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Renderworks Issue - Geometry Not Updating / Viewport Turns Black

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Does that mean there are rendering engine updates for VW 2019?    😉

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1 hour ago, JimW said:

the only option would be to try to make the newer engine work in 2018

 

I assume that this means that the engine VW 2018 uses is from R18 rather than R19?  IE:  One version behind?    Just curious.

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1 hour ago, cberg said:

Does that mean there are rendering engine updates for VW 2019?    😉


The engine itself will be updated for 2019 yes, we will be using MAXON's latest R19 engine. This isn't really a secret since we pretty much do this every version or every other version. Upgrading the engine itself doesn't directly convey usable features to the end user, but does improve overall speed and performance in Renderworks renderings.

 

56 minutes ago, Wesley Burrows said:

I assume that this means that the engine VW 2018 uses is from R18 rather than R19?  IE:  One version behind?    Just curious.


I believe Vectorworks 2018 uses the R17 engine, it is either R17 or R18.

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I've read everyone's frustration comments and trust me, I know.😩 This is the worst kind of rendering bug, sorry for this inconvenience!

 

This issue is about CineRender crashing. When Renderworks is in a healthy state, you'll see a process called CineRenderNEM running in the Activity Monitor. When you start to get black renderings, there's a 99% chance that this process will no longer show in the Activity Monitor. This means Renderworks is dead. It wouldn't matter if you changed the settings or cleared a cache (which is actually done by changing settings) or anything else.

 

So, if you looked at your activity monitor and didn't see CineRender, the ONLY workaround would be to restart Vectorworks.

 

Now that being said, we don't have a well defined set of steps that causes this crash. Anytime someone reports it, they are fiddling with different settings. So far my impression is that changing lighting overrides is likely to cause this but that's not certain. I have tried many different files and steps and I can't reproduce this myself. I need to be able to reproduce it in the debugger myself to see what's causing it.

 

So, if you could determine what's most likely to cause this, please let me know!

 

On the CR version: Vectorworks uses the most current CineRender version since last year. Before that we were following a year behind. So, 2018 has R18 in it and 2019 will have R19. Let's hope that R19 doesn't have the crash.

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I've found that when I'm doing quick test renders on the design layer (this is often where I encounter the 5-second render of nothing) if I pop into Top/Plan view and then back to OpenGL before each render attempt it'll avoid the issue.  Quick changes of gobo textures and focus points on a detailed file will cause this quickly.

 

I thought I had a sure-fire way to cause the issue: start a FQ, fast, or custom render in a sheet layer (with Spotlight fixtures and lighting), cancel it while it's in pre-render, and then immediately try updating again.   Of course, now I can't get it to crash anymore...

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Thanks @Selin for your transparency regarding this!    I know there are a couple different issues that have been talked about in this thread.   Is the CineRender crashing what delivers the Black/White Viewport?   Just missing geometry?  Or tied to all of them in some way?

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Ah, sorry @Wesley Burrows I must have missed some issues discussed here. What I'm talking about is black/white viewport renderings.

Just to be more clear, if you're seeing something in the rendering but parts of geometry missing, that's likely another issue. If the whole rendering is just one color and Renderworks seems to stuck in a bad state, it's probably coming from the same thing that causes black VPs.

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5 hours ago, Selin said:

I've read everyone's frustration comments and trust me, I know.😩 This is the worst kind of rendering bug, sorry for this inconvenience!

 

This issue is about CineRender crashing. When Renderworks is in a healthy state, you'll see a process called CineRenderNEM running in the Activity Monitor. When you start to get black renderings, there's a 99% chance that this process will no longer show in the Activity Monitor. This means Renderworks is dead. It wouldn't matter if you changed the settings or cleared a cache (which is actually done by changing settings) or anything else.

 

So, if you looked at your activity monitor and didn't see CineRender, the ONLY workaround would be to restart Vectorworks.

 

Now that being said, we don't have a well defined set of steps that causes this crash. Anytime someone reports it, they are fiddling with different settings. So far my impression is that changing lighting overrides is likely to cause this but that's not certain. I have tried many different files and steps and I can't reproduce this myself. I need to be able to reproduce it in the debugger myself to see what's causing it.

 

So, if you could determine what's most likely to cause this, please let me know!

 

On the CR version: Vectorworks uses the most current CineRender version since last year. Before that we were following a year behind. So, 2018 has R18 in it and 2019 will have R19. Let's hope that R19 doesn't have the crash.

Yes my experience has been that this issue particularly manifests when you change lighting settings. Changes in custom style settings also seem to trigger the issue. Thanks for your thoughts 

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I will play with lighting/rendering settings on every viewport I encounter from now on and hopefully I'll be able to reproduce this.

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Stopping a render before it’s complete, altering the model and then going back to the viewport to re- render also seems to be a trigger. 

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Just now, echobing said:

Stopping a render before it’s complete, altering the model and then going back to the viewport to re- render also seems to be a trigger. 

Thanks for letting me know! I'll try these as well.

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4 hours ago, echobing said:

altering the model and then going back to the viewport to re- render also seems to be a trigger. 

 

You know, basic working in the program 😉

 

But yes, this seems to be the most common trigger for me. Render, change something, renderfail.

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On 4/16/2018 at 5:37 AM, JimW said:


Anecdotally it seems to have been less for me since sp3, however my rendering work since then hasn't been as intensive as it is when I'm prepping for the a release or the Design Summit, so this could just be a bias on my part. It is ABSOLUTELY still happening though, most commonly at least for me when I am rapidly updating/interrupting renders, overriding content of viewports by class or overriding lights.

 

@Selin maybe you should also talk to your coworker @JimW, as he posted on 4/16/2018 that he was still able to trigger it. Maybe the debugging software needs to be installed on his computer if you aren’t able to reproduce it. 

 

Doesn’t the Analytics & Crash Reporting send any useful debug information to Vw about CineRender crashing?

Edited by rDesign

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13 hours ago, rDesign said:

Doesn’t the Analytics & Crash Reporting send any useful debug information to Vw about CineRender crashing?


I think it only does this if the whole Vectorworks application itself crashes as well, at least for the time being. This is part of the reason this one is so hard to track down.

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13 hours ago, rDesign said:

 

@Selin maybe you should also talk to your coworker @JimW, as he posted on 4/16/2018 that he was still able to trigger it.

No worries, we talk about this in house every day, and not just with Jim.

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1 hour ago, JimW said:


I think it only does this if the whole Vectorworks application itself crashes as well, at least for the time being. This is part of the reason this one is so hard to track down.

 

If so, this feels like an oversight to me. If not the Application Crash Reports - then the Vw Analytics should be able to report when CineRender crashes. 

 

2 minutes ago, Selin said:

No worries, we talk about this in house every day, and not just with Jim.

 

I have no doubt that you are, but it doesn’t instill much confidence that a fix will be forthcoming when we’re left with “Let’s hope that [CineRender] R19 doesn’t have the crash”. 

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6 minutes ago, rDesign said:

I have no doubt that you are, but it doesn’t instill much confidence that a fix will be forthcoming when we’re left with “Let’s hope that [CineRender] R19 doesn’t have the crash”. 


Honestly, In this situation we do not want to instill confidence that the issue will be fixed, since if it is an engine crash it is out of our control. If the switch to r19 in 2019 does correct it, then there may be no way to correct the problem in 2018.

 

7 minutes ago, rDesign said:

If so, this feels like an oversight to me. If not the Application Crash Reports - then the Vw Analytics should be able to report when CineRender crashes. 

 


Just something that doesnt exist yet, we don't make the Cinerender engine, so we cant easily link its reporting system directly into analytics like we can when Vectorworks itself crashes.

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I also send CineRender crash reports to Maxon whereever I can get my hands on them. They also need a file and reproducible steps to investigate what happened before the crash. Unfortunately, crash reports aren't always magic documents that tell us what caused a specific crash. This is so random, anything anywhere gone wrong might cause it down the road. Whatever planted the seed of it might not even show up in the crash document.

 

So really, the only thing you can do to help us is to send files and steps that lead to this. But if you really wanna do more here's this:

 

If you confirmed from the activity monitor that your issue in fact is the crash, Maxon reports live somewhere here locally on a Mac: Users/ UserName/ Library/ Preferences/MAXON/ ...

It places a different folder anytime a report is saved so I can't give you the full path. But it'll probably be the latest folder starting with 19.0 ... inside the MAXON folder.

 

CineRender crash report still doesn't help a ton, since some code in Vectorworks might be causing this. It's also not saved for every crash.

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FWIW - perhaps related to this current Vw 'CineRender crashing' issue, HERE is a ArchiCAD Help page on how to solve "CineRender" add-on crashes in ArchiCAD 21 (which also uses CineRender R18). Their help page also offers some fixes.

 

What is better about the ArchiCAD approach to this problem is that it gives you a warning message that CineRender has crashed, whereas Vw tells you nothing.

Edited by rDesign

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11 minutes ago, rDesign said:

FWIW - perhaps related to this current Vw 'CineRender crashing' issue, HERE is a ArchiCAD Help page on how to solve "CineRender" add-on crashes in ArchiCAD 21 (which also uses CineRender R18). Their help page also offers some fixes.

 

What is better about the ArchiCAD approach to this problem is that it gives you a warning message that CineRender has crashed, whereas Vw tells you nothing.

We've already put these fixes they are talking about to the installer before we shipped VW2018. So those issues were solved even before any user experienced it. 

But, if you're talking about the warning message that suggests restarting the program, we can consider that. 

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@Selin Gotcha - thanks for the clarification. The potentially problematic ‘libosmesa.dylib’ legacy file that the help file mentioned was installed as part of Vw2018, so I wasn't sure if it could also be contributing to the CineRender crashing problems on macOS.

 

Hopefully CineRender R19 fixes this so that any warning message wouldn't be required. But yes, I think a warning message would be a welcome addition if it is in fact CineRender crashing that is causing the black Viewports.

Edited by rDesign

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I will watch when working.

But I have seldom these problems with cache updating or black renders somehow.

And every time I had larger problems in the past, it wasn't that CineRender Task was

diminishing, it was more that it stayed in Activity Monitor after VW was closed or

crashed and I had to force quit CineRender or reboot macOS.

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On 5/31/2018 at 2:56 AM, Selin said:

I will play with lighting/rendering settings on every viewport I encounter from now on and hopefully I'll be able to reproduce this.

@Selin please come to our office if you want to see this reproduced. i can reproduce it in any serious drawing multiple times a day. its really quite easy! in fact i can do it about 20-50 times a day 🙂

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Maybe you could provide one of your example files to @Selin with steps to reproduce,

so she could finally nail it down.

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