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View Full Version : Rendering by night...Bad idea



DiedonD
03-02-2007, 02:52 AM
If I havent missed something, thats a very bad idea. Our form of art is 100% DEPENDENT on electricity. And when you sleep at night, and if the electricity goes away, and you wont hear the UPS beeping. Then you risk a forceful computer shutdown, DURING render. Which may result in various levels of damage. From physical damage to your disk, to even loss of data.

And all that happens while your at sleep. So it is a risky decision. And a generally bad idea. Why risk 8 hours of render while your at sleep, when you can restart tomorrow, and have someone shut down the computer if electricity goes away.

Bog
03-02-2007, 04:54 AM
I guess I'm pretty luck - I haven't had a powercut here since I moved in six-odd years ago. If I didn't have night-time render periods, I honestly don't know what I'd do - it'd be like not having weekends as time-buffers.

mattclary
03-02-2007, 05:49 AM
It depends on how often your area is prone to power outages and other circumstances. If you have a major storm heading your way, yeah, don't do it.

I live between two hospitals. If my power ever goes out, it's usually measurable in minutes. In the two years I've lived in this house, I think I recall one power outage.

THREEL
03-02-2007, 06:26 AM
I guess I'm pretty luck - I haven't had a powercut here since I moved in six-odd years ago. If I didn't have night-time render periods, I honestly don't know what I'd do - it'd be like not having weekends as time-buffers.

I live in an older house, and about 3/4 of all of the electrical (outlets, furnace, etc.) runs off 1 circuit breaker. If too many things are running at once (i.e. the microwave, toaster, and my computer), the breaker pops and boom, there goes the electricity.


I know that's not a gigantic surge like a lightning strike, but I don't have a render farm, so I have to use time when I'm not doing other things on my computer to render. The funny thing is, just yesterday, I was working on my computer, when BOOOOOM, CRRRRRACK, seemingly out of nowhere, and without warning, lightning struck relatively close to my house. Let me tell you, I closed all programs and shut down, and unplugged my computer, right now.

Some people let their computers run for days on end. Actually, I've heard that it's not good on your computer to shut it down everyday. I don't know how much truth is in that, but if there is, why not utilize your away time to get work done while your not on it.

BTW--If your saving an animation as individual frames, which I've seen much advice to do that, can't you just pick up from the last frame rendered, and go forward from there? Barring that your computer didn't get fried from the lightning strike.

Lightwolf
03-02-2007, 07:01 AM
Power outage? I think we had a major one in the country last year, but as far as we're concerned... I think we had one in the past ten years, and that was due to some electrician screwing around without prior warning...

Cheers,
Mike

Andyjaggy
03-02-2007, 08:02 AM
In my old apartment the power would go off about once a week, but even then it was still worth the risk of rendering at night.

Lito
03-02-2007, 08:15 AM
That is why you need to hook up the UPS to the computer. All the UPS's I have bought recently have the software included to have the computer monitor the UPS and in case of power outage when it estimates you only have X amount of time it will auto shutdown the PC.

dwburman
03-02-2007, 08:19 AM
Most UPSs have a USB or serial cable that connects to the computer to power it down nicely if the power goes out. Theoretically, you wouldn't have to worry about it if you had everything set up right... and were rendering to frames, not an animation file.

If you're rendering to an external hard drive, make sure that is plugged into the UPS as well. I ruined a drive and lost all the data on it by turning it off while it was being accessed (too eager to unplug it and move it to another machine). I'm assuming the same thing could happen if the drive lost power even if the computer didn't.

rdolishny
03-02-2007, 09:47 AM
What exactly is your point?

Don't you have a $100 UPS?

Most power outages last only a few minutes or seconds. Besides, are you suggesting your time is valuable enough to watch a render happen instead of going outside or seeing a movie or ... sleeping while it works?

- Rick

mattclary
03-02-2007, 10:36 AM
I was working on my computer, when BOOOOOM, CRRRRRACK, seemingly out of nowhere, and without warning, lightning struck relatively close to my house. Let me tell you, I closed all programs and shut down, and unplugged my computer, right now.


PLEASE tell me you don't plug your computer directly into the wall! Minimum, you should be using a QAUALITY surge supressor (I advocate APC brand), but preferablly, you should be using a UPS.

Plugging directly into an outlet is like going to Bangkok without a condom, it just can't end well...

mattclary
03-02-2007, 10:37 AM
What exactly is your point?

Don't you have a $100 UPS?


He indictaed he had one, he just doesn't necessarily hear the alarm in the middle of the night and the PC forces a shutdown while rendering.

"you wont hear the UPS beeping. Then you risk a forceful computer shutdown, DURING render."

RTFP! ;)

mattclary
03-02-2007, 10:39 AM
Which may result in various levels of damage. From physical damage to your disk, to even loss of data.


If your UPS is set up with a USB connection to the machine, the machine should GRACEFULLY shut down. Yeah, your render my be end-tasked, but your hard drive should be unscathed.

ingo
03-02-2007, 11:36 AM
Get yerself a notebook man !

Tom Wood
03-02-2007, 11:51 AM
Don't you have a $100 UPS?

Heh, I wish. Actually I do have one of those too. But I discovered the hard way that a PC with a triple SCSI RAID (plus the main drive) can react badly when saving a data-heavy project like in Mirage if the UPS is too small. So I got one of the bigger units. Which has started telling me the battery is over three years old and do I want to order a new one, while showing that everything is working perfectly. :confused:

THREEL
03-02-2007, 02:15 PM
PLEASE tell me you don't plug your computer directly into the wall! Minimum, you should be using a QAUALITY surge supressor (I advocate APC brand), but preferablly, you should be using a UPS.

Plugging directly into an outlet is like going to Bangkok without a condom, it just can't end well...

Power strip, fer sure, man. Actually, two. Daisy chained power strips, is that even possible? So, exactly what is a UPS? I thought they only picked up and delivered packages. :D

Even with power strips, if I hear thunder and see lightning, it's power down and unplug time and wait for the light and sound show to stop. A little time away from :lwicon: to wait until the storm passes sure beats the heck out of the alternative.

For obvious reasons, I'm not even going to comment on that last statement. :rolleyes: Let me just make an old Al Delvecio from Happy Days statement, (sigh), "Yep, yep,yep,yep, yep."

DiedonD
03-03-2007, 03:47 AM
Get yerself a notebook man !

What in reincarnation is that suppose to mean?! A notebook about what? Have you been even reading all this or you just get into a thread and type wahtever comes to your mind!

Rick =

1) What exactly is your point?

2) Don't you have a $100 UPS?

3) Most power outages last only a few minutes or seconds. 4) Besides, are you suggesting your time is valuable enough to watch a render happen instead of going outside or seeing a movie or ... sleeping while it works?

1) Even my title writtes about my point well enough to the ones who care to read.
2) I do have a UPS!
3) So your an electric worldwide engineer now?! How do you know how much time of power outages last where I live?
4) You dont have a clue what Im suggesting, if you think like that, and my time is none of your bussiness, stick to the issue and just like mattclary said: RTPF!

As for the rest of my fellow LWers, Id like to thank you for your replies. This was a very helpful thread. Actually I didnt know that a UPS with a USB conected to the computer even existed. Yea I render with "Save RGB" mode clicked, and I can continue where I left the next day. Thanks :thumbsup:

But, now Im concerned about how does the UPS shuts down the computer? I mean in order to adequatly stop LW while in render, you need to abort it, and then shut down LW and then the computer. In other words, would any other way of shuting down the computer harm it. Cause when you alt-ctrl-del and click end task, you always have the "Is not responding, and you may loose data if you click it to end it now" thing appear. Does the UPS shuts it down like that, which may result in loss of data? How does it go about? Is it safe?

ingo
03-03-2007, 09:47 AM
How about thinking and reading other peoples messages before you comment these messages ?

First your odd thread naming doesn't give a clue what youre whinning about, and you haven't added any useful comments about your hardware or your power situation so its a simple guessing game we are doing here, not very helpful.
Ricks question was clear when he asked if you have a cheap UPS, since these el-cheapo things dont help you at all. And since you haven't mentioned how long your power outages are - or if you even had any in the past - Ricks comment was okay, especially compared to your dumb comments.
So back to topic, if youre so paranoid about electricity why dont you buy yourself a notebook, the batteries last for at least two hours which will help most of the time if the electricity goes away.

gerry_g
03-03-2007, 10:20 AM
My brother has UPS cos he does video editing an that’s a lot of data an drives on the go all at once, so he feels pretty safe and well protected right...............WRONG !!, get this, alast summer some ******** outside his property in the adjacent field tooling around in a JCB (mechanical digger) is digging a drainage trench when boom, he goes clean through the local power supply, my brothers surge protection is overwhelmed one of his HD's are fried no power and no back up and worse , no legal right to sue the basted..........in shot , no matter what you do, no matter what precautions you take you're always up against sods law.

ingo
03-03-2007, 01:50 PM
Aah yes, we had something similar last month. Some guys worked on the gas pipeline in our street and shut down the electricity for nearly an hour, of course without pre-warning. I was at that time working on big Photoshop documents and PS needs to write a lot onto the disc. But only the file was lost, the modern HDs are pretty safe.
That time i thought i should connect the comp to my old solar accus again, nice clean power and no problem when electricity gets down.

meatycheesyboy
03-03-2007, 03:03 PM
What in reincarnation is that suppose to mean?! A notebook about what?


I think you misunderstood him. He meant a laptop computer so you if power goes, he have a battery to pick up the load.

Speedmonk42
03-03-2007, 03:07 PM
What in reincarnation is that suppose to mean?! A notebook about what? Have you been even reading all this or you just get into a thread and type wahtever comes to your mind!




I think he means UPS + Battery would be more than enough time to shut down in a happy fashion.

kopperdrake
03-03-2007, 06:11 PM
Ooh Gerry G - you've reminded me of a few years ago and we were the last team in a games company to get UPS units fitted. One fine sunny day, around lunchtime, the power just died. We could hear the happy beeps of UPS units around the corridors but our corridor was all but silent, save for the sobbing of artists who'd lost data from the morning. A few seconds later the emergency generator kicked in and we were back to square one. The tech admin sent an email around apologising and warning us that at some stage during the afternoon the mains would come back online and there would be a small glitch in the supply as the power switched from the generator to the mains. Everyone with a UPS would be fine but for those of us still without UPS units they would send round an email shortly before the switch over.

3 hours later I'd heard nothing, and getting a bit paranoid after reworking the morning's model, I hit the 'save' button, just to be sure. The *exact* moment I hit the 's' key, the power died! For a second I felt like Bruce Almighty - I had the power to stop companies! Then the truth dawned, just *really* bad timing. So bad that my hard drive heads got stuck as they were righting over the model I'd reworked from the morning and written it off.

When NT introduced the incremental save button I lept for joy :D

borkus
03-03-2007, 06:33 PM
i think what diedond was getting at was that while at sleep, (which i sleep a minimum of 6 hours a night. anything under that is really unhealthy.) none of the safety measures will work. i haven't looked into ups'es lately, but the last i heard was in or around 2.5 hours of battery. that combined with a notebook would still be waking up into a nightmare. cause like he said, even the ones which shut down windows, i haven't heard that they do so in a safe manner as far as appropriately closing anything but windows. and you won't hear the warning beeping unless you sleep next to your computer. my old lady won't let me do that. i've tried. but at least you still have a computer in the morning. so like matt clary said, and others, render by frame and hope for the best. pick up in the morning. i also have power failures here that can last for hours. nice thread. picked a few tips i had written off as non-important years ago. checking newegg now for newer ups's...

cresshead
03-03-2007, 07:10 PM
laptops..fantastic
incremental saves..been doing that for years...well before newtek decided to do it as a 'button'
render as frames...never do anything but this...render as mov/avi is dumb for long rendertimes.
ups...never got one..maybe i should when i move to a desktop pc/imac/macpro.

mattclary
03-03-2007, 07:18 PM
But, now Im concerned about how does the UPS shuts down the computer? I mean in order to adequatly stop LW while in render, you need to abort it, and then shut down LW and then the computer. In other words, would any other way of shuting down the computer harm it. Cause when you alt-ctrl-del and click end task, you always have the "Is not responding, and you may loose data if you click it to end it now" thing appear. Does the UPS shuts it down like that, which may result in loss of data? How does it go about? Is it safe?

When the UPS loses power, it signals the PC of that condition. The PC has software installed (comes with the UPS and XP has some of this functionality built in, so you may not need the software) that tells the OS it's time to go night-night. the OS tells all apps to close, and yeah, if the app is not in a state to gracefully close, it will get end-tasked. Better to lose a few frames than have the heads of your hard drive to dig a furrow in the platter. ;)

KevinL
03-04-2007, 11:41 PM
and day. When I am not on the keyboard and I have pending renders (in Lightwave, AE, Premiere, VUE) I render. While I agree there is some risk to any electrical appliance experiencing a catastrophic power loss, I need to invest time in unattended renders so that I can get my work done.

That said, I mirror projects off to a second machine (sometimes 3 machines on mission critical jobs). Render frames, not streams. Run a robust UPS. Maintain the systems on a very regular basis and finally, I trust the history of 9 years with only minor hitches.

I appreciate the thought of the "best practices" not leaving machines unattended, but the reality is, I make no money sitting in front of the box as a systems engineer and I need to leverage both the hardwares cycles as well as my cycles. Also, Murphy might just kick in when you go to the restroom and nail the machine soooo..... :)

Have fun,
Kevin

DiedonD
03-05-2007, 01:48 AM
Ok, ok stop THAT!! :devil: Later on after I posted the comment, I realized that you meant a llaptop. Can you imagine how rediculus would be to suggest to have a notebook (the kind that you write on) for an issue like that?! Cause thats what I thought at first. Thereby comes my harming comment, thinking that your fooling around with my worries, plus you had the dancing icon there, adding more to it. So I apologise for that, its a clear mistunderstanding, the kind I tend to get in alot it seems (Why the heck do same words mean all those meanings in english), and take back all my harming comment about you.

I think a proper way to end this Ingo is for you to take back yours aswell. I think I can handle the rest of a meaningful negative responds from you, cause they derrive from mine, but one goes above the line. Ill give you a hint Its somewhere down there, its starts with a "D".


How about thinking and reading other peoples messages before you comment these messages ?

... especially compared to your dumb comments...

So back to topic, if youre so paranoid about electricity why dont you buy yourself a notebook, the batteries last for at least two hours which will help most of the time if the electricity goes away.

Appart from that, It seems I gotta get a UPS with a USB, and this raps it all, unless there are those kinds of power shortages like Gerry mentions. And theres all kind of shortages down here, but what can you do.

colkai
03-05-2007, 03:43 AM
You guys would flinch if you saw my PC setup :p
A UPS would cost about 5 times more than my PC is worth hehe.

The only reason I don't render at night is, the PC is so gorramn noisy and it is right next to my bed so it goes off come bedtime. I do leave it hammering away during the day whilst I'm at work though. Don't think we've had a powercut more than once in about 5 years, so I'm not unduly concerned. :)

mattclary
03-05-2007, 11:50 AM
the PC is so gorramn noisy and it is right next to my bed so it goes off come bedtime.

I actually like a little white noise while I sleep. Cars and planes are great! At night, I leave a fan running just for the noise. In the winter, your PC could double as a space heater with a long render. :thumbsup:

colkai
03-05-2007, 12:41 PM
ahh, you're "one of those people" eh? :p Me, I like dead silence, maybe iwht the odd owl hoot or fox bark ;)

Lamont
03-05-2007, 12:59 PM
My UPS has a LOUD beep when the power fails. And when I switched to an LCD monitor I can have the comp and LCD plugged in to safely turn off the comp.

Then again, I don't render as much as you guys do, so mine are done during the day.

Lottmedia
03-05-2007, 01:16 PM
Power stuff aside(90% of power problems are completely out of your hands anyway, so pray to whatever god will listen) as Cresshead said, never, never render to anything but frames! First off, if there is a problem in the middle of the render, all your work is not lost. Second, if you have to change something halfway through the sequence, if u plan it right you only have to render the changed aspects of the sequence, saving more time. And thirdly (and probably most importantly) quality. Chances are you are going to run this render through some editing program so you don't want a video file that has already been compressed in some codec or another (lets not get started on codec choices!) Render to uncompressed frames for any final output. The only way I would render a video file straight from LW is for a simple test or something, never for final product.

Casey :cat:

DiedonD
03-06-2007, 02:09 AM
Man some people lack common decency and culture. The battle may be lost, or simply given away, but theres an elephant memory on this one. So I'll see you later Ingo......!

Anyway... I just bought the UPS with a USB. Its so strange that it was already there. I kept on telling people how the render time is getting to me cause Im only rendering at day now. And NONE ever told me about the UPS with USB, and with automatic shut down. And only after you guys told me, everyone somehow switched places and like "What you didnt know it was there!".

So now I have it with its own software that does alot. You can scedule a shutdown, so Ive tested it, it stops the render, and LW asks weather to quit or not, and it shuts down WIndows, and then the whole computer shuts down from power. And even better, it writtes the incident to a history chart, so if anything happened during the night you'll know about it later on.

Pretty much covered the area completely. Furthermore, I dont know weather you guys have one of them Inverters. It automatically switches to Accumulator Power, that has been filled while there was city power, and can maintain extra power for the whole house basically, for another extra hours.
My older UPS couldt get along with it well enough. It seems UPS' and Invertors dont go along, cause there isnt enough power coming from inverters to the UPS. But this newest one somehow does get along with. Its name is something UPS 850. ANd I bought it for less then 100$, though I was prepared to buy it at that price too. I have it for 50 Euros, its around 70$ or so. So.... What more can one want regarding that. Appart from non stop 100% guaranteed 24 hour city power of course. But I dont think that will ever happen, especially now that I know that you people too have power shortages.

T-Light
03-06-2007, 01:13 PM
50 Euros, good buy, thought those things cost a mint. :thumbsup:

We just shelled out about 25 Euros last year just for a surge protector for a water wheel tile cutter, have to be honest and say it's lying idle in a cupboard, it's never occured to me to use it for the system :D . We've had a couple of power cuts over the last ten years or so and we've been given advance notification of both. :).

But it raises a really good point, I have some rendering coming up this week and the laptops likely to be running for around 50 hours or so. I'll get on it.

Cheers :)

Stooch
03-06-2007, 06:36 PM
If I havent missed something, thats a very bad idea. Our form of art is 100% DEPENDENT on electricity. And when you sleep at night, and if the electricity goes away, and you wont hear the UPS beeping. Then you risk a forceful computer shutdown, DURING render. Which may result in various levels of damage. From physical damage to your disk, to even loss of data.

And all that happens while your at sleep. So it is a risky decision. And a generally bad idea. Why risk 8 hours of render while your at sleep, when you can restart tomorrow, and have someone shut down the computer if electricity goes away.

i dont know where you are going with this but if you spend 5 minutes actually configuring your UPS it should shut down your system properly, guaranteeing that no physical damage or data loss occurs. afterall that is the whole point of UPS in the first place. Not sure why you started this thread but the moral of the story is, learn how to use your hardware properly and there is no better time to render then at night...

DiedonD
03-07-2007, 04:30 AM
i dont know where you are going with this but if you spend 5 minutes actually configuring your UPS it should shut down your system properly, guaranteeing that no physical damage or data loss occurs. afterall that is the whole point of UPS in the first place. Not sure why you started this thread but the moral of the story is, learn how to use your hardware properly and there is no better time to render then at night...

You should go through all the posts from the begining to realize what happened by now. ANd you'll see that my previous UPS didnt had the option to shutdown correctly. The new one does. And if you dont have the option to shutdown correctly, then rendering by night, when your at sleep and unable to react to the UPS's warnings that its about to leave your computer with no power with a sudden powerless shut off, in the middle of hard computer labour of rendering, is a bad idea, cause in that way you risk loosing data, graphic card or even the whole thing. Got it. There.