Speeding up rendering

Discussion in 'Scifi 3D Forum' started by JinxKatarn, Mar 10, 2005.

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  1. JinxKatarn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2001
    star 1
    I've got a...unique problem, as far as what I've experienced goes.

    I finally locked down all of the animations for the big dogfight sequence I've been working on, we edited together a rough cut from there and last night I jump in to start rendering the full quality version...low poly stuff hidden, high poly stuff comes out.

    Everything is going extremely smooth, all of the shots only have one light casting raytraced shadows with a few shadowmap lights here and there. First shot I'm trying to render has 3 T/F, 2 E-Wings, ISD and a planet in the distance...face count around 2.5 million. And the stupid thing just won't render.

    If I switch the raytracing light to shadow map, even with the map size bumped up high, it renders fine--fast, even. But the second I put it to raytraced it just sits forever, spent over 5 hours trying to render one frame.

    Any ideas or suggestions on how to fix this? The shadowmap version "looks" nice, but it's beyond obvious it is fake (low light scene with one very bright, prominent light yet horrible shadows...perfect example is the TIE Fighter's pylon not casting any shadow onto the solar panels/wings, yet it is obvious it should be).

    Is there any workaround to not using a raytraced light source yet get accurate shadows? Or is there something I should do I'm just not seeing?
  2. BigBond Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Do you use MentalRay or Scanline? 3Ds or Lightwave?
    I figured out that MentalRay (i only know 3DS) renders much faster than Scanline especially when using raytraced shadows.

    I'm not very good in that stuff, but mabe you should try the Mentalray renderer.

    Bond
  3. JinxKatarn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2001
    star 1
    LOL, I always forget to say what I'm using :p Max 5...I don't think Mental Ray is bundled with it, is it? I'm gonna feel pretty dumb if it is.
  4. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    Well there are several things you could try...

    1 - Render in layers
    2 - Check the raytracer settings
    3 - Turn the detail down a bit

    My guess is that you don't want to take a chance on quality by doing #3, and if it's the shadow that is causing things to take forever then #1 may not make too much of a difference. I would therefore suggest you try #2 first. Look at the raytrace settings both on your light and in the render settings. You may have it set too high when you could get a nice-looking result out of a simpler shadow.


    Also, what does your setup look like? In other words, what version of Max are you using, what are the specs for your PC, etc.


    Hope that helps!
  5. JinxKatarn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2001
    star 1
    I never thought of raytrace settings, gonna try messing with that now...

    I've got a P4 2.53ghz, 1GB ram, WinXp Pro. Using Max 5.
  6. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    Mental Ray should be there, you can try that too...
  7. joek1010 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2004
    star 1
    Are you on a network? I think Max has built in network rendering (you could really only do this as a sort of last resort if you can't keep the quality up with DVeditor's methods.
  8. JinxKatarn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2001
    star 1
    Well, looks like I'm an idiot actually. I've got the old Brazil on here still, first release, but I hardly ever use it because it takes so damn long to render normally.

    Seems in this scene though, even with the indirect illumination turned on, it handles it like a champ. I was looking around trying to figure out why I couldn't find Mental Ray (never did), and there it was--tried it for the hell of it and it works!

    Thanks for your help guys, look forward to showing off footage soon as I have it polished...will definitely need the feedback.
  9. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    Glad to hear you got it working! Can't wait to see the final. :)
  10. Anakan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2005
    star 1
    Netrendering does it need to have MAX3d on the other Machine too?
  11. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    Hmm, I can't recall if it needs an installation of Max or just the render manager...you might try the documents at Discreet's website.
  12. ObiJuan2080 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2004
    star 4
    I think that is what backburner does. I'm not sure. But it monitors renders through the network. I'm looking into making a Renderfarm so I have to know this. Any info. about this would be great. But yeah, all I know is that Backburner deals with monitoring renders through the network you install 3Ds Max on.
  13. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    Yeah I can't remember the exact details of this, and I'm not sure if there are details about this on Discreet's site somewhere or not...I didn't see it at a casual glance. But I haven't asked Google yet either. :D If it comes to me or I find the info I'll post it.
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