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mclaugh

Wildly varying animation rendering times

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What is up with the wild variation in animation rendering times?

I'm rendering a series of 45 second QT animations.

File #1 was rendered three times. Same sheets, same light sources, same textures, same frame size (720x480), same rendering quality, same video compression, quality, and frame rate. First render took 13+ hours, a second 3:24; a third 7:56.

File #2, again, same sheets, same light sources, same textures, same frame size, same rendering quality, same video compression, quality, and frame rate. Four renders: 12:56, 10:13, 6:27, 7:31.

SW: VW 10.5, Architect, RW, OS X 10.3.5

HW: 2.0 GHz G5 Dual, 512 Mb RAM, 160 GB HD.

On the four longest rendering times (13+ hours, 7:56, 12:56, and 10:13), the computer was rebooted at the end of the day, and the render were run overnight (four consecutive nights). On the three shortest render times (3:24, 6:27, 7:31), the computer was NOT rebooted before starting the render, and I did other work in Photoshop and Office on the computer while the renders were taking place.

Why the wild variation in rendering times, is this sort of unpredictability normal, and why were the times significantly longer when there was no other activity on the computer? (Note: the computer is not networked, and not connected to the Internet.) [Confused][Confused][Confused]

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