Why are Max rigs so much slower than Maya rigs?

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  12 December 2007
I don't believe that Skin is having this effect at all. I believe in my talks with Peter that skin was not the issue and there were others things that were causing it. These have mostly been corrected at this stage but I will try that point helper speed test again with 1000 and see what happens. Track view has always been slower then Mayas that is for sure.
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Paul Neale
http://paulneale.com
 
  12 December 2007
Archanex: I think that script has been lost in the sands of time (ie. it didn't get moved over with the last couple of network server changes) and was pretty bespoke to the project it was made for. Sorry.
:/
 
  12 December 2007
Interesting...

From some inital tests with max trackview curve editor with 100 points with position keys on them all, it's seeming to me that it's not really the calculation of the movement of the keys that is slow in this case but the actual display of the 300 curves updating. It has the same update speed regardless of whether you're moving the keys with interactive update turned on, turned off or even if you're not moving the keys at all and just panning around in the key window!

I must say that I was wrong about the skin modifier playback issue as here are the results of some tests of the playback speed of an animated scene with two (skeleton) rigged and skinned characters (no morphers, skin wraps or skin morphs).
Computer used: 2 Ghz core 2 duo, 2 gb ram, geforce 7900 GS.

3dsmax 8 (d3d):
Lo-res skinned mesh with skin modifier on: 9 fps.
Lo-res skinned mesh with skin modifier off: 16 fps.
Lo-res skinned mesh with skin modifier deleted: 16 fps.

Wireframe box bones with skin modifier on: 15 fps.
Wireframe box bones with skin modifier off: 15 fps.
Wireframe box bones with skin modifier deleted: 15 fps.

3dsmax 9/2008 (d3d):
Lo-res skinned mesh with skin modifier on: 6 fps.
Lo-res skinned mesh with skin modifier off: 10 fps.
Lo-res skinned mesh with skin modifier deleted: 10 fps.

Wireframe box bones with skin modifier on: 10 fps.
Wireframe box bones with skin modifier off: 10 fps.
Wireframe box bones with skin modifier deleted: 10 fps.

The skin modifier issue seems to have been fixed from when the problem was first noted. I'll try not to shoot my mouth off so soon next time.
The big thing I found is that performance speeds with deforming meshes in max 8 are better than max 9 and 2008 (at least on this computer). The latest release may handle large poly counts better but it doesn't seem to have flowed through to deforming meshes.

:/
 
  12 December 2007
interesting...it could be cool to see some comparisons of skinning speed between max and maya, both using the same mesh and same bone structure ( with the same number of joints etc...) maybe using fbx we could export to maya the same test than in max?
 
  12 December 2007
I just may be able to provide that as I've made my rig as a maya version (though I don't think I'll be releasing this publicly any time soon, if ever).
I can say in my first rough tests with it that it's almost as fast, if not as fast to playback in maya but it's much faster to edit keys with in the graph editor. This is comparing a straight skeleton rig in max to the equivalent rig in maya. These are rigs without any skinning/mesh binding and there are some discrepancies in terms of number of twist bones on the limbs which will make some difference.
I'll try to import a character that I have rigged in max into maya, bind the maya rig to it and see what the differences are.
:)
 
  12 December 2007
really appreciate you doing all this these tests brad. I'm planning to do similar tests on my system to see how they compare, but they may have to wait till finals are over =)
 
  12 December 2007
Brad, if you remember durring testing for 9 many of these tests were done comparing all three packages with similar rigs. I do remember now that Max only fell down with drawing the bezier curves. I wounder if the whole curve in max is being recalculated instead of only a part of it.
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Paul Neale
http://paulneale.com
 
  12 December 2007
It's possible but I've just found that in the trackview with the 100 point test that the animation curves update quicker when they take up less screen space.
In a maximised max 8 scene (I don't have time to test in 9 or 2008 yet), 100 points with two position keys on each one at frames 0 and 100, play back at 40 fps, moving their keys with trajectories in the motion panel updates at 30 fps, moving their keys in a maximised trackview is about 1 fps (!) while moving them around in a tiny trackview key window is almost real-time.
Weird... it seems like there's something fundamentally wrong with the trackview redrawing.
:/

P.S. As a side test, 100 Animated splines play back at 120 fps, moving their vertices around updates at 21 fps.
 
  12 December 2007
Hey guys!
long time no post!
I'm sure at this point I"m just beating a dead horse but i wanted to just back up brad,
that in previous versions of max (more specifically max 8), the track view did have some major speed issues, i had an animator from Maya do some character animation for a Heineken spot, and it was odd to tell him not to use the curve editor to shift keys, if i remember correctly the dope sheet and the time line worked fine. but we did have one complain, when slide keys on the time line the animation wouldn't refresh until you let the mouse button up, which was a bit of a difference.

we've just started using 9 in studio, and will be doing some heavy character work in the next months, so it will be great to see what improvments have been added to max9 at that time.

anyways i'll be the first to say that all software sucks!
i just want mine to suck a litle less at the time that i'm using it.
cheers,
Los.
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Carlos Anguiano
CEO Mangosoft LLC
www.mangopipeline.com
 
  12 December 2007
So are you saying that Max 9 is being used at Digital Domain? Or have you moved shops?

The speed of Max has greatly improved but I'm not sure what work might have been done on the curves. I will see if I can find out.
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Paul Neale
http://paulneale.com
 
  12 December 2007
yeah, you sound a bit surprised....

Digital Domain has been using max for about 2 or 3 years now.
first big project was the all cg nine inch nails video directed by fincher.
really good stuff.
The vid on you tube.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=SCLEtYBkB-o

anyways, we use preaty much every pice of code ever written here, plus a few extras.

cheers,
Los.
__________________
Carlos Anguiano
CEO Mangosoft LLC
www.mangopipeline.com
 
  12 December 2007
good discussion.

one thing for optimize max speed that is been left , is the option of having textures show on viewport.In one of the latest projects we do over hear the was texture on 2056 pixels slowed down,the spedin viewport . as soon as i take the material of the model it was much quicker.

one of my main rules is got the characters without textures, and normally when the animation is finish we transfern the information to a proper shaded version true point cache.

I have to say i worked alot with brad rig, i was like to work with him at nexus a few years ago and his resizable rig is a big time saver when you have to rig alot of character. but because is resizable it got a bit of loose speed .i think if the same rig if was not to have to be resizable it wil be quicker.

but in other hand been resizable is really powerfull, we got a project done by Michael greenwood that he got like 50 characters and what he did he model them all with the same vertex count rigged one time , and later morpher to the other character, resize the rig and switch on and off always deform, really quick and good workflow, you could do this quick with and autogenerated rig.

I am really agree the max killer is the trackview, im max9 we did a project with splines and deformable shapes speed in viewport was quick but a soon you went to trackview it was a overkill, moving handles was taking ages.

is the main thing max have to focus in fixing .

and aboutr skin was a bug on max7 , thta really slow down the key moving , whem you got sometimes skin + meshsmooth or turbosmooth but was fixed on 8.
 
  12 December 2007
On the note about textures I just ran into a kill on a current project. Something that most productions are not going to suffer from but it is good to note. The characters that we have are actualy flat cards with textures on them. To animate a head for instance looking right to left it is actualy swapping textures. This produces a nice snappy cartoon style that we were looking for. To swap the textures we first used multisub object materials and the material modifier. Wire up the mat ID spinner on the material mod to a custom pose bank modifier that I wrote. Because the characters are just cards you need to have the whole texture showing in the viewport so that you can see the alpha and know where the character is. Also because of the amount of textures needed to get all the poses each character has about 500+ materials. When the multisub is shown in the viewport it doesn't know which is being used by the material modifier as it could be all or none or some where inbetween. For this reason it is trying to show all of them. We couldn't move the time slider once we got the all the textures on a character.

To get around it I scripted a material plugin that either caches all the materials to memeory and then swaps each map as it is needed or for rendering it switches to a high res bank of textures and streams them from the hard drive. Works great now but know that many multisub materials all trying to be shown in the viewport can be a real speed killer.
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Paul Neale
http://paulneale.com
 
  12 December 2007
the the digimatte deparment here has had tons of issues with how max handles textures.
it would be really good if autodesk incorporated a floating point wavelet format, and
a wavelet shader. i have to agree that having more than a few maps 2k or bigger, will
just bring max to it's knees, specialy on the render side.
the only sort of desecent solution that i've seen is been wavegen, but it dosn't suport
floating point images, so it's stops you from doing any high dynamic range color work.
i agree that max needs a more efficient way of handleing images, i would agree with Paul that not having textures on rigs is not always an option.
cheers,
Los.
__________________
Carlos Anguiano
CEO Mangosoft LLC
www.mangopipeline.com
 
  12 December 2007
Originally Posted by CarlosA: floating point wavelet format


Ya that is exactly what I was thinking...ummmm...what the hell is that?
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Paul Neale
http://paulneale.com
 
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