View Full Version : displacement woes

11 November 2004, 03:02 AM
i'm having an extremely frustrating problem in xsi which is driving me insane. Whenver i try to render any object with displacement, the program freezes and then closes itself without even an error message. I've tried plenty of different tests and setups, but still no success.

I'm desparately seeking an answer so your help would be most appreciated.

Thanking you in advance,

11 November 2004, 03:34 AM
Have you tried renaming your preferences folder?

Have you tried reinstalling XSI?

I have seen your thread at the base, but have no idea why you are having problems... Displacement is fine on my end...

11 November 2004, 03:54 AM
Are you maybe having memory problems? If you have the displacement tesselation set too high on a complex model, I'm sure it could cause your memory to run out. Check under the geometry apprximation settings of your model to see what's happening. I've never had any displacement problems myself.

11 November 2004, 04:24 AM
thanks for the quick response!

i'm reluctant to reinstall xsi because installing it caused me endless hassles which required many hours with softimage support and much hair tearing... but if worse comes to worst then i guess i'll have to..

i've never had and problems with memory before and just to be sure, i've tried displacement on the most basic objects and still to no avail.

i'm not sure entirely what u mean by rename my preferences folder... do u suggest i simply change its name through my computer to reset my preferences?


11 November 2004, 04:34 AM
i'm not sure entirely what u mean by rename my preferences folder... do u suggest i simply change its name through my computer to reset my preferences?


Basically by resetting the prefs in this manner... XSI will automatically make a new one... In Window/Linux (w/ XSI closed) rename the Users/YOURNAME folder to OldPreferences or something similar... fire up XSI and it will recreate a new preference folder... if things work from here... again w/ XSI closed you can start copying things from the OldPreferences folder to the new one XSI has creates (such as keymaps, layouts etc...) In between each file transfer check to see if XSI is still working.

If it breaks between preference copying... you know that that file was a problem... close xsi and delete that file... continue salvaging preferences files until you've figured out which are the problems...

You may be able to save yourself alot of the work if you don't have a bunch of customizing... because well, it may be quicker just to set up your preferences the old-fashioned way.

11 November 2004, 06:13 AM
well i tried the deleting preferences thing but it didn't help my situation at all... thanks for the suggestiong nonetheless.

well i've sent an email to softimage with my problem... hopefully they'll respond in a timely manner... in the mean time, i might have to try reinstalling xsi... unless i anyone else has a suggestion?


11 November 2004, 07:07 AM
What OS (and service packs)?

What Video Card/Driver set?

How much Ram?

What apps are running in the background?

Run AdawareSE (if windows) perhaps some nasty spyware is running disrupting cycles or hogging memory.

Software firewall in use (windows or otherwise)?

Do you use any kind of registry cleaner? If so perhaps you should use it's registry restoration tools to revert it to a pre-cleaning state to see if it screwed something up in MR.

11 November 2004, 07:18 AM
i'm running windows xp sp2 with a radeon mobility 9000 64mb graphics card... i had problems with it before with xsi but those all cleared up with the latest drivers. i have 512mb ram and always use adaware regularly. i have a registry cleaner but i've never used it and sygate personal firewall is always running (i've disabled the windows one).

On your advice, i tried running xsi after shutting down basically everything else using task manager and i still had no luck. I'm don't really have much of technical head so i'm not sure how to render through dos prompt or through exporting to mi files otherwise i'd try that.

I've never had any speed related problems with xsi before (except of course for the obvious like when i'm working with way too many polygons). I think there must of been a time when i could render bump and displacement because i vaguely remember doing the xsi tutorial which had something to do with bump.


11 November 2004, 04:48 PM
You mentioned trying it on basic objects - but I'm curious if that was in a new scene or the same one you're having trouble with. It's not easy, but it is possible to change the global Geometry approximation (either refinement or subdivision) so that even new objects might have an unnaturally high geoappox setting - which can severely slow down displacement. That's the only thing I can think of if displacement is the only area you're having trouble with. Mind you, I've never had xsi actually crash on high settings - just choke up forever.

11 November 2004, 11:26 PM
success! well i can't really say i understand how or why, i think i've finally solved my problem. I finally decided to reinstall xsi last night and when that didn't help me i decided to perform a system restore from a few months ago to see if it had been a result of something i did. Whilst i didn't think i'd changed any relevant settings to the program, it seems that has solved my problem. I'm not sure what setting in particular because a lot of things had changed since then so i've made a list of all the changes and i'm going to proceed to reinstall these things and redo these things one by one to see if I can pinpoint what has caused these problems, maybe something played around with the mentral ray dlls or something like that.

At the same time, i'm finding that my xsi has a very low tolerance rate for displacement; it doesn't take all that many polygons before it crashes. So i think i'm going to have to learn how to use the command prompt renderer so hopefully i'll be able to render out of my more displacement intensive projects.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for there help and suggestions.


11 November 2004, 05:36 PM
try turning your geometry approximation on that object to fine, view dependent and turn max displacement down to .5 with a lower sampling rate , so between 0 and 2 rather then 0 and 4 or 0 and 6. also, in your render tree, run your displacement map through an intensity node and crank it down (depending on how bright your maps are. xsi displacement is VERY sensitive). it seemes to work beautifully for me.

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