PP2014 FFRender Hogging Resources



  • Hi folks,

    I don't think it's a problem with the software or anything, as it only really does it when I have lots of raytraced reflections, refractions etc going on, but I'd really like to stop it from happening. Rendering can take days, which is fair enough for a complex scene, but when I also can't use my PC for anything else (I'm lucky to be able to get on here and post, let alone anything else!), it starts to get really old, really quickly.

    Is there any way I can force Poser (or the FFRender program) to only use a limited amount of CPU and RAM without making it unstable?

    If a render is to take days, it is to take days, but I want to be able to do something with my PC during that time. Like I said, it doesn't tend to happen with less complex scenes, so I don't think it's a bug, I just want the option of keeping a customisable percentage of my resources free for other programs to use.

    Cheers,

    Glen.



  • @Glen85 one thing you might consider is optimizing your render settings. what are your setting at when your render takes days?



  • @Glen85 these are my "high quality" settings:
    0_1495218016470_FF HIGH.jpg



  • @Glen85 this would be my typical output for FF on those settings:
    0_1495218146849_ghostship.jpg


  • Poser Ambassadors

    In Poser, in "General Preferences" => Render tab => You can set the number of treads Poser uses. (Represents the number of cores of your CPU) => Leave one or more "free". (For a quad? Limit the render treads to 3.)

    Secondly, in the same screen =>You can render inside Poser or as Separate process.

    Third => Pro versions can render in Queue.

    Four => You can set the Priority of Poser.exe and FFRender.exe (or any other) in Windows through the Taskmanager.

    From memory:
    Open taskmanager
    search for the process
    right click
    set priority.

    (Google is your friend for the details)


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Thread reduction is one way to free up CPU but not the best. The best is vilter's last suggestion, which is to just lower the priority of Poser so it gets all the CPU except when ANY other program wants some, then it doesn't. This way, if you're just reading a web page doing nothing, Poser uses 100%, but the millisecond you click a link to go look at another web page, all the CPU goes to the browser, until the browser is once again idle. In other words, by lowering the priority of Poser, you set it to "borrow" CPU instead of "own". Any program that is doing work on your behalf will take it back from Poser until it doesn't need it.

    To set this up "permanently" I changed my desktop shortcut. Edit the Target field like this (but use your own correct paths of course)

    C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c start "Poser" /belownormal "C:\Program Files\Smith Micro\Poser 11\Poser.exe"

    Rendering in a separate process can free up the Poser UI, but the renderer is still "owning" and not sharing nicely. Change the priority and it only borrows, whether you're doing foreground or background rendering.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    On a personal side note : If I see a render going over an hr? It's time to investigate.

    if a render takes days?
    It is time to investigate the materials setups.
    Pretty sure some nodes are "fighting".

    This is one of the major improvements in Poser11.
    It shows through dotted connection lines what nodes are "fighting" or are "impossible combinations". (And you get a little Message log in the right upper corner telling you what is "wrong" and needs changes.)

    One of the major tasks when rendering older stuff in Poser11 is to finetune the material setups.
    This alone can bring render times down by many hundred of %.

    Before Poser11, you could connect anything to anything in the Material room, and Poser would fight it's way through them all.
    Now Poser 11 can show you what is wrong in each material zone, and you can correct the material setup before starting the render.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    BB is correct.
    Changing these settings allows other apps to "borrow" CPU time.
    You will be able to use your PC, but the end result will be that the final render will take even longer...

    Most time can be "won" by investigating each material zones node setups in the Material room.
    And always use IDL.
    And always use CG.
    And "use" the available IDL to reduce the number of lights required.

    Best "tip" I ever got was :
    Hey Tony?
    Look around you.
    How many "lights" are there in "real life"?


  • Poser Ambassadors

    For details on setting the process priority, you can always look a this site.
    https://www.raymond.cc/blog/permanently-set-process-priority-in-windows-task-manager-with-prio/


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @vilters said in PP2014 FFRender Hogging Resources:

    On a personal side note : If I see a render going over an hr? It's time to investigate.

    if a render takes days?
    It is time to investigate the materials setups.
    Pretty sure some nodes are "fighting".

    Plenty of my scenes take that long to render. If your scene has lots of geometry, and uses mesh lighting, plus you want glass (with thickness) et cetera, then it will take some time to clean up the graininess. And I always check the message log for invalid material node connections and correct any found. Try doing a complex night scene in Superfly lit by mesh lights.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @seachnasaigh
    Correct, but the OP asked for PP20104 and FireFly.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @vilters The same complex night scene, rendered in Firefly with raytracing , indirect light, subsurface scattering, and displacement engaged, would also take a long time.



  • Thanks for the replies, everyone!

    I'll post my render settings shortly, I'm just waiting for the settings window to come up (it has been over four minutes since I clicked it... yes, it takes that long!) then I'll screenie it and pop it over. I've overhauled my render settings multiple times after posting here and on Rendo and taking advice, so I'm confident that it is about as good as I'm going to get, and I rarely change them, only to add DOF etc.

    Render threads, IIRC, are set properly (won't know until the window opens... pitch a tent, we're here all night!)

    Render in separate process is something I've done for years.

    Render in queue has been buggy since before PP2014 for me; just a simple render of an empty scene takes, no joke here, WEEKS, but never completes because, as soon as my PC is shut off for any reason, it wipes it. I've given up on queue these days.

    Priority is what I think is needed. Yes, decreasing rendering time would be an obvious advantage, but even if it took an hour, it would still be an hour with a cucumber instead of a PC.

    My scenes usually render ok, within the hour and without the drama, but there are scenes which just drain the life out of my PC. This one is probably the most demanding ever; it is an outdoor scene featuring a complex pool resort, featuring a load of rails using EZMetals chrome shaders, a refracting water shader for the pools, non-refracting glass for the windows, with RT reflections and many, many intricate meshes for furnishings etc. There are a few mesh lights and IDL is always used in my work. I have two 'lights' in my scene; an infinite 'Sun' and an infinite 'filler' light which doesn't cast shadows. The latter is set to a very low percentage, but the former is extremely bright, as it should be.

    Being an outdoor scene, I've really struggled to get the lighting right with this, but I think I've just about managed it now, going by the results so far. I won't know for sure until I can examine the render properly though.

    While we wait for it to take its precious time and load the render settings, here's a look at an old render of the scene, showing the lighting I used to use and the pool water, which I'm still using on this latest project.

    ***=NSFW content***

    click to show



  • Render settings (Please note that these settings were NOT used for the render I just posted; that was posted as an example of the scene complexity)
    0_1495251689896_picture120.jpg



  • Oops, sorry, I forgot to mention:

    I read somewhere that, with Poser, changing the priority can make it crash. Is this the case here, or would it remain stable?

    Cheers.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @Glen85 said in PP2014 FFRender Hogging Resources:

    ... I'm just waiting for the settings window to come up (it has been over four minutes since I clicked it... yes, it takes that long!)

    Hmmm... that hints at another cause of your problems. I would classify your scene as simple, so it's not that.



  • Here's an example render of the scene I'm working with. Obviously adding characters adds more to the render time.
    Just a note to the forum people: Please get rid of this stupid size limit for image uploads! This is a graphics forum; what's the point of that? I need to be uploading the images I'm producing, as they are when they are exported from your software. Not only that, but as a dyscalculic soul, it is an enormous task to resize an image in pixels to make it a file size in MB and compare that size to your size in KB! Hard work, unnecessary, please stop!
    0_1495365430756_3576816854.png



  • @Glen85 You could convert the pics to jpeg for upload to here. There's not really a need to upload a 4mb .png image like your last pic.
    For example, here is your last pic, but it's now only a 645kb jpg as opposed to a 4,040.77kb png. I used Irfanview to 'save for web' to convert it and personally can't see any image difference.

    0_1495377819471_png2jpgtest.jpg



  • @Glen85

    Hi Glen

    Here is the render which I've rendered last night

    alt text

    Its rendered only at 1920x1200 and render took me 2 hours to render and if I would render that at 4k resolution I would say this render will took 3-4 hours maybe less didn't tried,I assume you do render at 4k 3840x2160

    For lighting I've used 2 infinite suns,one sun at 100% with enabled shadows and second which acts as fill light without the enabled shadows at 25%

    I would as above use Render in separate process,lower bucket size at 32 which should lower RAM usage,please check how much RAM yours Poser using,my scene took from RAM 2.5GB as FFrender plus Poser 2.5GB,I don't ever used render in queue which is as you said buggy

    Do you have yours Poser on SSD or normal HDD and yours runtimes are on normal HDD I assume,yours CPU is 4 core/8 thread and you should set on all available cores,when I render in Separate process or Use own process I can use my PC easy and without the problem,with unticked Use Own Process or Separate Process simply PC is unusable or you can' t use PC as with enabled Use Own Process/Separate Process

    Settings you have same which I do use and which works for me there when I do use,just please try render with Separate process

    alt text

    Hope this helps

    Thanks,Jura



  • @raven said in PP2014 FFRender Hogging Resources:

    @Glen85 You could convert the pics to jpeg for upload to here. There's not really a need to upload a 4mb .png image like your last pic.

    I didn't even think of that, as jpg is my go-to format these days and has been for years! In which case, my apologies. I'll try to remember in future.

    @jura11

    Thank you for this!

    I run the render in a separate process, have done for years now. I don't know how much CPU and RAM it uses precisely, but it's more or less 100%, as I can close literally everything up and just have it sitting there, rendering and continually freezing up and going nuts. The Poser .exe is on my C drive, but the runtimes and temp folders are on an external and a secondary internal drive respectively.