re-rendering some of my stuff using the “Adaptive” mode and I have not yet experienced any “flicker” (or “sizzle” . . . I like these terms!). My objects with detailed textures show a nice improvement in sharpness.

Best Regards,

Joe T


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