Render Engine

Navigation:  Pandoras Box > User Interface - Master > Tabs Overview > Configuration >

Render Engine

prev main next

Navigation:  Pandoras Box > User Interface - Master > Tabs Overview > Configuration >

Render Engine

prev main next


The section "Render Engine " in the Sites category from the Configuration tab enables you to set up properties of the local and remote render outputs.

The following settings are Site sensitive, please select the according Pandoras Box system with the "Site" drop-down menu.
If the node is found in the network the below information will say "Manifest on Node with IP:..." otherwise it says "Node not available in Network".

These settings are also accessible with the button "Open Engine Configuration"in the Inspector for the site.

If your local Site offers Output Devices in the Device Tree, they can be used in Fullscreen mode [Ctrl + F] or for the maximized Preview [Ctrl + Shift + F]. Without Outputs, you cannot render in Fullscreen. As described in the Preview chapter, you can navigate in the maximized Preview and edit it. The local hardware setup for the Preview can be found in the section Local Preview whilst this Render Engine section sets up the rendering in Fullscreen Mode.

Output hardware configuration

Per default, the shortcut [Ctrl + F] toggles the Preview of your Client (e.g. a Server) into fullscreen. If you would like to use the [Esc] key to toggle back to the embedded Preview, tick the option "Leave Full Screen with Esc (effective on all Sites)".

There are two configurations for the fullscreen mode, which depend on the settings in the graphics card. The chapter Multiple displays explains how to set up your outputs using the NVIDIA Control Panel and explains the difference between using separate outputs and using one Mosaic display as one virtual display spanned across multiple displays. The chapter also includes tips in case you encounter difficulties with setting up the Mosaic mode.
Alternative to the NVIDIA Control Panel, you can click the "Display Setup" button in the PB Menu and use our "Display Configuration" dialog to setup your Client displays.
In any case, it is recommended to setup the displays before starting the PB Client software so that the Master software does not display wrong information.

If the driver reports separate displays, all outputs can be configured individually regarding the ability to go into full screen. In case one screen should not toggle full screen, check the "Full Screen is single" option and the grayed out check boxes in the column "Use for Full Screen" become available to be activated or deactivated. This is of interest when you would like to see the user interface of your Master eventhough you are in full screen mode.
In addition, you can route the physical output adapter (meaning the graphics card output) to an Output Layer. "DISPLAY1" means the primary display, "DISPLAY2" the secondary, and so on. This setting is also available in the Output Inspector.

This image shows the hardware configuration from a Server with four outputs. Before, its four displays are setup as four separate displays. Pandoras Box offers automatically to link four separate Output layers to them:


Normally, the settings for Subdivisions do not need to be altered when using separate displays. "Used Subdivisions" allows you to divide the output into more areas. After entering "2" for example you could assign another Output layer to render in this area. Hence you would see the results of two output layers in one display whilst the display whereto the Output layer was assigned to before stays black. The drop-down "Used Subd. Matrix Dimensions" offers settings to align subdivisions vertically and / or horizontally (see next image). The "Clear" button resets the subdivisions to the default setting.

If the driver reports to be in Mosaic mode you have two possibilities. First, you can leave the default option, meaning that Pandoras Box subdivides the available output. In case you have four displays devices, the value for "Used Subdivision" is "4" whilst the first one starts at XY-position 0,0 and the other ones with an offset of one subdivision width or height. As a next step you can change the routing of a physical output adapter (meaning the graphics card output) to an Output Layer. This setting is also available in the Output Inspector.

This image shows the hardware configuration from a Server with four outputs which were setup as one Mosaic display whose resolution is reported from the graphics card to Pandoras Box. As Pandoras Box recognized that this is four times 1920x1200 it offers automatically to subdivide the large displays and link four separate Output layers to the subdivisions:


Of course, you can edit the subdivision factor "Used Subdivision" manually, too. The drop-down "Used Subd. Matrix Dimensions" offers settings to align subdivisions vertically and / or horizontally. The "Clear" button resets the subdivisions to the default setting.

Please note that you cannot take one subdivision out of full screen!

The second possibility for the Mosaic mode is to change the subdivision count to "1". In that case, Pandoras Box handles the entire output as one software adapter. This means that you have one Camera and one Output covering the reported width / height. But as the driver splits the image, you still have an image on all graphics card outputs.
This can be an advantage as you work with less parameters and options. The second Camera and Output have no effect and can be hidden or removed from the timeline. On the other hand this also means that you loose the flexibility of having more parameters. If you would like to set up one display differently e.g. less opacity, softedge on another side, etc. you need both Output Layers, hence 2 or more subdivisions.

This image shows the hardware configuration from the same Server with four outputs joined in Mosaic mode. But this time the subdivision factor is set to "1" which links all four displays to a single Pandoras Box Output layer:

If the Client is not available in the network, e.g. because
- it is not turned on
- it is assigned with no or a wrong IP address
- the PB Client software is not started
- the PB Client software is with a wrong version

no hardware configuration can be read from the driver or the operating system. If you would like to pre-program your show, you can enter the resolution you will later setup in the Client's graphics card and the Camera and Output will adopt to it. Note that this is now saved as a User-defined value. The resolution also influences some "Layer Sizing Modes". If this resolution changes in the real setup later, Pandoras Box warns you by displaying a red exclamation mark icon in this Configuration tab configuration_render-engine_exclamation-mark. Click on it to see a pop-up showing the user-defined resolution. Check whether this effects your programming and adjust it if needed.

configuration_render-engine_output-detection_reassign The "Reassign" button routes the physical output adapter (meaning the graphics card outputs) in the same order as found displays or subdivision are listed. This is of interest if you have changed the routing and want to go back to the default setting.

Rendering Performance Settings

Again, these settings depend on the Site chosen in the drop-down list at the top.

- Increase Video Buffer Count
When using FluidFrame with high-framerate content (50p, 60p files or live inputs), please check this option to ensure smooth playback. To increase the playback performance, more system and GPU RAM are used. Hence, the option should not be checked if not needed.

- Use Texture Splitting

"Texture Splitting" can increase the so called show performance when you are working...:
- on our Player R4 and Server R4 hardware
- with uncompressed formats
- with high resolutions above HD

As the name suggest, this option splits textures internally which has the effect that the system handles smaller (but more) textures instead of one very large one. As a result, the loading process of large textures gets smoother and thus increases the "show performance", which we state on our Performance Sheets found in the Download-Center. The show performance defines the maximum number of videos which can be started and stopped without interfering other videos.

- Back Buffer Color Depth

A color depth of 8bit per channel results in 16.7 million colors, whilst a higher color depth of 10bit per channel allows for a total of 1 billion colors. Use this option only, if you are using 10bit content (HDR etc.) and if your outputs (displays, projectors etc.) are capable to display 10bit as well! All other Clients should be set to 8bit to safe performance.
The increased image quality is seen in higher contrast and cleaner color transitions (no artifacts or color banding) especially when using uncompressed formats.
Please make sure that the graphics card supports the higher color depth as well. For Nvidia cards, the setting can be found in the Nvidia Control Panel > Change Resolution > Output Color Depth drop-down list.

- Full Screen Anti-Aliasing
This refers to a anti-aliasing method used for smoothing object edges in the last rendering pass. Per default this is the Output Pass, thus the anti-aliasing works on the output mesh. In case you have set the Output's parameter "State" to Bypass, the anti-aliasing applies to the Compositing Pass meaning objects on layers. The higher the anti-aliasing value, the more memory and performance is drawn but the smoother object edges are rendered (as seen in the below example). The maximum anti-aliasing level depends on the graphics card. For performance enhancement the default value is set to 2.


100% zoom


500% zoom

Level 0

Level 4

Level 8


- Video Load Threading Approach
This is of interest when you have programmed multiple containers with video content all starting at the same time. Under circumstances (number of containers, resolution of videos, etc.) this can lead to different render issues as all videos start to be decoded at the same time. With the default option "Only MPEGs in Single Thread" MPEG videos start one after another enhancing the robustness of the render engine. The option "Single thread" does the same with all videos, not only MPEG ones. A drawback is that delay is added. If you need to sync many videos, choose "Multiple threads" from the drop-down list and make sure that your programming does not affect the robustness of the render engine.

- Max. Internal Texture Size
During the rendering process content is buffered onto a so called internal texture. The internal texture is only called when the content is used with
- deinterlacing
- FluidFrame (= frameblending)
- particular effect combination, e.g with Blur. The description of the effects in question mention whether they depend on the internal texture.

Depending on the resolution of the content you are using with those optional features, you might need to select another entry from the drop-down list. Please note that EVERY content file is then buffered with this size. As this consumes plenty of graphics card memory it is recommended to choose the entry next in size and not simply the largest available.