View Full Version : Animation Rendering

03-17-2005, 08:04 AM
I design and build custom motorcycles. LW3D is used to assist previsualization and design. Renderings have been used to inform clients about design progress. Short animations have proved to be more informative and easier to understand.

The problem is the rendering time for the animations. The hardware is a G5, 2Gig dual, 1.5Gig ram.
The time to render a 20 sec animation @ XGA, Lo AA is about 50 hours.

Should I max out the ram on the G5, or send the file to a rendering farm, or buy another computer solely for rendering?


03-17-2005, 09:26 AM

The first thing I would consider is if you really need your animations to be that resolution. How is the final animation shown? If it's shown on DVD or something, just render at NTSC (or PAL :) ) Even if you show it on a computer screen you should be able to get by with 800x600. But, if you absolutely need to render it that big, there are a couple things which might slightly speed up render time. What is your thread setting? Test after test that I've done at work shows the G5 looooves to have at least 4, and usually 8, threads. Also, if you've upgraded to LW 8, the 8.2 update adds some nice anti-aliasing modes that look just as good but with fewer passes.

So, those are some ways to shave a little time off your render, but ultimately... if you want it to go twice as fast, you need twice the machines. If you can afford to buy some extra computers for rendering, I'd say do it. Or, you could use rendering services like ResPower.

Nice looking bike, by the way :D

03-17-2005, 12:00 PM
Well you could certainly render smaller, but then the AA should be higher, so you're back to square 1 -

You're at about 5 minutes per frame and that's not bad, animations are always tedious to render. But I'm willing to bet that it could be faster with what you've shown us, try these -

reduce Ray recursions to 3
Cast shadows from only 1 or 2 of the lights
turn off all unneccessary raytracing
avoid area lights
turn off 'Extra Raytrace optimization'
shave as many polygons as you can in Modeler

And do render tests with each of these settings, like the # of threads that marble_sheep mentioned, to see what works the fastest. Different scenes will render fastest with different settings.

03-17-2005, 01:22 PM

I'll try some of these things. The resolution can't be much less. The clients like to freeze the DVD and check out the design in sigle frames. There's a lot of money involved and I don't want to reduce enthusiasm with fuzzy pictures.

03-17-2005, 06:28 PM
oh I forgot - render at 24 fps instead of 30.
20% fewer frames to render, and with motion blur it'll have more of a film quality -

03-17-2005, 11:39 PM

I second Marble Sheep's recommendation regarding your frame size. If you're rendering for an NTSC video DVD you should render at 720x480 (.9 Pixel Aspect Ratio); rendering any larger so your client can view clean freezes is a waste of render time. Even when viewed on a computer monitor your video DVD won't give you any more resolution than 720x480.

If you're going to be doing a lot of these long renders you might want to look into getting some additional computers and getting Bruce Rayne's excellent Renderfarm Commander which makes setting up network renders a snap.

Good luck.

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics


03-18-2005, 08:11 AM

So much valuable information.
If I use all the time saving techniques, the rendering will be done before it even gets started!

. . . sometimes my imagination runs out of control . . .