First Impressions

Questions, bugs, help for Twilight Render V2 Hobby and Professional
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Tampa
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First Impressions

Post by Tampa » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:18 pm

I bought a pro license today, coming from SU Podium(which just never behaved itself), I have been on and off trying the various previous versions of Twilight in the past and I finally decided for what I do with Sketchup 8 it's all I really need(not to say its not an amazing tool, it is). Having done a handful of renders now there are a few things I noticed.

It may sound a bit spoiled, but I would appreciate a way to use CTRL+Mousewheel for zoom on the render as well as Mouswheel for vertical scroll and SHIFT-Mousewheel for horizontal scroll. It's a common scheme for zoom and image viewing.

The button for editing the presets is a bit hidden, could this possibly be added next to the preset dropdown?

I mostly render at resolutions over 100MP so having an ETA and a elapsed time figure would be nice to have to gauge how long the render may take.

I like to let images render overnight on a virtual machine I setup, what would be the best way to do that and can it handle a queue of renders?

Overall, especially the speed, I am impressed. Coming from Podium being able to just click a button and go makes things much easier and the time it takes before the render starts is very short, which is one of the biggest issues I have had. :^:

Chris
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Chris » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:49 pm

Thank you for supporting Twilight Render!

We will look into zooming on an image (as well as horizontal scrolling). I don't think you are the first to make this request. It just hasn't ever made it onto the feature list. If it can be reasonably done, we will add it to the next release.

The preset editor is a little hidden, I agree, though once you know where it is, it's pretty easy to get to. The issue with moving it onto the main toolbar is that it is a feature that few people use and it would just take up space / clutter the toolbar for the vast majority.

An ETA is a great feature and we should have it available in the next release. However, I have to say that after using it for awhile, I seriously question it's usability. The problem is an ETA is based on extrapolation. "It's taken us this long to get here, it will take this long to get to the end." But that only works effectively when you are moving at a constant linear speed. Rendering is highly non-linear. Rendering one part may take 100x longer than another part. (This is especially true when using the biased settings (Low/+ to High/+) when they hit the anti-alias stage; unbiased Interior/+ is more linar but it can only track time until the next iteration.) The new feature will average the last 10 increments but even then you will see it jump a fair bit. So it will be there but how accurate it is... impossible to say.

Twilight Render does have a batch rendering feature where you can set up a queue of renders (within the same model; you can't do multiple different SketchUp files). There is a tutorial on it here: https://www.twilightrender.com/index.ph ... g-tutorial

Tampa
Posts: 7
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Tampa » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:24 pm

Most ETAs are always wrong, it's somewhat of a running joke in Windows since it was introduced. Still, it does add at least a rough ballpark of what to expect. I generally tend to watch more for how the estimate changes and make my own predictions on that. If it continues to go up it's likely not to change if the more complex part of the image is still to go, providing I suppose more a trend rather than an accurate estimate.

Thank you for linking the batch rendering tutorial. I assume if I want to offload this to a virtual machine I will have to acquire a license for that machine as well or can the license be activated on another computer as well?

I'm running into some issue with the 150MP renders. After the initial Ray Tracing is completed(with 6 threads), the progress resets to zero and it remains in Ray Tracing, but with 5 threads and progress does not proceed, elapsed time and resource usage remain. Is this just a peculiarity when using such high resolutions and it may just be taking longer(it has been like that for 2 hours now)?

I apologize for bombarding you with questions like this, thank you for your answers so far, I am looking forward to the next release :)

Chris
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Chris » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:04 am

You will have to activate the license on the virtual machine by following the activation instructions that you originally received. Twilight Render's license allows you to install on more than one machine as long as you are the only user of Twilight Render on those machines.

As far as the freeze up that you are seeing, what is your memory usage and how much free memory do you have when you reach that point?
The AntiAliasing stage for the biased (Low-High) render presets is very heavy. It may be a memory issue, it may be that there is a computation going on that is stalling because of the size. Are we talking in the range of 10,000 x 10,000 px? I don't have any experience rendering that high. Try using one of the alternative AA presets (Advanced -> Alternative AA). At that pixel range, you may be able to get away with no AA at all, depending on what the final usage is. If that's the case, you will find you get much faster render times by creating a custom preset with no AA.

Tampa
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Tampa » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:37 pm

I switched the Preset to Prelim and added Production AA 0.1 to the preset. After some more testing I think what is happening is the render-engine crashes. I immediately noticed that there was no image in the window during ray tracing. The resource usage goes to 0% and the Ray Tracing again remains at 0% progress, but I cannot stop or pause the render, the render-engine does not respond to commands it seems. I selected 7 of the available 12 threads to be used with 24GB of memory of which about 18GB are available to be used. I don't see memory being filled up when this happens, actually memory frees up just like cpu.

I render at this resolution because most of my models are either highly detailed or very large and I like to show all the detail as a whole rather than individual pieces. It does push it quite far there is no question about that, but this does not seem like a case of overload, at least not with the resources going to zero like this. Is there perhaps a debug mode that I can enable that logs what the render-engine does, maybe there would be a hint to what is happening there?

I'm going to attempt some renders with the alternative AA as you suggested, unfortunately no AA even at that resolution isn't an option because of the detail. It would seem at least those give me back the progress image in the window, so maybe just preset tweaking needed for this level of render :)

EDIT: https://i.imgur.com/Dic0zBy.png This what I am seeing now, the image randomly disappears from the window, but I did manage to save an in-progress version. I will attempt another render with lower AA, but from the image on the left I think it is obvious it does need at least some AA and detail retouch, the resolution however is close enough.

EDIT2: I should probably have expected this, but it appears that 2018 with the 64bit version has much less issues with rendering at these resolutions. Without AA I managed to render 22000x10000, so I think I will proceed to try and render with AA through this instead.

Fletch
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Fletch » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:33 pm

I was going to mention that SU8 is 32bit and limits the RAM to 4GB. There is no way you will be able to render over 8000px wide images in 32bit address space.

When RAM is nearing getting full, use Unbiased rendering setting Easy09

Tampa
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Tampa » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:13 pm

1 hour 42 minutes and 10 seconds later and I can say that the maximum that Twilight is likely to render somewhat reliably is 300-400MP and that makes me very, very happy. I found that leaving the multithreading at the highest level, but using task manager to restrict core usage seems to yield the best system stability. Using the Low_AA3 preset the quality is pretty good, the details, even on an object over half a kilometer in size, are drawn well enough to make them distinguishable. Now to do some more torture-testing trying to render 4k 60fps animations. :clap:

P.S. This is the end result: http://two66.com/render/TI-Crawler-Crane-32000-7.jpeg

Chris
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Chris » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:21 am

Fletch wrote: Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:33 pm I was going to mention that SU8 is 32bit and limits the RAM to 4GB. There is no way you will be able to render over 8000px wide images in 32bit address space.

When RAM is nearing getting full, use Unbiased rendering setting Easy09
Ohhh, Fletch is right, I totally missed that. If you are using SketchUp 8, you are severely limited in RAM because it's a 32 bit application.

Fletch
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Fletch » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:32 pm

attaching image here for reference.

60fps is for computer gaming. 30fps is for web/tv video. Blockbuster films are only 24fps. You will save weeks of render time by making wise choice as to frame rate.

I am surprised you are able to render at over 300 megapixels. That's quite a reasonable render time for such a huge image.

12000x27000px (324 megapixels?! and over 53Mb image file) image is an insanely high resolution and completely unheard of in my 25 years of experience in 3D rendering for architecture. I can't think of any reason for this resolution. I'd be curious if you can enlighten us as to why you need it this high. It would save you weeks of rendering time to choose the proper resolution for your needs. I'm not saying you don't have a good reason, I'm just saying I can't imagine one.

Ultra HD. 4K UHD (2160p) is a resolution of 3840 pixels × 2160 lines (8.3 megapixels, aspect ratio 16:9) and is one of the two resolutions of ultra high definition television targeted towards consumer television, the other being 8K UHD which is 7680 pixels × 4320 lines (33.2 megapixels).

So, the image you rendered is 39 times as many pixels than a 4K video would need to be. And again, 60fps is way overkill. if 24fps is good enough for Tarantino, it's good enough for most things. And it's way less images to render than 60fps.

The only nice thing with 60fps is you can do a slow-motion sequence, and still have 24 to 30 fps. That's the only reason I can think of to render at such an fps.
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Tampa
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:56 pm
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Tampa » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:12 am

Yes, there is no reason, isn't that a good enough one? Jokes aside I much prefer 60fps, that's basically it.
In terms of doing large renderings, I just like showing even small details and thus tend to render at over 100MP most of the time. Pushing it only this far when the model is pretty big. I like to see how far I can take things before they break, plus I can be a bit of a showoff.

Put that on your testimonials, you have my stamp of approval, it survived my megalomania without much trouble.

I haven't gotten around to actually install on the VM to try and render the animation out, the last one I did on v-ray only took about 2 days to render, but that was half the tris and half the length of what I had input now, plus it's a gpu renderer. Like I said, there really is no sensible reason to do that, but that's why I tend to do things. It's unreasonable to being with, spending over 400 hours working on a model just as a hobby with no intention to ever make it a career(hence why I love the affordable pricetag so much).
is an insanely high resolution and completely unheard of in my 25 years of experience
also part of why I do things. I am sorry to disappoint if you thought there was a more interesting reason behind torturing Twilight to this level, but that is really just it I'm afraid.

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