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View Full Version : Modeling for speed?



Johnny
09-17-2005, 09:26 AM
My hardware has changed recently, and I now have a much less capable render set up, tho one which certainly CAN render, just slower than before.

I'm therefore walking a wire between artistic values and hardware capabilities and trying to get the most out of my scenes with the lightest demand on hardware.

My practices include whacking polys where possible, not modeling in one more bit of detail than will actually be seen and limiting lights..that last one hurts a bit, tho, bcs lights add SO much to a scene.

Are there any other areas I need to look at to get the biggest bang per clock cycle? Is low poly count the end-all, be-all, or other things just as important?

Guess I also need to get busy making sure things not on camera are not rendered.

thanks!

J

mkiii
09-17-2005, 09:39 AM
Certainly some procedurals render slower than others, so it may be wise to limit the use of these if like me, you tend to have at least one on just about every channel of a surface, and possibly more than one.

A good shader may be quicker than a whole bunch of textures & LW Procedurals, layered one after the other. Only experimantation will tell you which is best.

Keep textures as small as possible, and try to use indexed bitmaps rather than 24 or 32 bit where possible. I have no proof that this speeds renders up, but it certainly saves LW loading time & memory.

As you are well aware. Fancy fx cost time. Maybe it might be worth digging out those old Pre 6.0 LW books & re-learn some of the forgotten render time saving techniques.

We have got too used to bloated Apps, more memory & faster GFX cards. It can't hurt to get back to basics once in a while.

toby
09-17-2005, 05:42 PM
:agree:
You're going to have to go old-school :)
Limit ray-tracing, learn to make reflection maps, learn to use spotlights instead of area lights, and radiosity is right-out. (ok, maybe not completely)

I have a friend at Sony Imageworks, and their lighting system has nothing but Spotlights, and this is for major features. So you can learn to do good lighting without advanced lights.

Compositing can also be a huge time-saver.

Johnny
09-19-2005, 08:27 AM
As you are well aware. Fancy fx cost time. Maybe it might be worth digging out those old Pre 6.0 LW books & re-learn some of the forgotten render time saving techniques.

We have got too used to bloated Apps, more memory & faster GFX cards. It can't hurt to get back to basics once in a while.

thanks, mkiii and toby...lots of those suggestions are easy enough for me to try/implement right away, but I came on board with version 7.5, so I'm not familiear with pre-LW 6 techniques..have any links to suggest?

Is it as simple as just NOT using features found after version 5? or something more than that, since, as I recall, "fast" computers in the mid to late 90s were nowhere near what even a slow machine now can do!

J

BeeVee
09-19-2005, 08:42 AM
It's worth noting that, apart from in the Color channel, no texture needs to be anything other than 8-bit greyscale. It will save you a load of memory if you just stick to 8-bit greyscale PNGs for all your bumpmaps and the like.

B

Johnny
09-19-2005, 08:46 AM
thank you..I understand 8 bit for texture maps, but why png? why not jpg, psd, tga?

Is png even smaller than other 8 bit files?

J

BeeVee
09-19-2005, 09:01 AM
jpg, psd and tga are not 8-bit only, they are 8 bits per RGBA channel - 24- or 32-bit images. PNG has a function to only store indexed colour value similar to the .gif format if needed.

B