Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Pro 3D model and render, help!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share

Video cards have big impact on the render process?

Total: 10 votes

  • Yes
  • 50 %
  • No
  • 50 %
May 27, 2006 9:14:23 AM

I just build a new PC for 3D Studio Max 8 mainly.
AMD Athlon X2 4600+
4x1Gb DDR PC-3200 Shikatronics
Quadro FX 1400 (128mb PCI-Express)
2xMaxtor Maxline+ SATA 250Gb (RAID 0)
nForce 4 Ultra

There is a huge project that the older computers couldn't even load the hole scenario, they crashed. (With Radeon x300)
So I thought that Quadro will help a lot.
Now this new computer handles the max files very smoothly, but when is time to render... nothing, no response, no error, but it simply doesn't do it, the render process starts and it just stays at 0% forever.
And Windos XP Pro SP2 tells me that the computer has 3.12Gb (WTF?)

It's driving me crazy, so I have some questions:
- Is the video card important in the render process?
If it is, How much?
And how much does the ram size of the video card affect this?
(I have been told that the render is done enterely by CPU + RAM)
- Why doesn't windows recognize the 4Gb? (CPU-Z does)

Any ideas to solve the problem will be appreciated, please help.
I use MAXtreme, Quadro's last drivers, Default Scanline Render.

Thanks!

More about : pro model render

May 27, 2006 9:37:27 AM

Quote:
I just build a new PC for 3D Studio Max 8 mainly.
AMD Athlon X2 4600+
4x1Gb DDR PC-3200 Shikatronics
Quadro FX 1400 (128mb PCI-Express)
2xMaxtor Maxline+ SATA 250Gb (RAID 0)
nForce 4 Ultra

There is a huge project that the older computers couldn't even load the hole scenario, they crashed. (With Radeon x300)
So I thought that Quadro will help a lot.
Now this new computer handles the max files very smoothly, but when is time to render... nothing, no response, no error, but it simply doesn't do it, the render process starts and it just stays at 0% forever.
And Windos XP Pro SP2 tells me that the computer has 3.12Gb (WTF?)

It's driving me crazy, so I have some questions:
- Is the video card important in the render process?
If it is, How much?
And how much does the ram size of the video card affect this?
(I have been told that the render is done enterely by CPU + RAM)
- Why doesn't windows recognize the 4Gb? (CPU-Z does)

Any ideas to solve the problem will be appreciated, please help.
I use MAXtreme, Quadro's last drivers, Default Scanline Render.

Thanks!
Apparently windows has trouble with over 3GB RAM. But

you have 4 sticks, so taking out 1 will leave you running in single -channel mode(not as fast). Might be worth a try to take out 2 sticks of
RAM. If you do, take out the 2nd and 4th sticks. I'm not sure if this is
the problem, but somebody else posted with a similar problem last week.

Take a look at the responses, and see if this helps.

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/PC-designer-fto...


GL :) 
May 27, 2006 10:46:58 AM

Windows reserves addresses after 3gb and can't see more RAM.
The graphics card don't help in render process. nVidia have a hardware renderer (gelato) that uses gpu+cpu+ram to render but with scanline the gpu don't work.

GPU are important to work in viewport.
As to the render process could be a firewall issue with max. Try dissabling windows firewall. Update Max to SP3 there are render issues solved.
Related resources
May 27, 2006 10:52:36 AM

Windows XP (32 bits) can only map up to 4GB of memory, BUT! it needs to use some of those '4GB' address space for kernel memory (2 GB is the standard, but it can be switched: "The virtual address space of processes and applications is still limited to 2 GB unless the /3GB switch is used in the Boot.ini file."), normal programs won't be able to use all that memory...
Also, some of that memory space is reserved to map some computer devices memory too...

So, as there is no '4GB' of mapping space to reference the 4GB of physical memory Windows XP (32bit) may say that there is less that 4GB of memory 'available'. Also notice that Windows will not be able to use any swap space (no address space to reference it), so if some program needs more than 2GB (3GB with the switch) it will crash!!!

That's why 64bit processors where born: 32bits numbers = address can reference up to 4GB, 64bit numbers = lots and lots of GB :) 
Athlons X2 can work in 64 bits mode, but you will need Windows XP 64bits too! Windows XP x64 Edition can use up to 128GB of physical memory (but up to 16TB of virtual memory)
May 27, 2006 12:01:28 PM

Thank you for saying this so I don't have to. Still, here's a post/rant I made that explains all you could care to know (and more) about that very issue.

Quote:
And Windos XP Pro SP2 tells me that the computer has 3.12Gb (WTF?)


Also, just as a side note, in pre-SP2 Windows, reporting of the memory in the "System Properties" window used the sum of the size of each memory stick instead of what it was actually able to give to the userspace apps, if you would have checked in the "Task Manager->Performance tab" in the physical memory listing it always showed this reduced figure for the reasons explained. Now the issue is just more visable.

As for the question at hand, usually it doesn't but if you have some special software, for nVidia cards there is Gelato which offloads the rendering to the card for (usually) a massive speedup. But not being able to render in the first place means some other problem needs to be solved first.

So, the answer is "no unless you have some software, but first there's a more pressing issue to attend to."
May 27, 2006 4:38:50 PM

Thanks for the fast response guys, I realy appreciate it.
So, let me confirm something...
If I switch to Windows XP 64 bit Edition, my OS will be able to handle the 4Gb...
But will 3D studio max 8, that is 32bit, be able to get advantage of that?
I guess so, but I'm not sure.
And I tried to use Gelato 2.0 but it always poped and error.

Well, I'll probably switch to windows 64 bit and update 3d studio max with sp3, thanks!
May 27, 2006 6:48:17 PM

Try searching around, if there are suggestions for people to use the "/3GB" switch with 32-bit windows, it will indeed receive a performance boost in windos xp pro x64 (the application will be able to address up to 3gigs instead of the standard 2 gigs)
May 27, 2006 7:29:32 PM

I keep reading that, what's the "/3GB" switch?
Is it a jumper on the motherboard? Software fix?
Anyway, I think that if 3D studio max 8 is still 32bit only, then it wont take advantage of 4Gb memory.
May 27, 2006 11:40:20 PM

About the 3GB switch...

Windows (32 bits) by default does something like this: each memory pointer is just a number (of 32 bits) on the 0 up to 4294967295 (4GB) range. Windows needs some way to know if a pointer is pointing to normal programs memory ("user space") or special memory (used by the operating system and device drivers or a kind-of-shortcut to communicate with the computer devices... in short "kernel space")...
There are some ways of doing this, but the simpler one is something like this: from 0 up to "X" will mean user space, from "X" up to 4GB will be kernel space.

That means that normal programs (3D Studio Max over Windows 32 bits) will only be able to use up to "X" memory.

Windows default for "X" is 2GB. That would leave 2GB for the operating system and 2GB for the programs.
But the operating system will hardly ever need even a 1GB while it's 'easy' for some programs (3DSMax, Matlab, 'Civ IV' without patching...) to reach 2GB.

The 3GB switch will tell Windows that you want to divide the memory space this way: 3GB for programs / 1GB for the O.S. instead of 2GB/2GB

To do that open "C:Boot.ini" with notepad (that file is usually hidden) and look for something like this:

[code:1:541d442b73]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
[/code:1:541d442b73]

Just add a "/3GB" to the end of the second line, like this:

[code:1:541d442b73]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /3GB
[/code:1:541d442b73]

But, that still means that programs can use only up to 3GB before crashing...

On Windows 64, pointers are different (64 bit pointers) and those 4GB fall on user space, so there is no need to reserve some space for kernel memory on the 32 bit pointers... That means that 32 bit programs like 3D Studio Max are able to use up to 4GB on Windows x64. (64 bit programs may use a lot more...). So yeah, switching to Windows XP x64 will benefit the 32 bit version of 3D Studio Max (1 more GB available). :) 
May 28, 2006 3:07:53 PM

i suggest asking about the combination of Max and XP on a newsgroup or Forum where people are running that combination

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.graphics.packages.3...

of the Max groups on Google/Usenet groups, "comp.graphics.packages.3dstudio" has the most traffic.

i asked the same question. the answer was, stick with XP, as in 32 bit XP.

sounds like people are having a lot of crashes with the 64 bit versions.
May 28, 2006 6:51:18 PM

Thanks for the info, I'll try with 2Gb in dual channel and sp3 for 3dsmax.
Hope it solves the problem, I have to do it next tuesday, I'll let you know how it went.

8)
May 31, 2006 3:18:13 AM

Hi there...
I took 2 dimms (Has 2Gb in dual channel now)
I updated 3Dsmax with sp3 (feels slower, but i hope it helps)

I still can't solve my problem, but now I think that it's a software issue (or user issue).

1) The .max file is about 160Mb
(takes ages to save changes)
2) There are a lot of duplicated objets
(is it possible to tell 3dsmax that 2 objects are the same?)
3) The error occurs using Raytracer, if I disable it, the render works.
(but i need to use it to have better illumination quality)

Quote:

There is not enought memory for raytracer to build it's acceleration data structures.
The render is being aborted.


(I'm a noob with 3Dsmax)
Any ideas?
May 31, 2006 3:30:45 PM

Unfortunately, the only 3d modelling/rendering experience I have is with Blender x64 on Linux on my machine (one time got the Blender process up to 3.5 gigs all by it's lonesome woohoo!), so I can't really help out too much frommy own experience other than saying to search around for others that have have that same issue and the possible solutions to it (like breaking up the render, lowering quality, etc)

The duplicate objects are a major issue, and again I know how to handle that in Blender but that doesn't help you.

The answer here is to find a person who's willing and able to help you out (I'm willing but not able) or do some detective work yourself.
May 31, 2006 5:43:56 PM

Quote:

2) There are a lot of duplicated objets
(is it possible to tell 3dsmax that 2 objects are the same?)


Are you using "Copy" cloning? As far as I know 3DS Max supports three types of cloning objects. And if i'm right using "Instance" cloning would save a lot of memory in your case.

Copy cloning creates a new object with a -new- copy of the meshes, applied transformations and new properties. Instance cloning creates a reference that reuses the previous meshes but has new properties (position, color). So it should use only a fraction of the memory (just the properties). Note: If you modify any instance (editing the mesh) all the instances of the object will be affected. (While the third way of copy would create a new mesh for this modified object)

I remember doing something like that on PovRay (a scripting raytracer) long time ago: For example when rendering grass, each leave was an exact copy of the others, just the scale/position changed; by using references millions of leaves could be used with only a little more memory than one leaf (a mesh made with 3DSMax by the way).
May 31, 2006 9:27:34 PM

Yes, I think that's the main problem, but I have more than 12000 entities now...
I tryed using mentalray...

Quote:
Default Scanline:
There is not enought memory for raytracer to build it's acceleration data structures.
The render is being aborted.

Mental Ray:
Mental ray has encountered a fatal error and the application will now shutdown.
The error is:
MEM 0.2 fatal 031008: can't allocate 16211808 bytes.


I already changed the max memory size to 3Gb for mentalray and it still pops a simillar error.
Is there any way to tell 3dsmax that 2 objects are the same?
Does it have some tool for it or something?
May 31, 2006 11:06:45 PM

Quote:
Yes, I think that's the main problem, but I have more than 12000 entities now...

Ouch! I think I can understand why you don't want to do it by hand ;) 

Quote:
Is there any way to tell 3dsmax that 2 objects are the same?
Does it have some tool for it or something?


Maybe this one tool:

"Copy to Instance 0.1
Very simple - this just scans selected objects and converts them into instances of the pre-selected master object. For when you make lots of copies of something then realise they should have been instances... Will scan objects to ensure they are of the same class before conversion (so if you have a light as the Master object, it won't instance any meshes, etc)"

You can get it here: http://www.pixelpollen.com/scripts.htm ( http://www.pixelpollen.com/scripts/Copy_to_Instance.ms )

I hope it helps :) 
June 1, 2006 3:24:21 PM

"sonny, when i was your age i had to walk 8 miles through the snow, dodging cold-weather rattlesnakes every step of the way"

oops, wrong sermon.

well, now you have an idea of what it was like doing 3D modelling in 1988. for most of the history of 3D modelling, a good part of the job has been not just drawing cool stuff, but also managing compute resources.

i would love to see a screen shot of what you're doing. any chance you could photoshop it to take out the proprietary stuff ? sounds like one of those scenes in Star Wars 4-6, or the bruce willis taxi scene in Fifth Element.

i think you have a VERY GOOD REASON to justify spending $$ on new computer stuff.

my Asus P5GD/ P4 3.6 was slowing way down on much smaller files, with 2 GB RAM ... i'm trying to learn Max myself.

is this an independent project, paid for out of your own pocket ?

will you remember us when you get your Academy Award ?

i've had the benefit of a very good coach, someone whose work probably everyone here has seen. i'm pretty sure he would say, start whittling that file size down, using instancing & cloning - because that's what you would have to do if you were working at Pixar or ILM.
June 1, 2006 3:25:35 PM

another double post.

well, let's make good use of it.



"Another Double Post ? Bad Bad Bad Boy !!!"

- - -

Now, that's what i call, Raviolissimo !
June 1, 2006 4:01:41 PM

Quote:

i've had the benefit of a very good coach, someone whose work probably everyone here has seen. i'm pretty sure he would say, start whittling that file size down, using instancing & cloning - because that's what you would have to do if you were working at Pixar or ILM.


Alex Lindsay...Pixel Corps?
June 1, 2006 4:14:02 PM

Well, let me explain...
I know this guys, that make 3D stuff for stands, new products, commercials, logos...
So they got this new huge project to make the hole floor of a new expo.
They made parts of it in different computers, then they just copy + paste them all into one file. When they tryed to open it, the computer crashed.
So they told me "man i need a powerful pc for 3D", (they had radeon x300 so I thought that was the problem)
So i build the new computer.
It opens the file and manipulate it smoothly, but when it trys to render with raytracer in default scan line or mental ray, it goes out of memory.
Honestly I think this guys went to a Office course and try to do some Studio Max stuff.
The file is 160Mb (the MAX file!) with duplicated objects, materials, etc...
But they think that the computer I made is not powerful enought to handle the file (I say they aren't good enought to play with 3dsmax).
So I learned a bit about 3dsmax and I'm trying to render this crap...

Some examples:
http://xunlay.com/images/renders/

(I don't have their textures)
The last ones are with mental ray
I will upload more if I can render something better...
Still can't render with good illumination quality, reflex, refract, global illumination in all objects, etc...
(3dsmax crashed again, trying to allocate like 12Gb of memory)

Thanks.
June 2, 2006 2:39:17 AM

Quote:
Alex Lindsay...Pixel Corps?


thanks for the name - always good to know the CG "Bigs".

but, no, a different person.

as far as the Original Poster's situation - man, that's a cool retail display thing ! i like this pic ~
http://xunlay.com/images/renders/prueba%5b02%5d.jpg

i think there's probably a few objects that are " Resource Hogs".

So - Procedure Suggestions -
* import files one by one into separate Max files (they can be re-merged later)
* if necessary, slice & dice using the parts editor (solid modelling terminology, in Max it's the Select function), to break Max files in half, to try and pin-point which 3D objects are the compute resource hogs.
* 2 ways to see which 3D objects are the resource hogs - you will probably experience some system sluggishness when working with those parts, plus, when you save, the *.max file size will be an indication.

since i have a background in 3D modelling for engineering, i have constructed some objects to use in my Max training. when i import them to Max, it is clear that some of them have boatloads of triangles in their Max incarnation.

==> BY CONTROLLING THE SHAPE, I CAN CONTROL THE LOCATIONS OF VERTICES AND THE ASPECT RATIOS OF TRIANGLES <==

this is important - you can do a viewport window select to "grab" a selected group of vertices, in Max - so much easier than picking vertices one by one.

More Procedure Suggestions -
* by massaging the files in the program in which they were modelled, if you have access to the program or can coordinate with the person who fed you the files in the first place, you can reduce file size sometimes.
* if getting their help in this particular way raises eyebrows, then it's more of a last resort. the idea being to not have it get back to your boss that so and so is having to help you a whole bunch.
* once you have found the objects that are the resource hogs, you can rebuild them as Poly's in Max, and not use the imported 3D object in the final composite scene you are creating.

anyway, hope that helps. in my own work experience, practicing interoperability between 3D programs & reducing file size to work with existing workstation resources is a good way to score major points with the Boss.

More Procedure Suggestions -
* different file type exports from 3D programs have different sizes. IGES vs. ACIS vs. VRML vs. STEP, etc. some of those engineering formats have more information than you need in Max. personally i have found that VRML (*.wrl) is a good format for this kind of file transfer, it brings triangles and maybe quads and retains color info, easy to convert to poly when you get into Max.
* it wouldn't hurt to pay attention to the Select Menu structure while you're working with chunks of the 3D model in separate Max session. when they get merged in the final composition scene, oh my God, what a hairball, a big file that is. at that point it's helpful to have rational (to you) names and assembly structures for the 3D objects (in Max).

i'm curious how it boils down, if you can get the 150 MB under 50 MB. it's worth a day or 2, it can make the difference between needing a dual dual (workstation) with 16 GB RAM vs. getting by with 2 GB RAM.
!