OpenGL is a set of standards for high-performance processing of 2D and 3D graphics on the graphics processing unit (GPU) for a wide variety of applications. For After Effects CS6 users, OpenGL provides fast rendering for previews (Fast Draft mode). After Effects CS6, also provides acceleration to display certain interface elements, and for ray-traced 3D rendering. Unlike previous versions of After Effects, the GPU plays a major role in After Effects CS6.
In After Effects CS6, OpenGL accelerates workflow by offering a faster graphics pipeline. One process that was slower in previous versions of After Effects was transferring pixels to the screen in a process called block transfer, or "blitting." In After Effects CS6, the GPU now handles this functionality (in a process referred to as OpenGL Swap Buffer) much more efficiently. For system requirements for OpenGL Swap Buffer, see Features Support Levels. For more information, see the following video.