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An update to Anim8or, v1.00b, is available with a few bug fixes. Get your copy HERE. See the "ReadMe" file for details.

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Messages - Steve

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1
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: Yesterday at 06:04:47 pm »
Trevor: You are correct. Your CPU has 8 multi threaded cores for 16 threads. Anim8or currently limits the max thread count to 8 but I'll increase that to 16 in the next build.

(P.S. Can I exchange CPUs with you :) ?)

2
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: Yesterday at 04:05:03 pm »
AlecJames: Thanks, I'll look into it.

3
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: Yesterday at 04:25:19 am »
I have 2 physical cores and 4 logical cores = 4 threads. I suspect that you have 4 physical cores and 8 logical cores - that's what Intel calls a "8 core cpu".

4
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 15, 2018, 11:34:05 pm »
Trevor: it doesn't really help to use more threads that there are in your CPU. If your CPU isn't 100% busy it's probably waiting on memory (i.e. there is more data being accessed than will fit in the CPU's cache). It might even speed up the render to use fewer threads, depending on the data set.

On my CPU (2 hyper threaded cores, 4 threads total) most renders use 100% of the CPU.

5
Yes, another experiment that didn't pan out as I'd hoped. It can be useful in Object coordinates (hot-key 'o') however.

I'm also experimenting with a miniature version over the little axis in the lower left-hand corner so that when you move the mouse over it the track ball appears aligned with the axis.

6
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 14, 2018, 09:48:48 pm »
Raxx: Rendering with smaller chunks can also help. I'm still experimenting with ways to handle trailing chunks.

As to why your example is slower with 1329, it's caused by the light mask heuristic. Because ambient occlusion sends "shadow" rays in all directions, different samples for the same pixel on much of the models can see or not see the sky. This causes FastAA to revert to a full evaluation of all 256 samples/pixel. In the attached image these are the yellow pixels. The fast pixels are dark gray.

The other image is from 1325 where the orange pixels are the fast ones. As you can see almost the entire image is "fast".

I'm trying to come up with better heuristics for ambient occlusion.

7
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 14, 2018, 08:02:30 pm »
selden: Yes, there will be a max threads setting in the next drop.

8
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 13, 2018, 08:28:34 pm »
It is possible to achieve a 8x throughput improvement with a quad code, 8 threaded Intel CPU. Somewhat simplifying, each thread only is allocated every other cycle. So if 1 thread takes 1000 cycles of CPU use and finishes in 2000 cycles clock-time, then 2 threads can run on the same core and finish in 2001 cycles clock-time. So Raxx's CPU could run 8x faster that a single thread render.

There are other resources that limit the performance: memory bandwidth, cache size, etc., so in practice the actual result is less than the theoretical maximum. Changing the "chunk" size in Anim8or changes how memory and the cache are accessed so, depending on the details of the scene, the optimal size can vary greatly.

I'm also working on other ways to limit the memory requirements.

9
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 13, 2018, 04:48:57 pm »
Raxx: Are you using ambient occlusion? I haven't tried any examples with the new fast AA.

I changed the fast AA heuristics. It should make soft shadows better and faster, among other things. Here's how it works for N samples/pixel:

1. A small number of samples, sqrt(N), is made. If all of the following criteria are satisfied then those are averaged for the final value:

a) all samples are of the same material, including the closest sample in the 4 adjacent pixels,
b) the min Z and max Z differ by less that 5%, including the closest sample in the 4 adjacent pixels,
c) each light is either visible but all samples, or not visible, including the closest sample in the 4 adjacent pixels,
d) the average normal from this pixel and the 4 adjacent pixels are within 30 degrees,

The previous fast AA heuristic used color contrast between the samples and did not use materials or visibility of lights.

You can see what criteria are used with the environment variable int ShowFastAA.

1 - Green is fast AA, black is full evaluation,
2 - Red is large delta Z, gray is fast AA, black is other full evaluation,
3 - Yellow is different lights visible,
4 - Cyan is divergent normals,
5 - Magenta is multiple materials,
6 - Orange is reflective material (currently disabled),
7 - Blue is large color contrast (currently disabled),
8 - Violet is multiple materials, not counting adjacent pixels' nearest samples.

I attached renders of a room with 4 soft shadow local lights that show how this works.

10
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 13, 2018, 04:00:24 pm »
AlecJames: A core is a complete set of hardware registers, etc. and can run any program. They execute in parallel and independent from each other. So a 4 core CPU can continuously execute 4 programs at the same time. If it is executing more, then all but 4 are paused at any given time, and the OS swaps them in and out as necessary to make it appear that they are all always running.

A thread is a stream of instructions being executed by the CPU, i.e. software. You can run many, many threads at once. Windows normally has dozens and dozens of them active. But at any one moment in time, there can only be as many executing as there are cores.

When Anim8or is rendering with the ART ray tracer, it uses as many threads as there are cores.

11
General Anim8or Forum / Re: Bizaar Path Extrusion results
« on: July 13, 2018, 03:36:21 pm »
Can you post a picture of the results?

Here's how you should generally do this.

1. In the Front view build the outline that you want to extrude.

2. Make the path that you want to extrude it along. This can be any shape that you like, in 3D, etc.

3. Select the outline and then use the Build->Extrude command. Check the "Path" button and close the dialog.

4. Click on the path.

12
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 11, 2018, 10:00:08 pm »
It looks like the default setting of ChunkSize = 100 is far from optimal for your computer and your scene. This may take a bit of experimenting to figure out how to automatically choose the right parameters.

13
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 11, 2018, 05:25:17 pm »
AlecJames: I haven't tested on an 8 core CPU yet. It may be using too much cache. Try adding the int attribute ChunkSize with a value of 32 and see if that helps. (Use the menu command Scene->Attributes to add an attribute)

Limiting the number of threads might help, too, but unfortunately the attribute I added to do that is broken.

AlecJames: Oops! I broke it in v1.01.1325. I'll fix it!!!

14
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 09, 2018, 04:28:50 pm »
nemyax: Oops! It looks like Edit | Rotate was disabled in build 13.25 as well. I'll look into it.

selden: Thanks, I fixed it :)

15
This problem should be fixed in the latest build: build 1329. Let me know if it solves your problem.

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