CGTalk > Software > Autodesk 3ds max
Login register
Thread Closed share thread « Previous Thread | Next Thread »
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-08-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
Byteman3D
Expert
 
Byteman3D's Avatar
portfolio
Nezih Kanbur
Graphic Designer
Istanbul, Turkey
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 574
Send a message via ICQ to Byteman3D Send a message via MSN to Byteman3D
Methods to improve render performance

I've been using 3DS Max with Mental Ray for a very long time. During each project, I'm often very mixed up, broken, unhappy. I know how high quality renders I can get with mental ray, but I see myself spending serious time trying to find the balance between quality and performance. The amount of information has become so large that I sometimes loose control of my scenes. I have hard time deciding whether or not I have found the best possible quality vs time match.

I find that FG, IBL, AO, sampling, Opacity, trees dramatically affect performance, but I'm mixed up.

An arch. scene I currently work on renders in about 24 minutes with full quality in 1280x720 resolution. It is not acceptable for animation. I preferred IBL because FG has artifacts unless you keep settings extremely high. IBL takes time depending on quality. Keeping it low can take rendering time to a few minutes but there are grains. I also couldn't avoid some very dark areas on some top faces (like ceilings over balconies) so I turned on a global Ambient Occlusion, too. It also adds to rendering time.
Directly changing ambient light didn't have any effect. I don't want to add another light that brings more problems. If I increase skylight colour some portions are over-exposed.
Coming to sampling, that stupid little setting is the key to everything 1/4-1 setting brings the rendering time to even 1 minute. but 1/4-16 gets it back to unacceptables.
If only the gpu could render the antialiasing samples. My only problem with low sampling is the jaggies and getting rid of them costs a large 20 minutes.
Trees is another problem. That's mostly the area where buckets get stuck. I turn off any hard materials. No transparency, no reflections. Still trees have the power to 10 fold the render time, compared to being hidden.
I turned their shadows, refectivities off or even tried making them invisible to FG. I gave up FG afterwards though. I tested everything.

Unified sampling is another Box of Pandorra. It defaults to a low quality with samples min max 1-128 respectively. Quality-min-max = 1-1-32 works ok. Quality seems the thing with more importance.

I sometimes override the materials in scene and see everything with standard material it is a again fast. But how will I check all materials and see how much time -suppose- a Bump map adds to rendering time?
My brain resources are drained, the best possible performance with acceptable quality came in around 20 minutes.

It is still unacceptable. By the way the machine I'm using is an i7 3930 K. That's another reason why I'm drained. I have two of those. Still 1500 frames will take 10 days.

Since there are cars, tires are moving fast and without moblur, they seem to be moving choppy, backwards, even back and forth. I can't even consider turning it on.


If I could only use distributed rendering seamlessly as it normally should do, I would heap 10 computers in my house and forget everything else but it is another pain. Network computers are assigned their buckets without any wait, but one machine finishes its, and the slave starts its first assigned 12 buckets, even more later than master finishes everything entirely.



Now what is the question here? Though it is hard to say something without seeing the scene but I just believe it can be faster. I just need any useful recommendations if there is?

Last edited by Byteman3D : 05-08-2013 at 11:39 AM. Reason: Correcting grammar
 
Old 05-08-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
plastic
Down With The Industry
 
plastic's Avatar
portfolio
Marc Lorenz
Vienna, Austria
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 789
I think the best answer is: Move on to VRay.
 
Old 05-08-2013, 03:36 PM   #3
Byteman3D
Expert
 
Byteman3D's Avatar
portfolio
Nezih Kanbur
Graphic Designer
Istanbul, Turkey
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 574
Send a message via ICQ to Byteman3D Send a message via MSN to Byteman3D
Quote:
Originally Posted by plastic
I think the best answer is: Move on to VRay.


I'll be lying if I say I've never considered it. I just think of throwing the monitor out of the window and switch to VRay. I just think I have to use the renderer bundled with the program and I have faith in MR. It is actually promising and final version is done well in terms of achieving quality. But it takes long.

Nevertheless I figured out the darkness on the top of the ceilings. Lower half of the HDR files are black and the asphalt doesn't let any light to reach there. I turned of shadow casting property of the floors and changed the HDR. I don't need ambient occlusion now. but still very long render times.

IBL doesn't have much settings. It is just grainy or slow. Still looking for ideas.
 
Old 05-08-2013, 04:30 PM   #4
DanGrover
Know-it-All
portfolio
Dan Grover
Technical Director
River Film
London, United Kingdom
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 355
Send a message via MSN to DanGrover
If you're doing an animation, have 10 machines in your house and find DR disappointing, have you tried hooking up a simple Backburner farm?

There are a million and one ways to tweak your scene for speed, and you seem to have done a number of them. One of my favourites is to fake the indirect light in post. If you render out a diffuse pass (My memory of MR is hazy, but I'm sure you can do this - it should end up just looking like a 100% diffuse pass with no lighting at all) and an ambient occlusion pass, you can colour correct the AO pass to bring the white down to a darkish blue. Then multiply this with the diffuse pass. What you end up with it a very broad but often pretty workable approximation of a GI pass (you get the colour from the diffuse, the light colour from the colour correction and the contact shadows from the AO). Multiply the raw lighting pass with the diffuse pass, and screen THAT over the top and you basically have your lighting passes looking quite nice, but without the boredom of GI (not to mention, you specified that you have moving objects! This is obviously flicker free). Then you have to layer up all your reflections and whatnot.

This doesn't work all the time, but I've had a number of scenes where the final look of the shot was almost identical (where it became a matter of preference rather than accuracy or quality).

Edit: To clarify, I don't mean rendering AO into your renders, I mean a separate AO pass.
__________________

 
Old 05-08-2013, 05:04 PM   #5
darthviper107
Expert
 
darthviper107's Avatar
portfolio
Zachary Brackin
3D Artist
Precocity LLC
Dallas, USA
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,955
Honestly, I think MR just isn't keeping up. Doing some tests with Vray it is so much faster. I've had issues with MR that no settings can fix without giving up on render times. With MR a small settings change can make drastic changes in the render and there's many settings that can have that effect which an mean a lot of time messing with settings. Sometimes I think there's no solution for certain issues. Vray is only lacking I think in the skin shader, it doesn't have as much features as the MR shader but it makes up for that in everything else. I like how I can actually render hair in Vray. And again it renders much faster and even at lower quality the only difference really is the amount of noise.
__________________
The Z-Axis
 
Old 05-08-2013, 06:13 PM   #6
thorsten hartmann
hot chip
 
thorsten hartmann's Avatar
Thorsten Hartmann
3D Artist
infinity vision
Berlin, Germany
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,387
Hi Byteman3d,

it give some Workflows that brings speed and quality.

some tips&tricks about Unfied Sampling: http://www.infinity-vision.de/blog/...g-at-3dsmax2013

The Big Problem for mental ray in 3dsmax is the Light Shader from Autodesk (very old) and A&D Material (based on mia_material). We canīt setup the Light importance Samples and much more. The best Methode at this time is Bi-Directionales Pathtracing. For this methode we need for example multiple importance Sample. That works only correct with BSDF-Shader ( original BSDF or MILA ), but not the A&D Material.

Autodesk have include IBL ( that send importance Samples ) but the A&D Material need to long rendertime. It produced overbrigth pixel and to much noise. Here can Unified Sampling not help! I have test Mila vs A&D Material with IBL, and MILA is 6 times faster as A&D for the same quality. That rocks.

PS: The IBL Mode from Autodesk is only 50% correct. The Sun light comes always from the sun_shader and not from the background. Autodesk have forget to added the option "physically_scaled_sun" in mr_physical_sky map, to create a 100% correct Background for IBL.

I can only say, at this time is for mental ray user the best maya.

mfg
hot chip
 
Old 05-08-2013, 07:44 PM   #7
blank000
Frequenter
 
blank000's Avatar
portfolio
Dario
Croatia
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by plastic
I think the best answer is: Move on to VRay.


Even better one: learn to use Mental ray.
Know what you need, and when you need it. Learn to set up materials for use with (extremely simple) unified sampling.
 
Old 05-10-2013, 02:01 PM   #8
MikeBracken
Lighting & Rendering TD
 
MikeBracken's Avatar
portfolio
Michael Bracken
TD
Animagic Productions
St Louis, USA
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,024
Trust me, we use both mray and VRay here, and both are hard to get fast rendertimes on very complex scenes. There are times when Vray fits the bill better, and times when mray fits the bill better. I know this post isnt helpful, but "Just use Vray" isnt very useful either.
__________________
TD Animagic Productions
 
Old 05-10-2013, 02:08 PM   #9
DanGrover
Know-it-All
portfolio
Dan Grover
Technical Director
River Film
London, United Kingdom
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 355
Send a message via MSN to DanGrover
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBracken
Trust me, we use both mray and VRay here, and both are hard to get fast rendertimes on very complex scenes. There are times when Vray fits the bill better, and times when mray fits the bill better. I know this post isnt helpful, but "Just use Vray" isnt very useful either.


This is all true. That said, as someone who was once something of a MRay loyalist, I'm finding the times that MR is quicker are getting fewer and further between. If it were to disappear from Max in the next version, I think it'd take a very unusual project for us to go running for an old version of Max in order to use it. When it comes to render engines, there's little in the way of an objective quality scale, but when you find yourself using VRay 19 times out of 20, I think it's worth "learning VRay" even if that individual advice isn't all that useful.
__________________

 
Old 05-10-2013, 04:12 PM   #10
MikeBracken
Lighting & Rendering TD
 
MikeBracken's Avatar
portfolio
Michael Bracken
TD
Animagic Productions
St Louis, USA
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,024
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanGrover
This is all true. That said, as someone who was once something of a MRay loyalist, I'm finding the times that MR is quicker are getting fewer and further between. If it were to disappear from Max in the next version, I think it'd take a very unusual project for us to go running for an old version of Max in order to use it. When it comes to render engines, there's little in the way of an objective quality scale, but when you find yourself using VRay 19 times out of 20, I think it's worth "learning VRay" even if that individual advice isn't all that useful.


My only point was that the render engine alone will not solve the problems of rendering a complex scene. All renderers have there "tweeks" that must be learned.
I agree that learning multiple renderes is a worthy goal.
__________________
TD Animagic Productions
 
Old 05-10-2013, 08:55 PM   #11
jonadb
3D Artist
 
jonadb's Avatar
Jonathan de Blok
Netherlands
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,308
I'm slowly getting hooked on iray, great results with very little setup. It has it quirks and can both much faster or much slower then MR or Vray depending on the type of scene.
If you. have your scene setup for Mr it should be easy to get it to render in iray.
__________________
The GPU revolution will not be rasterized! - http://www.jdbgraphics.nl
 
Old 05-11-2013, 05:06 AM   #12
jigu
FlakMaster!
 
jigu's Avatar
portfolio
Jignesh Jariwala
3D/VFX Artist
Freelance
surat, India
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,504
Send a message via Yahoo to jigu
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonadb
I'm slowly getting hooked on iray, great results with very little setup. It has it quirks and can both much faster or much slower then MR or Vray depending on the type of scene.
If you. have your scene setup for Mr it should be easy to get it to render in iray.


I am also doing a lot render in iray. I found it quite fast compare to MR when doing refractions and refractions in iray looks physically more correct whereas in MR it just doesn't look good. As a matter of fact iray is a lot faster (requires 1000 to 2000 iterations) compare to MR.
__________________
www.jhjariwala.com
Demoreel 2012
 
Old 05-11-2013, 07:40 AM   #13
Byteman3D
Expert
 
Byteman3D's Avatar
portfolio
Nezih Kanbur
Graphic Designer
Istanbul, Turkey
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 574
Send a message via ICQ to Byteman3D Send a message via MSN to Byteman3D
This has become a full bunch of useful information here. Thank you for all the valueable input.

@DanGrover, I appreciate your effort, that's really useful information Thank you. I hate to do things in passes -infact because there are already some passes, different scenes and takes. That messes things up on my part, however I'm going to spend time on it. I've had problems compositing different passes, I guess each have their methods.

@darthviper107, you've really put out the truth I could't say any better. I myself waste serious time trying to reach a qualityXspeed ratio that is impossible to reach, however -just as you say- little settings make drastic changes, and more importantly, there are thousands of them;
even the scene size affects speed so I always have faith that I may reach better performance with acceptable quality.

And finally @thorsten, you've really brought back my confidence back. I hate the feeling that "There should be a faster material"
To make one scene better you have to add detail, that is obvious. Trees are a big concern here. Trees more than double the render time. But I need them, actually I need even more trees, plants but this render speed issue puts me back, and instead of focusing on the artistic side, more than half of your mental resources are spent on finding a balance.

I didn't check the link yet, but, About this BSDF and MILA thing you mention, are these, materials that can be used with 3DS Max, too?

Edit: I do consider Iray, too. With 4 GTX Titan GPU's it may be a dazzling fast system however, but it has to be optimized as well. The grains literally never dissappear completely.
Also, memory paging must be implemented. I have a 4Gb GTX 670 over here, it doesn't render the trees on this particular scene. There is a total of 458 trees and plants as proxies.

Last edited by Byteman3D : 05-11-2013 at 07:50 AM. Reason: added info
 
Old 05-11-2013, 08:07 AM   #14
blank000
Frequenter
 
blank000's Avatar
portfolio
Dario
Croatia
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byteman3D
Trees are a big concern here. Trees more than double the render time.



Any chance you can share your scene. Delete everything, leaving just one of every tree kind and lighting system so we can take a look at materials and render settings.
 
Old 05-11-2013, 01:04 PM   #15
DanGrover
Know-it-All
portfolio
Dan Grover
Technical Director
River Film
London, United Kingdom
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 355
Send a message via MSN to DanGrover
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonadb
I'm slowly getting hooked on iray, great results with very little setup. It has it quirks and can both much faster or much slower then MR or Vray depending on the type of scene.
If you. have your scene setup for Mr it should be easy to get it to render in iray.

How do you find it compared to Vray RT, if you've much experience with that?
__________________

 
Thread Closed share thread


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright Đ2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 05:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.