why mantra renderer is so so so slow?

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hey
thx Jason, i did some tests on Friday, it definitely seems to help lowering Ray samples and increasing Pixel samples and just not really messing with the Noise Limit. thx for the info!
yes i'm using gamma 2.2, my environment is also a large room, but very dark, only the area around the character is illuminated.

i'm finding it's easier to get smoother renders with more “ambient” scenes, dark contrasty seems to be a bit more tricky, especially with glossy surfaces.

jason
HOD fx and lighting @ blackginger
https://vimeo.com/jasonslabber [vimeo.com]
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Can I ask what you'd use typically in terms of photon map settings (prefilter values? posfilter values? etc.)?

jason_iversen
I see you've already set your Diffuse and Reflection Limits way down – but I see your sampling settings aren't really ideal.

So: the I've found the relying noise variance algorithm to provide you clean illumination is not ideal. We've just done 200 shots using PBR and these are the sampling settings that worked best for us:

- Pixel Samples: 7x7 (up to 10x10 if the scene really needed it)
- Min/Max Ray Samples: 1/9 – sometimes 2/9
- Noise Level: 0.08 (this seemed good enough to us … less than film grain)
- Reflect/Diffuse Limits: 2, 2
- Color Space: Gamma 2.2
- Color Limit: 4 (your 1 is clamping way too hard)
- Photons: 2m photons for a huge room. Yours is 7m! I'm sure 1m is fine for this space. Ratio was 2.5.

Be very careful of displacement. The default Mantra Surface shader is less efficient than a Plastic shader because of mere presence of the displacement shader. Our shader manages this with the “Disable Displace Shader Rendering” property but the distributed Mantra Surface-based shaders don't.
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Our next project will be rendered in Mantra, Our studio has been XSI and Mental ray up to this point but now because of the amount of procedural destruction needed on the next project it has been judged by people who are not mantra fanboys that they will move to Mantra to avoid hauling everything out of houdini into xsi. I was fully expecting to hear all about how slow mantra is and i was preparing them for this by talking up the benefits of rendering in mantra despite the slowness. BUT they were saying this is quick and the motion blur is free, they were using the new material shader that sesi has made and PBR, micro poly and micro poly PBR.

The pictures they are producing look good and render in a respectable amount of time. I was pleasantly surprised.
Robert Kelly
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Hi,
I am still new at this game, I have done a few tutorials but still have a lot to learn. :?
I did the tutorial “Lesson One: Quickstart by Go Procedural”
I then added a sphere and converted it to flip fluid which drops into the center of the columns. I used all the settings that the tutorial uses and used the default on the flip fluid. The render takes just over one hour per frame and then crashes around 20 to 24 frames every time.
I am using a PC with;
Intel core i7 CPU 975@3.33GHz 3.32GHz
RAM 12GB
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Main hard drive consists of 2x256 GB solid state drives in raid 1 mode.
Windows experience index of performance is rated on a scale of 1.0 to 7.9
My processor is rated at 7.6
RAM is rated at 7.6
Disk data transfer rate is rated at 7.4.
As you can see, my computer is not exactly slow. Is it normal for the render to be that slow? This would mean that if I rendered 240 frames, it would tie up my computer for 10 days and nights.
I have no idea if it is something I am doing wrong or not…….this is why I am appealing to the gurus out there that have experience.
I would appreciate it if someone could also point me to a tutorial specifically on rendering in mantra. I would also welcome any suggestion on what kind of computer would handle such a load, possibly something like a computer with multiple CPU's running in parallel if such a beast exists.
I appreciate any replies….thank you.
Marc Chelin
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jason_iversen
I see you've already set your Diffuse and Reflection Limits way down – but I see your sampling settings aren't really ideal.

So: the I've found the relying noise variance algorithm to provide you clean illumination is not ideal. We've just done 200 shots using PBR and these are the sampling settings that worked best for us:

- Pixel Samples: 7x7 (up to 10x10 if the scene really needed it)
- Min/Max Ray Samples: 1/9 – sometimes 2/9
- Noise Level: 0.08 (this seemed good enough to us … less than film grain)
- Reflect/Diffuse Limits: 2, 2
- Color Space: Gamma 2.2
- Color Limit: 4 (your 1 is clamping way too hard)
- Photons: 2m photons for a huge room. Yours is 7m! I'm sure 1m is fine for this space. Ratio was 2.5.

Be very careful of displacement. The default Mantra Surface shader is less efficient than a Plastic shader because of mere presence of the displacement shader. Our shader manages this with the “Disable Displace Shader Rendering” property but the distributed Mantra Surface-based shaders don't.

Holy Jason!!! those settings rock mate, very nice clean image, I've been fighting noise for a while with no nice results, but this recipe rocks mate

thanks for that
varomix FX TD | Founder | Educator
MIX Training || www.mix-training.com
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Glad to hear it
jason iversen, pipeline technology supervisor @ weta digital
also, http://www.odforce.net [www.odforce.net]
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zykor
I would also welcome any suggestion on what kind of computer would handle such a load, possibly something like a computer with multiple CPU's running in parallel if such a beast exists.
I appreciate any replies….thank you.
Marc Chelin

Such a beast certainly exists

There's an IFD you can download and test here. http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_forum&Itemid=172&page=viewtopic&t=20908&highlight=benchmark [sidefx.com]

It should give you a decent idea how well your machine compares to dual cpu rigs.

If you do go the dual cpu route, I'd look at the E5620's or the new E5645's. Both are fairly affordable compared to their higher clocked counterparts. EVGA also makes a monster of a motherboard for dual xeons. If cost isn't really a concern, then the X5680 is an unbelievable cpu with an unbelievable price tag to match.
www.alan-warren.com
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Hey Jason,

Did you guys use Photon Maps at all? Any setting advice if you did?

Cheers,

Peter B
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Hi,

Another example of portal + photons + PBR.

20 min render.

I found that setting the photon filter samples to a very low number 5-10 does a big improvement in speed and even the map looks spoty when previewing, the pbr render looks the same.

Attachments:
bedroom01.jpg (211.1 KB)

_______________
Andreu Lucio
VFX Supervisor
MPC
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any tips for outdoor render with PBR which use hdri lighting ?
Christos Parliaros
FXTD @ Double Negative

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here is my little contribution in area of mantra rendering .
PBR with photons.
4min30 sec with 2600k

Attachments:
untitled1.png (3.1 MB)

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sanostol
mentalray + displacement + motionblur = some trouble

yeh wasn't sure what original op was testing it against. I used mental ray for some chrome things with 10 reflects and it was DOOOOOOM slow. mantra did it for me at 2560x1440 in 5 hours ))
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zykor
Hi,
I am still new at this game, I have done a few tutorials but still have a lot to learn. :?
I did the tutorial “Lesson One: Quickstart by Go Procedural”
I then added a sphere and converted it to flip fluid which drops into the center of the columns. I used all the settings that the tutorial uses and used the default on the flip fluid. The render takes just over one hour per frame and then crashes around 20 to 24 frames every time.
I am using a PC with;
Intel core i7 CPU 975@3.33GHz 3.32GHz
RAM 12GB
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Main hard drive consists of 2x256 GB solid state drives in raid 1 mode.
Windows experience index of performance is rated on a scale of 1.0 to 7.9
My processor is rated at 7.6
RAM is rated at 7.6
Disk data transfer rate is rated at 7.4.
As you can see, my computer is not exactly slow. Is it normal for the render to be that slow? This would mean that if I rendered 240 frames, it would tie up my computer for 10 days and nights.
I have no idea if it is something I am doing wrong or not…….this is why I am appealing to the gurus out there that have experience.
I would appreciate it if someone could also point me to a tutorial specifically on rendering in mantra. I would also welcome any suggestion on what kind of computer would handle such a load, possibly something like a computer with multiple CPU's running in parallel if such a beast exists.
I appreciate any replies….thank you.
Marc Chelin

Long time rendering is cause of too many reasons like type of your lights or rendering setting.

I can't remember what say this tutorial exactly But you can send your project file for finding solution if you can.

Because I made a project about Flip that contain Water , Oil , Glass and even Caustic Effect , But my project rendered in 7 min per frame !
did you use Caustic Light !? Because I found a solution for rendering Caustic very fast :?
www.JKCompany.org
info@JKCompany.org

Rabiee.Sadjad@Gmail.Com
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Hi all,

I’m relatively new to the scene, I’ve been using mantra for quite some time, but only really started delving deeper into its possibilities. One thing I did notice is when it comes to glass textures, specifically a principle shader glass material, my render times go through the roof and I have to sacrifice my render resolution and pixel samples to get a decent render time (going from 30-45min/frame to 10-15min/ frame). Is there a little trick somewhere I’m missing to streamline the transparent/translucent material render workflow? It also feels very much like Arnold where I have to tweak the material a lot, but when I watch my friend using c4d and octane, he just slaps a glass texture on with an hdri and it looks stunning. How do I combat these issues such as render times, and glass texture quality in mantra so I can compete with octane?
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You're not going to compete with Octane using Mantra…at least not on simple scenes with no volumes or massive numbers of polys. You should check out Karma instead which is decisively faster but less mature at this point.

Otherwise, if it's speed you're after, you should consider other 3rd party renderers.
>>Kays
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