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View Full Version : The importance of CPU power for LW char animation


Mike RB
03-01-2003, 05:59 AM
I recently upgraded my CPU from a p3 700 to a p4 2400. It makes an incredible difference. I was finding that with my p3 Even without drawing a single poly some of my rigged characters were maxing out at 8fps or so. Thats a little rough to do character animation with. In fact its not just rough, it sucks. Thats why messiah was/is so popular, because with LW, until recently with the current speed of todays processors kinda sucked with heavily rigged characters (4 IK chains).

With my new processor I get an actual increase of layout redraw speed of about 3.5x. So 8fps is now 28fps. More than enough to animate with. While LW may not be the fastest app at calculating IK and other things, with the speed that processors are advancing it dosent really matter anymore.... Time to go render some hypervoxels. :)

Mike

dark_lotus
03-01-2003, 06:13 AM
Cool! I LOVE hypervoxels. Be sure to show us some stuff!

Psyhke
03-01-2003, 06:31 AM
Mmmm....processing power. Just recently upgraded my system, too. I hear ya.

Same video card, then?

Julez4001
03-01-2003, 06:41 AM
Mike its what I been trying to tell yah all this time. I know u r die-hard "lwer only" but you gotta think of using messiah sometimes and think of it as a plugin for lw and not competition because i am sure as h*ll not gonna render in it. You think ur lw is fast, try messiah and the only probably with lw is that the more you put ur effects and other Ik chains it will get back to that slow P3 you had in feedback standard.

Think of it as a render .... professional use a compositer to spice up and edit thier final renders. Messiah should be the route u take for animation because the feedback is uncanny and then there is the dopesheet, NLA and setup mode.

maybe I should change my monniker to "messiah-preaching".

kretin
03-01-2003, 07:01 AM
Haha Julez, I've noticed your Messiah preaching :p

But seriously, I upgraded about a year ago from a Piii450 to an AMD2000, from a TNT2 to a Geforce4 Ti4600, from 384Mb Ram to 1Gb.

Since then I have yet to work on a scene which slows my machine down to unmanagable levels, as I often used to with the old system. And I deal with some pretty large/complex scenes...

Julez4001
03-01-2003, 07:08 AM
I sure you haven't notice any slowdowns. Have you used messiah? If you haven't, then ignorance is bliss but once you have and then go back to lw..somethings not gonna feel right. Its the feedback of course. I thinks that my problem if I would have never went to messiah then I wouldn't be in my preturb ways..i wonder if CIM used it to. :p

kretin
03-01-2003, 07:18 AM
I must admit, I haven't used messiah since the original demo version that came out a few years back. But to be quite honest I have never felt the need to either.

May as you say be ignorance being bliss, or indeed you may not be using LW as efficiently as it's possible to, or a combination of both.

I certainly don't think Messiah is the ultimate animation tool. I believe there are as many inherant problems with animating in Messiah as there are in LW. That said it may well be better than LW at character animation, as LW is still catching up in that area. But is it worth the extra cost? I guess that all comes down to whether you're getting paid for Messiah output or Lightwave output...

SplineGod
03-01-2003, 08:16 AM
I do agree that messiahs redraw is quite fast. There are several things that you can do in Lightwave to get a very fast response when animating. I would just rather work inside LW as much as I can for animating rather then break that process out into another app. Another issue I have is with the current state of the market for 3D apps in general I dont see PMG surviving for much longer.

paul k.
03-01-2003, 09:35 AM
Hey Mike, I just bought a new machine. It's a 2.4 with a Quadro 750 XGL and I am not getting anywhere near 28fps. I wish!........ I'm getting like 14 or so most of the time. I have sub D's turned to zero, etc. but I still have to make previews repeatedly. I'll try some of Splinegod's advice though and maybe I can bring up the rate. I thought that your grafx card was the real difference in Open GL and keeping your frame rate up. Am I mistaken? What kind of card do you use? Thanks.

samartin
03-01-2003, 09:46 AM
It is the GFX card that makes all the difference when it comes to creating your animations with OPENGL, I'm not sure if the CPU makes any difference too be honest...

I installed XP recently and it detected my video card no problems but I thought HOLY COW my video card has slowed down, so I used the latest NVIDIA drivers and now it has prob. doubled my frame rate... I am only running a GeForce2 MX100 but then I'm not dealing with complicated characters yet or scenes for that matter...

Basically the CPU does all the rendering for the final output, so maybe you should try getting hold of some newer drivers for the QUADRO...

**edit

I read somewhere that P4's handle hypervoxels with great ease, I am thinking of upgrading at some point if plans come together... But I was thinking down the lines of a AMD dual system but it doesn't have the SSE2 functions and I think this is what makes LW run even faster in some cases, IS THIS TRUE ???

So is it P4 Hyperthread or AMD dual ???

SplineGod
03-01-2003, 09:55 AM
It seems that the best thing to shoot for is some kind of balance between CPU speed and Gfx card speed.

Eugeny
03-01-2003, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by samartin

Basically the CPU does all the rendering for the final output, so maybe you should try getting hold of some newer drivers for the QUADRO...


Not only - CPU used for IK calculation i.e. CPU mast calculate all new points position during animation. My friend have SGI visual workstation (the first PC from SGI) - it's have strongest OGL power that i ever seen, u can easy rotate or dolly through the huge scene (3- 4 million poly with textures) but then u hit play it's completely sucks - redraw is immediately but recalculating is weary slow.

samartin
03-01-2003, 10:08 AM
DOH !!! Silly me, yeah I was thinking only down the lines of modelling and not taking into account of the original question of animation such as IK linkages etc...

Glad you pointed that out Eugeny as I didn't wanna mislead anyone... :applause:

**edit

I have only just noticed, but if you freeze and object instead of using the Sub-D version, this slowed down my animations speed by 3x... I was rigging a character and was getting 32 fps with using patch divison set to 3 when playing back, but now using the Frozen version I only get 10 fps which was frozen at patch division 3 and then tripled... back to Sub-D's me thinx...

uncommongrafx
03-01-2003, 01:12 PM
Yah, Mike,
My box is really a blast to animate with. I went from my puny dual 500 p3 to a dual 2.6... I can actually scroll the timeline with a fully rigged scene with a rigged machine. :applause:
Did you build yourself? You will do some amazing things, I'm sure, with such a productive box.
Off to do some pseudo-flash. hehe
Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

Arte
03-01-2003, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Mike RB
I recently upgraded my CPU from a p3 700 to a p4 2400. It makes an incredible difference. I was finding that with my p3 Even without drawing a single poly some of my rigged characters were maxing out at 8fps or so. Thats a little rough to do character animation with. In fact its not just rough, it sucks. Thats why messiah was/is so popular, because with LW, until recently with the current speed of todays processors kinda sucked with heavily rigged characters (4 IK chains).

With my new processor I get an actual increase of layout redraw speed of about 3.5x. So 8fps is now 28fps. More than enough to animate with. While LW may not be the fastest app at calculating IK and other things, with the speed that processors are advancing it dosent really matter anymore.... Time to go render some hypervoxels. :)

Mike

Nice one Mike.

I would keep the P4 for character anim and away from hypervoxels.

When you see your machine slow down for no apparent reason after 10 or so renders, you'll know what I am talking about.

X

Nonproductive
03-01-2003, 03:27 PM
Not really LW - but you may want to check out this thread for some interesting statistics.

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=46752

Maxon released Cinebench 2003 and folks were posting their results. It breaks out OpenGL performance and processor speed. Mac's were lagging pretty far behind in some regards and AMD chips seemd to be a bit behidn Intel chips.

Julez4001
03-01-2003, 03:54 PM
Without adding anything new to lw:

newtek PLease optimize
Hypervoxels
Motion Designer
and
IK/Deformations.

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