Xpresso vs C.O.F.F.E.E - Speed of things.

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Old 08 August 2005   #1
Xpresso vs C.O.F.F.E.E - Speed of things.

I'm taking my first trembeling steps with coffee making some xpresso setups I have to be coffee instead.

Assuming I have a working xpresso setup that does what I want. It is "trimmed" having all priorities set as good as it can.
It contains in essence 8 animated points (2 groups of 4 points, each group runs parallel) that gives 2 resulting points plus a rotation value.
It works but it still drags in the viewport having problems updating the editorview correctly (it renders correct).
Moving the timeline it is fine, but using "next/previous/last" etc. frame it does -not- update the editor view.
All nodes are more or less mathnodes. Dividing and multiplying vectors.

If all this would be written in one or two coffe nodes, would it be faster/better?
I assume i can use Setmsg(?) commands to get the viewport correct using "next" etc frame.

Cheers
Lennart
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Old 08 August 2005   #2
Howdy,

Well, COFFEE is a lot is faster than Xpresso, and C++ is a lot faster than COFFEE. Also COFFEE can do a lot more than Xpresso and C++ can do a lot more than COFFEE.

So, I reckon I would say the answer is yes.

Adios,
Cactus Dan
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Old 08 August 2005   #3
Thanks Dan.
If COFFEE is alot faster than xpresso, that would suit me fine to start with then
I'm at the level of using COFFEE nodes in xpresso to feel the water
as well as the simple fact I don't know how to handle the sub result in "real" coffe..
In a COFFEE node I now use the Outputs as new values for calculations down the code.


Cheers
Lennart
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Old 08 August 2005   #4
Howdy,

You're welcome.

My plugins started out as Xpresso experiments, but since I'm on a 1GHz iMac all of that vector and matrix math would start to bog things down, so I moved to COFFEE, but didn't stay there long before moving on to C++. I had some previous experience with C#, so the transition to C++ was a bit easier for me.

I still like to use Xpresso today to test out math formulas because I can stay in Cinema 4D and get instant feedback in the viewport until the formula is correct.

Adios,
Cactus Dan
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Old 08 August 2005   #5
Originally Posted by Cactus Dan: Howdy,

so I moved to COFFEE, but didn't stay there long before moving on to C++. I had some previous experience with C#, so the transition to C++ was a bit easier for me.


I have that creeping feeling that's the road....I have started bugging a few friends of mine that are severe coders to pick up the feeling how to think... their initial respons was:
It never ends.....

Yup testing the ideas with xpresso is very slick but as you say it quickly becomes slow.
And I'm at least on DualG5..

Cheers
Lennart
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Old 08 August 2005   #6
Howdy,
Originally Posted by tcastudios: ....I have started bugging a few friends of mine that are severe coders to pick up the feeling how to think... their initial respons was:
It never ends.....

Boy, ain't that the truth.

You may sometimes spend ten minutes writing code and then 2 days debugging it.

Adios,
Cactus Dan
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Old 08 August 2005   #7
I heard that xpresso got a bit of a speed up in 9.5. The new script editor looks just like what the doctor ordered for quick testing of scripts, I have been wanting something like this for a long time. As far as coffee is concerned it is basically structured like c++ and I would recommend reading some beginners material for c++ if you haven't got any coding experience as learning coffee might become frustrating otherwise.
 
Old 08 August 2005   #8
I am working on some projects to get xpresso translated into coffee and it is a lot faster. What 5 nodes do is done in a line of coffee.
Never the less xpresso is a good way to set up custom jobs when as coffee or c++ would be to rigid to do the job. I am starting to see them all as separate good solutions for different situations.
Majoul is now translating a part of my work on car physics into coffee and it is very versatile and fast and we hope to have a viable product here in a couple of weeks. Coffee is great, xpresso is great and probably c++ is great. they live next to each other and each have their advantages and downfalls.
 
Old 08 August 2005   #9
One thing I've noticed when speed testing expressions is that packing nodes into an XGroup will cause a speed hit.

On programming, I've just started learning C++ and COFFEE. Having had no programming experience outside of XPresso, I've found the tutorials at www.cprogramming.com to provide an excellent start. Then there's the highly commended 'Thinking in C++' www.mindview.net/Books/TICPP/ThinkingInCPP2e.html

Programming is a LONG road but it's nice to get over the initial hump and start rolling.
 
Old 08 August 2005   #10
Originally Posted by Darter: One thing I've noticed when speed testing expressions is that packing nodes into an XGroup will cause a speed hit.


Dang. That is what got me thinking of using at least COFFEE nodes in xpresso.
I did just "clean up" a fairly complex xpresso setup into a few XGroups.
Mainly to get priorities right and ,I thought, some speed as well.
It -does- feel that it's getting slower. Hmm.
So using XGroups could be seen more as "organize" than speed then?

And thanks for pointers to coding info.


Cheers
Lennart
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Old 08 August 2005   #11
At any rate, I can confirm that Xpresso evaluates a lot faster in 9.5. Not for all setups, but most of the Xpresso-heavy scenes that have been tested are 1.5 - 3 times faster.

Of course this means that every once in a while you will bump into a specific Xpresso network that shows no sign of beeing speedier - but most of the time it will be significantly faster.



.
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Old 08 August 2005   #12
Howdy,

When it comes to speed, a C++ compiled expression runs the fastest, because it is in machine language. Xpresso and COFFEE (in script form) might be running like an interpreter, which has to interpret, translate then execute. It just depends on the complexity of the expression and the speed of the CPU.

Xpresso is the easiest to use, though. It's too bad C++ wasn't node based like that.

Edit: Oh, btw Astrofish has an excellent C++ SDK starter tutorial here:
http://www.astrofish.com/tutorials/...ugin/index.html
That's the one that got me started.

Adios,
Cactus Dan
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Last edited by Cactus Dan : 08 August 2005 at 01:28 PM.
 
Old 08 August 2005   #13
Originally Posted by tcastudios: I did just "clean up" a fairly complex xpresso setup into a few XGroups.
Mainly to get priorities right and ,I thought, some speed as well.
It -does- feel that it's getting slower. Hmm.
So using XGroups could be seen more as "organize" than speed then?

This may vary depending on the expression but it was definitely the case with my WaveMaker expression. For example, adding 5 nodes to an XGroup added about 5% to the playback time of my test scene. (Removing nodes decreased the effect.) I still find them indispensable for organizing expressions. I'm just aware that there may be a compromise.

Originally Posted by JamesMK: At any rate, I can confirm that Xpresso evaluates a lot faster in 9.5. Not for all setups, but most of the Xpresso-heavy scenes that have been tested are 1.5 - 3 times faster.

Now this is great news.
 
Old 08 August 2005   #14
Originally Posted by Cactus Dan: Xpresso and COFFEE (in script form) might be running like an interpreter, which has to interpret, translate then execute.

So it will be somewhat no "realtime" anyhow...
Quote: Xpresso is the easiest to use, though. It's too bad C++ wasn't node based like that.

That is a pitty. I watched one of my friends using Delphi and it had a very neat function when he was coding. When doing/adding something within a class or function he would type a letter or two then "." and he got a dropdown list with all possible related options. Fast and makes the code safe while coding.
Quote: Edit: Oh, btw Astrofish has an excellent C++ SDK starter tutorial here:
http://www.astrofish.com/tutorials/...ugin/index.html
That's the one that got me started.

I've been looking at it as well. And there seems to be a -very- basic thing that I can't get really.
I have the SDK9.1 and it is supposed to be in the Plugin folder of Cinema.
It looks as "something" has to be done with it. I assume it has to be compiled in some fashion? Is it here CodeWarrior and such sets in?
I can open certain files as per usual (html tuts etc) but what about the .coh files..

Any fundamental startup info is very appreciated

Cheers
Lennart
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Old 08 August 2005   #15
Howdy,

Yeah, you have to compile the SDK first to compile all the api files into a library (CodeWarrior on Mac, MSVC++ on PC) Then once you have the SDK compiled, you're then set up to compile your own plugins.

Adios,
Cactus Dan
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