Rendering FAQ

  • How long until Chaotica finishes rendering?

    It keeps on rendering forever. Stop it when the image does not look noisy anymore.
    For more deatils, see the Progressive Rendering Basics.

  • What resolution should I use?

    For animations:
    Here are some standard resolutions for video/animations:

    • Full HD or 1080p: 1920 x 1080
    • HD or 720p: 1280 x 720
    • Lower res for eg YouTube: 960 x 540, 640 x 360

    If your animation isn’t naturally 16:9 aspect ratio like the resolutions above, use one of the standard widths and a height that is a multiple of 8 (or ideally 16) pixels.

    For wallpapers and digital portfolios:
    Don't render excessively large images: since it will be viewed on a computer screen, the resolution should be kept close to screen resolutions. For example, rendering a desktop wallpaper at 19200 x 12000 resolution is not a good idea: it would have to be resized to be viewed at once, and this resizing almost always degrades Chaotica's high quality anti-aliasing. Futhermore, rendering at that high resolution will take much longer.

    For prints:
    Prints require high resolution images because of the high DPI ("dots" per inch). Here's a list of some commonly used print sizes and corresponding image resolutions for a 300 DPI image:

    • A0 - 841 × 1189 mm or 33.1 × 46.8 inches - image resolution: 9930 x 14040
    • A1 - 594 × 841 mm or 23.4 × 33.1 inches - image resolution: 7020 x 9930
    • A2 - 420 × 594 mm or 16.5 × 23.4 inches - image resolution: 4950 x 7020

    To find out the required image resolution for a different print size, you multiply the number of inches along a side with the dots per inch, to get the number of "dots" or pixels: (inches) x (DPI) = (dots). For example, for a A3 print at 200 DPI, we have 11.7 x 200 = 2340 and 16.5 x 200 = 3300, so the render resolution will be 2340 x 3300.

  • What AA factor should I use?

    For animations:
    AA factor 2 and Smooth AA mode are usually optimal for animations. If you use a higher AA level or use a different AA mode, the rendering time is greatly increased, which becomes problematic if you need to render thousands of frames for a medium-length animation.

    For wallpapers and digital portfolios:
    AA factor 3 makes exceptionally high quality images, but you can even use AA 4 for rendering extremely detailed fractals, or images with high contrast edges.

    For prints:
    When rendering for prints, AA level is not as important as reaching high DPI via image resolution. AA factor 1 is often used in this case, and still delivers a reasonably high quality result.

  • When should I use ultra quality?

    Ultra quality is used when you want the absolute highest image quality and are willing to take a substantial performance hit for it. It also uses much less memory than the normal rendering mode for comparable image quality, usually about half as much.

    If you are looking to make exceptionally high quality desktop wallpapers, or are making large print images with anti-aliasing and are running into memory limitations, ultra quality mode is a powerful tool to trade more rendering time for higher quality images using less memory.

  • How much RAM do I need to render?

    You can work out roughly how much memory Chaotica will use using the following formula:

    width × height × 16 × aa level × aa level

    This gives the approximate data size in bytes; you can divide this result by 1024 twice to give the size in megabytes.

    Here is a table listing approximate RAM usages for some common resolutions: