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Old 09-28-2012, 06:15 PM   #1
ravihara
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Weird mental ray issue guys..

guys, im having this weird mental ray issue that my render completely stops at a random position (after rendering 50 or 60 or maybe 100 frames) ,mr starting leaving heaps of output massages like this (only at the moment when it stops rendering ):

DB 0.10 908 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 908 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 908 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 908 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 908 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 907 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 907 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.5 906 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.5 906 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 894 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 894 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 887 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 887 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 879 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.10 879 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag
DB 0.5 876 MB error 041012: attempt to unpin null tag

at the same max session, if i try to hit render again, max become not responding for ever.
any idea what is this bug? and its not only this scene that have this error. but every other scene that are rendered using mr. (max 2013 here)
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:43 PM   #2
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These are all memory issues. Mental ray requires your system to have a lot of ram. Do not disable the virtual memory either.

Not to mean this will be enough for all scenes but you should have at least 16 GB. 8 gb ram crashes this way on a great percent of my scenes when there are a lot of textures.
Even 16 won't be enough for many scenes and even if it renders for sometime, as frames move on, memory is used more and more, then you finally end up with such errors on some arbitrary frame.

Don't know much about this but, I've heard something -on the mental images forum- about a .map format which helps reduce memory consumption. Your standard map formats can be converted to .map format by the imf_copy command. (an executable file in the mental ray folder of 3dsmax) I myself converted the maps on one of my scenes to map format to see the advantages. Neither the quality was satisfying (maps were blurred) nor the performance increased much, however I might not have used it correctly, and it is said to be helping rendering more textures.

What is your ram amount?
 
Old 09-30-2012, 02:39 AM   #3
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Unhappy that must be the case..

ya.. that must be the case. im running on 4GB ram. its true that it struggles a lot. im having dx58so board and im now planning to put it to maximum ; 16 gb. hope it will help me.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:41 AM   #4
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That will help you a lot. I ve used 8 gb for a long time before my current system, trying distributed bucket rendering with another computer that has 4 gb's of memory.

If there were not much textures, it was rendering perfectly reducing the render times to almost half but on real world scenes with several textures, it was behaving so strange that I couldn't ever understand it was about memory:

eg: It renders for some time helping reduce rendering times but after some rendering, errors start to appear, some buckets starts to freeze for more than the time necessary to render it on single computer. Those buckets may even contain just the background.

When I felt a necessity to replace the motherboard due that it doesn't accept more than 8 Gb, the reason of all those errors got clear.

Now I have 32gb on each machine, you can't believe how it renders the most complex scenes even in distributed mode.
Last month I have rendered a reasonable amount of single frame renders in 5000x3750 resolution without a hassle. 9 hour renders were reduced down to almost half in distributed mode.

I've tested the slave machine with 8, 16 and 24 gb ram. 8gb was definitely not enough. It did crash several times. When I added one more 8 gb stick, it started rendering seamlessly.

About virtual memory: With an intention not to waste the valuable system disk space, (which is a relatively small ssd drive), and thinking that the virtual memory wouldn't be necessary with this amount of ram I disabled it completely at first.

On one scene that is composed of 10 blocks of apartments plus more importantly about 130 trees and 20 cars used as mental ray proxy objects (note: proxies were not instanced although most of them were same models) the scene was reported to consume more than 20 gb as render buckets reach those proxy objects. (this is 3dsmax's memory usage as reported on task manager) On this experience, one frame rendered ok but the next crashed.

Just by turning on virtual memory and setting it to automatic, it rendered the complete animation without any crashes.

Best regards
 
Old 09-30-2012, 03:20 PM   #5
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Thumbs up thanks a lot bro!!

woow thanks a lot man for the explanation and sharing your experience. it really is very confusing when it behaves like this. at least if it leaves a clear massage telling the system ram is not enough and abort the render, it will be Ok than this. but when this happen, i was clueless. thanks a lot bro. and ya. im using 4k textures generally. and about 30000 hair with 150 segments + puppet hair_tk shaders. im now surprised that it even rendered up to this extend.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:23 PM   #6
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Believe me, I have even seen the lack of memory manifesting itself with an error like "mental ray doesn't recognize your texture" (mostly saying this about gifs, hdr's and png files.) Actually it is not a matter with the texture files themselves. It is just memory.

Although the rest of the error messages are so confusing, like "Error accessing null database tag." (-you start to think what is a database tag) there is always some text in the beginning saying something like Bla bla 0.0 18 mb error 130mb error... It probably shows that this is a memory error.

Memory usage is related to raytrace acceleration method as well. Although BSP2 is stated to be best in scenes over 1 million polygons, I sometimes find BSP method faster. If you have time, try checking rendering times with some BSP size and depth settings: You know it defaults to 10-40.

If you have more memory I find 7 70 to be fast, but if memory is not enough for a particular scene it starts rendering so slowly. It pauses on several buckets. A value like 18- 35 helped me finish some renderings when I had 8gb, when it was not possible to render in any other setting.

You may get interestingly different rendering times, and you'll be checking for the best value for your particular scene; because on one setting you may get a 5 minute render time but just by setting it to a better value with BSP it can get down to 1-1.5 minutes.

This is great value if you re rendering an animation and believe me, little values may cause unbelievable improvements.
 
Old 10-01-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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Thumbs up

hey thanks a lot bro for the tips about this BSP size and depth settings... im really getting to have a little control over the render time now, which is great! thanks again bro! and im using gauss filter for my scene is having lot of hair and fur that i found that gauss is doing the job as intended. but i thinks it takes lot time when comparing with other sampling methods.. and ya, mental ray looks great but these weird errors make it sloppy to use. i have seen in vray, that these type of memory related issues are clear in its prompts. fortunately, i still havent got any "super weird" error like you mentioned about texture maps. its great that you cleared me the fact that mental ray acts really strange when there is less ram.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:15 PM   #8
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You're welcome... It s a pleasure to be of any help.
 
Old 10-22-2012, 10:47 AM   #9
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Thumbs up it worked bro!

hey bro.. thanks a lot for the help. the RAMs have arrived and now its getting rendered without any problem! thanks again man. this is a huge help!
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
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