How to speed up Mantra

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Hey hey,

just one more question regarding Mantras render speed. I know it works great for big fat VFX scenes with lot of stuff. I'm quite sattisfied how fast it renders me 40 million particles with lots of displacement, pyro, subsurface scattering in one go. Thats for sure. But what about motion graphic stuff e.g.?

I tried to render one cube on a plane with one light and one diffuse bounce. To get it almost clean (specially in the shadows) it takes about two minutes - without any material applied. I kept the pixel samples quite low and played with the ray samples, also the indirect ray samples and the noise level. So I couldn't fugure out a way to render simple scenes fast enough. I e.g. use Modos CPU based render engine too and its blazing fast at such scenes.

Of course Houdini is heavily used for VFX but it has great capabilities for any other stuff too. Motion graphics would be one field where it can shine and for that I just need speed. I'm already considering octane.

Are there some tipps around for rendering more ‘simple’ scenes more efficiantly?
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There aren't, I have wrestled with this for more than a year. Mantra is too slow for daily motion graphics usage, IMHO. Although C4D isn't that much faster when you A-B them.

What you can do is purchase an Indie license now that 3rd party render is supported and choose from several faster render engines. Octane, for example. Or try out the Renderman offering.

For the fastest rendering I have encountered you may want to take a look at Clarisse, which plays well with Houdini exported Alembic and OpenVDB files.
Edited by Enivob - 2016年6月29日 11:32:47
Using Houdini Indie 20.0
Ubuntu 64GB Ryzen 16 core.
nVidia 3050RTX 8BG RAM.
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Yeah, I already learned C4D, Modo, Realflow and Houdini. I'm not very keen in learning clarisse too. C4D really is slow but even this renderer is faster for simple stuff. Modo's renderer is very fast (and mostly unbiased) but its just annoying to constantly export/import. On the other hand its annoying that even with third party renderer the resolution limitation keeps beeing limited to 1k. I really would like to benefit from the GPU speed with some bigger resolution renders. Its quite bad that I would have to buy a full priced Octane license with a plug-in limitation of 1920*1080. So the best solution for me would be to buy the plug-in for Modo and export geometry from Houdini.
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you could always try to use a GI light, it can speed up rendering

if you dont need GI you can use ray tracing, or you could revert back to good old micropoly
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GI light is not the best solution for flicker free motion graphics. And even without GI it just takes too much time. Of course I tried Micropolygon Render and Ray Tracing as well. Seems that Mantra is just very sloooowish with simpler stuff. Good that you can render a lot of heavy and ‘complicated’ things….but thats not all what exists in 3D land.
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imagine a future where game engine GI tricks got incorporated to the openGL ROP…. imagine….. we already have ambient occlusion, cmon, fakey fakey gi would be ace (as well as simple aov support…)

http://www.tokeru.com/cgwiki [www.tokeru.com]
https://www.patreon.com/mattestela [www.patreon.com]
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A fully tricked out OGL rop + render-with-take could be a killer feature…
I hate having to go back to the 90's to do previz.
Edited by anon_user_40689665 - 2016年6月29日 19:56:08
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Redshift for houdini is awesome!!!!
Give it a try!
We just did a huge project in it.
We started by exporting our scenes to maya, to render there.
Halfway through the project we started using the houdini2redshift plugin and we haven't looked back.
G
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This is a compilation of the excellent series of PDF's put together by Jordi Bares (Creative Director of Glassworks in London) that was originally released as a transition guide for Softimage artists moving over to Houdini. It's a big download but well worth it as it really helps demystify the inner workings of Houdini for artists schooled in more traditional DCC's. The guide on rendering is particularly useful for getting speedy clean animatable frames out of Mantra.

Download here [d.pr]

I also recommend Redshift. It's still early days for the Redshift for Houdini integration but it's being developed at a rapid pace.
Edited by Jonathan Moore2 - 2016年7月1日 07:14:22
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I actually bought redshift and its really awesome. I got an i7 6950x @ 4 ghz; and one 980 ti was rendering the same scene with the ‘same’ noise amont up to 10 times faster. Incredible!

Also took a look at the PDF but to be honest….didn't make THAT much of a difference.
Edited by Rosko Ron - 2016年7月27日 06:38:27
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Cool, so RedShift has plugin for Houdini Indie now?
Using Houdini Indie 20.0
Ubuntu 64GB Ryzen 16 core.
nVidia 3050RTX 8BG RAM.
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Maybe stupid question…
What about Renderman with denoise filter?
Nothing to export then…
English is not my native language, sorry in advance for any misunderstanding :-)
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I would say redshift is still faster. I'm not very interested in investing in a new CPU based render engine. I just have to buye a second card (maby the new Titan x) and I have 20 times more power to render than with a 1700€ CPU. Much easier, cheaper and more efficient than building a CPU farm at home…

And yes, there is a plugin. Its still an alpha but it works great. Even float attributes are supported by default.

Another cool thing is that Redshift uses all available vram. So if you got one card with 12 GB and another one with 6 GB octane would cut down the total usable vram down to 6 gb. Redshift uses the full 12 GB + 6 GB. Its a huge benefit.
Edited by Rosko Ron - 2016年7月27日 21:12:17
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Hi,
maybe you should read this:
http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/render/noise [sidefx.com]

Object specific sampling is in many cases a way to reduce rendertime drastically. You can avoid oversampling of the other areas.
Lets say you want to render a car:
The car body itself needs only a few bounces etc.
The lamp might need a lot more…
And the ground shadow again needs also more to be noise free, but you might just blur/filter that away…

kind regards
Olaf
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Yeah, I know that trick but there is no way I'm going back to Mantra for certain things. Lets say I get in the best case 50-100% speed improvement. Thats still a joke compared to redshift or other GPU based renderer.

Of course there are some scenarios where Mantra will defenitely shine. https://vimeo.com/159701139 [vimeo.com] used around 30 million ww particles, 1 km ocean surface with 2k displacement texture, all in one go. Took about 24 gigs of ram. Don't know if I could do this with redshift and one 980 ti although it goes out of core.
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I have not yet used Redshift for Houdini, but used it extensively in Maya. Really nice renderer.

Houdini rendering - The new docs are much better at working through the Mantra rendering pipeline. It is a complicated one for sure, compared to many packages where you can kind of leave your scene as is and hit the render button. The new docs do a much better job of explaining how to properly render in Mantra.

That said, if you are working on a large scale project that will be render intensive, if you go through the proper steps to get your scene fully optimized then Mantra is actually exceptionally fast, with very high quality results. Also, it is capable of handling very, very large poly count scenes, where other packages would just fail. But this means that you must,use the sampling planes to give you feedback so that you can set your render and shader settings correctly. Learn how to use packed primitives to write all your data to disk, generate IFD files, etc. I have been rendering crazy scenes at 4KX4k and the render times are very acceptable. I have seen scenes that go from 20-30 minutes with hitting Render To Mplay, once optimized get down to around 5-7 minutes when correctly rendered. Add 1-2 minutes for the .ifd generation and it is still a huge savings.
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I love Redshift in Houdini but Mantra and other CPU production renderers such as Arnold, V-Ray and RenderMan still have a place whilst VRAM is continues to be a limiting factor. The Out of Core support in Redshift almost negates any of it's speed advantages. That's how bad the slow downs are if your scenes need to go Out of Core.

The great thing that Redshift has shown is that you don't have to make concessions on final frame render quality because you wan to take advantage of GPU speed. They're the first GPU renderer that can make this claim. However they still have a long way to go with volume rendering, SSS, procedurals, OSL etc, etc. I'm glad the studios I work with have an open mind and use the most appropriate rendering technology for the brief rather than blindly picking GPU for speed or CPU for assumed increase in quality.
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I talked to Raphael Rau who worked at Axis. He said that the people there are very interested in Redshift for Houdini. As for what I heard….when textures go out of core the speed difference isn't that big. In case of polygons they are working on improvements. But most ‘simple scenes don’t need that much of memory
Like I said, for very complex scenes I probably will go with Mantra but that makes really no sence with motion graphics. You can't tell me that Mantra is fast in such scenarios. At least we have to make a comparison of one scene in Redshift and Mantra. Someone of you try his best Mantra optimization skills and someone else lets it run on redshift. I tried for months….optimizing Mantra for simple stuff….but the improvements aren't worth mentioning. Of course the quality has to keep acceptable…while being fast. In my last job we just wouldn't be able to meet the deadline properly with a Mantra renderer. Was a commercial with no fancy effevts. Mostly hard surface stuff. NO way you get a faster render with Mantra there! I don't care about volumes or large scale displacements….for that I still can go with Mantra. Just want the best for each situation…By the way: even Arnold is getting GPU acceleration. The developer devenetly sees the advantages, bigger VRAMs (already 24 gigs on a M6000), 12 GB on a titan etc).

https://vimeo.com/129346968 [vimeo.com] he did everything with redshift. 4x gtx 780 ti. Probably 4 or 6 GB.
Edited by Rosko Ron - 2016年7月30日 17:04:24
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… and all the while many companies continue to render on a CPU farm and makes lots of money. Amazing how ones experience simply does not translate to everyone.
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Most companies already invested in huge and very expensive render farms. I don't think they get shut down over night What makes sense there doesnt translate to a freelancer or smaller studios.
Edited by Rosko Ron - 2016年7月30日 17:16:55
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