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Gabby583

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all. I have just joined so i am hoping to get some help as this is my first attempt at rendering. I have purchased a brand new  I-MAC with an i-7 processor and 40gb RAM and am wondering how long it takes to render one scene. I tried to do one earlier in the week and it got to about 40 hours and it still was not complete. I had to cancel the render so i could continue working on my computer.
When i look at my model info my file is very heavy with over 4 million edges and over 2 million faces. This seems like a lot and am wondering if there is anyway to eliminate some of these without compromising the quality of my render.  I have attached a screenshot of the cancelled image from the preview screen if this will help at all. I know there is a lot wrong with the lighting so i am trying to fix this before i attempt it again. Any information or feedback will be welcome. Thanks.

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Gabby Jones

JustinSlick

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi, welcome! Yeah that's a pretty heavy scene, but still shouldn't take 40 hours on that computer.

Can you run the analyse tool and post a screenshot? (Extensions menu -> SU Podium V2.5 -> Tools -> Analyse Model)

My guess is that you're adding a lot o unneecessary complexity to the rendering by using a lot of unnecessary lights.  Point lights can add a lot of render time. 

Other things that contribute significantly:

1. Render resolution - The larger the image the longer the render.  Keep in mind that when you double the size of an image you actually quadruple the number of pixels.  Good practice is to make test renders at low resolution and then bump up the image size when you're ready for your final render.

2. Preset - The High, QMC, and Fine presets are slow.  For this scene you should use the Interior_default preset for your test images until you're sure everything is the way you want it.  Only switch to a higher quality preset when you're set for the final.
  • Interior High - This preset has the highest quality lighting.  Slow, but usually worth it.  This is the most common choice for a finished interior image.
  • Interior Fine - This has the same lighting settings as default, but has better quality anti-aliasing (edge resampling) to fix jagged edges.  This is slow but sometimes necessary if you have very fine, complex edge detail.
  • Interior QMC - It's a sort of "brute force" option that works well when the lighting is "blotchy."  Usually looks very good, but it is slow and a bit noisy.

3. Certain settings in materials will slow your render down considerably -- particularly refraction.
4. Certain settings in the options menu will slow your render down -- Especially caustics and "soft omni."  Leave caustics off unless you know you need it.  Soft omni is a game-time decision... it definitely looks better, but is slower.

Anyway, if you can post the Analyse results that might help us see what's wrong.  Or feel free to upload the model here: http://www.suplugins.com/podium/support.php and we can probably tell you where the bottleneck is. 40 hours is definitely not typical!

Justin

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Gabby583

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hey Justin thanks for the quick reply. I do have a lot of lights so i know this is causing it to slow down also. I am going to try and work out how to turn them off as i probably don't need all of them on.  I was just wondering if it was normal to have millions of edges and faces as it seems very extreme. 
I have been mainly doing test renders which have been taking anywhere between 10 minutes up to about 50 minutes as my file has gotten bigger using the interior preview 1.05 at 640x480 size.
When i did the full render i used interior fine AA 1.05 as this is what has been recommended from my lecturer. I have reduced my reflection on many of my materials and only a few materials with refraction.
As for settings i have also left caustics unticked but my soft omni is ticked. 

Just for your info also, i am currently using the free trial version of SU PODIUM 2018 so I'm not sure if this will has an affect. i have been using Sketchup Pro 2017 but have just upgraded to 2018 today so I'm hoping that will help also.

I have attached the analysis report so you can see if there is anything else I'm missing, but i think everything you have mentioned i am aware of, so it is good to know that i am looking out for the right things. 

SketchUp is definitely a love hate relationship, but I'm sure once i finally get the rendered result i will be very happy. thanks for your help.

 
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pdf SU Podium Analysis Results 31032018.pdf (44.58 KB, 6 views)


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Gabby Jones

JustinSlick

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yeah, millions of polygons is perfectly normal these days -- you still want to be mindful of what you're adding (ie - don't use 60 segments on a curve if 16 looks perfectly fine), but at the same time don't use a 16 segment curve if the arc is large and prominent enough that 60 segments looks noticeably better.

Point lights cause a much greater performance hit, the fact that you have 54 of them, is almost certainly what's causing the slow rendering, especially because soft omni is turned on. Two things to note

1. No the fact that you're using the trial won't affect the render speed.

2. Turning down the amount of reflection or refraction on a material shouldn't really matter (I don't think) -- I doubt a tabletop with 5% reflection is any faster to calculate than a tabletop with 20% reflection.  I think what really causes performance hits is the complex light interactions that happen when you have a lot of reflective and refractive surfaces in close proximity.  Because Podium calculates a certain number of "bounces" for every light ray, you can get recursive light interactions that probably add to the render time -- a reflection of a reflection, through refractive glass or something like that.  But that's just something you live with, I wouldn't ever recommend basing your design decisions just for faster renders.

But as far as lighting goes, you should only use omni/point lights where you would use a lightbulb in real life.  They are not meant for "fill lighting."  Basically:

[lighting-bad-practice] 
If sunlight isn't enough to light the room as much as you want, try using LEM materials outside the windows or behind the camera.  You can also use the interior_bright presets, and bump up the intensity/exposure sliders in the Podium options men if you need more light.

[lighting-goodpractice] 
And finally -- as long as you get a reasonably well-lit image out of Podium you will be able to tweak the image in post processing to achieve whatever exposure level you're looking for.

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JustinSlick

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Reply with quote  #5 
As for fine_AA...... I'm not sure you really need it here.  It's definitely going to be slow with this model because of the number and complexity of edges, but the edge detail might not be "fine" enough that you actually need it.

It really comes in handy in situations where you have really narrow gaps between boards or panels.  Kitchen cabinets are a huge one, also moulding in traditionally designed rooms.

Hard to say here.... that white hanging feature in the left center of the image might need it.  This is a pretty complex room, I'm not surprised it's slow.  But I think reducing the number of point lights will help a lot.

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Jakibod

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Reply with quote  #6 
If your looking for speed...

Processors processors processors.

Its key in rendering on MAC or PC.

And also of course good drawings with proper lighting set-ups as noted...

But my point, aside from drawing practices; speaking strictly hardware:

First, A little background (See attached), I have base drawings for PLR's I change out packaging in and render multiple views of. I do this quite regularly so I have a good baseline for time.

My mac mini with i5 2.5 GHz processor SSD HD and 16 GB ram was getting me by. Barely.

My Larger renders were sitting around +/-20 hours depending on package quantity and materials.

With some fancy scheduling I would draw and pre-render small size PROOFS all week, get customer approval, and then set the computer to render final sizes on friday and pray everything would be done by monday.

The ultimate solution in my case:

I purchased a used older (mid 2010) dual 2.4 GHz Processor Mac Pro with 8 GB to use as dedicated render machine (and other functions including RIP and web server etc.) and my renders now take half, if not less, the time; averaging around +/- 10 hours.

It was all I could afford on my meager salary. Would have gone newer and faster but...

I still draw all week but now I am able to run larger pre-render PROOFS during the work day as well as overnight during the week. This helped immensely with the quality of my final renders as I now have time to adjust. And also speeds up the approval process.

And because I draw on one machine and render on another I can continue to work while the machine renders.

TIME IS MONEY!

RAM makes little to no difference. The SSD made a small increase in speed on the mini, we're talking minutes not hours, I'm assuming this was due to write speeds, but it's really all about the cores. The more the better. On any platform.

I know it doesn't help you since you made your purchase but for those of you looking to purchase new equipment.... Get as many processors with as many cores as you can afford! In this case more is definitely better!

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jpeg HD-Exterior-POG 2018-03-14 12290100000.jpg (4.22 MB, 11 views)

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