Trying my first animation test between my desktop (i7-10700K, 64GB ddr4, RTX 3080) and my laptop (i7-7700, 32GB RAM, 1060 6GB).
I finally got the node (laptop) to connect and started a test render. On the desktop (3080) each frame takes about 1:07. With CR it took about 4:50 to render one frame. I'm guessing this is the laptop but the laptop doesn't start rendering anything until AFTER the desktop has finished its tiles. So they don't work in parallel. (Both set to GPU, with desktop set to optix and laptop set to CUDA). On top of that, every two or three fames, there is a shift in cropping or position. As if it's shifted about 100 or so pixels to the left and then back. This makes the animation completely unusable as it's shaking like crazy. Normal animation export on desktop doesn't have these issues.
Any advice? Thanks so much! :)
Hi :), CR only uses EXR internally, my advice is to configure the output properties in Blender to whatever you desire. This should work no issue. Also, I am admitting I am a bit silly here, I checked our version history, V0.2.8 doesn't work with Blender 2.91 onwards. There was a change to an internal API in Blender that caused Crowdrender to error. This was fixed in V0.2.9 which is still in early access. The free public builds are about three behind the current release which are available to people support our development fund.
As our fund grows, we periodically reduce the number of versions that the public ones are behind the early access ones. Next milestone should arrive soon if the current growth holds up, then V0.2.9 will be made free. Also if we release a new version, an older one gets made free too. We're due to release another version before the middle of the year, maybe sooner.
Thanks for the reply. Hmm.. Yea, I tried with 2.91.2 originally but it won't connect. Either nothing happens to I get a "failed to connect" Either way it doesn't say, "this machine: synched" on either machine. So I'm assuming something more is going on with 2.91.2
I've tried uninstalling/reinstalling the addon but might try that again to be sure. So far I've only gotten them to sync and connect with 2.90.
I'll try to send the logs later if I get time. Also, is EXR the only format CR will save in? Maybe that's a dumb question but in general I have issues with color and gamma with EXR, or it severely complicates my usual workflow, and it'd be great to use just PNG if possible. I'm hoping there's a setting I've missed.
Hey, 0.2.8, the most recent public build I believe.
Hey James, thanks for the ideas.
I've been setting everything from the Master computer, the desktop. Setting each time to GPU on both. Previously I'd had the GPU + CPU option on, but I've turned that off so now both are just using GPU.
I've set both to Optix (though I know the 1080 doesn't technically support it) because it processes the BVH much faster. However now the time for render went up from 4 minutes to 10 minutes, compared to the 1 minute on the main desktop solo.
Switching to CUDA didn't seem to help things either, and now the desktop (3080) is actually rendering slower than before.
Neither computer seems to be rendering in parallel still either. So now the laptop is rendering, and then when that's done, the desktop renders. At least according to the render percentages for each computer.
Blender also usually crashes now. Same version, which is 2.90.0 on both. I know it's not a stable release but going back much more means an even slower performance.
I haven't been able to render enough frames now to test if it's any different without CPU, but what might be the cause of the glitching effect? If I can't solve that all of this is pointless to even worry about because I won't be able to use anything that's rendered. (Also, will the files ONLY export as EXR? I'm not a huge fan of the way Blender handles colors in EXR.)
Thanks again. I'm hoping there is a way to figure it out but right now everything seems to just be getting slower hah.
Hi there :)
Ok performance wise, there are a number of things to try to get better performance.
Check your settings, on the master/client, make sure you have indeed selected GPU, and the correct devices. Each node's settings that are used are available on the master in the crowdrender panel. We've had cases where others have thought that the settings must be done on the render node itself, which actually changes nothing for the renders you do using them as render nodes. It changes the settings used if you were to render locally on that node, nothing else.
Are you using CPU as well as GPU and can your CPU handle it? By default CR will use the CPU, even if you select CUDA, since CUDA can do hybrid, and pretty soon Optix too. CPU rendering can drastically slow down the render in some cases. Usually because either the GPU needs feeding with data/updates, and the CPU is too busy to service it cause its' rendering, or because the tile size is too large (usually optimised for GPU) and CPUs hate that, they can end up taking a lot of the screen space since they will take as many tiles as they have cores, whereas the GPU only ever takes one tile at a time. So if you have like 8 or so cores, then your CPU can grab 8 times more screen space than the GPU, it then chugs on this for ages. Solutions to these issues are to reduce the number of threads given to the CPU for rendering by 1 to feed the GPU, and reducing tile size.
Have you tried manual mode? Start with manual load balancing and see how long each machine takes with the load balancing set to 0.5 for each node, which will give them the same amount of the screen, then record the time they take, and adjust the load balancing accordingly. You can still get accurate measurements with lower samples, so recommend reducing samples to speed up the 'test' render if you want to try this.
Let me know if any of this helps :) Normally speed ups are pretty good with similarly powerful equipment, and scenes that are not a few seconds to render (thanks to overheads in our system, really speedy scenes aren't benefitted much at the moment).