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Ways to Reduce Your Render Times

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Crapadilla
lvl 52 Filter Weaver and Official "Filter Forge Seer"

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[*] Refrain from bitching on the forums.
Go to the top right area of the webpage. Click on Logout. Go render an image with Maxwell, or VRay, or whatever. Chill. Appreciate the relativity of all things. Then return here and read on.

[*] Tweak the FF Rendering Options.
Go to Tools > Options > Rendering and increase maximum RAM usage to 90%.
Uncheck Anti-Alias Sources for bitmap-based components.
Uncheck Use double-precision output cache.
Check Optimize blur-calculations.

[*] Reduce image resolution.
Render a smaller resolution and scale the image up afterwards.
[ Ask yourself if you really need that blurry perlin noise rendered at 8K... ]

[*] Turn off Anti-Aliasing.
Go to Filter > Anti-Aliasing in the Main UI and set AA samples to Off.
Make sure AA is set to Edges Only.

[*] Disable Multi-Pass-Preview.
Go to Tools > Options > Interface and set Multi-pass preview to 'Legacy'.
[ The multi-pass previews increase filter interactivity but can slow down the final rendering considerably in some cases. ]

[*] Disable Ambient Occlusion.
Go to the Lighting tab on the Filter Controls, click the outer ring of the environment preview area and set Shadowing to 'None'

[*] Optimize your filter construction.
If rendering is slow, chances are the filter is not optimized. Read the forums. Read the manual. Read the wiki. If all fails, post your filter and ask the community for help.




Did I miss anything?
--- Crapadilla says: "Damn you, stupid redundant feature requests!" ;)
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Sharandra
Filter Forge Addict

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Sticky!! smile:D

Especially love the first one! smile:D
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Vladimir Golovin
Administrator
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Quote
Go to Tools > Options > Rendering and increase maximum RAM usage to 90%.


In light of the recent hunt for the Bad Alloc bug, this is a bit complicated.

Setting the RAM usage slider to the max (90%) minimizes cache churn but leaves little room for memory fragmentation. Conversely, keeping in the middle (50-60% or so) increases the cache churn but leaves more room for memory fragmentation.

We're currently doing rendering tests in 64000x64000 pixels resolution. The test filter is a bomber plugged into a blur with a small radius. With RAM consumption set to 90%, the Bad Alloc appears almost instantly (the effect of memory fragmentation). With 75%, the error takes a night to appear. The test on 50% RAM consumption is currently underway, but it looks good so far. I'll report the results as soon as it finishes.
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Vladimir Golovin
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On the topic of the thread:

[*] Getting a good cooler for your CPU might also help.
I've upgraded my PC from a 3-year old Core-i7 to a recent Ivy Bridge Core i7 CPU with a monstrous cooler, but the rendering speed increase I'm seeing cannot be justified by the CPU upgrade alone. From the looks of it, the speedup is at least an order of magnitude. I suspect the speedup is due to the fact that my CPU is not thermally throttled anymore.
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Crapadilla
lvl 52 Filter Weaver and Official "Filter Forge Seer"

Posts: 4360
Filters: 65
So let me get this straight: Setting maximum RAM usage to 90% does not leave any space for memory fragmentation while setting it to 50% does? Now I'm confused.

Does this mean that FF just willy-nilly fragments around in the RAM space beyond the percentage set with maximum RAM usage? Scandalous! smile;)
--- Crapadilla says: "Damn you, stupid redundant feature requests!" ;)
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Skybase
2D/3D Generalist

Posts: 3907
Filters: 75
<li>[Advanced] Smart surface-filter previewing before major render processes
You can "preview" surface filters without rendering the full result with lighting and shading. This effectively allows for significantly faster previews and better interactivity instead of waiting on the shaded result to render. This does not result in faster renders, but it's just a nice way of seeing results before they happen.

Go to Filter > Render Maps and choose either diffuse, bump, or normal maps. These images are essentially "parts" of the final surface filter and each contributes to the overall look and are typically rendered out separately. However, we can use them for preview purposes as well.

1. Diffuse is your color image of the surface filter without the shading. This renders just the flat texture allowing you to see just what the colors are going to be like.

2. Bump, as the name implies, is the bumpiness of the shaded output. This is a black and white image represents the "height" of the texture. Imagine seeing mountains fr om the top, the snow on the top of the mountains represents higher ground, the darker areas are wh ere the valleys are.

3. Normal, this is quite difficult to explain, but at the bottom level it's again the bumpiness but with lighting involved. It's a special image containing a lot of detailed information about how bumpy things will get, how light will affect the scene.

Overall, you can combine these in your head to get a good idea how the overall filter will look in the end. Your filter interactivity will go up since you're only rendering parts of the result. Once you're done previewing and tweaking the texture to your liking, go back to Filter > Render Maps and choose off to see the final output.
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Vladimir Golovin
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Quote
Does this mean that FF just willy-nilly fragments around in the RAM space beyond the percentage set with maximum RAM usage?


Dilla, the memory consumption slider limits the total amount of allocated memory, but not the total amount of address space consumed, which will be larger due to empty space between allocated blocks. This happens because blocks of different size are allocated and deallocated (i.e. freed) in an unpredictable order.
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GMM
Moderator
Filter Forge, Inc
Posts: 2876
Thanks Crapadilla, this is a much needed thread. Made it sticky.

I would add a hint for Basic users: if your filter has a slider named Blur Radius, or Details, or Roughness, or whatever, try setting it as low as possible.
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Crapadilla
lvl 52 Filter Weaver and Official "Filter Forge Seer"

Posts: 4360
Filters: 65
Quote
Dilla, the memory consumption slider limits the total amount of allocated memory, but not the total amount of address space consumed, which will be larger due to empty space between allocated blocks. This happens because blocks of different size are allocated and deallocated (i.e. freed) in an unpredictable order.


But FF will still only allocate a total of 1.5 GB of RAM ever, correct? Which means that the higher I set the maximum RAM usage, the less address space is available for memory fragmentation, and the earlier the Bad Alloc bug occurs.

Looks like this RAM limit needs to be re-examined. 64-bit? smile;)

Quote
Thanks Crapadilla, this is a much needed thread. Made it sticky.


My pleasure, GMM. smile:D
--- Crapadilla says: "Damn you, stupid redundant feature requests!" ;)
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GMM
Moderator
Filter Forge, Inc
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Quote
64-bit?


Carbon API smile:(
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Crapadilla
lvl 52 Filter Weaver and Official "Filter Forge Seer"

Posts: 4360
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<---- on Windows 7 smile;) smile:D
--- Crapadilla says: "Damn you, stupid redundant feature requests!" ;)
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GMM
Moderator
Filter Forge, Inc
Posts: 2876
Another speed hint: check the health status of the disk with the FF temporary folder.

We recently had a case of a customer complaining about ridiculous, improbably long render times. It turned out his HDD was accumulating hardware errors quickly. On modern systems this may not lead to data loss but remapping bad blocks decreases the writing speed tremendously.

If you are rendering champion-size images you may want to point the temp folder to an SSD or at least defragment the hard disk. I doubt the speed increase will be significant but this will never hurt. Note that rendering a 64k x 64k image may require up to 200 GB of free disk space.
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xirja
xirja.com

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As a subset of:

• Optimize your filter construction

I have found the replacement of simple 'blend' and 'alpha' operations by 'threshold' a key time saver:

• Threshold Clipping
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SpaceRay
SpaceRay

Posts: 9762
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Quote
GMM

If you are rendering champion-size images you may want to point the temp folder to an SSD or at least defragment the hard disk. I doubt the speed increase will be significant but this will never hurt


How does the FF temp folder works and affects to the render speed?

According to this then would it be better to use a SSD for the FF folder and render perhaps a little bit faster?

I will have to try this and see what difference can be really as I have a SSD but now the FF temp folder is on a normal hard disk.
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SpaceRay
SpaceRay

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I have found a thread I made some time ago to ask also about things to be considered and ways to reduce and be aware for render speed and can be seen here

What is important and priority for FF render speed ? NOT HARDWARE !

Here there is also a long list of things, that I think perhaps it could be good to copy it here too.

Quote
Crapadilla

64-bit?


Quote
GMM
Carbon API smile:(


Quote
Crapadilla
<---- on Windows 7 smile;) smile:D


No anymore answer about it after about what would happen in windows 7 that does not have Carbon API smile:D

I know that Adobe Photoshop was written in one version for windows 64 bit but they could not do it at the same time for MAC because they have their code for Carbon API, and Apple changed the MacOS to Cocoa API so all had to be rewritten again and took more than one year to make it, and they have a great and huge developers team.

I do not know really much about it, but I think that if the only thing that would help converting FF to 64 bit (which most probably would take a huge amount of work) is that it could use more memory, would not be good as FF has it´s own memory manager and so unless they rewrite it or change it, would be the same.
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Skybase
2D/3D Generalist

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No need to copy it over. No offense but most of the writing there is convoluted and confusing, none of it is succinct. Part of it would be a repost of the tips mentioned above. However, here are some mentions in that post that are still worthy of mention.

1. Standalone is slightly faster than the plugin version - data needs to be transfered fr om FilterForge to Photoshop during a render, whereas the standalone version doesn't have that extra step. It's quite hard to observe this really... I wouldn't see this being too much of a tip for reducing render times.

2. "Edges only" is probably your best option for Anti-Aliasing. There have only been a few cases wh ere I preferred "all pixels" as an option. Read more about stuff here: http://www.filterforge.com/more/help/...gMenu.html

Several other mentions regarding image resolution, output, and otherwise ... are relevant but have been mentioned.
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SpaceRay
SpaceRay

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Quote
Skybase

No need to copy it over. No offense but most of the writing there is convoluted and confusing, none of it is succinct. Part of it would be a repost of the tips mentioned above


You are right and of course that I would not just make a copy of all the text as it is already in that thread, as it would be a duplicate and is not needed that, and also as you say is convoluted and confusing in some parts, and some parts would be repeated, WHAT I thought is to make a better and organized shorter version and so it would be more useful than how it is now in the other thread.
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SpaceRay
SpaceRay

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Is curious that there has not been explained more about the important Ambient Oclussion (AO) and Antialiasing (AA) impact on render times that can make a filter much faster or slower depending on the settings and of course if the filter uses it or not, and do not just say, turn it off.

Also have to know and be aware that most of the presets already have stored the AO and AA settings and they can be on or off, or can be high settings and so have a very slow rendering, and there is no way to override this unless you change it manually each time, which can be done for preview and test purposes and then when render the final image you can activate again them for the high quality you may need or want.

RENDER SPEED TEST WITH OR WITHOUT AA AND AO

Here I have made some render speed test to show how much is the impact of these AO and AA

I have some interesting results I have been making in some tests with Simple Stone by jitspoe filter

These have been made with an intel i7 2600K 3.5Ghz

The first 3 ones is of NO use for the real render time when saving the render result to use it somewhere, the real true time IS when you have the Actual size active

2000 x 2000 TEST

2000 x 2000 Reduced Mode (600 x 600)
Antialias 5 Samples, Edge Only
Ambient Occlusion ON
29.91 seconds

2000 x 2000 Reduced Mode (600 x 600)
Antialias Off
Ambient Occlusion ON
11,15 seconds

2000 x 2000 Reduced Mode (600 x 600)
Antialias Off
Ambient Occlusion OFF
6,90 seconds

2000 x 2000 Actual Size Mode
Antialias 5 Samples, Edge Only
Ambient Occlusion ON
8.53 minutes

2000 x 2000 Actual Size Mode
Antialias Off
Ambient Occlusion ON
1,50 minutes

2000 x 2000 Actual Size Mode
Antialias Off
Ambient Occlusion OFF
12,72 seconds

AND ALSO I HAVE MADE A 6000 x 6000 test to see much better the render time difference

I have made another test with 6000 x 6000 that shows much better the difference in time between one mode and another and activating or not them

6000 x 6000 Reduced Mode (600 x 600)
Antialias Off
Ambient Occlusion OFF
3,90 seconds

6000 x 6000 Actual Size mode
Antialias Off
Ambient Occlusion OFF
1.56 minutes

6000 x 6000 Actual Size mode
Antialias 5 Samples, Edge Only
Ambient Occlusion OFF
7.53 minutes

6000 x 6000 Actual Size mode
Antialias Off
Ambient Occlusion ON
1 Hour 18 Minutes 43 seconds

Activating the Ambient Oclussion is 1 HOUR AND 16 MINUTES MORE !!!! and in this special case the real difference is very low.

I am sorry that I do not dare to make a 6000 x 6000 Antialias ON and Ambient Occlusion ON test smile:D

AMBIENT OCCLUSION (AO) and ANTIALIASING (AA) settings used for the above tests

The ambient occlusion setting used here in the tests are the default ones that came with the filter as shown below here

Image

Here below is the Antialiasing configuration for the tests

Image


Also for more information it may be interesting this other thread

Ambient Occlusion and Anti-alias process

SO it seems that the Antialias and Ambient Occlusion makes the filter MUCH SLOWER with a great difference

Between 8.53 minutes with Antialias 5 samples and 1,50 minutes without Antialias is really a GREAT difference.

And Here I show the real size of the render to see that there is no real difference in quality (at least for me) that could justify waiting for the 8.53 minutes instead of 1,50 minutes without.

Although of course that ALL is subjective and depends very much of which filter you are using and the source image and the quality you would like and the resolution needed, so you have to see how much AO and AA would be balanced to get the best render speed.

There are filters that the AA and /or AO is a must have, but there are filters that it's just a waste of render time and not worth it.

Here Below is WITH antialias 5 samples (default value in all the filters)

Image

and here is without Antialias

Image

And this below is without Antialias and without Ambient Occlusion

In the above I do not see any difference, but in this one there is some difference in the shadows

Image

As said above depends very much of the filter using and the result you may have to know if you would need more or less AA and AO
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Skybase
2D/3D Generalist

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Just that we're on the topic of ambient occlusion (ao)

<li> Advanced: Faking the Sense of Depth and the Apperance of Ambient Occlusion. Part 1

We've mentioned turning ambient occlusion (AO) off completely, but there are times when we want the extra sense of depth in a shader based filter. The problem with AO is that it's slow (you can see SpaceRay's uber long post above), but we can kinda get close to the apperance of ambient occlusion and consequently add extra shading in our output.

First, feed your depth map into a highpass filter, increase the contrast and set the radius to a larger value than 10 (this value depends on the filter. By doing so you should get a gray image with some shadow-like apperance. Blend this in with your color map with "hard light" blend mode which should make the image look shaded. Do note however, the colors do get thrown off due to the way hardlight blend mode works. In such instances, if you're picky, you'll need to compensate that. This part is up to you.

Of course, this is if you seriously want some extra feeling of depth and the apperance of ambient occlusion. The high pass component itself is a mildly render-heavy component. But when it comes to comparisons, this of course is faster.

Reminder: Keep in mind that this technique is not how AO works. I mention AO as an aesthetic touch and this method is totally a different from what ambient occlusion does. What I'm describing here is merely a method to possibly remove a slow process and not necessary going to speed your filter. But you'll get nicer appearances in less time smile:)

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MKB
mkbreuer
Posts: 117
Filters: 47
Quote

Crapadilla:
> Reduce image resolution.
> Render a smaller resolution and scale the image up afterwards.
> Ask yourself if you really need that blurry perlin noise rendered at 8K... ]


more info:

-> 4k = 4096 x 2160
-> 8k = 7680 x 4320

-> Preview Sizes


-> CG Effects for film & tv are generally rendered in 2k and then scaled to 4k
-> because the final Renderings are getting sharper as filming
-> so you can´t see any blur and differences after the upscaling


smile:)
Just simple, but not simpler. (A.E)
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Rainbowchild_art
Posts: 4
Thank you very much ! I am new to using Filter Forge and rendering the filters took forever.I even had to leave my laptop on haha. smile:cry: Will try this for sure!
I will create a way where others see none.
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SpaceRay
SpaceRay

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Quote
Rainbowchild_art wrote:
Thank you very much ! I am new to using Filter Forge and rendering the filters took forever.I even had to leave my laptop on haha


Yes, FF depends very much on the filter you use and the output resolution you are using related to the render speed, and many filters can be very slow even at low output resolution, although some other filters are fast even at high resolutions, so it will depend much on filter and output size
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John Miller
Texas,United States
Posts: 1
Upgrade your pc to Intel i7
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cgstandard
architect
Posts: 1
Appreciate this info!
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