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Batch rendering animation--good computer-too slow, why?

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Daniel Madzel
Batch rendering animation--good computer-too slow, why?
on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:12:48 pm


I have been all over the map trying to get the right info and I just cant get my finger on exactly what I need to do. I have nice computer (I think), and need to render my Maya animation (700 frames) without it taking 20-30 days!! I need to know what I need to tweak in my system or what I need to buy in order to get this animation rendered out FAST. Below is the information that can be helpful in seeing me through to the light :)


Maya batch render animation taking too long. Need to make my reel due by 30th of Sept and this is only 30 second segment at 24fps. I am looking to have a 2-3 min reel (maaan)


Batch rendering 700 frames in Mental Ray (w some raytracing, ncloth, and particles) It renders 10-16 frames per day.

What I need:
This done in a week or less.

What I have looked into so far to help that didnt work:

-I checked my batch render settings and unchecked the Networking batch render option.

-I saw that the settings are using all my threads properly

- Rendering in >iff format

- defragmented my computer

What I am trying to batch render:

-raytracing -picture 780x480 -700 frame animation

-ncloth -depth map shadows -no sound

-motion blur -Production Quality setting - did not cache any of the ncloth or particle

My computer specs:

i7 960
3.20 ghz
dual quad cores (8 threads)

Interface=PCI Express
chipset x58

Graphics Card-
Radeon HD6870
(have more room)


12gb installed (6 total slots, max 24gb)


I know that the raytracing and particles are expensive, but this is my reel that I am trying to impress with for a new career, so its important that I am top notch, plus it fits the anime.

--------------OK, please know that any help is appreciated and that I respect all ideas and opinions and will be ready to respond and will leave no one hanging. I am in panic mode and need to figure out if I can get away with tweeking my system somehow or if I need to buy upgrades.

thanks in advance


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Jules Bodenstein
Re: Batch rendering animation--good computer-too slow, why?
on Sep 19, 2011 at 2:15:17 pm

Hi Dantana,
I have a tip for you which might help you out.

If you're in the Rendering tab, click Render - Batch Render "Options" (the little square)

Untick Auto Render Threads, and set the render threads to 8.

That should seriously speed up your render if you haven't done that already, sometimes Mental Ray won't render using all cores.

If that fails to solve the issue, have you considered a render farm?

I work for Render-IT, a render farm for hire in London. Let me know if you're interested.

Good Luck!

Jules Bodenstein


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Steve Sayer
Re: Batch rendering animation--good computer-too slow, why?
on Sep 19, 2011 at 2:28:34 pm

It does sound like things are going much more slowly than they should, although of course it's impossible to say without knowing the complexity of your scenes/shaders.

You should absolutely cache any and all dynamic elements before trying to render them. If they're not cached, Maya will be calculating them on the fly as well as rendering. Still, this really shouldn't be causing the kind of slowdown you're experiencing.

I seem to recall seeing other threads about how Maya's batch renderer just hangs and waits for a very long time--sometimes hours--before starting to render each frame. It appears to be some sort of network issue but I've never found a definitive diagnosis or solution.

If you test-render a frame within the Maya GUI, does that work as expected? How long does it take to render?

If the test renders within the GUI work, I can send you a script to run that will just render a frame, step forward a frame, and repeat. The frames all get saved in the 'tmp' folder inside the project's 'images' folder (if I recall correctly). I've had some success with that on projects that I couldn't get to batch render.


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Daniel Madzel
Re: Batch rendering animation--good computer-too slow, why?
on Sep 21, 2011 at 3:41:33 pm

OK, well I realized that I had a few render settings too high for a particular scene. It mainly was that I had fur, particles, & raytracing going on all on production quality setting. I had not ran a cache file on the particles and fur like I should have. The rest of my animation is running a bit better due to the limited deformers in the scenes. From now on, I am going to look at exactly what's being shot in the scene and layer it accordingly.

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rachel freitas
Re: Batch rendering animation--good computer-too slow, why?
on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:10:42 am

good to hear you have had some luck, Im having a similar problem but not as bad, batch rendering with tif. images and they are over 700mb/image, last time i did this they were only 10mb so I cant think of what could be making them so much larger... as a result the render is incredibly slow!! could use the advice if you have any for me!

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