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pyro render times in render view vs. mantra


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I have a cached pyro sim I'm trying to render.  When I render a test frame in the render view panel it takes about a minute.  That's using the mantra node, without preview on, using micropolygons, with 2 pixel samples, noise level = 5, and other stuff turned down for fast rendering.


I clicked "render to disk in background" and it's been running for 32 minutes, and doesn't seem like it's going to stop any time soon.  This is a fresh mantra node.  The previous one was just as bad.  I've got two 2048x2048 depth maps for shadows.  Could that be the problem?  I'm stumped, but I've got 600+ frames to render, so any help appreciated.

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Mantra is just slow, especially if you want clean renders. Your time reporting seems normal to me. I am sure there are some ways to speed that up but don't expect viewport render speeds out of Mantra.

Edited by Atom
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Yeah, I guess you're right.  I can't even get a crappy frame out in under 15 minutes.  Does anyone have a script that will render a frame in the renderview,  write it out to disk, and then advance to the next frame?  I don't have 300 CPU hours available, and I really could use the renderview frames, at least for now.  I'm looking at a list of Python commands now....



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Well, openGL is not as pretty as the renderview images, so I kept looking, and found this awesome script:




Here are complete instructions, not long, but maybe not intuitive for everyone...


I put the two .py files in this directory, then restarted Houdini:



I imported the new modules in a Python shell in Houdini:


import tiff

import renderIPR


This script needs to know the name of your Render View.  In the Python Shell I did this:


p = hou.ui.paneTabs()

print p


and then inspected the contents of p manually (well, with my eyes, so... visually?).  In my case the Render View pane was p[3], like this: <hou.IPRViewer panetab3>.

Knowing the name of the Render View pane, I created an IPR object, as defined in the file renderIPR.py.  I named it J:


J = renderIPR.IPR(p[3])


I set the frame range for a quick test:




The first time I tried:




it failed saying invalid plane.  It was looking for the color plane in the Render View, but I hadn't rendered anything yet.  I rendered one frame with the "render" button in the UI, then tried:




again, and it worked!  It made a render directory and dumped 10 frames in there.


I hope this is helpful to anyone wanting to save out a render view frame sequence.

Edited by johnLIC
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