Severe Pflow lag - 10,000 particles?!

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  06 June 2012
Severe Pflow lag - 10,000 particles?!

I don't understand why 3DS Max is taking literally 2-3 minutes to calculate moving a single object that is emitting particles. I have a scene with 10,000 particles emitting from several cylinders, and when I am viewing in my viewport, and try to move one of them to reposition, Max literally times out and hangs, often requiring me to "hard-boot" close it (ctrl alt del), and losing any progress I had made.

Why is this lag happening with 10,000 particles??? I can understand when I'm working with millions, but 10,000? I am running on a 16GB computer with quad core i7's @ 2.93Ghz.

I have no materials to render.
All my objects except the particles are hidden.
I have only one emitter, emitting from surface with subframe sampling (I realize this uses a lot of memory, but 10,000 particles?!?)

Any reason why it might be taking several minutes to calculate viewport stuff. My cache is cleared/updated too.

Very frustrated.
  06 June 2012
max2012 nitrous?

For the most part only one core really matters with pflow.
poof ~>Vimeo<~
  06 June 2012
Max 2012 64 bit.

I think it has to do with this tentacle plugin I'm using. Going to just key frame animate my emitters and see if that helps at all.
  06 June 2012
It may, but I also know for a fact that plfow+nitrous VP driver+anything moving = real poor performance.

You can switch to directX to get a bit better performance gain.

Max2012 is a interim version they did a lot of viewport changes, while you can get great performance with high poy static models, anything moving or changing topology absolutely destroys your performance. I have got a pile of benchmarks that say something is wrong, you can test against them if you like the scene I used is attached to the first post below: (oh and is is only 2k particles)

poof ~>Vimeo<~
  06 June 2012
Yeah my scene with only 1000 particles is only getting about 4-5 FPS... 100,000 polys.

Is there a secret to scrubbing through a scene to see what my particles are doing / to edit them, when I have a bunch of moving geometry? (ie. my tentacle-like objects that they are emitting from?)

Thanks for the responses Johnny!

edit: I had it in wireframe, hidden geometry, anything, all gives same frame rate.

Last edited by Eucalyptus : 06 June 2012 at 12:07 AM.
  06 June 2012
Try switching your graphics driver to OpenGL then DirectX, OpenGL ancient as it is does handle particles pretty will to this day. Either way you should see improved performance with either.

I have heard it helps but not benchmarked turning backface cull on/off . Also try displaying your tentacle geometry as box.

Another thing to keep in mind is how complex is this tentacle geometry? Generally with pflow the first thing to do is make sure it is an editable mesh and NOT an edit poly (I gather this is to calculate the tri face faster than a multi-tri face of poly). Secondly the simpler the better, if you can get away with 20 mesh faces and get proper behaviour instead of 10000 faces, then do it

Like I mentioned earlier, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, max 2012 is the worst version for this kind of work ever, I have yet to use it for anything other than testing some plugin compatibility. Hopefully you get some better results with those tips. Let me know how it goes.
poof ~>Vimeo<~
  06 June 2012
Had a bit of luck with lowering my poly counts by a significant amount. Instead of 12,000 poly's, I've got 1,000 now, and my viewport lag seems to be a lot better.

I tried switching viewport to using GFX but it didn't help much either. I think the biggest problem was I had way too much geometry, and it wasn't even the particles it was having a problem calculating, it was the geometry itself. I'm sure it didn't help that it had to calculate the emission off the geometry as well.

Appreciate the reply, sir!
  06 June 2012
no problem

High poly counts are for beauty passes not for FX interaction... lesson one
poof ~>Vimeo<~
  06 June 2012
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