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Anybody worried about melting a CPU on a Very Very Long Render?
Posted: 08 December 2012 06:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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RichardChaos - 08 December 2012 06:45 PM
evilproducer - 08 December 2012 09:17 AM

My wife has cats and they do come in the computer room, but the rule is: No cat box in the computer room! I’m surrounded by active farm fields and live on a gravel road, so I get a lot  of dust, especially in the spring and summer when the windows are open

One would think SOMEONE would come up with some sort of air filter for our machines OR some of the EXPENSIVE ones IE PRO MACs would have such a devise

One of my machines has filters. They still need cleaning regularly though otherwise the temperature goes through the roof. That’s my gaming rig so it’s massively overclocked on the graphics and processor. Makes for a rubbish workhorse, too unstable.

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Posted: 08 December 2012 08:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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RoguePilot - 08 December 2012 06:39 PM

64 bit won’t have a big impact on speed (might be some from better memory management). What it will do is allow memory intensive scenes to be handled better, or even at all, and can lead to less crashing by itself.

It is your last point that I must take respectful exception to. wink I wish that I had been able to finish the troubleshooting posts that I had started on the old forums. You’re spot-on about everything except “lead to less crashing.” 64-bitness is all about memory.

A program is going to crash no matter what when the right conditions arise. So its important to know exactly what happened; therein lies the rub… Finding that out can be tricky.

RoguePilot - 08 December 2012 06:39 PM

Of course it may be something else that’s caused the crash.

If Windows (pardon my lack of Mac knowledge here) intercepts the crashing application (Carrara or otherwise) it can be configured to send a minidump to Microsoft. Always let Windows do that. I promise you that every single one of them gets analyzed and patterns compared. The vast majority of Blue Screens are not application’s faults or Windows’ fault but badly written device drivers (which share memory address space with Windows).

An Access Violation exception is an application trying to access process memory that it is not permitted to touch. Often this is because zeros were returned to a function from some unexpected error and used as a pointer to memory - the first 64kb of process space is marked Out-Of-Bounds to protect against this very thing. If a program does not check its memory pointers, the application AV’s. If you ever see the error number (in hexadecimal) 0xc000005—that’s an AV.

RoguePilot - 08 December 2012 06:39 PM

...or if there are memory leaks…

Leaks are a trickier beast. Especially with apps that use a lot of memory (like Carrara) because it is hard to tell if the memory consumption is legitimate or not. Typically, you need to get several user-mode dumps of the application over time to compare in a debugger to figure out a true leak.

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Posted: 08 December 2012 09:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Ok, all good to know.

Bit off topic now but I’m curious.

How about ‘A memory hungry application will be more stable if there is plenty of memory to run it and it’s not hitting your memory limit, 64 bit enables this given that you have a sufficient amount installed’?

At least that’s what I’ve always believed, possibly until now. Is that true?

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Posted: 08 December 2012 09:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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RoguePilot - 08 December 2012 09:06 PM

How about ‘A memory hungry application will be more stable if there is plenty of memory to run it and it’s not hitting your memory limit, 64 bit enables this given that you have a sufficient amount installed’?

At least that’s what I’ve always believed, possibly until now. Is that true?

Yes, that is true.

Get your calculator and do the math with me. shut eye  32-bit is 2 raised to the 32nd power. The answer is 4 billion and something. wink 4 Gigabytes in techie terms. But Windows’ memory management doesn’t give your app 4 GB of addressable space. It gives it 2 GB and takes 2 GB for itself. These are called “user mode” and “kernel mode” and it is the key reason why a user application cannot crash Windows. Sure, the app can crash…but it won’t take the whole OS with it like in the Dark Ages. As previously mentioned though, device drivers share Windows’ kernel mode space and they certainly can take out the OS.

2 raised to the 64th power is stupid huge. 64-bit Windows does not give you that much addressable space - it’s too big. Windows is currently capped at 8 TB (8192 GB) of process addressable space for user and kernel modes. Nobody has 8 TB of RAM right now…let’s say your box has 8 GB. A 64-bit app can easily address - and use - more than 8 GB.

Windows Memory Manager is an amazing piece of code. The biggest picture of all of this is that it uses your RAM and your hard drive (paging file) together for all the storage needs. Odds are, you’ll run out of total physical memory long before you run out process memory.

That’s the next tough concept to wrap your brain around…the process space versus the physical space.

If you are feeling brave, read Mark Russinovich’s blog and/or books (he writes on Windows’ Internals). If you are feeling really brave, write some C++ code (even if it doesn’t do anything useful) to see how you can request, allocate and release process memory. That’s how I learned it…it was fun in a self-flaggellating kind of way. cool smile

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Posted: 08 December 2012 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Er..yes thanks, I know all that (since I was 13 over 30 years ago, learned binary when I was 12 coded my first piece in assembly at 14 then gave most of it up at 16 to study other things), I was just asking for clarification on the stability thing.

God, that sound douchey.

Sorry. smile

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Posted: 09 December 2012 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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RoguePilot - 08 December 2012 10:11 PM

God, that sound douchey. Sorry. smile

Ah! Very nice…Assembly skills means you really know about addressing memory and AVs…

I look at the word “stable” in the programming world to mean “it doesn’t crash.” In that sense, 32 versus 64 bitness isn’t about stability. Performance on the other hand…

If you have the RAM behind it all, 64-bit means you can request and allocate far more than 2 GB of address space and Windows’ Memory Manager will (more often than not) happily hand it over to you. The big performance gains comes from not needing to swap RAM out to the paging file - very little is worse than heavy churning in the paging file.

You probably also know that most of this stuff can be monitored via Performance Monitor counters. The SysInternals tool Process Explorer (written by the aforementioned Mark Russinovich) also provides much enlightening info about what is going on with a system.

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Posted: 09 December 2012 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Garstor - 08 December 2012 08:51 PM
RoguePilot - 08 December 2012 06:39 PM

64 bit won’t have a big impact on speed (might be some from better memory management). What it will do is allow memory intensive scenes to be handled better, or even at all, and can lead to less crashing by itself.

It is your last point that I must take respectful exception to. wink I wish that I had been able to finish the troubleshooting posts that I had started on the old forums. You’re spot-on about everything except “lead to less crashing.” 64-bitness is all about memory.

An out of memory error that causes your render to stop is still a “crash” for the purposes of rendering. The 64-bit version, when supplied with ample RAM, will handle much larger scenes before it does that. The 32-bit version on the same machine can’t touch that additional memory and for some scenes will be forced to stop rendering.

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Posted: 09 December 2012 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I ran the render in 4 segments, the 1st completed, 2, 3, 4, errored out.
I really loved the image quality and file size of the Quicktime animation codec but I have a feeling that is
the problem. I’ve noticed it render a complete animation, but then fail when it comes to ” Closing” ( my term )
the file.
So I guess I’ll try the png approach. Just makes file management with video editing more of a mess.
I have a number of animation sequences.
8068

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Posted: 09 December 2012 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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8068 - 09 December 2012 06:56 PM

I ran the render in 4 segments, the 1st completed, 2, 3, 4, errored out.
I really loved the image quality and file size of the Quicktime animation codec but I have a feeling that is
the problem. I’ve noticed it render a complete animation, but then fail when it comes to ” Closing” ( my term )
the file.
So I guess I’ll try the png approach. Just makes file management with video editing more of a mess.
I have a number of animation sequences.
8068

You have to name your file anyway, just create a folder specifically for the sequenced images. When it’s done, open Quicktime and choose open image sequence. Navigate to the folder and select the first image in the sequence and Quicktime will compile them into a movie. To save them , try Export to Quicktime Movie and under options, choose the Animation Codec. It takes longer to write this than it does to do it.

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Posted: 10 December 2012 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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RichardChaos - 08 December 2012 06:45 PM
evilproducer - 08 December 2012 09:17 AM

My wife has cats and they do come in the computer room, but the rule is: No cat box in the computer room! I’m surrounded by active farm fields and live on a gravel road, so I get a lot  of dust, especially in the spring and summer when the windows are open

One would think SOMEONE would come up with some sort of air filter for our machines OR some of the EXPENSIVE ones IE PRO MACs would have such a devise

Yeah.
When I build my computers I only use a case that uses air filtration on the intakes.
My first was a Thermaltake - and the filters are amazing! But the fans are 80 & 90 mm, and I’ve now went with larger, more silent fans - the current Antec 900+ case I’m using came with a nice intake filter. These are washable, too. But keeping them vacuumed out helps to reduce the need to constantly wash them.

Using an eight-core CPU, I filled every available fan housing in this larger case and filtered each intake. Inside the parts look new and shiny!

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Posted: 10 December 2012 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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8068 - 09 December 2012 06:56 PM

I ran the render in 4 segments, the 1st completed, 2, 3, 4, errored out.
I really loved the image quality and file size of the Quicktime animation codec but I have a feeling that is
the problem. I’ve noticed it render a complete animation, but then fail when it comes to ” Closing” ( my term )
the file.
So I guess I’ll try the png approach. Just makes file management with video editing more of a mess.
I have a number of animation sequences.
8068

Right. I’ve been told over and over to stop rendering out to avi and get into the habit of sequenced image rendering.
Evil Producer is right, not a big deal to name a folder and keep it - but I just find that the simple, single file is more to my liking.
When it comes to actually rendering out for the final production, I’ll likely be using seq image files, however.

As for the 32 vs 64 bit thing, I don’t know even a scratch of what Garstor and Rogue Pilot do - nor do I really want to lol, but when I built this latest machine, I went with 16 GB RAM and the motherboard accepts twice that. The main thing I was thinking about was starving any one of the eight cores - not sure if that would happen, but that’s where my thought process was. Having an eight-core proc really makes a difference when it comes to rendering - and I even bought the lower-end eight core - which is still over 3 GHz per core.

In the realm of 3d rendering, however, I don’t care how many cores you have and of what type, we can still bring all of the latest technology to its knees and make it pass out. When we start geeking around with what’s really going on under the hood of a render - even a simple one - it’s no wonder that we hold in our hands the ability to destroy computers.

Animations turn out incredibly well when you crank up the settings and go for the gusto. But with a bit of forethought regarding necessity, many aspects of an animation really don’t require super hi-res clarity. This is where utilizing multi-pass rendering and sequenced image files can aid you own time - but also be far less demanding on your beloved computer’s parts as well. Carrara has many built-in features that helps us perform much of this anyways - without the need for multi-pass rendering - which I love. But seriously, why have a super-high poly-count, ultra-detailed tree sitting in the background? Especially if your using field of depth on your filming camera!

Many products available for Poser/DS make great use of alpha or transparency maps - especially hair products. I’ve been finding that these alpha masks add a lot of time to a render. So keep that in mind while using low-poly stuff in the background that uses a lot of alpha. Looking back a bit, I remember watching the old, original Star Trek TV show - and amazing at the awesome backdrops they used in the 60’s. Painted sheets, cardboard boxes and tinsel went a long way to help fill a scene - knowing that the main focus is to be the actors. Even many of the props that the actors held and the costumes that they wore were simple and inexpensive. Part of the genius behind those who’ve had to make it all work within their limited budget. Keeping these things in mind while creating a scene might have an outstanding benefit towards saving your CPU from lighting on fire.

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Posted: 10 December 2012 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I prefer to render to a single file as well, with some caveats. If it’s a complex scene or a long animation I usually use an image sequence. If it seems like a simple scene or a short animation, then I’ll render to Quicktime. That being said, sometimes I’ll break my own rules and it works fine, but if any machine on my network chokes, then I’ll smack my forehead for being an idiot and re-render as an image sequence.

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