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richcz3
05-21-2005, 03:29 AM
http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/Forumpix/Vue5_SLRT_01.jpg

I was looking with an avg. 1hr 10 minute frames rendering out to 640x480. I've cut that time considerably by adjusting the GI quality in ballance with the number of light samples used. A simple Photoshop Gausian blur of 0.5 would achieve the same look as the video still.
What was supposed to take 58 hours using 5 PCs has been trimmed down to 15 hours.

This is probably best used in a large panning outdoor scene like I am working on. Nothing stays close to the camera long enough to warrant the finer settings. The true test will be in seeing how the final render runs.

A Note:
I don't know why, but the process of rendering to animation adds time to the render process by a few minutes.

richcz3
05-21-2005, 08:09 PM
I just encoded the latest test and it looks pretty promising. The grain isn't as evident from the video compression, so I will up the Distance Blur on the next test.

>TEST MOVIE LINK (http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/images/Test_Gallery/Movies/Vue_640xNOpostwork_02.wmv)< Windows media 2.3MB HQ VBR

In the Advanced Effects option its Default is 100 so I bumped it up 144 and increased the Harmonic Distance Quality to 60%. Everything else is at 50%. I am going to raise Distance Blurring to Intensity of 40% and Max Radius of .40

http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/Forumpix/Vue_VQ_01.jpg

http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/Forumpix/Vue_AES_01.jpghttp://www.digitalworks.8m.com/Forumpix/Vue_AAO_01.jpg

toast3d
05-22-2005, 12:41 PM
Rick,

Thanks for sharing your findings as you progress along with Vue. For those of us looking to possibly add Vue Infinite to our toolsets, this is great information!

regards,
Larry

Mike.H
05-22-2005, 03:03 PM
thanks for sharing rich.
have to say it´s a healthy amount of time you´ve saved up there :)

Kevin Sanderson
05-22-2005, 06:05 PM
Saving to sequential images is also better because you can more easily do post work and compositing with them. In other programs, you run into longer times because of compression and whatever the program has to do to build the animation (temp files, etc.), so it's probably the same in Vue.


Kevin

richcz3
05-23-2005, 01:19 AM
Thanks guys. I did another test last night and expected to come in this afternoon to see it still rendering. I was surprised that I rendered more frames in 5 hours 45min. Fair being fair, it was a different camera using the same terrain but a different path.

> New_TEST_Movie_Clip (http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/movies/Tests/Vue_640xTest_05_01.wmv) <

I reduced the GI quality to -2.5 and ikept the number of Indirect light samples at 144.

>HELP< I am having a devil of a time figuring out how to smooth the camera rotations and movements. I can't find the per keyframe adjustment. Any help would be appreciated.

Kevin, How are you able to save image sequences?
I can't render my animations to TGAs. On E-Ons Infinite forums its been mentioned to be a bug.

http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/Forumpix/Vue640x_3D_03.jpg

Kevin Sanderson
05-23-2005, 07:56 PM
Hey Rich,

I haven't updated the software so maybe that's why it works for me...maybe it's a recent bug.
I just tried it again and I was able to quickly render out a sequence of TGAs ...16 frames at 320x240.

Just in case for anyone not familiar ... On Animation Render Options...Under Animation Limits... you can select Render entire animation if you'd like...Go to Channel Files, click on Browse and select Targa from the Save as ...Animation Files dropdown list...enter your file name and check whatever other options you want and go to town.

Kevin

<Pino>
05-23-2005, 08:36 PM
... I have updated and my vue/inf works well saving image sequences

<Pino>
05-23-2005, 08:38 PM
... but the first time i was searching the "save to image file" I was confused finding it under "Browse" button

richcz3
05-23-2005, 09:51 PM
Thanks for the heads up guys, I was trying to accomplish this from the Render Options. This is definately good news.
cheers,

Mike.H
05-25-2005, 12:46 PM
yeah i also prefer to save as image seequences since you do get better end quality and control.

richcz3
05-25-2005, 08:42 PM
I am still getting strobing on the building masts at a distance. I initialy believed the problem was related to the 320x240 res, but its evident at 640x480 even with increased AA settings. Bumping AA to 95% increases render time by 2x and doesn't resolve the issue.

> Test Movie Link (http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/images/Test_Gallery/Movies/Vue_640x_Test_06_01.wmv) < 3.5 MB Windows media

http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/images/Test_Gallery/Movies/VUE_Strobing_Masts_95_AA.jpg
95% AA @ 640x480 (sample from rendered TGA) :sad:

This is a problem because I have a series of bombers and fighter aircraft that have radio antennae and other thin details that I am concerned they will strobe at distance.
Any advice here would be greatly appreciated.

Dale B
05-26-2005, 12:08 AM
richcz3;

Another potential source for that kind of strobing effect is in the actual renderfarm. Windows boxes are particularly vulnerable to trash in the registry that never gets cleaned up. Exposed COM entries can destabilize a RenderCow, and anything that grabs the memory access from it can create strobing or other artifacts (in a fight between a foreground app and a background app like the Cow, the Cow loses every time, unless the OS is set to give priority to the background services). Since you're rendering to targa, check and see if there is a correlation with the strobing frames; a consistent strobe (like every 10th frame, regardless) pretty much puts it in the controlling box and the apps there. A strobe that varies moves the issue out onto the farm, and it usually will be one box that is the culprit (based on a 5 node farm; there may be something in there that would expand the issue if you had a larger farm, but that is what I've observed on my systems).

digefxgrp
05-26-2005, 01:26 AM
Rich,

It sucks having to deal with these kinds of problems. It almost appears that on random frames, the clouds are being rendered over portions of the antenna/mast.

Have you tried a test just rendering the building against a solid color background?

I can't remember if you're a Lightwave guy, but have you tried a similar move with said object using your primary 3D package to see if you're getting the same problem there?

I had a similar issue once with LW (and NTSC) and had to crank up the motion blur in order to "fatten" up thin lines so they wouldn't disappear between video fields. Your problem does however look different to what I was dealing with.

Craig Paup
Digital Efx Group

frank10
05-26-2005, 09:37 AM
richcz3;

Another potential source for that kind of strobing effect is in the actual renderfarm. Windows boxes are particularly vulnerable to trash in the registry that never gets cleaned up. Exposed COM entries can destabilize a RenderCow, and anything that grabs the memory access from it can create strobing or other artifacts (in a fight between a foreground app and a background app like the Cow, the Cow loses every time, unless the OS is set to give priority to the background services). Since you're rendering to targa, check and see if there is a correlation with the strobing frames; a consistent strobe (like every 10th frame, regardless) pretty much puts it in the controlling box and the apps there. A strobe that varies moves the issue out onto the farm, and it usually will be one box that is the culprit (based on a 5 node farm; there may be something in there that would expand the issue if you had a larger farm, but that is what I've observed on my systems).


So, what do you suggest to eliminate this windows-related problem?
You can also change the priority of tasks, making background ones more important:
go to Task manager, select the process you want assign a higher priority, right mouse button, change priority.

Best Regards
Francesco

Dale B
05-26-2005, 12:09 PM
So, what do you suggest to eliminate this windows-related problem?
You can also change the priority of tasks, making background ones more important:
go to Task manager, select the process you want assign a higher priority, right mouse button, change priority.

Best Regards
Francesco

For that problem, the solution depends on what the actual trouble is. If this is a dedicated renderfarm, then changing the priority to background tasks is a good first step. A good 2nd step is to use a 3rd party registry cleaner, like Norton Utilities, to find and remove all the dead shortcuts, dangling COM entries, and other detrius that Windows is notorious for. Almost none of the software existing cleans up after itself properly; install and remove something, and you'll find a few COM entries and a couple of dead shortcuts at least. If I've isolated my trouble box and that doesn't clear the issue, I uninstall the Cow, clean out the registry, then reinstall from the Vue install disk and let the app upgrade it. Infinite is pretty robust compared to previous versions of Vue, but it still has some vulnerabilities with packet collision. A sudden flood of network traffic can corrupt an update, giving you a time bomb. Infinite does a one-at-a-time approach, as opposed to the all-at-once of Vue and Vue4Pro, but you can still get data corruption if something on the network gets pushy, or you get a power flicker.

The best way to have a stable Windows install (particularly for a renderfarm) is to use a little application currently called XPLite. It turns most things in Windows into removable options. My current boxes have no IE, Outlook, a whole host of useless nonsense that adds load to the OS and takes up precious memory. A quick websearch will turn up the site it lives on.

richcz3
05-26-2005, 05:17 PM
Looks like the problem may be solved

EDIT: I think I know what may be causing the problem. It's similar to the moire effect.
If you have astigmatism in your eyes, you may better understand the effect of thin concentric lines crossing one another. Its the same reason you shouldn't wear tight pin stripes or fine lined patterns for a video shoot. The lines will creap/crawl into one another.

The masts are close and behind each other. They are also parralel to one another. In a rotation at distance they either blend or blink out. The further out as the masts cross each other durring the cameras pan, the greater the problem. I am running another test that rotates and pans up close to the tower.


http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/Forumpix/AA_Problems_res_compare_01.jpg

In these two shots the camera is physically moved in close to the building masts.
The biggest picture is in the closest.

richcz3
05-27-2005, 05:19 PM
Side By Side Comparison

>Vue Movie (http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/images/Test_Gallery/Movies/Vue_640_Test_08_Strobe.wmv)< 1.5 MB 640x480

Lightwave Render

>Lightwave Render (http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/images/Test_Gallery/Movies/lightwave_Test_01.wmv)< 479 kb 640x480


Good news: The strobing is not a result of the render farm. A sequence of frames rendered from the same machine delivered the same results. If you can consider that good news. That' snot to say that there may not be issues, but this one is not related.

Bad news: The side by side movie shows that the environment is not playing a role in the effect. The model rendered in Lightwave with medium AA does not exhibit the strobing effect.

Vue has a problem with strobing and I think its a result of the AA and Blur. The lightwave test presents a clearer transition from distance. The image shows the amount of geometry that strobes from one frame to the next. Increasing the AA does not resolve the issue. The model was also using double sided sufaces and single sided surfaces.

http://www.digitalworks.8m.com/images/Test_Gallery/Movies/Sidebyside_Comp_Strobe_01.jpg

richcz3
08-02-2005, 04:59 AM
>bump<
For all the Lightwavers who are looking into the LW9/Vue5 Infinite offer going on.:)

freakybusiness
08-04-2005, 05:42 AM
Craig,

Those 'cloud' artifacts affecting the antenna look more like they could be windows media compression that occurred after the vue render.

Mick

richcz3
08-04-2005, 08:03 PM
Actually the strobe is visable on the TGA sequence before rendering to video. The image inset above is sampled from the sequential TGA's. The strobe effects vertical geometry. I posted the same effect on E-Ons site and another user produced the same result rendering the Eifel Tower. The central mast strobed. An E-On tech support suggested maximum AA to reduce the effect. It resulted in longer renders without entirely eliminating the strobe. It's something E-On needs to get squared away.

mdunakin
08-04-2005, 08:31 PM
And this same thing happens with plants as well as with buildings.

Some of my dead tree plants in my desert scene were doing the same thing.
Which also made some of them, look like they were flying off the ground for
one frame render to another.

............md :)

duke
08-09-2005, 06:17 AM
We were considering investing in Vue for an upcoming large landscape project involving an animation, however this would be a definite show stopper. Hopefully e-on can do something about it!

mdunakin
08-09-2005, 06:47 AM
Well, at least for me, one of my problems I solved myself.

As for my plants flying off the ground, I finally found that there is a setting for such things, which actually now I use all the time to determine how much embedded I want objects to be, like rocks and trees and whatever, which works really well.
As for the effect of the tower poles sticking up and strobing, I have found the exact same thing and it works from one frame to the next, back and forth, and this is BEFORE I send a sequence of images to compile into an animation.
I can scroll through the frames and see that on one frame the dead tree plant off in the distance on a hill is tall, and the next frames it's cut short while the next after that it's back to tall again and it keeps doing this untill you either get too far away or closer up.

So, that still is a problem and like he said, it's a verticle thing, as this doesn't happen for sideways items.

...............................md :)

.

richcz3
08-10-2005, 10:07 PM
Mark,
I had one instance where the plants popped up at close range as the camera slowed to a stop. I hadn't experienced it again since the first tests. Are your plants flying off the ground at distance or at close range?

On the AA problem. Another suggestion from E-On is to increase the render output and increase AA to max then reduce the final output to the desired resolution. Yeah, I'll do that. :rolleyes:
With things not going so well at E-On right now, I am keeping my Vue animation work on hold.

mdunakin
08-10-2005, 10:53 PM
I think it might of been both, but for sure, it was at farther ranges,
that much I know for sure about.
Meaning the flying plants.

Haven't had enough time to test out the closeness of plants, rocks and other EcoSystem
items to see if they react the way you mention during an animation or not.
I'll let ya know what I see next time I get a second to try another animation out.

I AM having issues with the still crashing for no apparent reason with the memory bit,
and this time I took screen shots to send to e-on.

..................md

.

davey1
08-09-2006, 06:22 AM
Hey Rich

Aside from the strobing on the masts, I am noticing a lot of GI artifacts in your render on the trees. Reducing the quality of the GI creates a lot of problems with the photon emission. That is one of the shortcomings of biased GI. I am working at film res and this is a huge problem for me as with the sampling I need to get rid of it, the render times are enormous.

Does anyone know if there is a way to bake GI into the trees? I know with rocks you can bake, but it would be useful for trees (even though they move around).

mwalter1
08-09-2006, 03:00 PM
I wrote a tutorial on the render settings for Vue 5 Infinite to help reduce graininess and reducing the render time. It is more for stills rather than animation, but it may help...

http://users.tns.net/~mwalter1/Vue_Render_Settings.pdf

Peggy

richcz3
08-09-2006, 05:05 PM
Hi Dave - I had a heck of hard time with the strobing. It appeared no amount of AA was going to allieviate the problem. Finally a tech person at E-On suggested that I double the resolution and then res down to minimize the strobe. Not a solution in my eyes as it only lessens the issue which doesn't resolve it, and Vue takes long enough to render. Unfortunately I don't see GI artifacts being addressed by doubling the render resolution. Especially if you're already working at film res.

It has been a while since I've run animation tests in Vue. I will update to 5.10 and see if E-On has addressed the issue.

SirReality
08-09-2006, 06:05 PM
Rich,

Would it be possible to use a thicker / hazier atmosphere on your project? The haze "should" mask the strobing. Or, you could use a different model which doesn't have the antennas / strobing parts when the building is far enough away to cause the effect. Granted this is hiding the problem and not fixing it, but flickering things call too much attention to themselves while the lack of flickering usually goes unnoticed.

Best of luck,
SirReality

richcz3
08-11-2006, 11:55 PM
Jeff - I haven't tried increasing haze or atmospheric effects as those would require altering the end look of my scene. If it can be called a solution one shouldn't render narrow vertical elements against a high contrasting backgrounds. That could mask the strobe effect.
One of my bigger problems arose in another (unrelated) scene when I rendered a flight of WWII fighters that have vertical antenna. Vue has an achillees heal in with narrow vertical details.

I've updated my copy of VueInf and intend to run some tests to see if this has been resolved.

SirReality
08-14-2006, 05:29 PM
Hopefull that update will help... if not could you set the antenas up to be transparent based on distance to the camera? Then they would fade-in as the camera got close enough to avoid the flickering. I know this could be done in Lightwave, but not sure how to do it in Vue.

Good luck!

Jack-of-Clubs
08-22-2006, 10:18 AM
Hey guys.

In studios, a good technique to get better anti-alias with not much render time plus is to simply lower quality and render it in double size, then half the size afterwords. It works perfectly.

- Jack

rgdigital
08-23-2006, 10:52 PM
This is from a recent email from E-on:


------------------------------------------------------------------
### No Flickering in Animations Trick ###
If you've ever rendered animations of EcoSystems, you've surely noticed that you need to push the anti-aliasing settings quite high in order to reduce the amount of visual flickering. This flickering is caused by the enormous amount of detail inherent to the EcoSystem technology: in the distance, you could easily have several thousands of polygons for each pixel in the final image! This amount of detail is what causes the flickering.
With all the different rendering options in Vue, it's sometimes difficult to hit the optimal balance in terms of render time vs. flickering. However, you may find the following to be a good starting point for your adjustments (keeping in mind that flicker-free rendering of detailed EcoSystems will always require long render times):
Turn off texture anti-aliasing and use systematic geometry anti-aliasing with only a few rays per pixel (typically 4 rays/pixel). This will be enough for the render engine to pick up areas where there is a lot of detail. By setting the max number of rays and the quality threshold to very high values, you will instruct the render engine to spend most of its time on these areas.

richcz3
08-25-2006, 06:28 PM
rgdigital - thanks for that. I was told pretty much the same by their tech support about AA issues. I'm looking at Standard ntsc here. I know that Vue can be problamatic (stability wise) at Higher Resolutions. SO if working in HD that odubling for resolution could spell disaster. Will have to run tests on that.

On another note - Vue 6 Inf looks to deal directly with this Vue5 Inf problem out of the box. So "Maybe" less work arounds albeit the mention of looong render times.

Read under - Flicker-Free EcoSystem Rendering Technology

Vue 6 Inf Features (http://www.e-onsoftware.com/products/vue/vue_6/?page=1)


.

darkdreams
03-15-2007, 09:01 PM
mmm... a little question about vue 5 & 6...
About 5, I can't find the Advanced Animation options, so maybe it sounds stupid, but where is it?
And about 6, these kind of problems with renders taking tooo looong is resolved?

abudabi
03-23-2007, 08:50 AM
Guys is this issue with heavy flickering solved in v6.
Ive seen few animation done in Vuw with Ecosystem and the flickering was horrible...

elfufu
03-19-2008, 12:03 AM
flicker free? not by a long shot... has anyone gotten this to work?
we really need to figure this out for a very serious project. and we have more flicker
then the TV in the poltergeist movie

RenderTITAN
03-19-2008, 03:28 AM
Hey guys.

In studios, a good technique to get better anti-alias with not much render time plus is to simply lower quality and render it in double size, then half the size afterwords. It works perfectly.

- Jack

I do not know how many people do not believe me about this. It save so much time!

Also, now that you have a larger image, it is easier to clean certain problems as well...

Of course there is an extra pass to downsize, but since most peopel have a quick color correct or adjustment so adding the downsize is a no brainer.
M

elfufu
03-19-2008, 04:08 AM
hey titan do u have samples you have done using this?

RenderTITAN
03-19-2008, 04:20 AM
I do not have a before and after. I will see if I can make you one tomorrow.

While waiting, take any image, say a photograph that was shot at a high ISO and just downsize it. The grain gets sampled out. For fun I shoot a lot of photography, and I shoot with the 16 megapixel Canon 1ds2, and if I take an image at ISO 3200 and post it on the web downsized, it looks perfect. However, masking on the larger size is easier.

M

Gitch
03-19-2008, 02:33 PM
I do not know how many people do not believe me about this. It save so much time!

Also, now that you have a larger image, it is easier to clean certain problems as well...

Of course there is an extra pass to downsize, but since most peopel have a quick color correct or adjustment so adding the downsize is a no brainer.
M

I would be curious to see what your settings you are using.

RenderTITAN
03-19-2008, 07:07 PM
Okay here are the test I had one of the guys did. He did it in C4D but we get roughly the same results across all our aplications.

Obviously to see the difference, I can't compress it. So here is a link to 4 different render showing the different versions, with the settings on each page... (The files size is about 25 MBs.)

http://www.rendertitan.com/RenderTITAN AA_testrenders2.zip (http://www.rendertitan.com/RenderTITAN%20AA_testrenders2.zip)

On the image that is Quad-Sized, I downsampled it already so that all the images are the same size for comparison purposes. I also included adaptive sampling for comparison as well. Adaptive is not bad for a still, but for an animation it flickers very badly.

Also, the Quad-Sized version aso holds mode detail. It seems that the render holds the detail at that rendered intent resolution so the Quad-size is Quad-Detailed and can be seen in the downsampled one as well. It also seems that the Quad size treats the scene better, which is most noticabl in the front center with the blue reflection.

Render fast but render smart!
Mark
RenderTITAN

EDIT: The render times are at the bottom left of each image.

elfufu
03-28-2008, 09:02 AM
well titan u were right we rendered at 3k and that eliminated the majority of flicker by downscaling, however we did still get distance flicker (yes we tried distance blurring to no success) anyways zdepth and fog saved the day along with your suggestions.

its still unfortunate that u need to render 3k , 8billion polys at 3k.......can u say fun?

thanks again

RenderTITAN
03-29-2008, 03:55 AM
well titan u were right we rendered at 3k and that eliminated the majority of flicker by downscaling, however we did still get distance flicker (yes we tried distance blurring to no success) anyways zdepth and fog saved the day along with your suggestions.

its still unfortunate that u need to render 3k , 8billion polys at 3k.......can u say fun?

thanks again

I am sorry to say that when we render scenes for ourselves, we render at 4k when we target HD (Or technically 1920x2 for the horizontal and 1080x2 for the vertical.) This gets us most of the way. Then we are really big into DOF and when all else fails, shoot for a faster aperature look. (Then the distance noise should go away.)

M

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