There is no simple answer to the question - it mostly depends on the composition. The key variables here are I/O and memory.
Increasing the frames at once can reduce what we call I/O latency, where Fusion is making no use of the CPU because it is waiting for footage to load before it can continue processing. Rendering multiple frames at once makes it far less likely that there will be nothing for the CPU to do.
Of course, the trade off is that each frame rendering simultaneously will consume memory that may be needed by the other tools.
Generally, the default of 2 is enough to buffer most I/O latency, while keeping memory use to a minimum. If you are working with 4K float plates, then you may find the memory use is more important than the latency, and set the frames at once to 1. For small super fast compositions, I often set the frames at once to 4.
If your primary interest is in parallelism through Network rendering, I usually suggest keeping the setting to 1 or 2 frames at once. This will ensure your render won't get hung up by the slowest machine on the network. However, keep in mind that slaves which finish the render will move on to the next job anyway, so the problem won't describe won't affect a long queue, it only affects situations where you are actively waiting for a composition to finish rendering.
09-15-2006, 01:59 PM
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