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johnalexander1571

What to turn off in VRay for animation?

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Hi John,

I've experimented quite a bit with VRay animations in FormZ, and have found them to be too unstable to put to production use.  For Example, the Esc button does not correctly stop the animation, resulting in a necessary Force Stop or End Task of FormZ to get it to Quit.  How else are we supposed to test our animations?

We are also stuck with really old and terrible Codecs that make huge low quality files.  I've put in several requests for this to be fixed, and haven't gotten a real response on a timeline for that.  I suspect some of this needed the new core that FormZ 9 is being built on, and possibly the new version of VRay called NEXT.  

I'm withholding further testing until v9 and VRay NEXT are released with a major animation overhaul.  I have several clients that would pay for short animations of my designs, but I cannot currently offer it to them until this gets resolved.  It's things like this that get really bothersome when using FormZ as our primary software.  

Edited by Justin Montoya

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Hi Justin,

Thanks for answering. In contrast I have been going crazy with it. I have used the Imager to run my machine for 4 solid days rendering clips at 1080p. I so far am not using compression for the raw fan and .avi files. I am assembling in AE, then will export compressed at the end. Doing a 2 minute explainer video. I am past a minute now.

I am able to confirm here that the .esc key and all methods to stopping a generating animation fail. As a result, I do workaround by planning and keeping files saved so I can kill the whole shebang if I need to. It is faster to kill it and relaunch.

I have discovered too that once you do the first half of an animation without any visible noise you can lighten up on the settings and show a little grain toward the end.

I am hoping to learn what I might do to run the clips a little faster.

I am glad that the default setting for GI do not flicker like crazy when you make an animation like MODO's did. (went off to use that professionally for two years, now back with formZ)

This is really the first time (since my first Infini-D class at OSU in like 1992) I have actually had a machine in front of me capable or producing nice 1080p animations. I am going to make animations all the time now!

ps I am using AE for any motion blur.

 

Once my animation is done in a few weeks it will be up on Youtube, so I will be able to link to it here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Very cool John!  It'll be great to see when you are finished.

Are you using the CPU engine?  Are you using the Noise limit setting and the Denoiser?  Those will make a big impact on your render times.

If you are working with the baseline settings using the Quality slider, try Medium and a 0.1 - 0.15 Noise Limit (Medium default is .05) and set the Denoiser to Mild.  Depending on your project, that's probably the easiest setup I can quickly suggest to speed up VRay renderings.  The Quality slider set to Very High with the Noise limit raised to the 0.1 - 0.15 range will also produce nice results with a tad more time.  You can render stills and run some tests with these settings to see what works for your scene. 

Hardware makes a big difference, what are your workstation specs currently?  I've used several different machines with the VRay CPU and VRay GPU engines.  Depending on the scene, CPU may be faster than GPU, or vice versa when using similar hardware.  For Example, my AMD 1950x 16core is similarly as fast as my GTX 1080ti GPU, when rendered in the CUDA based GPU engine.  But combined (Hybrid Rendering mode), they make the GPU engine almost twice as fast!   Add in a couple of GTX 1070s, and the GPU engine is just so much faster, especially for really large images (4k+).  One MAJOR problem with the current GPU engine is the lack of features, working or otherwise.  Ambient Occlusion AO, and Bump mapping are not currently working on the VRay GPU engine in FormZ.  

It also seems to me that on smaller images, the GPU engine is at a deficit because it takes longer to start and load all the scene vs the CPU engine.  This is where I've really started to appreciate the CPU engine lately.  For smaller images, or those needing AO and bump mapping, the CPU engine is working great, and pretty fast when you utilize the time or noise limit functions with the denoiser on mild.

I'm holding out hope that v9 and VRAY NEXT will get the GPU engine where it needs to be, so I can really start to crank out some animations much faster than the CPU ever could.

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Hi Justin,

 

Thank you very much for that. Here is what I have, I'll try some tests next week. This is fairly nice hardware for a change ;)

I have let my boss know that I need to stop and research this so this we save more time in the long run...

card.jpg

system.jpg

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Pretty good hardware indeed, John.  Though animations are going to still be very taxing on your machine.

Can you share an image of the rendered scene so we can tell what we are talking about here?  

If I were you, I'd experiment with the GPU vs CPU engine.  Your nice Nvidia RTX GPU can be used simultaneously with your CPU in Hybrid mode (only available in the GPU engine) that would nearly double your rendering speed, which really adds up when talking about all the frames of an animation.  However, the GPU engine is not a 1:1 comparison, and you would likely have to adjust the scene lighting and/or materials to get it to be more similar to the CPU.  

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Hi Justin,

Sorry it took a while to get back to this project. Thank you so much for your insights, this understanding you laid out for me allowed me to quickly get the frame rendering time down from around 2:00 minutes each to 38 seconds each. That's a substantial difference and just what I was looking for. I don't have any of the features that aren't working in GPU mode in this project.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. ;)

ps the drill is a bit heavy, but we're liking it.

 

 

 

frame.jpg

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That great John.  A bummer about the Denoiser, and I wonder why that might be.  But if your frames are noise free enough for you without it, then it's not a huge deal.  You can always lower the noise limit if you need a cleaner image without the Denoiser.  The Denoiser is just a faster approximation of it.

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Yeah, it is still much faster and this is better if I get into a pinch or have an epic number of clips to render. I usually just render overnight, so it has to be quite a few clips to help, but over the weekend this will allow almost double the frames returned in that time space.

Thanks Justin

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