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Team Render dropping frames?

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Every time I import an .aec from C4D and bring in the mattes and other passes, they're missing frames, even though nothing came up. Sometimes the computer that sends out the job freezes and then the .b3d files aren't converted. Sometimes there's a shedload of .tmp files in there. Either way, there doesn't seem to be a checking thing built into Team Render. If I ask for 100 EXR frames, that's what I expect. Anyone else had this?

 

I'm on a 4-core iMac and the render nodes are all mac pros

 

ta x

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Your main workstation is choking up because the renders are coming back faster than it can process the b3d files into EXRs. This problem gets worse if you are working over a congested ethernet network. First thing to do is make sure your workstation isn't doing any of the rendering, so it can focus on the conversions. It could also help outputting to a format that is easier for a workstation to convert to, since EXRs tend to be rather beefy.

 

To test the theory, set your renders up so they take the render workstations longer to render each frame, giving your workstation time to work out the results. Add AO, increase your shadow settings, increase your AA settings, etc.

 

Install iStat menus or some other resource monitor on your mac, and keep an eye on things as your team render is going. If your processor is peaking just from the conversion process, then you are getting results too fast for your machine to handle. If your network is saturated and at max bandwidth, you can start looking into optimizing your network schema - ie: putting your render machines and workstation on a completely isolated and separate network. Get a switch just for them, and connect to the existing router / switch to your new isolated switch. If you are in a larger office setting with a lot more going on over the network, this could help.

 

Sometimes, if my renders are too fast, its just easier rendering locally for this very reason.

 

 

Also, I should note that this issue is not new to Team Render. Net render did the same thing.

 

You may also want to consider using a command line render approach with a render management software, like Deadline, to run the show. We initially got deadline to handle Amazon EC2 instances, but we use it locally now instead of team render because its just so much nicer. But, wait on that before considering it too heavily. Everyone is getting hit up for their MSA renewals with urgency, so I feel R16 is coming really soon which may bring some significant changes to the way render management is handled.

Edited by AromaKat

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Cheers man, you of all people should know about network c4d renders... Yeah, I figured to exclude the crappy freelancer computer I'm working on from the Team renders. I just had to continue working in AE due to this being the real world so I managed to fudge about three 400-frame 1440p renders before I worked out that the RAM blockage was crashing c4d, freezing the computer up etcetera. I'm working on a superfast ethernet here so it is likely that I'm receiving b3d files way, way more torrentially than the machine can handle. I rendered all my b/w mattes locally after that - we have CS6 and it doesn't tell me which frames are missing.

 

So, the conversion requires a lot of CPU? I wouldn't have thought so until yesterday's nonsense, but I'll see if starting the render from the other room (which was kinda what I'd hoped having team render would allow me to avoid, the ignominy of having to rise from my seat) makes the render faster overall.

I'll grab iStat upon your saying; I do nurse a lot of network BG Renderer renders out of Ae and the built in resource monitor is less than helpful.

 

Another question: We just got the breadbin 2014 Mac Pro - 3.5gHz x6 cpu, 32Gb RAM. As with after effects, I assume you want over 2Gb RAM per core, which the Mac Pro biscuit tin here does; it has 5Gb per core. Would putting in 64Gb RAM (10 Gb RAM per core) make any real contribution to its rendering speed? (i am pushing for this because if they spend £400 on rDIMMs then there'll be a RAM cascade and all the computers will be a modicum less poop to network render on.)

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So, the conversion requires a lot of CPU?

 

It varies. The cpu usage jumps all over the place when doing this. It seems that the manager is programmed to just skip the conversion of a b3d frame it has when hung up and move on instead of crash, which I suppose is a good thing in a half-assed kinda way. It used to be fine back when you could just sort by file type, delete the b3d files, and render missing frames. With skip existing frames gone with the introduction of Team Render, its now a major headache.

 

 

 

Another question: We just got the breadbin 2014 Mac Pro - 3.5gHz x6 cpu, 32Gb RAM. As with after effects, I assume you want over 2Gb RAM per core, which the Mac Pro biscuit tin here does; it has 5Gb per core. Would putting in 64Gb RAM (10 Gb RAM per core) make any real contribution to its rendering speed?

 

I think 5Gb per core is far more than enough to handle this, but more RAM never hurts :-)

 

C4D isn't near as ram hungry as After Effects. You basically only need the ram required to store the whole project, textures, and output b3d file in memory. In general, thats a fairly low amount of data until you start toying about with mograph or dynamics caches baked into the project file.

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2 gigs per core is all you need for CPU rendering.

You're probably having a bandwidth issue at your router, make sure it's gigabit and all your cables. Like AromaKat said, lower the file size of each frame as a test-you'll have more success.

Goodluck and let us know what your solution is.

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