[Sidefx-houdini-list] stability of mantra on multi core machines?

paul simpson paul at realisestudio.com
Wed Aug 20 08:32:15 EDT 2008

hi all,

well here's a late update that i think pertinent to this thread.  we're just
finishing a largish job which involves a world made out of glass.  ie,
plants, flowers, pyramids, birds all rendered at HD.  we found mantra to be
quite unstable - with lots of dropped frames.  some of these turned out to
be because of memory issues - others just seemed to fail to render.  so, in
my mind mantra still has some serious issues.  namely:

1/ stability.  frames often take 2-3 goes to render correctly.  this is just
weird.  above all we need produciton ready stability.

2/ error messages - are just non existant in mantra.  this makes it very
hard to deduce how/why things are going wrong.  especially if your just out
of memory as opposed to other issues.

3/ documentation.  is in a real partially complete/shoddy/non-existant
state.  i spent a day trying to write a mantra python filter only to find
that what i wanted to do was not possible.  this apparently is a known bug -
but is not mentioned in the docs - what a waste of time and money!  not a
good state of affairs to say the least.  it frustates (that is an
understatement) me to learn this a day before trying to deliver a project -
while trying to work around another mantra instability.

...this is all with houdini 9.5 gold - the latest cut.  just thought i'd
share so no one finds themselves in my sorry state with a client breathing
down their necks while renders just segfault.



ps - also, we were onlly getting 20-40% effeciency on these 8 core renders

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