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Diana De Paolis
batch render issue
on Aug 2, 2012 at 6:49:52 pm

I everyone!

I'm having a strange problem with batch rendering in Maya with mental ray, maybe I'm doing something wrong and you can help me!

I have an animated scene: a character with hair. I want to render the hair separatly and I have 3 different cameras with different frame range.
So I set up 6 different layers:
Camera 1 character -start frame 45 end frame 150-
Camera 1 hair -start frame 45 end frame 150-

Camera 2 character -start frame 0 end frame 44-
Camera 2 hair -start frame 0 end frame 44-

Camera 3 character -start frame 118 end frame 140-
Camera 3 hair -start frame 118 end frame 140-

I used layer override to change the renderable camera and the frame range, then hit batch render, script editor says I'm rendering with Mantal Ray, but nothing happens! No file is written in the folder, the percentage of job done nevers shows up and no error are written in the script editor.

The strange part is that I made a test render of only one frame, and everything went right (6 .tif file in their proper folders)
Then I tryed cancel the frame range override for all layers and render all layers from frame 0 to 10 and, again, batch render works perfectly.
I tried batch render from command line, but the result seems the same: render starts but freeze, even if mayabatch.exe is running and using 50% of my CPU.

I really can't explain what's happening here. Should I avoid to override frame range cause mental ray doesn't support that, is this a bug of my Maya version (2012)? I'm really missing something,
hope someone help me find a solution.

Thanks in advantage.


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keith mcgregor
Re: batch render issue
on Aug 8, 2012 at 8:01:22 pm

Seems as if you could render each cam separate, (yes it's a bummer). I ran into problems using frame overrides and have yet to find a solution. I am assuming you are using render layers? (dumb question but I had to ask) You have fiddled with the batch render settings and are peaking your cores? Are you using flags in the command line? (memory setting, amount of cores, verbosity level)
Maybe upping your verbose level might spit out a problem such as excessive memory dumping.
Since you are on windows you could also save it out as 3 different proj files and have the command line render do each successively? (Cam1 proj, cam2 proj then cam3)
Sorry to not be of more help.
-Keith

Reality? What did you make it?


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Diana De Paolis
Re: batch render issue
on Aug 9, 2012 at 11:55:13 am

Hi Keith, thank you very much for the reply!

At least I'm feeling relieved cause I'm not the only one having problems with frame range overrides..I looked on line and it seemed no one is having the same issue..

To answer your questions, yes, i'm using render layers, i looked at the batch render settings, i turned off auto render threads and set the number to 8 (which are my cores), cause I read somewhere that if you don't set them manually mantal ray could not recognize all of them.
I left auto memory limit on, cause, to be honest, I don't know how it has to be set.
I set the verbosity level to detailed messages and the log showed many warnings like:"Running out of stack space breaking shader call recursion", and another message which was saying that a lots of nodes were already connected to mentalRayItemsList Option...
I'm sorry I can't be more specific with this error cause I didn't save the log.
When I tried render from command line I just used flags to set the layer to render and the frame range, I didn't write any flags to set the amount of core or the memory settings.

Anyway I finally menaged to batch render doing exactly what you have said.
I split my project into six several scenes (cause I have three cameras and two layers for each cam), I unloaded all the reference scenes that were not visibile in the shot, converted all the texture files to .map (which I should have done before).
I set the renderable camera and the frame range for every scene files and...it works, batching from maya and from command line too!!!

Now I can write a .bat file to render all the scenes in sequence.
So this was just a work around, cause i didn't find which was the error, I simply make things easier for maya.
Maybe my original scene is to heavy with all the layers, but everything works fine untill I set the frame range override: all the other overrides -material,lights,settings- don't cause any problem, I still can render that scene if I set the start frame range to 0 for all layers!
For now I'm fine, but this is an unsolved mystery which still scares me when I think about it...


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keith mcgregor
Re: batch render issue
on Aug 9, 2012 at 4:17:35 pm

Yeah it bugged me too. As for having 6 projects I figured you could just have 3 from what you explained since you are using render layers and each would go to it's respective folders, but I don't know the scene set-up so I dunno.

As for the flags in the command line, if you set -rt 0 it uses all cores, if you set -memory =75% (of your physical memory) you should not have problems and mr should be pretty efficient.

In the batch render settings window, I've found that to find the right number for cores is a trial and error (at least on the macs I've encountered and my co-workers too) and depends if you have hyperthreading or not. So my 8 (dual-quad core) is actually 16 but I got the best performance when I set it to 10 (makes NO sense). As for memory you could let it calculate the memory usage for you as it does a good job of deciding what's needed. I also ran into problems running the batch render from the interface which is why I now only do it from command line.
BTW- how long did it take to do 1 frame of hair? Does it have motion blur too? Is it a final quality pass? Are you rendering in passes as well? I'm always curious to know since I've had nothing but loooooong render times with fur and hair.
Cheers!
-Keith

Reality? What did you make it?


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Jules Bodenstein
Re: batch render issue
on Aug 20, 2012 at 9:08:22 am

Hi there,

It seems as though you are having problem with the batch render feature. This is a common problem alot of people face. we are Render-IT a render farm based in London. people usually send us their scenes and texture files and we offer a great service here for quick, beautiful image. Contact us on info@render-it.co.uk for a chat on estimate. Love to hear from you.

Jules Bodenstein

Render-It
mjb@render-it.co.uk
http://www.render-it.co.uk


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James Miller
Re: batch render issue
on Sep 20, 2012 at 10:31:43 pm

I've been having a lot of issues with the batch render function as well, and it sounds similar to those you are experiencing, although the set up is very different. I have found however if you render with the maya terminal, it seems to work just fine (keep in mind if you are rendering with mental ray, it may not show you a progress report, but check the destination folder). If you just open it up, and type render *name of project, it will batch render to the settings you have made and the layers you selected. Give it a go, and sorry if you already tried this. I was a little wary of trying the terminal as I don't use it, but it was pretty simple in the end.

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't the sport for you.


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