Trapcode Tao

Rendering Group

The Rendering group allows you to put the finishing touches on your work, and gives you options for creating a variety of different looks with your geometry.

Multisample sets the number of sample points per pixel and is helpful as an anti-aliasing tool. Turn this control up to get rid of jagged edges around the Tao geometry. Keep in mind that the higher the setting, the more memory and render time will be required. Because high Multisample values can significantly slow render times, we highly recommend that you turn multisampling down to a low setting when you first set up the path. NOTE: Different video cards support different levels of multisampling. Tao will only let this be set as high as the card permits. Most cards will allow a value of 8, but some cards may be able to support 32. Supersample allows you to oversample the entire scene. Unlike Multisample, Supersample also works on the interior of polygons. This is useful for example when using a detailed Reflection Environment Map (found in Material & Lighting > Image Based Lighting). If the interior of polygons looks aliased (i.e. jagged), try using this setting. A value of 9x is recommended. Higher values don’t lead to better quality in most cases, but it does take a lot of VRAM.
supersample_off supersample_9x

The Render Mode pop-up menu controls what is ultimately output by the plug-in.

There are six options:

  • Full Render: this is the default mode. Renders the full scene.
  • Normals: renders polygon normals. Normals describe how the polygon surface is oriented. This can be used for example to re-light a Tao render using another software application. In the Normals calculations, RGB = XYZ.
  • Position: shows space position coordinates, where RGB = XYZ. This mode works best in 32 bpc (float).
  • Depth: renders the distance from the eye for each pixel as a lightness (gray scale) value. This mode works best in 32 bpc (float) since the distance values can be outside the 0-255 range of 8 bpc. This can be useful when adding post effects such as Depth of Field to a Tao render.
  • Depth Normalized: a normalized version of Depth, normalized so that the output range is 0-255 in 8 bpc, and 0-32767 in 16bpc and 0.0 - 1.0 in 32bpc (float). The Visibility > Near and Visibility > Far planes are mapped to min, max respectively. This mode was made so that depth can be rendered in 8bpc. This can be useful when adding post effects, such as Depth of Field to a Tao render.
  • AO: renders only the ambient occlusion. This can be useful when re-lightning a Tao render or to just get more control over the AO (for example, blurring it before applying to Tao).

rendermode_ren_nor_pos rendermode_depth_normal_ao

Depth of Field can either be set to Camera Settings or Off

dofoff  dofon

Left shows Depth of Field set to 'Off' versus the right side showing it at 'Camera Settings'


  • Ambient Occlusion needs to be On for Depth of Field to be on as well.
  •  The pixel blur radius for Tao is capped at extreme values around 300 pixels. If your blur extends to beyond that radius, the blur quality will potentially show deterioration.