Houdini 11 MPlay viewer

MPlay can have a hard time maintaining real-time playback under certain conditions:

  • The images are very large.

  • The images are not at 8 bit fixed depth.

  • A LUT and/or Gamma correction are applied to the image.

  • The sequence is very long and does not fit into available memory.

You can use the following techniques to try to optimize playback speeds:

  • Compress large image files if they support lossless compression, offloading some of the work from the drive to the CPU.

  • Place the images on a fast drive, such as an Ultra-SCSI or RAID array.

  • Do not load images over a network. Copy them to a local disk and play them from there.

  • Only load color information if you don’t care about transparency. On the command line use the -c option. In MPlay, choose Windows > Preferences and set Load Components to Color Only.

  • Load and display images as 8 bit. On the command line, use the -8 option.

    This strips off HDR information, so use it with care. Depth maps and normal maps do not display well with this option. Only use it to help realtime playback.

  • Load the images at their natural depth, but display them as 8 bit. In MPlay, choose Windows > Display Options, click the Video Card Options button on the Display tab, and turn on Display all Images at 8bit. This preserves HDR information when you use color correction.

  • Bake Gamma into your LUTs.

  • Load the image sequence at ½ res or lower. Use the controls in the menu bar to set the proxy size.

  • Play the sequence at least once before toggling on Real Time. This allows all the images to be cached.

  • Cache all images under Image > Cache All.

  • Allocate more memory into MPlay. In your MPlay window, go to Windows > Display Options > Memory and either turn off the Limit Viewer Memory Usage checkbox or set an higher limit for Memory Usage.