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Fergy

Memory usage for rendering multiple viewports or batch rendering

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I've noticed that I get out of memory errors or lock-ups when running batch renders or when "refreshing all viewports".

How does the rendering engine deal with this process? Does it gather all of the information, then render? Or does it gather for a single viewport, render, dump memory, and start over? I'm finding I have better results with storing viewport cache and doing each viewport independently, but this doesn't help me when I need to set up a bunch of stuff to render and leave for the night.

Given the memory limits with the 32-bit XP systems, it would seem that it would be crucial to do this.

Are there similar memory limits on the other OS? It might determine my next computer purchase.

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Good day Fergy

Please add your PC specs in your signature an d there has been plenty of threads on this topic here.

Not to sure how the rendering engine deals with the information thou.

Keep Well

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I've had out of memory errors as well on batch renders. Often it's one specific shot that's causing the problem, something with a lot of layering and transparency.

I've never seen any documentation that says how VW handles memory, whether it dumps it, etc. I wish that the batch rendering process would dump the memory after each render, as I suspect it may not be the case.

There was a lively discussion some time ago about memory and OS. Windows as a 32 bit operating system will not allocate more than 3 gigs of RAM to a program. There is a "switch" that needs to be enabled in order to let Windows use the max RAM for a program, which may or may not cause your system to have issues. Macs already have this allocation, but they seem to handle the load a bit better (I work on both, and notice subtle differences between the two).

The rendering efficiency, and I imagine updating viewports as well, is dependent upon the rendering engine used by VW, the efficiency of your model, and the optimization of your system. As a user, you only have control over the last two. In Cinema 4D one can actually look up the amount of RAM that a particular polygon eats up, which is a good way to know your model efficiency. There is no such thing in VW, so you are sort of in the dark there.

Everyone has differing ideas about the best system to get, OS preferences etc.

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I've actually got a couple systems, so I didn't want to plug up my sig file. I did notice that on my machine with the 6750 processor that I get better processor usage in final gather than I do on the dual Xeon machine and that rendering time is shorter.

I've been reading through those threads, as well. I've actually got my pagefile running better now via those suggestions.

Another question: I see two of you are using 64-bit OS. Does VW run smoothly under that for you? I realize it's not a 64-bit app, but before I upgrade the next machine to a "required 64-bit OS" I wanted to make sure.

Of my systems:

System 1:

Dell 470 w/ 2 dual core xeons

Nvidia 8800GTX, 1G, with the Quadra 5600 softmod

XP Pro 32

4G RAM

System 2:

6750 processor

Nvidia 8800GTX, 1G

XP Pro 32

4G RAM

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Good day Fergy

Also take into consideration what you are rendering, as in what is in the drawing itself.

Does it have a plain two colour background or an HDRI.

What does the drawinging consist of? Extrudes, Symbols, Polygons and what textures?. For example a simple drawing with a lot of trussing(squared to minumize size), I battle to render with an HDRI on FastRenderWithShadows. But a full stage with a 1000PAX seated inside a venue with multiple lights and LitFog background will take the same on CustomRender.

Depends what you want to Render and not just how you do it.

Keep Well

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Understood, but I still wonder if, when batching, it dumps memory between jobs. It seems to with Custom Renderworks and final gather, but not so well with FQRW. Also, while I realize that my models may be somewhat complex, there are WAY more complicated models out there. My thought would be that if you can dump enough hardware behind the software, the software should be able to keep up. I think we're hitting software bottlenecks before hardware ones at this point.

Edited by Fergy

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If you have a file that repeated crashed when trying to do a batch render, contact Tech Support and figure out a way to get them the file.

It is much easier for the engineers to reproduce a problem if they have a file that shows the problem.

Also, please go into the VW Preferences, Session tab and turn on the Error Reporting at the bottom of the window. This sends anonymous data directly to the engineers so they can see what caused the crash.

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It's not a true crash. It's a hang. Or I get an out of memory error. Batch viewport rendering will tend to generate out of memory errors. Selecting multiple viewports and clicking "update" will sometimes generate out of memory errors. Other times, it will show that it's still rendering, but task manager will show 0 processor load, so nothing's going on. It's not any one particular file. It's just big, complex ones.

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I've read that, just wary of doing it yet. Wanted to see what's going on first. Of course, the other question I've asked is whether or not VW can get more RAM allocation through the 64-bit versions of the Vista/Win7 OS, or on the Mac, for that matter.

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My response I recieved from Tech Support regarding these issues:

My Question: "I notice that you say that users should have 4 gigs of ram to work with

minimum".

Their Answer: This is a mistake that was corrected in our K-base. The minimum Ram to run Spotlight/Renderworks is 2GB however for better

experience we suggest 4GB, I apologize for the misinformation.

My Question: "Is it possible to say that VW can access more than that? I'm running

64 bit vista and have 8 gigs of ram available."

Their Answer:

Vectorworks supports 64

bit operating system however does not take full advantage of it at this

point, and the more RAM you have installed the better overall

performance you'll have.

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Thanks, Grant. That helps me a bit. Have you had any issues running Vista? It looks like you're running the same software package I am, except for ESP. I'm a tad jealous of your xeon, I've only got 4 cores. :)

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I've had out of memory issues. I believe that this will be fixed when I finally upgrade my software, as 2008 doesn't go beyond 2 gigs of ram. The slowdown in performance due to 32 bit emulation is not that noticeable to me. And having a 64 bit system far outweighs that slowdown anyway, especially for higher end programs like Cinema 4d and Photoshop.

The 3 gig switch everyone keeps talking about should be approached with a bit of caution. The video card can get cranky when the switch is invoked. If you're comfortable playing around with it you might want to read up a bit on it on the web.

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