PP2014 Firefly Renders Hogging CPU - PLEASE HELP!

  • [Copied from 'the other' forum (with an 'R')]

    Hi folks,

    If I had hair before, I wouldn't have any now... well, it would be everywhere except for on my head... and there would be blood... LOTS OF BLOOD!

    Over the past few months, the FFRender64.exe application has been a right little brat of a thing and has grown incessantly more... brattish. I've tested this with old projects that have rendered well in the past; projects which have rendered within 24hrs in the past are now taking, by my estimations, WEEKS to complete! Of course, I say 'estimations' because, after days on end, every single project I have undertaken recently, whether new or old, has frozen Poser up or made the entire system fall over and give me a BSOD! I've not actually managed to complete even a simple render for a few months now! Queue Manager takes days to reach a lofty percentage on a single render, then freezes in the eighties. Now, I liked the eighties too, but this is ridiculous! All cores of my CPU are at 100% and not fluctuating at all. RAM is at 50% and seems stable.

    So, even with previously sound render settings, lighting, render size, everything, it's killing itself. This means it's obviously not a setting in the projects themselves.

    I haven't adjusted any Poser settings, directories or anything. I'm not running anything new on my system that I wasn't running before. Yes, I've tried turning it off and on again; I've even had the computer to pieces and thoroughly cleaned the damn thing! I've run checks for malware, spyware, KillTheCPUware and MakeYourLifeHellware, but nothing has been flagged. I've visited many 'dodgy' sites, but not that kind of 'dodgy', so it's not that either.

    Finally, I've threatened it with the microwave and even that hasn't worked, so I'm under the impression that it is genuinely sick, somehow, and really can't help being the bain of my existence.

    And now I come to you, Internet! Please... PLEEAAASSSE CAN YOU HELP MEEEE?!

    Honestly, I feel like buying a wig, superglueing it to my head and ripping it all out, just to say that I've tried everything! The woes of being bald.

    I'm running Win 7 64bit 16GB RAM Intel Core i7 - 4770K 3.50GHz Nvidia GeForce GTX 660


    I've downloaded and run the official Intel CPU diag tool and my CPU passed with flying colours (well, green... it passed with a static green colour). So what the Dickens is going on?!

    Can someone really in the know look at my specs and tell me what the ideal render settings should be for optimum realism, please? I use Snarly's EZSkin shaders on all of my characters. Realism is absolutely key; I'm willing to wait a while for good looking renders, but not this long, good grief!

    Take a look at my page on DA to get an idea of the sort of results I want, at the very least, from my renders (the later ones with Annie are a good example): Glen85.deviantart.com

    I'm in dire need of help here, please!



  • what version of Poser?

  • Poser Pro 2014

  • @Glen85 I have a similar system (W7 64, 16gb i5) I have Pro2014 and Pro11. No issues rendering in either. Do you get the same problem rendering a default scene with just Andy? Have you tried re-installing Poser? Have you tried throwing out the old preffs files so Poser hase to make new ones?

  • Even really basic renders take far longer than they used to. I haven't tried a reinstall yet, but will do as a penultimate resort, the last being reinstalling the entire OS. I'm considering upgrading to a bigger C: drive anyway, so that might be the thing to do, and this case is rubbish; cheap, tatty plastic, half the USB ports cut out etc. It has been a pain since I got it.

    Now then, prefs files? This is new to me, I am intrigued!

  • Searches on ffrender talk about virus infection. Have you checked it? How many lights in your scenes? How much transparency?

    I wouldn't expect any of your scenes to take much more than a few hours to render. I guess if you have the bounces and samples up through the roof then it might slow it, and more so with indirect lighting, and sss turned on. You say that realism is vital, but your images are all high key, so maybe not vital enough for day long renders?

  • High key... well perhaps that's what I've been missing with my renders! I've been searching for a way to make them more realistic for ages! Please take into account that a lot of my latest pieces have been derived from each other, where I've used the same kind of effects to create bloom etc.

    Well, I can't really tell you the details of the renders themselves, as it's the same outcome with everything, no matter the project, which is why I made the point to explain that old projects that once worked fine now don't, without any adjustment whatsoever. I've tried a render in a scene with seven lights and I've tried a render with one. I've tried a render with minimal transparencies and a render with loads. This issue cannot be anything that is changeable by loading a different project, it is either within the software itself, with my hardware, which I've just tested or it's somewhere within my OS. Aside from that, I just don't know.

  • @Glen85 these are my high-quality firefly render settings. I have optimized them for speed and quality.

    0_1484621031904_Firefly settings.jpg

  • @ghostship Personally, I always reduce the min shading rate to 0 for final renders.

  • @matb There are two places you can adjust MSR. The other place is the object properties for each individual figure and prop. That setting has to be smaller than .2 to get any finer detail than my render settings will allow. Most figures and props are set to .2 so setting your MSR in your render settings smaller than .2 is doing nothing for your render.

  • Something is really off there, if your running hardware scans and it's all coming back normal, it's probably a software issue and something got borked along the way.

    The next time you do any render, check the Resource Monitor in the Task Manager. Make note of what's eating up your CPU and see if there's any unusual additional threads or one in particular that's causing the issue.

    Also, in your Poser preferences, try setting the rendering to a separate process, you can also lower your render threads to 6 or less and see what happens.

    If those settings don't change anything, just re-install the latest SR, when it asks you what to do with the preferences, let it create new ones and don't use the existing preferences.

  • @ghostship Oh really? Live and learn! :-)

  • Thank you for the advice, folks, much appreciated.

    My system monitor lists all CPU cores at 100% during the render and FFRender64.exe is the culprit every single time. Rendering has always been set as a separate process. I haven't looked at this in more depth yet, but I will and will report back.

    For now though, I do have an update which may shed some light onto this.

    The first render to actually complete in a long time has come out looking faceted, for want of a better term. Some of the surfaces appear crystallised, in a way. I deliberately scaled the render right down but kept all of the other settings the same as have worked before. This scene, with a character added and at a much larger scale, took less than 12hrs to complete before, and completed without these artefacts, but with the removal of the character and the downscaling, now took around 15hrs and had these artefacts.

    Might this be a good sign of what is going on?

    (Please ignore the exploding canvas print on the wall, that was a displacement map that shouldn't have been there and has since been upgraded).

    By the way, there is no reflection on the white plaster areas. In fact, the only reflections which should be visible within this scene are of the window and the bannister bracket.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    The default minimum MSR is 0.2

    Details are in the PoserPro manual. Lower part of page 515 and top of page 516.
    This will explain when the render settings will override the object settings.

    The manual says "per obj file", but actually the Min MSR is set per vertex group in its properties palette.

    If you want to go lower then the default 0.2, you have to lower that value in each vertex group concerned.

    Best regards, Tony

  • More to the point, why is FFRender64.exe killing my system and spewing out Frankenstein renders? Not to be pushy, but it has been a long time since I managed to make anything nice and the artist in me is sitting in a corner, rocking gently back and forth, muttering the song "They were pretty, oh so pretty..."

    With respect, can we gently ease our vessel back on course, please? Render settings, scene lighting and composition have nothing to do with what is going on here, as evidenced by the fact that this very scene now appears differently to the way it did before. Unfortunately, the original is gone, I discarded it because I didn't like my character's appearance in the scene, otherwise I would show a comparison. I shall look for another old project to use as a comparison in the meantime, to better illustrate the differences.

    Thanks for the input all the same, I don't mean to come across as pushy, I'm just quite desperate now.

  • You didn't mention how many threads your have it set for rendering. If you have it at 8, you're going to be using all four cores at 100%. Set it to six for 75% CPU usage, see if that changes anything. Or manually change the core count in Task Manager and let us know the results.

  • @vilters Thank you Tony!

  • @Glen85 Can you drop box the house scene to me and I'll do a test render with your settings in 2014 and Pro 11 for comparison.

  • @matb said in PP2014 Firefly Renders Hogging CPU - PLEASE HELP!:

    @Glen85 Can you drop box the house scene to me and I'll do a test render with your settings in 2014 and Pro 11 for comparison.

    And yes, totally feel you on this frustration, but there are some VERY knowledgeable guys here. I'm sure that they can work this through.

  • @johndoe641 Indeed I am, I'll reduce it and see how we get on, thank you. I was advised yonks ago to set it as such, and have been using it like this successfully for years, so maybe despite the tests, my CPU is frying or something.

    @matb Thank you for your kind offer! Unfortunately, the scene is not only well populated, making it pretty large in terms of data, but it also contains products from many different creators, and sharing it would be breaching their terms etc (or however you want to put it). The structure itself is based upon Home One by Maclean and I have placed countless items from other creators, both Poser-specific and general 3D models, as well as free items and a few of my own creation.

    Perhaps it might be an idea for someone to create a scene which they could legally share and send that to me instead, if they wouldn't mind? I don't really know what I'm doing on this end with regards to that. It's not essential, though, I'm sure that we'll get this sorted, one way or another.