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14-11-2006, 08:31 PM   #1
erictacti
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Help! Render times are killing me...
Hello, all. I am working on a rather large scene right now, and render times are killing me. I have used this scene before, and on a dual Xeon 5070 Workstation with 3GB ram, it was taking between 7 and 8 minutes for the scene to render using Maya Software. The results were nice, but I know it could of been optimized more. But, I let it complete the 1350 animation, and moved on to my next project. But, I'm using this scene again ofr the same client, but with some changes. I removed the characters used in the last animation, and replaced them with some new ones, showcasing different products. Now, with basically the same amount of geometry, and using the same lights and settings, renders are taking in excess of 15 minutes. I can't figure out any ways to optimize the scene any further. I know it would help if I posted the scene, and I'd love to, but because of Client Confidentiality, I cannot post it. But, here are the details:

136,329 Tris
43 textures, some 3D, some mapped, and the rest just procedural
57 Point Lights ( :O ) all set at .06 Intensity w/DepthMap Shadows

I am using Maya Software to render, at 640x480, 72 ppi, and Raytracing turned on. I set it to Production quality,with Shading at 2 and Max Shading at 8. Raytracing is set at 2 for Refractions and Reflections, and 10 on Shadows. I went to the attr. of each Material I'm using that I don't need Refractions or Reflections on and lowered them to 0. I know the lights seem like a stupid way to light a scene, but for some reason, it gives the best look. I have tried lowering the amount I have and raising the remaining lights intensity, but it doesn't look the same. With Raytracing turned off, the scene renders in about 2 minutes. Is there a way to leave Raytracing off, and just have it on a couple of objects in the scene? I need the realistic look it gives on a couple of objects, like the floor, but everything else doesn't need it. Please help! Any info and suggestions will be greatly appreciated! If you need more info, just let me know. Also, if it is absoltely necessary for me to post the scene, I will do so, but I will have to delete some of the objects. Thanks in advance!
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14-11-2006, 08:38 PM   #2
erictacti
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Oh, and yes, in case you were wondering....I suck at lighting:headbang: !
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15-11-2006, 12:19 PM   #3
blackstrings
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Still a newbie myself but have you tried rendering in layers. So you don't really have to render the whole scene all the time when you just want to finalize one small part of the scene. and then composite it in adobeAfter effects.
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15-11-2006, 01:14 PM   #4
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one of your biggest problems is your point lights casting depthmap shadows... each point light creates SIX depth maps (two directions for three axes). i recommend looking into perhaps changing some of your lights to spotlights wherever possible. that'll reduce the depthmaps instantly and decrease render times. also, since you're doing depth map shadows and NOT raytraced shadows, you can definitely turn down your shadows down from 10.

rendering in layers also helps, but i'm not quite sure how reflections are affected, sadly. you MIGHT be able to get away with a regular unraytraced render but then render out JUST a reflections pass. that might speed things up.

i'll look in the help files to learn what i can for ya.
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15-11-2006, 02:01 PM   #5
erictacti
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Thanks for the replies! The only problem with the rendering layers idea is that I don't have access to any Compositing Software here. About the shadows, I tried to switch that to Raytrace Shadows, but it took even longer. But, I see what you mean about all the Point Lights. I just haven't gotten good results with anything else. I am going to try, though, and see what I can come up with. Is there a better light to use for interiors than a point light? Also, what should I turn the shadows down to? Is there a way to turn off raytracing on certain objects?....So many questions......I wish default lighting looked as good

Anyways, thanks for the help, guys. I really appreciate it!
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15-11-2006, 03:37 PM   #6
NeoStrider
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oh i'm sorry i didn't mean switch to raytrace shadows, i meant tone down your shadow quality value in the maya software rendering tab under raytracing quality... since you aren't using raytraced shadows you can afford to turn that value down to even zero since you're not using it... that might also help decrease your rendering time.

as far as other light sources to use instead of point lights, it's kinda tough since i'm assuming you were using them to illuminate the area around where the point light was... if it's an exterior scene you might want to think about using a directional light... but other than that (since i'm not going to ask to see your scene) i've got nothing.
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15-11-2006, 04:12 PM   #7
erictacti
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Oh, I see. I'll try that and see if it helps. But, I guess it really is hard to help me without seeing the scene. So, what I will do is submit the scene tomorrow, after I get a chance to remove everything that is confidential. No offense to anyone by that, it's just my Manager's rules. I'm not afraid of anyone stealing anything, cus it's hardly worth stealing.... :p

Thanks for your continued efforts and attention!
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16-11-2006, 07:53 AM   #8
erictacti
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Ok, I stripped down pretty much everything I had to. All that's left is basically the room geometry, and little else. I had to delete some shaders, too, but I'm hoping that won't have muc effect. Anyways, here it is, so if anyone downloads it and finds an issue, please let me know. Oh, and if you find anything in there useful, which I doubt, please don't use it without my knowledge. As I stated before, it is a matter of a confidentiality clause I'm under. Thanks in advance!
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16-11-2006, 07:56 AM   #9
erictacti
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Ok, I'm not seeing the file available for dl. Is it showing up for anyone else? Regardless, I will post it again, just in case.
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16-11-2006, 08:05 AM   #10
erictacti
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Ok, I just got a warning message saying the file was too big when I tried to send a compressed version. Strange that it didn't give me that warning when I tried to post it in my last 2 replies. Anyways, I had to split it into 2 .rars because it was still too big after compression. I will submit them both. Hopefully, this works.
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Last edited by erictacti; 17-11-2006 at 05:00 PM.
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16-11-2006, 08:07 AM   #11
erictacti
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And here is part 2...
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Last edited by erictacti; 17-11-2006 at 05:01 PM.
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16-11-2006, 11:36 AM   #12
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well after looking at the file i can tell you that my computer took 23 minutes to render a shot without touching anything, but then after converting all the lights in the scene to spotlights it reduced the rendering time to 13 minutes, which is close to half... so i would recommend looking into that and playing with your cone angle (around 179 should do it... i rendered with 160 and the top was a little dark) to come up with a similar feel.
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16-11-2006, 09:49 PM   #13
erictacti
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Ok, cool. I will try that tomorrow morning. In the mean time, does anyone else have any suggestions? I see that 2 more people have downloaded it, so what're your takes on the situation? Thanks!

And thank you very much, Neostrider. I really do appreciate all the help you've given me!
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17-11-2006, 04:58 PM   #14
erictacti
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Thanks, NeoStrider! Although I haven't quite gotten perfect results yet, I'm almost there. Plus, as you said, rendering times dropped dramatically! Again, thanks a ton, you were most helpful!
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18-11-2006, 03:57 PM   #15
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Can we see a pic:attn:
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