Does anything protect your render in case of a blackout?

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Old 11 November 2009   #1
Does anything protect your render in case of a blackout?

First of all, thank God this has never happened to me, but it just occurred to me recently while waiting for what turned out to be a 14 hour render, "what if a blackout happened!"

Seriously (with mental ray in particular), what if a blackout did happen? I think you can pause a batch render, and continue from that point, but just doing a regular render, I think you have to start over each time.

Anyways, what do you know about this topic, and has that (a blackout) ever happened to you?

Also, it would be nice if Maya gave more information to the user while rendering, imo. For example, if they had a hot button key you could push to see the current progress of the rendered image while it is rendering (both in batch and regular rendering). Also, it would be nice to know what stage in the rendering process the renderer is doing and how much time it spends on each calculation.

I'm not sure how to find that out now, but how could you find out specifically how much time it took rendering caustics, final gather, GI, raytraced shadows, occlusion, motion blur, etc. So, if the renderer could provide a real time listing as well as a final summary of different elements of the render along with how much time it took to perform those tasks, that would really help.
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Old 11 November 2009   #2
This is one nice thing about Maxwell - because the first version was pretty slow, this would have been a disaster situation. So they made the renders store progress in a file which contains all the light as floating point data. It can resumed later if stopped or interrupted. It can also be used to tweak the lighting afterwards and make different output files. More renderers should have this option for final renders.

One thing can do in MR is store the Final Gather map so it will be faster to render if the final render is interrupted.

Last edited by cgbeige : 11 November 2009 at 03:27 AM.
 
Old 11 November 2009   #3
Quote: Also, it would be nice to know what stage in the rendering process the renderer is doing and how much time it spends on each calculation.

I'm not sure how to find that out now, but how could you find out specifically how much time it took rendering caustics, final gather, GI, raytraced shadows, occlusion, motion blur, etc. So, if the renderer could provide a real time listing as well as a final summary of different elements of the render along with how much time it took to perform those tasks, that would really help.


You can turn on Progress Messages in your Output Window or Console for all of these features. I think you'll find that Progress Messages almost gives TOO much info, though!

As for a hotkey to view progress, I think there are some scripts for such a thing, such as one for MayaBatch view in RenderView or something? Do a search at CreativeCrash and you should find something there... Render utilities section, I think.
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Old 11 November 2009   #4
Originally Posted by InfernalDarkness: You can turn on Progress Messages in your Output Window or Console for all of these features. I think you'll find that Progress Messages almost gives TOO much info, though!

As for a hotkey to view progress, I think there are some scripts for such a thing, such as one for MayaBatch view in RenderView or something? Do a search at CreativeCrash and you should find something there... Render utilities section, I think.


Thanks! Good post.

Well, I haven't heard any solutions about the blackout issue. I've talked to several "maya specialists", and none of them have an answer for this, expect for "it's unlikely".

But why is this not a concern addressed in earlier versions of Maya (and every 3d software for that matter)? I can't imagine any major studio risking losing hours of rendertime data because the render farm had a blackout and they had to start over.

We know that Maya/mental ray completes renders of an image in chunks, so once that chunk is complete, why can't it be stored on the HD as finalized instead of waiting for the entire image to finish rendering?

Thoughts?
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Old 11 November 2009   #5
well I doubt Pixar has problems with their tower crashing. Their render machine is a cluster of load balanced craziness with so much redundancy that the addition of disk caching would just be a waste of processor power.
 
Old 11 November 2009   #6
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