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GPU and GPU driver requirements for After Effects

  1. After Effects User Guide
  2. Beta releases
    1. Beta Program Overview
    2. After Effects Beta Home
  3. Getting started
    1. Get started with After Effects
    2. What's new in After Effects 
    3. Release Notes | After Effects
    4. After Effects system requirements
    5. Keyboard shortcuts in After Effects
    6. Supported File formats | After Effects
    7. Hardware recommendations
    8. After Effects for Apple silicon
    9. Planning and setup
  4. Workspaces
    1. General user interface items
    2. Get to know After Effects interface
    3. Workflows
    4. Workspaces, panels, and viewers
  5. Projects and compositions
    1. Projects
    2. Composition basics
    3. Precomposing, nesting, and pre-rendering
    4. View detailed performance information with the Composition Profiler
    5. CINEMA 4D Composition Renderer
  6. Importing footage
    1. Preparing and importing still images
    2. Importing from After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro
    3. Importing and interpreting video and audio
    4. Preparing and importing 3D image files
    5. Importing and interpreting footage items
    6. Working with footage items
    7. Detect edit points using Scene Edit Detection
    8. XMP metadata
  7. Text and Graphics
    1. Text
      1. Formatting characters and the Character panel
      2. Text effects
      3. Creating and editing text layers
      4. Formatting paragraphs and the Paragraph panel
      5. Extruding text and shape layers
      6. Animating text
      7. Examples and resources for text animation
      8. Live Text Templates
    2. Motion Graphics
      1. Work with Motion Graphics templates in After Effects
      2. Use expressions to create drop-down lists in Motion Graphics templates
      3. Work with Essential Properties to create Motion Graphics templates
      4. Replace images and videos in Motion Graphics templates and Essential Properties
      5. Animate faster and easier using the Properties panel
  8. Drawing, Painting, and Paths
    1. Overview of shape layers, paths, and vector graphics
    2. Paint tools: Brush, Clone Stamp, and Eraser
    3. Taper shape strokes
    4. Shape attributes, paint operations, and path operations for shape layers
    5. Use Offset Paths shape effect to alter shapes
    6. Creating shapes
    7. Create masks
    8. Remove objects from your videos with the Content-Aware Fill panel
    9. Roto Brush and Refine Matte
  9. Layers, Markers, and Camera
    1. Selecting and arranging layers
    2. Blending modes and layer styles
    3. 3D layers
    4. Layer properties
    5. Creating layers
    6. Managing layers
    7. Layer markers and composition markers
    8. Cameras, lights, and points of interest
  10. Animation, Keyframes, Motion Tracking, and Keying
    1. Animation
      1. Animation basics
      2. Animating with Puppet tools
      3. Managing and animating shape paths and masks
      4. Animating Sketch and Capture shapes using After Effects
      5. Assorted animation tools
      6. Work with Data-driven animation
    2. Keyframe
      1. Keyframe interpolation
      2. Setting, selecting, and deleting keyframes
      3. Editing, moving, and copying keyframes
    3. Motion tracking
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      2. Face Tracking
      3. Mask Tracking
      4. Mask Reference
      5. Speed
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      7. Timecode and time display units
    4. Keying
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  11. Transparency and Compositing
    1. Compositing and transparency overview and resources
    2. Alpha channels and masks
    3. Track Mattes and Traveling Mattes
  12. Adjusting color
    1. Color basics
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    4. OpenColorIO and ACES color management
  13. Effects and Animation Presets
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    11. Transition effects
    12. The Rolling Shutter Repair effect
    13. Blur and Sharpen effects
    14. 3D Channel effects
    15. Utility effects
    16. Matte effects
    17. Noise and Grain effects
    18. Detail-preserving Upscale effect
    19. Obsolete effects
  14. Expressions and Automation
    1. Expressions
      1. Expression basics
      2. Understanding the expression language
      3. Using expression controls
      4. Syntax differences between the JavaScript and Legacy ExtendScript expression engines
      5. Editing expressions
      6. Expression errors
      7. Using the Expressions editor
      8. Use expressions to edit and access text properties
      9. Expression language reference
      10. Expression examples
    2. Automation
      1. Automation
      2. Scripts
  15. Immersive video, VR, and 3D
    1. Construct VR environments in After Effects
    2. Apply immersive video effects
    3. Compositing tools for VR/360 videos
    4. Advanced 3D Renderer
    5. Import and add 3D models to your composition
    6. Import 3D models from Creative Cloud Libraries
    7. Image-Based Lighting
    8. Extract and animate lights and cameras from 3D models
    9. Tracking 3D camera movement
    10. Cast and accept shadows
    11. Embedded 3D model animations
    12. Shadow Catcher
    13. 3D depth data extraction
    14. Modify materials properties of a 3D layer
    15. Work in 3D Design Space
    16. 3D Transform Gizmos
    17. Do more with 3D animation
    18. Preview changes to 3D designs real time with the Mercury 3D engine
    19. Add responsive design to your graphics 
  16. Views and Previews
    1. Previewing
    2. Video preview with Mercury Transmit
    3. Modifying and using views
  17. Rendering and Exporting
    1. Basics of rendering and exporting
    2. H.264 Encoding in After Effects
    3. Export an After Effects project as an Adobe Premiere Pro project
    4. Converting movies
    5. Multi-frame rendering
    6. Automated rendering and network rendering
    7. Rendering and exporting still images and still-image sequences
    8. Using the GoPro CineForm codec in After Effects
  18. Working with other applications
    1. Dynamic Link and After Effects
    2. Working with After Effects and other applications
    3. Sync Settings in After Effects
    4. Creative Cloud Libraries in After Effects
    5. Plug-ins
    6. Cinema 4D and Cineware
  19. Collaboration:, and Team Projects
    1. Collaboration in Premiere Pro and After Effects
      1. Install and activate
      2. Use with Premiere Pro and After Effects
      3. Frequently asked questions
    3. Team Projects
      1. Get Started with Team Projects
      2. Create a Team Project
      3. Collaborate with Team Projects
  20. Memory, storage, performance
    1. Memory and storage
    2. How After Effects handles low memory issues while previewing    
    3. Improve performance
    4. Preferences
    5. GPU and GPU driver requirements for After Effects
  21. Knowledge Base
    1. Known issues
    2. Fixed issues
    3. Frequently asked questions
    4. After Effects and macOS Ventura
    5. How After Effects handles low memory issues while previewing

Understand the GPU and GPU driver requirements for After Effects.


Adobe recommends installing the latest Studio driver for the supported NVIDIA GPUs:

NVIDIA has stopped releasing Studio Drivers for 900 series and earlier. For these GPUs, you may use the latest Game Ready Drivers.

Also, NVIDIA has ended support for Kepler mobile GPUs. If you're using one of these devices, the system compatibility report In After Effects alerts you that your driver must be updated. However, there are no driver updates for this series.

What GPU should be used for the best performance?

New GPU chipsets are constantly being introduced, and the After Effects team does not qualify or recommend individual GPU chipsets. However, here are some guidelines to get the best GPU for your workflow.

  • Individual GPU technologies are less important than overall GPU performance. After Effects supports DirectX, OpenCL, CUDA, and Metal to varying degrees. Choose a high-performance card that meets your individual budget and system needs.
  • Premiere Pro utilizes the GPU more broadly than After Effects, and its technology is shared with After Effects. The list of recommended GPUs for Premiere Pro is a good place to start. Go through the Premiere Pro system requirements.
  • Other applications in your workflow may have a GPU requirement that is higher than After Effects. Take all of them into consideration.
  • Check if you have Multiple GPUs on the same machine.
  • Check if you have unsupported GPUs on your Mac machine.

GPU-related issues you may face

After upgrading to After Effects version 17.x or later, there may be driver issues, and you may need to upgrade your driver.

Some of the driver issues that you could face are:

  • System incompatibilities are known to cause instability and crashes that lead to data loss.
  • The current version of your network device software may cause issues with your Adobe application.
  • Intermittent crash while editing.
  • You can get error messages such as - "This version of your operating system is incompatible with your Adobe application."
  • No previews, garbled previews, frame drops, or performance issues, including slow playback or frame glitches. 

NVIDIA CUDA graphics acceleration requirements

NVIDIA CUDA graphics acceleration requires CUDA 11.8 or newer drivers. CUDA isn't a requirement for running Adobe video apps. Still, if you prefer CUDA graphics acceleration, you must have drivers compatible with CUDA 11.8 (522.25 or newer) installed on your system before upgrading to the latest Premiere Pro versions. CUDA drivers are included with the latest NVIDIA Studio Drivers.

Updating NVIDIA Drivers on Windows

You can run Premiere Pro with the latest GeForce series GPUs or RTX/Quadro series GPUs.

These drivers are updated regularly, so check the NVIDIA website to be sure you have the most current version for your GPU.

You can find the latest GPU drivers here.


macOS Mojave 10.14 and later versions currently don't support CUDA.

Apple Metal GPU acceleration

Adobe supports those versions of Windows and macOS that are still actively supported by Microsoft and Apple. For macOS, that typically means the three most recent versions.

You may check if a system update is available for macOS to check for any new graphics driver updates.

  1. Select the Apple menu > System Settings.

  2. Go to the General tab and select Software Update.

  3. If a software update with the latest graphics driver is available, you may install it. 

Intel GPU driver update requirements

After Effects requires a recent version of the Intel graphics driver. To avoid stability and performance issues, your Intel driver version must be or later. 


100.8476 refers to the last two places of the complete version of the Intel driver (that is

Adobe recommends you try to obtain a compatible driver from your computer manufacturer. Intel makes a generic version available on its website if a compatible version is unavailable.


If your driver is older than 100.6286 and your computer manufacturer does not provide a compatible version, it's recommended that you don't install a version later than 100.6286 from the Intel site. Driver version 100.6444 is a Windows DCH driver that does not install cleanly on top of older, legacy drivers.

Adobe highly recommends backing up your system first if you've difficulty installing the driver.

After Effects features that use GPU

Features natively available in After Effects

A host of After Effects features use GPU to accelerate rendering. Select Project Settings > Video Rendering and Effects to view the GPU-accelerated effects.

Third-party effects

Some third-party effects, like Element 3D by Video Copilot use the GPU independently of After Effects. Refer to the documentation from the publisher for guidance on what GPUs and technology are supported. Effects such as Magic Bullet Looks, hook into the Mercury GPU Acceleration pipeline (such effects are also GPU-accelerated in Premiere Pro).

Mercury GPU Acceleration

Mercury GPU Acceleration allows After Effects to render supported effects using the GPU, which can significantly improve render time.

You may recognize the Mercury name from Premiere Pro. After Effects uses the same technology that Premiere Pro Mercury Playback Engine uses for rendering. (The playback engine in After Effects is otherwise different from Premiere Pro, so After Effects only uses the rendering component of that technology.)

Mercury GPU Acceleration is a project setting. To enable it, select File > Project Settings, select the Video Rendering and Effects tab, and set the Use option to Mercury GPU Acceleration. Depending on your computer and GPU, you may see multiple such options. After Effects supports the following GPU technologies:

  • OpenCL (Windows only, with an AMD or Intel GPU)
  • CUDA (Windows only, with an NVIDIA GPU)
  • Metal (macOS only, 10.12 and later)

NVIDIA CUDA isn't supported in macOS 10.14 and later.  If you use an Apple-authorized NVIDIA GPU, you can continue using the Metal Mercury Playback Engine.

More information about GPU

  • All VR effects, such as VR Blur, only work on the GPU. Unlike the other effects, they don't currently have a CPU fallback. We recommend a GPU with high VRAM, 4GB or better, to use these effects. Their advantage for VR over other effects is that they are seamless and wrap the ends of the VR image together. Also, some of them are useful on non-VR footage because they are wholly new to After Effects, like VR Chromatic Aberrations.
  • The Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels option in Preferences > Display is enabled by default and uses DirectX on Windows and Metal on Mac to prepare the rendered frames for screen display during previews or playback. Once After Effects renders the frame, it next prepares that frame for display, taking into account the screen resolution, scaling, overlays like guides and layer handles, and color management. Specifically, View > Use Display Color Management when a working space color profile has been enabled for the project. When the Hardware Accelerate option is disabled, After Effects processes all of that on the CPU, but the GPU can accelerate this process, especially color management. The GPU requirement for this is very low, and any modern video card with a small amount of VRAM is adequate.


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