How to save hundreds of MBs of RAM on large scenes without slowing rendering


#1

Hi all,
I recently mentioned this tip in a class and since no one seemed to know it, I thought it would be worthwhile here. If you are rendering a very large scene and are getting close to running out of RAM, here’s a way that will save you a few hundred extra MBs from being consumed without slowing down rendering at all like other procedures (such as rendering in dynamic mode or with proxies).

Simply save the scene in wireframe mode with one maximized viewport and reload the scene. As soon as you change to Smooth+Highlights mode, you should see a lot of RAM consumed, with more being consumed for larger scenes. If you switch to Smooth+Highlights mode before you render, you are basically giving away that RAM, and there is no way to get it back. But if you just load a scene and immediately render without going into Smooth+Highlights first, you will have all that extra RAM to render with. Open your Task Manager and monitor your RAM consumption to verify. The larger the scene, the more RAM you save. Roughly speaking, you should expect to see a savings of 100MB for every 1million polygons your scene contains.


#2

Box mode will consume even less, less to draw so less to need in memory.

-Eric


#3

Nice tip. Although the materials/textures will have to load anyhow when rendering, wich is packing the biggest punch in my experience. But yeah it saves some ram eitherway. It sometimes can be a lifeasavior. I had such a case where I had to do it in this way.


#4

Rather than saving and reloading, you could type this into the maxscript listener to unload the textures and clean up memory:

freeSceneBitmaps()
gc()

Be aware that this will remove your undo history, but then so will saving and reloading.


#5

Make use auf the automatic save option of your rendered frame and it’ll free up some additional memory.


#6

Render via the backburner, even on a single PC.


#7

Turn off the VFB also release more memory. Closing “4fun” aplications, such iTunes, winamp, msn, and so on also helps.
Neil Blevins (great man!) has a article where he talks about reducing memory on renders.

http://www.neilblevins.com/cg_education/reducing_memory/reducing_memory.htm

Hope you guys don’t mind with my awful english (I know I must practice :curious: ).


#8

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