Oh yea. Octane for Carrara

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  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,476
    edited December 1969

    Sci Fi Funk,
    Indeed this does look very compelling. The cloud based solution seems like an amazing opportunity for small studios and independents or small groups to be able to really render out something awesome in a fraction of the time ---at a fraction of the cost of creating a farm.

    Even if one does not have grand plans --saving time is so so important.

    Rich

    Nice one Dustrider -- looks awesome. So how long did that take in Octane ?

    Rich,

    The original version of the image with all the figures and the big windows:
    Direct Lighting - 26 min.
    Path Tracing - 1hr 33min.

    The second version of the same scene:
    Direct Lighting - 42 min
    Path Tracing - Unknown, after 2 hours the fireflies were not clearing up
    PMC - 3 Hours

    The image with the hover bike:
    Direct Lighting - 14 min
    Path Tracing - 38 min

    The big change in render speeds between the two versions of the first image are from the change in the hdr gamma settings. I need to look into further, but I'm guessing that changing the gamma creates a greater variation in the light values from the hdr resulting in the need for more calculations (i.e. I dramatically increased the number of "virtual" lights in the scene) more calculations and longer render times for the second version. This theory also explains the need to use the PMC kernel to get the translucent specular materials to clean up, as PMC is designed to give faster and more efficient rendering of caustics, which would be needed with more complex lighting.

    Keep in mind that these times are using the DS plugin, which currently uses the version 1 dll's, not the current version 1.2 dll's. There were some significant improvements in both efficiency and algorithms in 1.2, which resulted in greatly improved render speeds. I just checked this with the same scene exported to the stand alone version (1.2) and set up like the second render/image (the slow one). Indeed, the render times are much better!

    The scene shaders aren't fully setup, so it doesn't have as many glossy surfaces yet, which will give slightly better render speeds (probably 60-70% are done), but all the specular materials are there. Using PMC, the samples per second is about a 40% increase over using the DS plugin, and in 16 min (350 s/p) the image is as clear as it was at about 1500 samples using the DS plugin. At 40 min. it looks very clean, so I'd probably stop it between 50 min. and an hour - a huge improvement compared to 3 hours (with the direct lighting kernel, there is about a 200% increase in samples per second, it looks fully cooked at 900 s/p in 7.5 min.).

  • Sci Fi FunkSci Fi Funk Posts: 1,046
    edited February 2014

    Dustrider,

    Useful info on the timings thanks. What i am aiming for is to get the images down to 2 mins max (pref 1 min) to take out most of the issues as a test scene. Then using the cloud when it becomes available for final render.

    I think it's worth getting technical over what speeds rendering up or slows it down. After all most animators have been through this exercise with Carraras own render - to preserve sanity during the render period - i.e. to have a toolbox of ideas to speed up the rendering.

    Would value your input here as I'm snowed under short term, and can't get the time on Octane.

    [EDIT] If using the cloud this info literally turns into money saved [/EDIT]

    Post edited by Sci Fi Funk on
  • Rich GellesRich Gelles Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Dustrider,

    Excellent details there. These kinds of posts are so helpful to anyone interested. And did I recall you thought your gpu was approximately like a gtx560? Do you know exactly your cudu cores? Because from there folks can figure out what they have or want to have gpu wise and kind of estimate their render times.

    Anytime you want to share some more --will appreciate seeing them and always interested in render times . Smiles .

    Sci Fi Funk,

    Rendering in Carrara has had its up and down for me over years. Mostly though been very satisfied with stability, But I know your amazing scenes are pushing the envelope all the time ---so I could imagine you have more rocks on your render road. And your mileage with Octane would be very useful as well for any prospective users. I have so far been still playing with the demo of Octane and its materials etc and not yet getting some of the results seen from Dustrider here. But that's more me than Octane for sure . lol.

    Rich

  • Sci Fi FunkSci Fi Funk Posts: 1,046
    edited February 2014

    Rich,

    I will be sharing my experiences here and on the Octane board for Carrara. It's going to set things back again timewise - but results wise it will be worth it.

    However what we keep is Carrara's great all-in-one package for poser content. Take from a massive array of models inc human animatable characters, edit polygons, shaders (ok materials will now have to be done with Octane in mind), set up scenes and merge with previous scenes, inc. replication - only at the final output stage is more learning required.

    To be honest though it will be a relief to get away from trying to simulate how light falls in the real world, although I bet (ha ha) that we'll have to learn a whole load of new tricks (read horrible fudges, bug work arounds) to survive scene to scene. Ah well.

    Post edited by Sci Fi Funk on
  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,476
    edited December 1969

    Dustrider,

    Excellent details there. These kinds of posts are so helpful to anyone interested. And did I recall you thought your gpu was approximately like a gtx560? Do you know exactly your cudu cores? Because from there folks can figure out what they have or want to have gpu wise and kind of estimate their render times.

    Anytime you want to share some more --will appreciate seeing them and always interested in render times . Smiles .

    Rich


    Rich - here's the specs on the GTX 670M in my laptop

    GPU Engine Specs (Fermi):
    336 cuda cores, 598 MHz,
    Memory Specs:
    3Gb GDDR5, Clock 1500MHz, Width 192bit, Bandwidth 72.0 GB/sec

    A GTX 560 is actually a better performer, but has the same number of cuda cores. It runs at higher clock rates - 810-950 MHz for the GPU, and 2002-2200 MHz for the memory, 256-bit width, and 128GB/sec bandwidth.

    One thing to keep in mind if you get a Kepler card, you need about 2X (double) more cuda cores to get approximately equivalent performance to a Fermi based card in Octane. With the new design, in general terms it takes two clock cycles in a Kepler core to perform what the Fermi did in one. The big advantage with the Kepler based cards is the increased texture slots. Fermi based card limits are 64 RGBA textures, 32 grayscale textures, 4 HDR RGBA textures and 4 HDR grayscale textures. Kepler based card limits are 144 RGBA textures, 68 grayscale textures, 10 HDR RGBA textures, and 10 HDR grayscale. 144 color textures would be much better, I've tried a few scenes that went over the 64 color texture limit on my card. I can usually get around it by going with procedural textures or using the same texture map on multiple objects, but it would speed set up if this wasn't a concern.

    Hope this helps!

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,476
    edited December 1969

    Rich,

    I will be sharing my experiences here and on the Octane board for Carrara. It's going to set things back again timewise - but results wise it will be worth it.

    However what we keep is Carrara's great all-in-one package for poser content. Take from a massive array of models inc human animatable characters, edit polygons, shaders (ok materials will now have to be done with Octane in mind), set up scenes and merge with previous scenes, inc. replication - only at the final output stage is more learning required.

    To be honest though it will be a relief to get away from trying to simulate how light falls in the real world, although I bet (ha ha) that we'll have to learn a whole load of new tricks (read horrible fudges, bug work arounds) to survive scene to scene. Ah well.

    SiFi - I think you're exactly right, some of the convenient cheats, like adding a spot light (invisible) to illuminate the face, can't be done anymore. You have to think more like a photographer, or in your case, the lighting director for a movie - because all light sources are visible to the camera if they are in view. "Reflectors" can help a lot, since they won't increase render times like additional lights will. The big plus though is that the lights in Carrara behave a lot like real lights, which helps the learning curve in Octane quite a bit (the learning curve from Poser to Octane would be huge).

    One thing you notice really fast though, is that there is a wide variance in the quality and vibrancy/gamma of texture maps from vendor to vendor. There are still a lot of texture sets with burned in and fake specular, that often work OK in Carrara, that simply don't quite make the grade in Octane. There are also many products that it seems that the vendor doesn't use any sort of monitor calibration, typically being overly dark. These textures don't look as good in Carrara as the promos, but I always blamed it on my lack of skills. I learned pretty quickly that when I load one of these dark textures into Octane, reducing the gamma on the texture map quickly brought it back to life and made it very usable.

    I think your also right that Octane may not reduce your overall render times (unless using cloud rendering), but it could really improve render quality and workflow enough that it would make the trade off very worth while. Many of the options that dramatically decrease render times in Carrara with virtually imperceptible reduction in render quality simply aren't available in unbiased render engines like Octane. I think that Octane does make a linear workflow like Phil has talked about, and that many of the big studios are using (like Pixar), much easier with Octane.

  • Sci Fi FunkSci Fi Funk Posts: 1,046
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for your insights there Dustrider.

    Interesting about the gamma on texture maps. I hadn't considered that.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,108
    edited December 1969

    Call for Octane for Carrara beta testers has just been put up on Otoy's forum.

    http://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=38065

  • Orion_UkOrion_Uk Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the heads up PhilW ;)

    Been keeping my eye on this for while now :D

  • Sci Fi FunkSci Fi Funk Posts: 1,046
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    Call for Octane for Carrara beta testers has just been put up on Otoy's forum.

    http://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=38065

    Thanks Phil.

    I've thrown my hat into the ring as a large scene expert.

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,476
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    Call for Octane for Carrara beta testers has just been put up on Otoy's forum.

    http://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=38065

    Great news!! Thanks for the heads-up Phil.
    I threw my name in the hat as well.

  • Rich GellesRich Gelles Posts: 0
    edited February 2014

    Thanks dustrider for the details once again.
    And taught me a thing or two for sure --here I naively thought all cuda cores were created equal . Smiles. Anyhow so much useful things in your post. Awesome.

    Wonderful news on Beta testing of Carrara plugin. ...so will be very curious of the feedback from you guys whoever becomes a beta tester.

    Rich

    Post edited by Rich Gelles on
  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821
    edited December 1969

    The news is great for Carrara but I wish Octane worked with ATI video cards as this is what I have .. Oh well . It does look nice though maybe I will have to switch out my graphics card .

  • Rich GellesRich Gelles Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    hey mmoir , of course you need to switch graphics cards and try out Octane. All the cool kids are doing it. Smiles.

    Waiting to see your tutorial hit the Daz store btw.

    And wow --check out the early list signing up at OTOY to be beta testers of the Carrara Octane plugin--- PhilW, 3dage, orion_uk, Sci Fi Funk ---that's some beta team alone right there .. This spells good things for the plugin for sure.

    Rich

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821
    edited December 1969

    Rich,
    I just got a new computer 7 or 8 months ago but it is making strange noises so maybe it will blow up and I will need to get a new computer with an Nvidia card in it.:lol:
    Regarding my tutorial product , it has been in the "ready to release" status for more than a week. I don't know what Daz is waiting for, hopefully it will be this week.

    Mike

    hey mmoir , of course you need to switch graphics cards and try out Octane. All the cool kids are doing it. Smiles.

    Waiting to see your tutorial hit the Daz store btw.

    And wow --check out the early list signing up at OTOY to be beta testers of the Carrara Octane plugin--- PhilW, 3dage, orion_uk, Sci Fi Funk ---that's some beta team alone right there .. This spells good things for the plugin for sure.

    Rich

  • Rich GellesRich Gelles Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    mmoir, Smiles.... strange noises not so good. You should open your case an peek in. There are only a few things that even can make noise. The fans on case, fan on cpu and video card and the hard drives and dvd drives. You should be able to at least idebtify where the odd noise is from and go from there......
    and I wait for Daz then on your tutorial.

    rich

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821
    edited December 1969

    Rich,
    Well this computer has been a real lemon to say the least. I have had strange noises from the second week or so since I bought it , once it was the hard drive which I replaced myself after talking to tech support for 2 days straight . This sort of fixed the noises a bit but then the noises seemed to come back and then the system crashed and I thought it was the graphics card but it was under warranty and they fixed it but it was the motherboard.
    The same noise is still present but now when I start the computer it makes a sort of grinding noise for 30 seconds or so then quiets down.. To me this start up grinding noise sounds like a hard drive issue but trying to isolate where the sound is coming from is a difficult thing to do.

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,476
    edited December 1969

    mmoir said:
    Rich,
    Well this computer has been a real lemon to say the least. I have had strange noises from the second week or so since I bought it , once it was the hard drive which I replaced myself after talking to tech support for 2 days straight . This sort of fixed the noises a bit but then the noises seemed to come back and then the system crashed and I thought it was the graphics card but it was under warranty and they fixed it but it was the motherboard.
    The same noise is still present but now when I start the computer it makes a sort of grinding noise for 30 seconds or so then quiets down.. To me this start up grinding noise sounds like a hard drive issue but trying to isolate where the sound is coming from is a difficult thing to do.

    Hey mmoir!
    Yep, that sounds like a hard drive, though I did have a fan on a video card at home one time that gave a sort of grinding sound, but it's been my experience that about 99% of the time, a grinding noise on start-up is a hard drive (I used to have over 700 computers to "take care of").
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,002
    edited December 1969

    Yikes!
    Yeah, my graphics card is the cause of my stress-fully noisy machine. I packed the fan with marine grease and it's still loud. Now I wish I'd have bought one of those fan-less solutions. Sorry for your woes. I know how you feel :(

  • Orion_UkOrion_Uk Posts: 0
    edited February 2014

    The same noise is still present but now when I start the computer it makes a sort of grinding noise for 30 seconds or so then quiets down.. To me this start up grinding noise sounds like a hard drive issue but trying to isolate where the sound is coming from is a difficult thing to do

    Have you checked the fans in the case? Not just graphics & any HDD fans but also case as it sounds like baring/blade friction from a fan 'warming up', once the fan has settled down (reached a point where the blades find 'balance' the friction of the blades stop, the noise stops) as they cease to rub against the rim/wall of the fan casing. If it's more of a friction sound than mechanical I would focus on the fans myself?

    If more of a physical 'clunk' or 'tick' then HDD. Unplug the SATA/IDE cable of the suspect drive and fire it up from the PSU, how does the spin up sound, do you feel a 'clunk' / physical jolt on the drive? Maybe something is doing in the controller cards on your HDD due to bad power supply issues? Does the spin up sound weak or strained/prolonged?

    Unplug your devices and plug them in one by one, also, use a paint brush to clear any dirt/fluff from under the blades of all your fans and inside heat sync gaps. Another tip would be to check the status of your thermal paste, if it's dry and cracked it may be worth removing and replacing with a fresh lot to help keep things cooler and reduce load on any fan & processors ;)

    Post edited by Orion_Uk on
  • MiloMilo Posts: 509
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    Call for Octane for Carrara beta testers has just been put up on Otoy's forum.

    http://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=38065

    Makes me wish I had the foresight to buy octane while it was in Beta, Now its starting to get out of reach ($$$) LOL. Great looking renders though.

  • SpacelandSpaceland Posts: 132
    edited December 1969

    I was looking at the price of Octane Stand Alone version, at that price I can buy the update from Cinema 4D prime to Broadcast, get the embree render, team render and so much more.

    I know Octane is impressive but at that price, too much for me.

  • Rich GellesRich Gelles Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    indeed , as we have previously indicated ---getting on the Octane bus is no small investment. And really it has to bring to the table either significant time savings in rendering and or improved images.
    How much one wants to pay for these are up to the individual. So ---no its not cheap but.........if the we continue to see some awesome images fro Octane with the Carrara plugin ----- It could tempt a lot of the serious Carrara users for sure.


    rich

  • SpacelandSpaceland Posts: 132
    edited December 1969

    indeed , as we have previously indicated ---getting on the Octane bus is no small investment. And really it has to bring to the table either significant time savings in rendering and or improved images.
    How much one wants to pay for these are up to the individual. So ---no its not cheap but.........if the we continue to see some awesome images fro Octane with the Carrara plugin ----- It could tempt a lot of the serious Carrara users for sure.


    rich

    Maybe yes.

    But I was testing the demo version of Octane, thea, Lux and overall, I would go Thea for the render. I prefer the Thea interface.

    The other thing is that Octane, when using the Cuda for render is amazing but limited by the memory of the video card, but my GTX-660 has 980 Cuda cores, the render speed is amazing. And I am getting a new laptop to work with that will have a GeForce GTX-765M with 768 cuda cores. Would love to combine both.

    I find that getting on any Rendering engine bus is no small investment. But maybe in the future I will change. But at the moment I am happy with the Carrara render or the Cinema 4D render.

    But in the end I would love to get a render engine that can use or both CPU & GPU at the same time over network and be able to use any computer at hand to render. (big wish :) )

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821
    edited December 1969

    Hey Thanks for all this information.

    I have been busy with work but now I have some free time so I will take a look at the computer and see what I can find. When I had issues the last time I opened the case and tried to isolate where the sound was coming from , the sound was a click or snap every 3 minutes or so making it hard to isolate.. This time the sound is always on start up and rather loud so with the case open I should be able to hear where it is coming from. I will keep these comments in mind when looking into this.
    Thanks

    Orion_Uk said:
    The same noise is still present but now when I start the computer it makes a sort of grinding noise for 30 seconds or so then quiets down.. To me this start up grinding noise sounds like a hard drive issue but trying to isolate where the sound is coming from is a difficult thing to do

    Have you checked the fans in the case? Not just graphics & any HDD fans but also case as it sounds like baring/blade friction from a fan 'warming up', once the fan has settled down (reached a point where the blades find 'balance' the friction of the blades stop, the noise stops) as they cease to rub against the rim/wall of the fan casing. If it's more of a friction sound than mechanical I would focus on the fans myself?

    If more of a physical 'clunk' or 'tick' then HDD. Unplug the SATA/IDE cable of the suspect drive and fire it up from the PSU, how does the spin up sound, do you feel a 'clunk' / physical jolt on the drive? Maybe something is doing in the controller cards on your HDD due to bad power supply issues? Does the spin up sound weak or strained/prolonged?

    Unplug your devices and plug them in one by one, also, use a paint brush to clear any dirt/fluff from under the blades of all your fans and inside heat sync gaps. Another tip would be to check the status of your thermal paste, if it's dry and cracked it may be worth removing and replacing with a fresh lot to help keep things cooler and reduce load on any fan & processors ;)

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,476
    edited December 1969

    Spaceland said:
    indeed , as we have previously indicated ---getting on the Octane bus is no small investment. And really it has to bring to the table either significant time savings in rendering and or improved images.
    How much one wants to pay for these are up to the individual. So ---no its not cheap but.........if the we continue to see some awesome images fro Octane with the Carrara plugin ----- It could tempt a lot of the serious Carrara users for sure.


    rich

    Maybe yes.

    But I was testing the demo version of Octane, thea, Lux and overall, I would go Thea for the render. I prefer the Thea interface.

    The other thing is that Octane, when using the Cuda for render is amazing but limited by the memory of the video card, but my GTX-660 has 980 Cuda cores, the render speed is amazing. And I am getting a new laptop to work with that will have a GeForce GTX-765M with 768 cuda cores. Would love to combine both.

    I find that getting on any Rendering engine bus is no small investment. But maybe in the future I will change. But at the moment I am happy with the Carrara render or the Cinema 4D render.

    But in the end I would love to get a render engine that can use or both CPU & GPU at the same time over network and be able to use any computer at hand to render. (big wish :) )


    Octane definitely isn't cheap. I thought about it long and hard for over two weeks before getting it, but the work flow with the Poser plugin was so smooth that it really sold me. I hope the Carrara plugin works as well as the Poser version does. The DS plugin is good, but not as polished, and is a bit unstable at times where the Poser plug isn't (the DS plugin is still in beta though).

    The virtual seamless connection between Poser and Octane via the plugin was one of the biggest factors in my decision. The stability and speed were really important as well. The other big selling point for me was the number of applications that have Octane plugins (15 right now), the number that are in development, and the fact that I could finally use the same fast render engine with Carrara, DS, and Poser, which is a huge plus. Plus, if I decide to use another application, say Blender, Lightwave, or C4D, I can continue to use Octane, so my investment in learning Octane transfers to the new software as well.

    Thea looks really good. I've played with it a bit, and the CPU renderer is a lot faster than Lux!! I couldn't find the hybrid renderer - maybe the demo doesn't have it? The GPU renderer is fast, but it didn't seem quite as fast as Octane. Thea seams to be a lot more flexible than Octane, and definitely has more import options. The ability to use CPU or GPU or biased rendering is a big plus, as is the good speed of the CPU unbiased renderer (really makes Lux look slow). Definitely a great piece of software!

    If I didn't have Octane already, I might be seriously tempted by Thea. I would probably still go with Octane though based on the availability of plugins for the software I have now, and the availability of plugins for other potential software. The speed of the workflow with the Octane plugins for me is simply too good to pass on. Being able to adjust elements in the host application, and get almost instantaneous visual feedback in the Octane viewport really keeps the test render-aholic in me very happy :-)

  • SpacelandSpaceland Posts: 132
    edited December 1969

    Hey Dust,

    I could still change my mind in the future, I am comfortable with the default render of Carrara or Cinema but a stand alone is in my list of must get one day.

    Both can work with Cinema and if plug in exist for Carrara is a bonus.

    will see in the future.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,002
    edited December 1969

    The videos the he shows of Octane in Carrara look really quite promising, don't they? It's like he gets an instant spot render every time he does something - like the auto-refresh in the shader room - but in HD! LOL
    Does that look similar to the way it's working in Poser?

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,476
    edited December 1969

    Spaceland said:
    Hey Dust,

    I could still change my mind in the future, I am comfortable with the default render of Carrara or Cinema but a stand alone is in my list of must get one day.

    Both can work with Cinema and if plug in exist for Carrara is a bonus.

    will see in the future.


    The renderer in Carrara is really good, and it's still pretty fast too. That's why I haven't used Luxus much with Carrara, it takes a bit of extra work to set everything up for longer render times. If you have a scene with a lot of realistic glass and/or caustics, it would probably be worth the extra effort (especially without some of the shader plugins), but the renderer in Carrara does a great job for most needs. But it is slow compared to Octane or Thea GPU. It seems like the unbiased CPU renderer in Thea is faster than Cararra pushed to max qualities as well.

    It's really great though that we are getting some external renderer plugins for Carrara, because it does give us more choices and options. Even with Luxus/lux, we have the option to use the same render engine in different applications and Carrara, which can be a big plus (and the speed of Lux is improving).

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 2,476
    edited December 1969

    The videos the he shows of Octane in Carrara look really quite promising, don't they? It's like he gets an instant spot render every time he does something - like the auto-refresh in the shader room - but in HD! LOL
    Does that look similar to the way it's working in Poser?

    Actually, it's much better than the auto-refresh in the shader room. It doesn't interfere with the performance of anything else you do in the scene, where trying to work with complex, reflective, SSS, etc. shaders in the shader room with auto-refresh turned on can get pretty sluggish. I typically turn it off because of the refresh issues (I've locked up Carrara a lot trying to change settings before auto-refresh is done).

    The DS plugin works the same way, but there is some sort of communication problem between the windows that makes things get a little unstable. As a result, I typically close the Octane viewport when moving/adjusting/adding/turning off or on objects in the scene. With the Poser plugin I could leave the viewport open and edit anything in the scene without any stability problems. From the videos, it looks like the Carrara plugin is working the same way, and as stable as the Poser plugin.

    So, for the short answer, yes, with Octane it's like having the auto-refresh window for your entire scene, anytime you want, only without the sluggish behavior caused while it's refreshing.

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