why mantra renderer is so so so slow?
Posted 25 April 2011 - 01:46 AM
Why Houdini is so slow ? Why it doesn't make better use of multicore processors ? They are available for masses on the market from 2005, that's six years ago.
Why it doesn't have proper edge group support ? Why you can't create geometry straight from VEX ? Softimage ICE does have all those.
Why when I'm going to page in help like this or this it's blank ? If it doesn't contain any information why it even exists ?
Why after so many years Houdini still lacks good documentation. Going thru Softimage SDK documentation is painless, Houdini HDK on the other hand... OMG ! It's not that Softimage SDK is simpler it's all about how their documentation is written.
Why program that costs 7000$ doesn't have features that cheeper or free programs have ?
Why ? Why ? Why ?
The list is longer but I hope you all get what i mean and I don't have to write it all.
All I hear is that SESI is small group but isn't it like that small companies can react faster to changes than big ones ?
SESI, please, give us some hope that feature, hopefully close one, will adress all those problems that haunts Houdini users for so many years.
PS. No flame war guys. Normal talk please.
Posted 25 April 2011 - 04:33 AM
Edited by ~nature~, 25 April 2011 - 04:38 AM.
Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:27 AM
If referring to Mantra, then I agree it is slow but none of the other packages come with a render engine that is as good. So I'd rather invest in a larger render farm then have to live with a render engine that produces poorer quality results but faster (V-Ray the exception).
I've never had a problem with Houdini using my 8 cores. Can you give an example of where it doesn't use multicore?
Edges in Houdini are not attributes. They don't exist only point attributes, and faces. So they would need to introduce a new type of attribute just for edges (which might be a good idea). I agree, I don't like working with edges in Houdini.
Totally agree, I also find links to examples are often broken and the documentation often uses technical terms of things I've never heard of before which makes learning what the node does a mystery. They need to stop having developers write the documentation and hire some real tech writers.
All that matters is that Houdini has what "you" need to get the job done. If you run a studio you make a big investment in your tools, and you need to be sure you can get a return on that investment. I'm confident Houdini is the right tool in that case.
Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:00 AM
Regarding the render engine, after trying most of the stuff around (still haven´t tried "yummy" Arnold), Mantra is probably the most advanced that comes with any package natively, and one of the renders with most quality around (I still hold my vote for Lightwave´s native render engine which keeps on giving me fast photorealist output after all these years, plus its Linear Workflow might be the best implementation around).
Frankly, speed might be an issue for a render engine, but it´s definitely secondary compared to quality, flexibility and robustness. Stuff like the one you are showing in those youtube videos is nothing but a nice tech demo, and far from production-proven (besides I see no photorealism there). For every time speed is an issue, there are ten times when your engine not being able to render something properly is the real issue. Mantra won´t abandon you in dire times the way many others do.
I do agree with recent documentation lacking a bit. I always thought Houdini help cards were brilliant, but lately it´s been neglected a bit, or at least it looks like. If it wasn´t because many other learning materials are available, it might get a bit dramatic, because there´s been much development, but not so many explanation and a lot of obscure nodes with mysterious but important options are starting to show around.
Also, SESI is creating very nice webinars and similar initiatives, but less video tuts which isn´t that good. They seem to understand we do have to invest in purchasing tutorials.
Finally, the argument on 7000$ apps vs free apps is way too bland. It´s simply a different business model each one with its own strong and weak points. Blender still has to prove it´s a proffesional product as opposed to a good box of tricks that you sometimes resort for a very specific situation. I still fail too see many good final products done with Blender as the main workhorse, and as you can read in your own links, the developer for that cool quick renderer, said he went in a different direction because he was too limited with Blender´s native one. Meaning if you are a Blender user right now, you have to deal with a weak render engine and hope for the best in the future...much better having the good stuff already there.
My 2 cents...
Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:05 AM
Did you say CUDA but actually meant to say OpenCL?
As for the OP, there are many things that Houdini offers that Blender (and other tools) do not. The grass is always greener...
Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:19 AM
AFAIK no one with production expierience could possible say that mantra doesn't payback or can't handle its duties. As always there are cases it works better and worse.
Mantra is not the fastest renderer on the market, but it is pretty amazing blend of technology, cleverness and flexibility (which always comes with speed penalty, what people tend to forget).
For example, Mantra is currently the only programmable path tracer on the market. You can do things normally reserved for reyes engines in fully physical environment. I susspect you don't consider this as an advantage, because you simply don't need it. Many do.
The clocks had ceased their chiming, and the deep river ran on.
Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:40 AM
also , i wdnt be afraid from mantra if it could run faster .
Posted 25 April 2011 - 03:40 PM
- By providing a supportive environment and by adding tools and features. Houdini is quite good at that. Look at rops, how great are they! Then we have daily bugfixes. We can have multiple sessions open and copy paste nodes between them. Can write our own shaders and make our own tools. We can dive into various nodes and investigate/modify.
- By applying newer and better algorithms. I think this is overlooked by some people. Nevermind multithreading and cores and all these things. Real, magnitudes-of-order-faster progress is often achieved by better algorithms. I don't know how good SESI it at doing that, I have no idea, but implementing the right thing at the right place can make things very fast.
- Multithreading, etc. From what I understand this is not a trivial matter. You can not easily rewrite something to be parallel. Some algorithms don't even benefit from it, others are positively impossible. Even in the best case you do not get an extra 100% in speed for each processor or core you add. Perhaps there is something quite fundamental about Houdini that makes this especially difficult and risky and rather than rewrite the impossible a new context will be added. Who knows.
As for the docs. I find them quite good actually. There's only a few obscure nodes missing, some of them I can guess the meaning anyway. Or not? Well, HDK, that's like flipping through a space-shuttle manual shredded with a telephone book. I feel quite stupid whenever I dare near it.
Perhaps what Swann is asking for is some detailed explanations of these issues. It's frustrating to wander about in the dark. I'm quite a rambling wanderer myself.
Edited by Macha, 25 April 2011 - 09:21 PM.
Posted 25 April 2011 - 03:45 PM
But documentation I agree...although it has been improved...learning houdini is quite a task...if it were not for odforce users posting their .hip files with experiments and people like peter quint putting all these video tutorials out there...a lot of people would still be struggling to climb the learning curve.
Edited by ganzo, 25 April 2011 - 03:48 PM.
Posted 25 April 2011 - 04:56 PM
No, CUDA is different from OpenCL, Industrial Light+ Magic, I believe, is the first studio to employ CUDA ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CUDA )in the film visual effects production , such as Harry Potter, Transformer, Avatar, The Last Airbender to speed up simulation(fluid+RBD) significantly.
Recently rendering engine like vray and mentalray have also implemented CUDA. I wonder if it is possible mantra could participant in the parallel computing world in the near future.
The same is true in the softimage real time simulation.
Edited by ~nature~, 25 April 2011 - 05:01 PM.
Posted 25 April 2011 - 09:22 PM
Use the right tool for the job. Houdini can do a lot, but it is not a panacea. Don't use your hammer when you need a saws-all. If you want to do UVing of Organic modeling, use UV-Layout, if you want to do 3-D painting use Modo. Most software, and especially render engines are specialized, or have specialties. If you want to use 3rd-part render engine, Houdini can easily help you out.
1. Just asks if you have a specific(or even general) question, to the forums, or sidefx help, or make a request for them to fix something. The software is pretty big so create a list of the blank help pages you find and e-mail them in. These guys fix stuff daily, nobody does that in a 3-D package. It can def get frustrating when your by yourself working, I know I've learned a bunch of answers by asking my co-worker or asking on the forum that would have taken me hours to figure out, mostly those dumb little thing.
2. The documentation has some stuff lacking, but it hand down beats down most other packages. They have certainly fixed the mantra rop documentation from when I wrote up my own, and it is better worded than mine. You don't see that between versions in any other 3-D package.
3. Multi-core, Side-FX knows this and is gona make some changes in version 12, I think they've gotten the picture(though, I don't think it hurts to keep on asking). Prisms-Houdini is one of, if not the oldest 3-D software on the market, it's not like it's fresh technology with out a history for them to create it clean and new and sparkly fresh. The software has a good fundamental design, because of this, that a lot of other people keep on mirroring from scratch.
4. The cost of the software is proportional to the user market for it, Houdini is one of the lower seed groups with 3ds Max being the highest in the world, maya actually doesn't come close to 3ds Max from what I understand correctly. Remarkably for that small market share, they are in nearly every major vfx and animation house. Modo and Nuke aren't that strong. There is also several affordable purchasing plans per a project to use. I use escape everyday at work, so you can go that route. Also you get what you pay for... Though it wouldn't hurt for them to make some more tutorials, educate more users, to buy more software, to lower the price, and technically lower the amount of the money you make using the software, which I am all for. I like working normal hours, the sun is a marvelous thing. In the medium run it wouldn't be bad to see the full package at 3 grand.
5. Put down the time/money for the sidefx tutorials, cmiVFX, peter quin, the houdini books. I am 100% a new school houdini user from version 9 and there are a bunch of resource to get you around in it. Old school users didn't have anything like that. The specialized stuff does have it's problems to learn, I had to learn shading and rendering on my own, but if you are resourceful, or just ask online, you can look at a mental ray, renderman, or v-ray book and understand the terms that are happening in mantra when the document lacks, with the added benefit you learned more of the other render engines to make yourself more marketable. Most are really the same with one or two algorithm being faster than another and then being copyrighted to give the engine their edge. Otherwise Mantra would be exactly like Renderman. Most Old-school people are also pretty generous with their knowledge, since the only way they learned is from a mentor, so a majority will pass the info along. Some just use the threads more than others, and always get paid more when working than teaching, the schools need to fix that part.
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