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Hello all,

I’m returning to Houdini after stepping away for a bit, and figured I’d brush up a little by giving the Karma renderer a spin. While the general workflow appears to one-up the ancient Mantra, I keep running into the same dumb wall, despite going through basic tutorials by three different artists (per this LesterBanks page: https://lesterbanks.com/2019/11/all-about-karma-and-lops-in-houdini-18/)

While everything else seems very straightforward (though still possibly buggy) the thing I can’t seem to get to is any kind of final rendered bitmap that is not just a field of black pixels. I’ve tried rendering through every file-type option (.exr, .tif, .pic, etc) and through every render buffer (tried MPlay, Render to Disk, Render to Disk in Background, etc.) but I am only getting black images, no matter which tutorial I’ve followed.

Here’s a link to my project structure: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0edzqf0ivr24scx/KarmaKitchen.zip?dl=0

 

I took to monitoring CPU / GPU activity:

  • While Karma IPR is running, CPU / GPU activity is ~90%+ / ~15%. 

  • For “straight to disk” rendering, CPU doesn’t go above 3%, though Houdini’s Scheduler / Render Manager verifies that the computer is actively rendering.

I’m not sure if this will give any clues, but here’s a snapshot of the RM during render. https://www.dropbox.com/s/em4bnzcm4rtnd0i/RenderManager.JPG?dl=0

 

Otherwise, I’m running Houdini’s Indie license, though as far as I’ve been able to research, Karma is compatible with the Indie license. Am I wrong about this?

Also, as a general question, is there a hugely significant speed advantage to Mantra? Seems like it might be wiser to hold-off on Karma until it’s out of beta stage. Any thoughts on that thought?

 

Preemptive thanks to any responders!

NpF

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As far as i know, Karma currently is not consistently faster than Mantra (means it is faster for some things, but can be even slower for different things). so far, my superficial experience with Karma made me put it aside for now, as it still seems to be a very unfinished product, unfortunately. i'm still very excited about Karma thou, and maybe Houdini 19 (or 19.5, 20, ...) will bring some significant updates to it's stability, speed, features and general user experience. Up to that time i'm gonna continue living in Mantra world.

I have no solution for your "not being able to render stuff out" issue, but it sounds like Karma to me.

Also, I hope to read some optimistic posts in this thread :)  

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Karma does work with the Indie license, but you may need to recover the render token.

Here is an example scene that produces output on my machine.

If you can't get it to work, contact support.

ap_tyler_bay_shaderbot_v001.hiplc

gold_shaderbot_0079.jpg

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@Atom

Many thanks for the response. It's been a while for me with Houdini so I didn't think to check if all licensing was intact, so thank you for tipping me off. Upon your suggestion to "recover (the) render token", I checked Houdini's License Manager app and sure enough the Mantra and Karma licenses were being blocked (presumably by my Firewall blocker app). I went ahead and adjusted firewall and then did a re-download of all license components, a quick reboot, and voila, I'm now able to render using Karma!

Many thanks again!

Nik

 

Edited by pfistar
Did a test and post needs an update

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@davpe

I appreciate your response. I haven't had the opportunity to run any benchmark tests but there does seem to be a little debate on the SIdeFX user forum about the advantages in render speed (Mantra vs. Karma). Seems a few folks claim there's a substantial speed advantage (though Karma couldn't compete with any of the upmarket GPU renderers frame-per-frame). In any event, I started experimenting with Redshift in the meantime and I'm totally sold so far (it's actually part of my regular workflow using C4D).

In any event, after some stabbing around and thanks to @Atom's suggestion above, it turned out that the issue was that the Karma (and Mantra) components of my license were being blocked by firewall. Something to do with Karma, I guess ;)

Cheers and thanks again,

NpF

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sure, it depends what you trying to render. I was able to render some very large volumes in no time with Karma. Some other tests performed quite poorly on the other hand. Anyways, my main concern wasn't speed - more than anything else it was bugs, various glitches (in Karma and LOPs in general), stability issues and missing features that made me decide to wait for some time until Karma becomes more production ready. Having said that, I am sure Sidefx have been working hard and many things may have been improved in last few months (and I might want to have a fresh look at it).

as for Redshift - RS certainly is one of the best GPU renderers today you can get your hands on. However, if you do a lot of heavy stuff, or you want to rely on procedural texturing, RS looses a lot from it's appeal.

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