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Renderwindow stability really bugs me on XP.

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:53 am
by M@dcow
Before I start bitching, congratulations on getting blender 2.43 out....It really is something of a special release!

So now, let the bitching commence.

Some of my renders take 8 hours and up to complete, which I think is a fairly regular state of affairs for a lot of users. Unsurprisingly, I like to go off and do other things with my computer while it's doing so. The problem is when I switch back to my render to see how it's progressing, all I see is black screen. Everything that blender rendered up to the point that I switched back is hidden to me....only to be revealed when the render is finally finished, 8 or so hours later.

This means if I missed something or made a mistake, it's hidden till the render is complete, at which point I spontaneously combust in a fit of anger, which is not good for my workflow, or my health.

It didn't used to be this way; 2.23 had a rock solid renderwindow, and the faults started creeping in after the initial renderwindow recode, which was a long time back. I can't remember which version offhand.

Could somebody please look into this? It's a real workflow killer. You also used to be able to zoom in and out during rendertime, which was another brilliant feature that blender is now sadly lacking.

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:22 pm
by kitsu
I don't have this problem with either of my XP machines or my Mac... Maybe it's a video card thing?

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:59 am
by M@dcow
doubtful...I use nvidia cards exclusively, and keep up to date with drivers. I haven't had a videocard related problem in years. This also happens on all three of our XP machines.

Tie that in to the fact that this started happening directly after the render window recode and you've pretty much eliminated that possibility. I've also heard other blenderheads complain about it in #blenderchat.

are you sure that you just haven't noticed this happening?

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:23 pm
by kitsu
I've been doing some longish (~300 frames at ~2Min/frame) rendering lately and I haven't had this problem yet. A few versions back it happened to me all the time, but now it seems really reliable?

One problem I have had is that you can't choose the order of render layers. This means that in some cases you can only see a few parts of your important render layer while rendering, then they are replaced by another less useful render layer (usually shadow or alpha objects in my case). Only being able to see a black or sky render until the composite pass isn't very useful :roll:

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:03 pm
by SiriusCG
You also used to be able to zoom in and out during rendertime, which was another brilliant feature that blender is now sadly lacking.
FWIW; I use dual monitors and keep the render window open on the secondary while I'm testing, Blender GUI open on the primary, etc. The zoom feature works fine for me in 2.43...

nVIDIA 7600GS/AGP/256M w v93.71 drivers (latest) / OGL2.0 compliance, XP SP2 with the usual bug fixes...

I don't want to sound silly, but are you leaving the rendering window open on top of the Blender GUI while doing your lengthy rendering?

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:21 am
by M@dcow

yeah, I do render in a seperate window instead of rendering in the uv/image editor. And no, it isn't really a silly question at all :D

It's a preference of mine; I find rendering to the uvwindow awkward for a number of reasons, the biggest two are the fact that it doesn't render it at 100% size and it doesn't automatically resize the image when switching through preview resolutions (25%, 50%, 75%). An autofit feature would be nice. Second point is that without the luxury of an extra monitor, you have to butcher the window layout to have enough space to see the render at a decent enough resolution.

You mentioned that the zoom works fine. I think you misunderstood me, I meant zooming during render, not zooming after the render is complete. It used to be very handy for spotting tiny errors that tend to creep into renders and are particularly hard to spot. You can't do this anymore.

Try using 2.26, just to compare the stability of the renderwindow, also try zooming in and out during render:

Absolutely rock solid.

kitsu: It isn't the kind of thing that's a problem at 2 minutes a frame....I doubt I'd notice it either. However, at 8 hours a frame the problem becomes a major headache.

Parts Rendering

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:24 am
by rwickes
render your pic in 4x and 4y parts (beneath render button). each segment will display after rendering (30 min by your calcs), giving you an update.

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:12 am
by M@dcow
render your pic in 4x and 4y parts (beneath render button).
I do. that's what it's set to by default.
each segment will display after rendering (30 min by your calcs), giving you an update.
well yeah, but that's only if you are actually watching the renderwindow. If you've been doing something else and then switch back to blender, you get black screen. You can watch the render progress, without problems, but everything already rendered is hidden. I have now tested this on all four of out XP machines, and it's the same on all of them.

Here is a little video:

(rendered with only one part, as I figured it was a better setting to highlight the problem. In reality, it makes no difference how many parts you use. )

I beg of you guys, no more advice please :) This isn't something Im doing incorrectly, it's a renderwindow issue.