Karma Noob Issues


Hello all,

I’m returning to Houdini after stepping away for a bit, and figured I’d brush up a little by giving the Karma renderer a spin. While the general workflow appears to one-up the ancient Mantra, I keep running into the same dumb wall, despite going through basic tutorials by three different artists (per this LesterBanks page: https://lesterbanks.com/2019/11/all-about-karma-and-lops-in-houdini-18/)

While everything else seems very straightforward (though still possibly buggy) the thing I can’t seem to get to is any kind of final rendered bitmap that is not just a field of black pixels. I’ve tried rendering through every file-type option (.exr, .tif, .pic, etc) amd through every render buffer (tried MPlay, Render to Disk, Render to Disk in Background, etc.) but I am only getting black images, no matter which tutorial I’ve followed.

Here’s a link to my project structure: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0edzqf0ivr24scx/KarmaKitchen.zip?dl=0

I took to monitoring CPU / GPU activity:
While Karma IPR is running, CPU / GPU activity is ~90%+ / ~15%.
For “straight to disk” rendering, CPU doesn’t go above 3%, though Houdini’s Scheduler / Render Manager verifies that the computer is actively rendering.
I’m not sure if this will give any clues, but here’s a snapshot of the RM during render.

Otherwise, I’m running Houdini’s Indie license, though as far as I’ve been able to research, Karma is compatible with the Indie license. Am I wrong about this?

Also, as a general question, is there a hugely significant speed advantage to Mantra? Seems like it might be wiser to hold-off on Karma until it’s out of beta stage. Any thoughts on that thought?

Preemptive thanks to any responders!