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Author Topic: Network rendering stops after first frame  (Read 713 times)

PR7678

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Network rendering stops after first frame
« on: December 31, 2015, 09:18:33 AM »
Running MAX 2014 with FP 4.4.1. When I send a job to the farm of 12 computers,  8 of the computers render a single frame and then hang. If I unassign and reassign them to the job, those same 8 render one more frame and then hang again. I'm using your favorite, Mental Ray -  :).

Network rendering has been surprisingly stable for a long time, but I did notice that the 4 computers rendering without hanging were older and running Backburner 2014. The other 8 computers are newer and some have up to MAX 2015 installed w Backburner 2015, a few others are up to MAX 2016 with Backburner 2016. This scene has a few FP objects with some sporadic grasses and trees, and then one heavy FP object with a medium grass cover. All FP geometry are mr_proxy objects. Initially, when I tried a wild grass variety from the library, this single frame thing happened. I then removed those wild grass objects, made something similar in Onyx and brought that in as an mr_proxy and with simple translucent A&D material and it worked great for probably 2 weeks of solid rendering and revisions. Then yesterday out of the blue, this started happening again where 8 computers won't render after one frame without the remove/assign exercise.

Troubleshooting I've tried:
1. updated every computer to FP 5.02 beta. Did not fix it.
2. uninstalled later versions of Backburner and installed 2014. Did not fix it.
3. put all nodes back to FP 4.4.1 and BB 2014 and no fix, but now broke the other 4 so now all 12 exhibit the same behavior.  :-[
4. rendering with "conserve memory" checked, no fix.
5. turning off heavy grass object fixes it, but I kinda need that grass.

Checking the logs, after the succesful frame finishes and the next frame starts I get a bunch of these errors until I deactivate the job:

"2015/12/30 23:44:04 DBG 3dsmax adapter : MENTAL RAY LOG: ***WARNING*** PHEN 0.13  6051 MB error: user data zero size."

with varying PHEN "X.XX" and "XXXX" MB errors.

Any tips on what to try next? Thanks so much for your time!!!

iToo

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Re: Network rendering stops after first frame
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2015, 09:54:11 AM »
It saddens me to know that none of the changes we added in the latest updates solve this annoying problem. :(

We have a last resort available, using an experimental and different approach for the MR shader.
I will implement it for the next Forest beta, which we are going to release in the next days. I'll post here as soon it's available, with instructions to use it. I hope it works !

Thanks,
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

PR7678

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Re: Network rendering stops after first frame
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 03:41:22 PM »
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.  :'(

Is VRay the answer? We don't have it, and I'm reluctant to purchase for this. I see several VRay threads in here, though I never look closely at them to know what people's issues are with it since we don't use it. Maybe I should investigate.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 03:46:08 PM by PR7678 »

PR7678

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Re: Network rendering stops after first frame
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 03:49:08 PM »
The last thing I was going to try was put everything to 2016 with the FP 5.02 Beta and see what happens. I'll let you know what I find.

PR7678

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Re: Network rendering stops after first frame
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2016, 03:08:31 AM »
 :D

So after updating several of the nodes to 2016 and running jobs through backburner 2016 with FP 5.02 on those nodes, I haven't had the problem anymore. Fingers crossed it continues on in that fashion. Sorry to cry wolf, should have got everyone up to date first before posting.

Also, frames are rendering about 20% faster in this configuration! Sounds like dealing with MentalRay is very frustrating, but I want to thank you for your efforts. Much appreciated!!!!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 03:13:44 AM by PR7678 »

iToo

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Re: Network rendering stops after first frame
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2016, 08:42:11 AM »
That's great news !  :)

Regarding Mental Ray, from our data we know that it's barely used by our customers. Most of them use V-Ray, Corona and other renderers.
Probably it's not only a technical question, but also the lack of support from Autodesk. Mental Ray is not a bad product, but is poorly integrated with Max, and when a problem arises there is not anyone to ask help.

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Theo Laich

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Re: Network rendering stops after first frame
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2016, 07:58:01 PM »
Are there any solutions to this problem except running Max 2016? We're on 2015 Design with Forest Pack Pro v4.4.1. Getting the same errors after one frame is rendered.

Should I just try the Beta?

iToo

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Re: Network rendering stops after first frame
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 08:34:57 AM »
Yes, i suggest you try the beta.

We have not feedback of FP 5 with Mental Ray and Max 2015, but since the changes we added are indentical for all Max versions, hopefully you should get an improvement with the update.
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Theo Laich

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Re: Network rendering stops after first frame
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 02:31:38 PM »
Looks like it worked! Thanks!

Thanks for that info about the integration and lack of support on Mental Ray. We've been slowly switching to Vray, but we're going to switch much faster now.