OpenGL Render

OpenGL rendering uses the 3D View’s drawing for quick preview renders.

This allows you to inspect your animatic (for object movements, alternate angles, etc.).

This can also be used to preview your animations – in the event your scene is too complex for your system to play back in real-time in the 3D View.

You can use OpenGL to render both images and animations.

Below is a comparison between the OpenGL render and a final render using the Cycles Render engine.

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../_images/render_opengl_example-opengl-render.jpg

OpenGL Render.

../_images/render_opengl_example-cycles-render.jpg

Full Render.

Tip

Showing Only Rendered Objects

To access this option, enable the Only Render in the Display Panel.

While this option is not specific to OpenGL rendering, it’s often useful to enable, since it removes data such as rigs and empties that can be a distraction.

Settings

Reference

Menu: Info Editor ‣ Render ‣ OpenGL Render Options

For the most part, OpenGL Render uses the view-port settings, Sampling and Alpha Transparency Mode options can be set by the Render ‣ OpenGL Render Options from the Info Editor header. Additionally, some render settings are used too:

  • Render Dimensions
  • Render Aspect
  • File Format & Output (file-path, format, compression settings… etc).

Rendering

Activating OpenGL render from the menu will render from the active camera.

You can also render any view-port, from the header of the 3D View, using the small button showing a Camera.

../_images/render_opengl_view-port-render-buttons.png

OpenGL Render buttons.

As with a normal render, you can abort it with Esc.

Render a Still Image

Click on the small button showing a camera in the header of the 3D View.

Or from the menu: Render ‣ OpenGL Render Image from the header of the Info Editor

Render an Animation

Click on the small button showing a slate in the header of the 3D View.

Or from the menu: Render ‣ OpenGL Render Animation from the header of the Info Editor

Render from the Sequencer

Click on the small button showing a slate in the header of Sequencer preview region.

Using scene strips in the sequencer you can edit together scenes to quickly render an entire sequence of shots.

This can be activated using the render icons in the sequencer’s playback header.

Known Limitations

OpenGL Anti-Aliasing Support

Some graphics cards do not support this feature (known as the frame-buffer multi-sample OpenGL extensions).

In this case rendering works but no anti-aliasing is performed.

Enabling Full Sample, can be used to workaround this limit, because it does not rely on hardware multi-sample support.

Hint

Exact extensions needed, as listed in output from Save System Info (OpenGL section):

  • GL_ARB_texture_multisample
  • GL_EXT_framebuffer_blit
  • GL_EXT_framebuffer_multisample_blit_scaled
  • GL_EXT_framebuffer_multisample