How to Use the Movie Render Queue for High-Quality Renders

A how-to guide for configuring the Unreal Engine Movie Render Queue feature to get high-quality cinematics—particularly when using ray tracing

Windows
MacOS
Linux

parent: Engine/Rendering/RayTracing type: how-to skilllevel: intermediate prereq: Engine/Sequencer/Overview prereq: Engine/Sequencer/Workflow/RenderAndExport/HighQualityMediaExport version: 4.25 tags: beta tags: rendering tags: ray tracing tags: cinematics tags: Sequencer tags: Render Movie Settings Order: 0 Hero-image: MRQ_HeroImage.png

This guide is for Windows 64-bit users.

When the objective is to achieve a quality render offline (not in real time), you can use settings and commands that allow multiple seconds or even minutes to be spent on a single frame. This can greatly increase the quality, precision, and look for features like Ray Tracing Global Illumination and Ray Tracing Reflections—both of which can be expensive for real-time rendering.

This guide will take you through some of the settings you can use to produce a high-quality render outside of real-time concerns. You will learn to use the Movie Render Queue to configure a sample sequence using custom settings and console variables that work independently from those you might have set up in Sequencer using the Sequencer Blueprint Director.

Hybrid rendering is the combination of various rendering techniques and features available in Unreal Engine (UE4) for a high-quality rendered result. With hybrid rendering, you can set up scenes and adjust properties to achieve a very high quality, but this sometimes means that you are not rendering in real time—or even near real time—frame rates. The Movie Render Queue takes advantage of hybrid techniques to produce high quality images for use in overlays and compositing in other software applications.

Objective

After going through this guide, you will have a better understanding of how to:

  • Get Sequencer ready for use with Movie Render Queue

  • Output high-quality image sequences

  • Tweak output settings for improved images when rendering images that use ray tracing

  • Apply your own custom settings using console variables

For best results, go through the steps below in sequence.

Step 1. Project Setup

Before starting, you will need to change a system setting, download the sample project that goes with this guide, and enable the Movie Render Pipeline plugin.

System Configuration (Optional but Recommended)

Depending on the settings you use, it can take from several seconds to several minutes to output a single frame. This sometimes causes the GPU to time out while VRAM resources are consumed, which in turn can cause the engine to close.

There are two ways to approach this—through the Windows registry, and by using a console command to disable the GPU Timeout function.

We recommend that you make the edit in your Windows Registry now.

You should only disable GPU Timeout if you have an issue of the engine freezing up or crashing when rendering. The procedure for doing this is described under Disable GPU Timeout.

Windows Registry

Extending the amount of time it takes before the GPU times out can be done by extending the Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) time in the Windows Registry.

This Windows feature detects response delay issues from a GPU and resets the card, which, in turn, closes the engine. This type of crash can happen when the software (UE4) causes the hardware (an RTX GPU in this case) to send too much to it at one time, causing it to time out. The default low timeout will cause the GPU to trigger a reset, which closes the editor. Extending the timeout setting prevents the editor from crashing and closing due to a non-response from the GPU by telling the OS to wait a bit longer (in this case 52 seconds longer than the default of 8 seconds) before it resets the GPU.

To edit the TDR (before loading the sample project):

  1. Using the Windows Start menu search bar, enter regedit to launch the Registry Editor.

    You will need admin rights on your computer to make these edits.

  2. Navigate to the category Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers. Select TdrDelay from the list, then right-click and select Modify.

    RegistryEditor.PNG

  3. This value is measured in seconds. Select Decimal, set a Value data of 60, then click OK.

Additional information on TDR can be found in the Microsoft Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) Registry Keys documentation.

Download the Sample Project

This guide uses ArchViz Interior as the sample project to generate the final image sequence that is rendered out at the end. The project provides a photorealistic scene that uses ray-tracing and global illumination.

  1. Open Epic Games Launcher. Click Unreal Engine from the options on the left, then select the Learn tab on the top.

    The Learn tab on the Unreal Engine website

  2. Scroll down to the Engine Feature Samples section, then select ArchViz Interior. When the CONTENT DETAIL window opens, click Free to download the project, then click Create Project. For this guide, leave the project name as ArchVizInterior. Browse to select the download location or accept the default.

DirectX 12 is a collection of APIs from Microsoft that aid in rendering 2D and 3D vector graphics and video on the Windows platform. It also includes ray-tracing support.

The sample project used here has been developed with DirectX 12 and with ray-tracing features enabled. You can go through this guide without them, but you will not get the full effect of the final render without them.

For more information on ray tracing system requirements, see Real-Time Ray Tracing .

To learn more about the Archviz Interior project and how it was developed, see

[Archviz Interior Rendering](Resources/Showcases/ArchVizInterior/index.html)
.

Enable the Movie Render Pipeline Plugin

A pipeline is a channel or process that leads to a final result. Before you can use the Movie Render Queue, the Movie Render Pipeline plugin must be enabled. By default, it should already be enabled in UE 4.25, but it is a good idea to verify this.

  1. With the ArchViz Project downloaded and open in the engine, go to Edit > Plugins.

  2. Select Built-In if not already selected, then search for movie. Movie Render Pipeline should appear.

    Enable the Movie Render Pipeline

  3. If not enabled already, check the Enabled box to activate the plugin, then close the window.

Step 2: Load a Project Sequence into the Sequencer Editor

In this step, you will work with a cinematic sequence that has been set up in the Archviz Interior project.

If you are not already familiar with the Sequencer and Movie Render Queue features, you might find it helpful to explore the prerequisite documents listed at the top of this page.

A cinematic sequence, or cinematic for short, is composed of a series of shots. Each shot is from a camera with specific settings and views. A shot is composed of a series of frames, each of which are the equivalent of a still image.

  1. With the Archviz Interior project open, locate the level sequences in Content Browser. For this project, all level sequences are in the Content > Cinematic folder.

  2. Double-click the archviz_cine_MASTER sequence to open it in the Sequencer Editor. It should look similar to the image below.

    This master sequence contains all of the individual shots used in this sample project.

Another way to access a master sequence is from the Level Editor. Click the Cinematics dropdown to select and access any existing master sequence in an open project. CinematicsDropdown.png

The Sequencer Editor

The Sequence Editor provides an effective way to visually examine established shots, which can help you decide a frame range to render when using the Movie Render Queue.

For this exercise, the frame range will be specified, but later, you will probably want to know how to select your own range of frames for rendering. If you are new to the Sequencer Editor, familiarize yourself with the features described below. Otherwise, go directly to Step 3: Add a Sequence to the Movie Render Queue .

The Shots panel contains information for all cameras used in the cinematic. Click the dropdowns on the left to view any nested Assets.

Clicking the Camera button for any camera in the panel will snap the Level viewport to the perspective of that camera.

SequencerCameraButton.png

Use the playback control panel or the slider to scrub the timeline and view shots and frame ranges. Note that the slider shows the current frame number.

SequencerScrub.png

With Sequencer open, from the Level Editor, select Perspective > Cinematic Viewport.

PerspectiveSelectCinematic.png

This opens a playback control panel in the viewport, with additional information on the cinematic.

PerspectiveCinematic.png

Step 3: Add a Sequence to the Movie Render Queue

  1. From the editor menu bar, select Window > Cinematics > Movie Render Queue.

    Cinematics_MovieRenderQueue.png

    When first opened, the window should be empty, like the image below.

    MovieRenderQueue_empty.png

  2. Click the + Render button, then click the archviz_cine_MASTER Level Sequence file from the dropdown list to add it to the queue.

    MRQ_SelectSequence.png

    You can also add a sequence to the queue by dragging the sequence into the queue window from the Content Browser.

    MovieRenderQueue_content.png

To remove a sequence, use any of the following:

  • Select the sequence, then click the button.

    MovieRenderQueue_del.png

  • Highlight and press the Del key on your keyboard.

  • Right-click the sequence, then click Delete.

To highlight multiple sequences, hold the Shift key and click to select. You can then delete multiple sequences at the same time.

Step 4: How to Select Configuration Options

Before rendering any sequences loaded in the queue, you will need to configure the settings you want to use. These settings determine the quality level for the frame dumps you do later. The first step is to select the settings you will want to configure.

  1. With the window open and the master sequence on the list, click Unsaved Config*.

    MRQ_access_settings.png

  2. This will open the Setting/Presets window.

    SettingPresetWindow.png SettingPresetWindow.png

  3. This window is where you will make configuration changes, but first you need to pick the settings you want to configure. To add a setting, click the + Setting button and a list of options will open.

    MRQ_OutputList.png

    Options are in three groupings: Settings, Rendering, and Output (described in more detail below).

  4. To move one of these options from this list to the Setting/Presets window, click the radio button. When you add an item to the window, it is removed from this list.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to add more options to the list.

Each option that you add to the Setting/Presets window has a toggle switch. Use these toggles to enable or disable the option for the rendering process. This will turn the setting off for that render, without removing the option completely from these presets.

MRQ_toggles.png

To remove an item from the Setting/Presets window, highlight the item, then press the Del key. It will be removed from the Setting/Presets window, and added back to the list of options.

Output Settings Explained

MRQ_SettingOptions_Output.png

There are several image types that you can use for output. Each has its own pros and cons, so you'll need to find what fits best with your own project workflow.

One consideration is whether a file type provides an alpha channel—important if you need an image with a transparent background.

Another consideration is whether the format is lossless or lossy. Lossless compression means that all original image data can be recovered when a file is uncompressed, whereas lossy compression does not recover all original data.

Output Type

Alpha Channel

Lossy or Lossless

Notes

.bmp Sequence [8bit]

Yes

Lossless

Included primarily as a legacy format.

.jpg Sequence [8bit]

No

Lossy

Smaller file size makes this format good for previews.

.png Sequence [8bit]

Yes

Lossless

Larger file size, but higher quality image.

.exr Sequence [16bit]

Yes

Lossless

A high-dynamic range format developed by Industrial Light and Magic and used in video compositing.

.wav Audio

N/A

N/A

For audio output.

More information about image types can be found in the High-Quality Media Export Reference Guide .

Both .png and .bmp image formats offer the ability to output the alpha channel with the image, but first you will need to enable this support. From the editor menu bar, select Edit > Engine > Rendering > Postprocessing > Enable alpha channel support in post processing (experimental) > Linear color space only. Once this change is applied, you will be prompted to restart the engine.

### Rendering Settings Explained

MRQ_SettingOptions_Rendering.png

You have two possible settings for rendering. These specify how the final image will output.

Render Type

Description

Deferred Rendering

The default option. Toggling Deferred Rendering off disables the final frame render but does not stop the queue from processing the other steps in the configuration settings. It should be enabled while following the steps in this guide.

UI Renderer (Non-Composited)

Provides flexibility by rendering UMG widgets into a separate .png or .exr file that can be composited with the frame render in a separate compositing application, such as Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro—useful when compositing interface-related graphics.

Additional Settings Explained

MRQ_SettingOptions_Settings.png

With the Settings options, you can specify additional configurable items to use when rendering the final output image.

Setting Type

Description

Anti-aliasing

Controls the number of samples and sample types used when rendering out the final images.

Burn In

An overlay with information such as the name of the scene or shot, or the date, time or frame information. These overlays are referred to as Burn Ins as they are burned into the movie when it is rendered out.

Camera

Can be used to control shutter settings which affects effects like motion blur and exposure.

Console Variables

Calls console variables to execute specifically when rendering from the Movie Render Queue.

Game Overrides

Overrides several common game-related settings, such as Game Mode and Cinematic Quality settings. This is useful if the normal mode of the game displays UI elements or loading screens that you do not want to capture.

High Resolution

Provides a way to use tiled renders to produce larger images than would normally be possible because of maximum texture sizes or memory limits on GPUs.

You will only be using a couple of these in this exercise, but you can (and should) explore all of them when you get to the On Your Own! section.

For more information on these settings, see the High-Quality Media Export Reference Guide

Step 5: Select Your Options

Add the following options to the Setting/Presets window:

  • .png Sequence [8bit]

  • Deferred Rendering

  • Anti-Aliasing

  • Console Variables

Another option, Output, will also be on the list under Settings. This is the only option that cannot be deleted.

SettingPreset_withOptionsSelected.png

This is what your Setting/Presets window should look like at this point.

Step 6: Configure the Anti-Aliasing Settings

Anti-aliasing is a way of smoothing lines and removing visual distortions. Spatial sampling and temporal sampling each use different approaches to address anti-aliasing and noise-related issues.

Spatial samples work by rendering the same moment in time but with slightly different camera position offsets, and with no amount of time passing between two different spatial samples while accumulating samples from different offset positions.

Temporal samples work by slicing the camera shutter open time into specified sub-frames, and using engine motion blur to interpolate between the smaller slices. It is particularly suitable for increasing motion blur quality.

For more on the distinctions between temporal and spatial sampling, and guidelines on when to use one method over the other. see High Quality Media Export Overview .

The values used in this guide are a combination of both methods.

This guide was developed using an RTX-2080 Ti graphics card. Depending on your own setup, you may need to lower some values here to produce a final frame render, or, if you are using a higher-end card, like a Quadro RTX, you can push the sample count higher.

  1. From the Movie Render Queue window, click the Unsaved Config* link to open the settings. (The * indicates that these settings have not yet been saved. You will save the presets once all settings have been entered.)

  2. On the Setting/Presets window, click Anti-aliasing to open a settings dialog.

  3. Add the following values:

    • Spatial Sample Count: 1

    • Temporal Sample Count: 64

    • Override Anti Aliasing Mode: Enabled

    • Anti Aliasing Method: None

    • Render Warm Up Count: 120

    • Engine Warm Up Count: 120

    MRQ_Configure_AntiAliasing.png

    The values for the Render Warm Up Count and Engine Warm Up Count provide a buffer with enough time when building the temporal history and simulations for them to settle before a frame is captured. For example, this would allow auto exposure or other screen effects to achieve a good starting point before rendering out the first frame.

  4. Click Accept to add these values to the queue.

    Each time you click Accept, it closes the Setting/Presets window. If you are feeling brave, you can accept all of the settings you enter at the end instead of after each group of settings you enter.

The settings above will render a high-quality image. The values are flexible, depending on your system specifications and, more importantly, the graphics card you are using.

The goal here is to demonstrate a higher-quality image than what you would get from a real-time render. Because of this, you do not need to be concerned about real-time performance or the time the render takes.

This tradeoff in quality versus performance, however, does mean that the higher the sample count, the longer the render takes for each frame.

Because you can doesn't mean you should!

It is recommended that you test initially using a few frames rather than by setting everything to its highest value before starting. Your aim should be to find settings that work best for your project based on your GPU and setup.

Step 7: Configure the Console Variables

You can call most of the console variables (CVARs) that you will want to execute when rendering from the Movie Render Queue. This is extremely useful for rendering high-quality results that are too expensive for real time.

The CVARs listed in the queue will only execute when the image is rendered from the queue. These settings do not permanently change anything in the level that has already been set up—it works with existing settings and only overrides those settings indicated in the queue for the final image output.

For example, the queue provides a way to keep real-time artistic intent and performance in view while working in the editor and without impacting any rendering settings that you have already set up.

This approach is particularly valuable with ray tracing, where increased sample counts and bounces directly affect performance but greatly improve the quality and precision of the lighting result.

  1. From the Movie Render Queue window, click the Unsaved Config* link to open the settings, then from the Setting/Presets window, highlight Console Variables to open a settings dialog.

MRQ_Configure_ConsoleEmpty.png

  1. Click the + button to enter a variable and its value, using the list below:

    • r.ForceLOD: 0

    • r.MotionBlurQuality: 4

    • r.MotionBlurSeparable: 1

    • r.DepthOfFieldQuality: 4

    • r.BloomQuality: 5

    • r.Tonemapper.Quality: 5

    • r.Tonemapper.Sharpen: 0.5

    • r.TextureStreaming: 0

    • r.RayTracing.GlobalIllumination: 1

    • r.RayTracing.GlobalIllumination.MaxBounces: 2

    • r.RayTracing.Reflections.MaxRoughness: 1

    • r.RayTracing.Reflections.MaxBounces: 2

    • r.RayTracing.Reflections.Shadows: 2

    The fastest and most accurate way to enter these CVARs is to cut and paste from this document, then press the Tab key to move the cursor to the value field.

  2. Repeat Step 2 until all have been added.

    MRQ_Configure_ConsoleFull.png

  3. Click Accept.

As with the anti-aliasing values, the console variables used here focus on quality over performance. Setting the level of detail (r.forceLOD) and texture streaming (r.TextureStreaming) to 0 uses the lowest level of detail for each, which provides the highest quality level.

For Ray Tracing Global Illumination (r.RayTracing.GlobalIllumination), setting a value of 1 calls the brute force method. This is accurate, and allows multiple bounces of indirect lighting, but is computationally expensive. If you were to change this value to 2, it would use a temporal history method, which is much faster but only allows a single bounce of indirect light, and produces some ghosting artefacts (pixels that trail after a moving image).

The other CVARs in this exercise use scalable values that control the quality level.

If you want to know the details of a console variable, you can use the backtick ( ` ) key to open the console and search for that console command. Use the following format to display the tooltip: [consolevariablename] ?

For example, if you input r.RayTracing.GlobalIllumination ?, the output of the tooltip would look something like:

    HELP for 'r.RayTracing.GlobalIllumination':
-1: Value driven by post process volume (default) 
0: ray tracing global illumination off 
1: ray tracing global illumination brute force method enabled
2: ray tracing global illumination final gather method enabled

The result of this query will display in the Output Log. To access, go to Window > Developer Tools > Output Log.

All of the variables and values chosen for this guide offer a high-quality starting point for rendering out from the project.

As you work with your own projects, you may want to experiment with different variables and values. For CVARs specific to ray tracing, see High Quality Media Export Overview and On Your Own! at the end of this guide.

Step 8. Configure the Output

The final configuration step in the Setting/Presets window is Output. This configuration controls most of the settings related to the sequence render.

You can render the entire sequence, a range of frames, or individual frames. Since the high-quality output is time-consuming, for this exercise you will limit the output to a short segment from the sequence.

  1. From the Movie Render Queue window, click the Unsaved Config link to open the settings.

  2. Click Output on the Setting/Presets window to open a settings dialog.

    MRQ_OutputSettings.png

  1. Under File Output, enter:

    • Output Directory: The directory where you want to render the image to. By default, it will be saved to your project folder. To browse for a different directory, click the ... to the right.

    • File Name Format: The default name, if unchanged, is the name of the sequence and the frame number(s) rendered.

    • Output Resolution: The target image size. Default is 1920 (width) by 1080 (height). Leave it at the default.

    • Use Custom Frame Rate: Changes the frame rate for the output. Leave disabled.

    • Override Existing Output: Click this box to enable.

  2. Under Frames, enter:

    • Handle Frame Count: Not used in this exercise. Leave at default value of 0. To learn more about this option, see Sequencer Overview .

    • Output Frame Step: Not used in this exercise. Leave at default value of 1.

    • Use Custom Playback Range: Click to enable.

    • Custom Start Frame: Sets the first frame for the render range. Enter 450.

    • Custom End Frame: Sets the last frame for the range. Enter 550. This range of 100 frames is enough to show quality of reflections, motion blur, and global illumination, without spending an enormous amount of time waiting for the render to complete.

  3. Click Accept.

Step 9: Save Your Configuration Settings

Saving your settings is an easy way to use them again with this and other projects. You can also edit the settings and save or save-as later as you find ways to tweak the settings for a specific project workflow.

  1. From the Movie Render Queue window, click Unsaved Config to open the Setting/Preset window.

  2. Click Presets, then Save As Preset.

    SavePreset.png

  3. In the Save Config Preset window, give your preset Asset a name.

    A new directory path will be automatically generated in the project Content Browser: Cinematics > MoviePipeline > Presets. Accept the default location, or use the Content navigation panel on the left to choose a different directory.

  4. Click Save.

Because this is now an Asset, the saved presets can be opened in the Content Browser and copied into another project, independent of a sequence file.

You could, if you wanted, build a collection of presets for different outputs, and copy them to multiple projects.

Where the Movie Render Queue previously listed the Settings as Unsaved Config*, you should now see the name of your presets as you saved it.

SavedPresetsLoad.png

If the saved preset is not there, click Presets to see any saved presets for this project, and select the preset to load.

Step 10: Final Output and Results

In this final exercise step, you will render out your selected range of images from the sample sequence using the values you set up and saved.

You have two options for rendering: local and remote.

  • Render (Local): Renders with the same process as Unreal Engine and is similar to Play In Editor (PIE). This option is useful for previewing your render as you are working, since you do not need to save your changes.

  • Render (Remote): Launches an external process that renders all sequences in your queue. Because Remote render is resource intensive and does not run the Unreal Editor code during the render, you must save your project so the external process can read the disk files.

  • For this exercise, you will render locally for easy preview.

  1. In the Movie Render Queue window, make sure your sequence is loaded along with the presets you saved, then click the Render (Local) button.

    RenderLocal.png

  2. A preview window will launch, capture, and output each frame based on parameters and values in the presets.

    RenderPreview.png

    The status information displays at the bottom on the left, and sequence information oon the right.

    This render output was set up for quality, not speed. If it seems like your computer is taking a long time, be patient—it can be a slow process.

  3. Once the render is complete, the preview window will close. The captured frames can be found in your saved output directory. To navigate to that folder quickly, click the link in the Movie Render Queue window under the Output column.

Here is a video clip showing the final result of the 100-frame shot render.

You may see some artefacts that still need to be addressed, such as reflections that seem to flicker on the gold cup. Such issues can be optimized or addressed using other techniques in the Material. (For more on these techniques, see

[Archviz Interior Rendering](Resources/Showcases/ArchVizInterior/index.html#reflections)
.)

You will, however, see improved anti-aliasing, shadowing, motion blur, and multi-bounce global illumination and reflections. Use the comparison below to examine the differences in frame 540 with the default settings (left) and the settings specified for the output in this exercise (right).

| ComparisonLeft.png | ComparisonRight.png |

COMPARISON: Left, Frame 540 with default settings; Right, Frame 540 with enhanced quality values.

In this guide, you have learned how to set up and configure the Movie Render Queue to render out high-quality image sequences in multiple formats. You can bring these image sequences into third-party editing and compositing software—like Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Nuke, or Resolve—to generate a video clip or perform further shot editing and color grading. This is the same process that was used to generate the video for the Archviz Interior sample project:

YT VIDEO:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0Q6Qzjwis4&feature=emb_title

Troubleshoot the Render

If the render fails, or if the engine freezes up or crashes, there are a few things you can check.

  • Is the Movie Render Queue actually doing anything?

    Sometimes it looks like the render isn't happening, but it is busy working in the background. One way to check this is:

    1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del, then click Task Manager.

    2. If not already expanded, click More Details.

    The GPU engine column will show if there is activity. If there is, then be patient and wait for the process to complete.

  • Do you have the most current GPU driver for your graphics card?

    If you do not, then download it.

If these do not resolve the issue, try the next step.

Disable GPU Timeout

The information below can also help avoid or reduce GPU timeouts, but should be applied only if you run into timeout issues or engine crashes when rendering.

The console command r.D3D12.GPUTimeout sets whether to enable or disable the GPU from timing out, which can cause the engine to close.

0 disables GPU timeout. This should be used with extreme care as it could cause your PC to freeze. 1 enables GPU timeout. This is set by default, and causes the editor to close when an operation is taking too long to complete on the GPU.

Because you are going to apply this only to your project, not to your entire system, do these steps after you have downloaded the ArchViz Interior sample project, and while Unreal Engine is closed.

  1. With Unreal Engine closed, go to the project Config folder. Example: D:\ue_local_project_Epic_official_demo\ArchVizInterior\Config

  2. Open the ConsoleVariable.ini file in a text editor, and scroll to the bottom of the file, then add these two lines at the end:

    ; disable GPU Timeout r.D3D12.GPUTimeout=0

The first line is a comment to remind you what the CVAR is for. The second line is the actual CVAR with the intended value.

  1. Save the file. If prompted to override, click OK. Close your text editor.

  2. Launch the engine and load the Archviz project. The GPU timeout CVAR is effective now.

On Your Own!

You have learned a basic workflow for the Movie Render Queue, but settings you used here are just a starting point. Following are some suggestions for you to try on your own.

Rendering Locally versus Remotely

In

[Step 10: Final Output and Results](/)
, you output your render locally. This method is good for previewing while still providing a high quality result. However, using remote rendering does not run the Unreal Editor render code during the process.

If you have access to a render farm, you can also use the Movie Render Queue remote render to push the render quality beyond what a single machine is capable of. Find more about remote rendering possibilities in the High Quality Media Export Overview .

Temporal Sampling and Denoisers

There are two temporal sampling approaches to address anti-aliasing in the image processing.

When working in the editor in real time, you are using Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA), which is a specific real-time, anti-aliasing technique. It has downsides, such as ghosting or noise artefacts when the camera moves really fast or objects move across finely detailed materials, which make it less suitable for high-quality image output.

Instead, you can use Temporal Sampling. This method uses a similar technique to TAA, but adds frames over time to TAA. It resolves the issues with real-time TAA, but processes much more slowly because it uses more samples to generate better results. For example, if it uses 8x samples, it would take eight times as long to process as real-time TAA.

The other aspect is that ray tracing uses different denoisers for many of its features. It uses fewer samples but produces an equivalent result as though it were using more samples by softening the samples with blurring and smoothing. With the Movie Render Queue, since you don't care about real-time performance you can disable the denoisers and use more samples to produce a more physically accurate result.

With this in mind, you can disable the following denoisers when using Movie Render Queue with ray-tracing features by adding them to your console variables list:

  • r.AmbientOcclusion.Denoiser: 0

  • r.DiffuseIndirect.Denoiser: 0

  • r.RayTracing.SkyLight.Denoiser: 0

  • r.Reflections.Denoiser: 0

  • r.Shadow.Denoiser: 0

  • r.RayTracing.GlobalIllumination.Denoiser: 0

When TAA is disabled by setting the Anti Aliasing Method to None in the Configuration Settings dialog, it is also a good idea to turn off temporal accumulation of samples when the denoisers are disabled in the CVARs. Explore the ones below in your own tests for Movie Render Queue:

  • r.AmbientOcclusion.Denoiser.TemporalAccumulation: 0

  • r.GlobalIllumination.Denoiser.TemporalAccumulation: 0

  • r.Reflections.Denoiser.TemporalAccumulation: 0

  • r.Shadow.Denoiser.TemporalAccumulation: 0

For example, if you're using TAA with a sample count of 8 but not seeing the quality you want, use the CVARs above to set Temporal Sampling with higher sample counts, along with disabled denoisers and temporal accumulation, to see if you get better results.

Additional Ray-Tracing Console Commands

Many ray-tracing feature values are optimized for real-time usage. This means that they use fewer sample counts, a limit on maximum bounces, or other settings that trade quality for performance.

Below are more console variables you can use in the Movie Render Queue to trade performance for quality. This is especially useful since this feature executes these commands only when a render is run from the queue, and the settings do not permanently override any of the real-time settings you might have set up in a post process volume in the editor.

Samples Per Pixel: Each ray-tracing feature can use few or many samples to generate the final result. Denoisers use fewer pixels and are often used to do the heavy-lifting. With Movie Render Queue, you have the option of disabling the denoiser and increasing samples per pixel to increase quality.

Some examples would be:

  • r.RayTracing.Reflections.SamplesPerPixel

  • r.RayTracing.Shadow.SamplesPerPixel

  • r.RayTracing.GlobalIllumination.SamplesPerPixel

Maximum Number of Bounces: Ray-tracing features like Reflections, Global Illumination, and Clear Coat benefit by having reflections or light bounce around multiple times in a scene to produce a more natural, higher quality result. These settings would be extremely expensive for real time rendering.

  • r.RayTracing.GlobalIllumination.MaxBounces

  • r.RayTracing.Reflections.MaxBounces

  • r.RayTracing.Reflections.MaxUnderCoatBounces

Sky Light: In real-time ray tracing, sky light can be an additional expense, given its infinite distance, when calculating each frame for features like Reflections and Global Illumination.

The following CVARs can enable additional skylight options in ray-tracing when working with the Movie Render Queue:

  • r.RayTracing.GlobalIllumination.EvalSkyLight

  • r.RayTracing.SkyLight.EnableTwoSidedGeometry

  • r.RayTracing.Reflections.RayTraceSkyLightContribution

  • r.RayTracing.SkyLight.EnableMaterials

These are a few of the CVARs available. You can explore others by opening the console window and typing r.RayTracing to see a list of available variables.

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