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Retarded Rendering

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VW 11 on Windows XP

I have a technical question that is not specific to VW, but to any 3D rendering application, including SketchUp. As the years go by, the software continues to follow the upward curve of Moore's law in complexity & capability, and rendering times seem to ascend just as fast. When it takes 12 hours to render a screen-full of pixels, somewhere computer evolution has gone down a dead-end path.

One of the most common complaints on this forum is the unreasonable rendering times on even the latest hottest workstations. All the usual solutions---more memory, new graphics card, etc---seem to have little effect on the basic problem. Even quad CPUs and mega-memory, seem to increase rendering speeds only marginally.

Unfortunately, I don't have one of those hot-rods. My workstation was just a notch below state-of-the-art six years ago. The dual thread CPU is 2.8mhz, and the memory is filled-up at 4MB. The graphics card is newer, and has 256MB of memory. I've tweaked the memory allocations, and added more swap file space. And I'm aware of most of the standard tricks for reducing the pixel load.

But when I render a 12MB file with a few textures & shadows, each minor adjustment is followed by a huge gap in time when the CPU is maxed, and the active window header trembles as if having a heart attack. For example a 3 second change requires at least 30 finger-twiddling seconds of down time before I can make the next move. At that rate, a few final adjustments before rendering could take hours. And then comes the real frustration.

I'm currently unemployed, so a new workstation is not an option. Can anyone suggest some strategies to reduce the ratio of working to waiting? Suicide is also not an option. :/

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The expectation of quality is also following moore's law, unfortunately. Clients are no longer satisfied with sketchy looking things anymore.

Spending some extra time to class things properly will enable you to turn off a lot of things you've already rendered, and render the things you need to change. Using the render bitmap option, or rendering a smaller version of the frame (zoom out) will decrease the amount of pixels.

I still swear that viewports are the slowest to render. Better to export the image from a design layer and paste it back in on a viewport.

In the new version, turning off antialiasing, soft shadows, and blurriness will give you a faster rendering.

I also think that there's nothing wrong with taking a mediocre render and adjusting it in photoshop to get what you really want. Professional photographers do it all the time.

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Unfortunately John, even if you had the "Readies" for a new PC i think you might be disappointed. VW still hasn't learned to work with Multi-Processor, Multi-Threaded current Hardware Tech, as such my old G5 Mac is almost as quick as my new Mac Pro when running VW and that is without full render. i dread to think what that might take in RW.

C4D is already Hardware Tech savvy so maybe Grant can tell us if it does make a noticeable difference.

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