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Author Topic: Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or  (Read 2342 times)

ronaldefarmer

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Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or
« on: June 29, 2014, 02:31:18 am »

Hello Everyone,

I have used Anim8or on many different types of computers, and have noticed very little difference between them in terms of rendering speed, etc. I know that Anim8or's system requirements are listed on the website, but does anyone have an opinion about particular system characteristics that are likely to boost Anim8or's performance?

Thanks,

Ron
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Raxx

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Re: Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2014, 03:55:30 am »

Basically, processor speed and RAM. The higher the cpu speed and the more cores, the better. Graphics cards don't really affect Anim8or's performance, they just help make smoother framerates while working in the opengl workspace.

Anim8or allows for multithreading, but only uses one thread's worth for rendering. If you're rendering an animation, you can simultaneously render as many instances of the project as you have cores/threads (for example, my processor is a 4-core intel processor with hyperthreaded support--meaning 8 threads, so 8 rendering instances), without losing speed. In other words, I could render frames 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80 at the same time and splice them together afterwards, saving me a ton of time.

I'm hoping Steve will let Anim8or take full advantage of the processor sometime, and it'll be awesome if OpenCL was supported as well.
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ronaldefarmer

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Re: Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2014, 05:51:19 am »

I never thought of splitting up an animation. That is a good idea. Sometimes a still image can take a very long time to render, with soft shadows and multiple lights. I wonder if it would be possible to split a single frame into several sections for simultaneous rendering.

Thanks for the reply, Raxx.
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Raxx

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Re: Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2014, 07:02:01 am »

If you're using the scanline renderer, it's possible to create a new object and put a single plane inside it, and then position copies of it in the scene editor right in front of the camera, to block out parts of the camera view (make it neither cast nor receive shadows). Then you can render multiple instances simultaneously with different parts blocked out, and piece together the result afterwards.

For images that can take minutes to hours to complete, it could be well worth the trouble.
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cooldude234

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Re: Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2014, 09:56:34 pm »

I'm hoping Steve will let Anim8or take full advantage of the processor sometime, and it'll be awesome if OpenCL was supported as well.
Heck yea! If I could use 99% of my CPU (meaning all of its cores) and use 99% of my graphics card there would be no such thing as waiting >:D
Might even get me to consider SLI :P
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ronaldefarmer

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Re: Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2014, 11:16:11 pm »

What would be required to have Anim8or use the entire processor during rendering?  Would that be a major modification or a minor one?
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Raxx

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Re: Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2014, 11:47:45 pm »

That would depend on how familiar Steve is with the multithreading architecture, and how adaptable his code is already. OpenCL would require a bit of homework on Steve's end, likely.

These days, renderers are combining both CPU and GPU for faster rendering. Those that don't are falling behind. It'd be nice to have native support for a free renderer, like LuxRender, or the Renderman spec, or at least full Scene export plugin capability via ASL so that a third party can write a plugin for them.

Though, before that, I'd rather he overhaul the skeletal animation system and make it more intuitive....
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 11:49:30 pm by Raxx »
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cooldude234

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Re: Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 12:25:53 am »

yea I'd agree with you on that. I mean it's kinda contradictory that anim8ors worst feature is animation :\
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ronaldefarmer

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Re: Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2014, 03:10:35 am »

I do wish that Anim8or could render my scenes faster. It is also true that I would like to see a few new features added. For the record though, Anim8or is the one program that I use most often outside of work, including software that I have paid a lot of money for. I like Anim8or primarily because it is easy to use while at the same time being very capable just as it is. I don't want to seem like I am complaining about the speed issue; I just want to get the best possible performance.
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ENSONIQ5

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Re: Your opinion about optimal computer system for Anim8or
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2014, 03:45:24 am »

I agree with Raxx's assessment, the biggest single factor in Anim8or rendering speed is CPU speed.  These days I generally render in Carrara which is able to run a rendering 'tile' for each thread (Carrara renders images in a series of top-left to bottom-right tiles rather than a single full-width scanning line).  With multi-threading on my quaddy there's 8 simultaneous rendering tiles working on a single image, with CPU usage at 100%.  In addition to this, Carrara can manage network rendering, so any other machines on your network can be pressed into service.  When I link my quaddy laptop into a render there's 16 tiles of rendering goodness running simultaneously!

This isn't an ad for Carrara, there's many things I don't like about it and many that I love about Anim8or (and many things I continue to use Anim8or for), however in my opinion the rendering speed of Anim8or is the biggest restriction to using it for actual animating.  Admittedly I've not tried the method of running multiple instances of Anim8or to render separate blocks of frames simultaneously, this would certainly be worthwhile however even with this workaround the rendering speed is really not very good, especially running the ART renderer with a decent load of ART attributes.

We've all got our Anim8or wishlists and they're all probably a bit different, render speed is at the top of mine.
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