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General debugging troubleshooting steps, tips when scene doesn't render

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When using Houdini's native Render View and all you see is "Generating Scene..." but your application hangs, I generally conclude it is something to do with either a custom shader or some geometry in my Scene.

Can any rendering experts suggest some basic troubleshooting steps or tips when this happens?

Although I'm primarily using Redshift the same tips should apply regardless of the renderer.

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not sure about redshift, haven't used it yet... but for Mantra, here are some tips:

it's a good idea to output debug and progress information in console (Statistics tab in Rendering), so you can see what's going on (althou there seems to be a bug in 16.5, causing mantra not to initialize console on windows... not great, hopfully it's gonna be fixed in the next release).

anyway, when it hangs on generating the scene, in most cases it can't read something (either it's non-existent path or geometry file/cache or camera not present in the scene) or you don't have enough memory to render. in these cases mantra should print out what's going on into the node's info window accessible by right-click on the mantra node with a red exclamation badge (means error :).

shader can also be an issue... anyway check for those exclamation badges on nodes. those always indicate that node couldn't be processed properly.

apart from that, it's a good idea to watch a task manager. if mantra says "generating scene" but cpu utilization is close to zero and memory is not accumulating then there is some issue.


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