Engine Preferences

Engine Preferences

General preferences of SMODE's rendering engine. Add here your Device External peripheral exchanging data with Smode Read More : midi controller, OSC, video, audio etc.


Profile active the profiling in the Element tree, note that a shortcut exists in the global Smode toolbar.
The profiling helps to know each Elements consumption in GPU time ms units.
Note that the profiling is a diagnostic tool that consume some performances and should be disabled when you are on Air.
On Air disables all features consuming resources unneeded by the restitution process. This includes the visualizer display. It can be toggled on and off with [F9]. It's also available in the toolbar at the top of the main window.
The option "Disable Aero On Startup" is only relevant if you use Windows 7. It can help some Nvidia GPU to perform better, and avoid frame drops. It is not recommended to check this parameter with AMD GPU.
To apply this change, you need to reboot Smode. Note that if Aero is already disabled on your system, unchecking this parameter will not reactivate Aero.

"Graphics Context Configuration" is reserved for advanced usage, and it is not advised to modify it.
"Requested Frame Rate" is the frame rate the Smode will target, here to check its stability. "Visualized Frame Refresh Rate" the frame ratio to be displayed in the visualizer. A value of 1 means that all frames should be displayed, 2 means one out of two only, 3 one out of three... This can help the user interface responsiveness with low hardware configuration.
"Auto Window Global Bounds" makes the Graphic Windows the size of all the video outputs together. It should not be disabled.
"Enable Automatic Preview" allows a background rendering task to compute your media directories previews and meta data. You can disable it if Smode is too slow when used on a hard drive over the network (NAS, other computer, etc)
This will only be executed when Smode is not On Air, this to avoid performance problems during show restitution.

"Current Canvas Unit" allows to switch from percentage, to pixels and meters (also available at the top of the main window).
"Current Universe Unit" allow you to switch universe displayed representation from ArtNet (one based universe/network) to sACN (one based) or None (zero based)
"Flush Strategy" allow you to optimize drawing command queue size. A good value depend on the GPU and the Project Pipeline. This should be tuned at the end of a Project encoding to maximize profiling results.
"Rendering Clock Advanced Parameters" are reserved for advanced usage, and it is not advised to modify it.
"Enable Process Launcher" Allow Project or compo to use Process Launcher tool, this is disabled by default for security reason.
"Custom Process Affinity Mask" Allow you to select the CPU core that Smode will run on (need a restart)

Video Outputs

Here you can manage how to configure how the GPU will display your content through the output. Add a new standard video output to configure it. Once added you can manage the outputs directly from de devices tab. For further informations, go check the Video Output Device Video Output Device are device allowing to send video stream out of Smode Read More part of the documentation.

GPU Settings

Smode output is defined by one graphics window (window without any border and not moveable manually), that owns all Standard video outputs.

Some computer can have multiple Graphics card of the same manufacturer. with Graphics Card parameter, you can choose on witch the computing is done. Prefer the powerful GPU here, even if you display your output on a lower powerful GPU.
"Vertical Synchronization" (Vsync) Allow the GPU to wait for screen readiness for the next picture to paint:
  • Active: default value that wait for the next picture to paint
  • Adaptive degraded mode: wait if possible else tears picture if the rendering is two slow
  • None no vertical synchronization: GPU can be quickest than screen to render image and generate a lot of tearing effect, by the way is it the recommended mode for profiling
  • Half Active vertical synchronization but with half screen refresh rate: useful if your screen is 120hz and frame rate of 60 is enough for instance
  • Quarter Same as above but divide screen refresh rate by four. This two last value can be interesting to save battery energy or ensure slow frame rate content will be more stable

Note that Half and Quarter synchronization mode may required "Swap Exchange" Graphics Device Parameters optimization be disabled on some NVIDIA GPU, this to avoid rendering glitch.

"Bounds" parameter should be automatically computed by made the union of all your Standard video output bounds. This behavior can be disabled in General preference panel.
"Enable output" allow to toggle the Output windows visibility. Their is a shortcut in the main Smode Toolbar to toggle it. The keyboard shortcut [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Shift]+[w] help you to toggle it without mouse if your output overlap your Smode windows.
"Restore Output At Boot" allow to apply the last "Enable output" state at Smode boot.
"Graphics Device Parameters" are advanced settings that should not be modified
You can as manage with "Multi Sampling" "Color/Alpha/Depth Bits" and "Floating Point" some default quality parameters for your output graphics windows (such as color depth precision, aliasing or floating point for HDR).
Those value depends of your underlying hardware, for more that 8bit color depth or floating point quality, you need pro grade GPU like Quadro or FirePro.
"Swap Exchange" optimize the vertical synchronization except for Half and Quarter mode on some GPU.
Others "Debug Context" "Compatibility Profile" and "Forward Compatible Profile" are development or support purpose settings that should not be modified.
"Eject Mouse Cursor" avoid your mouse cursor be displayed over the output windows.
"Top Most" avoid other applications windows be painted on top of you Output windows.

Video Inputs

For further informations, go check the Video Input Device Video Input Devices are device allowing Smode to grab video stream Read More part of the documentation.

Control Devices

For further informations, go check the Control Device Use any external controller in MIDI or OSC, DMX and ArtNet Read More part of the documentation.

Audio Input/Output

For further informations, go check the Audio Device Use audio in Smode Read More part of the documentation.

Clock Inputs

For further informations, go check the Clock Device In use to bind an animation to Time Code Read More part of the documentation.


Here you will be able to setup Smode Server.

"Run server" allow Smode clients to connect on this Smode instance for remote access or Session sharing.
"Address" allow you to change the default Smode Server listening port 5186 (useful to comply local network firewall settings)
Address Also allow to change the default listening IP of incoming connections from any IP ( to a specific one. (useful when multiple network adapter on different subnet are in use, but not recommended when using DHCP)
"Disable Per Server Loading" active default, this allow Smode Project on an network session to unload all part of Scene or Pipeline that are not connected to a Video Output in the Pipeline Define how video content is processed in a project Read More
This is useful to maintain performances on big project shared on several Smode computers in a network: only the concerned part of the Pipeline are rendered by each computer.
This can be disabled to allow the visualization of all the project on the same computer during design phase.
"Enable NDIRemote Viewport" this allow your Smode Server to compute the Viewport of remotely connected software and send this video signal inside an NDI pipe.
This default behavior can be disabled to maintain maximum performances during encoding phase.
"Detach From Session" experimental feature allow to avoid the current server to mirror its local change to the other server in the network. This can helps during show encoding to works like if the network was offline temporarily.
Note that when On Air all local and network Viewports are mute for best performances.

See Also: