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

paul simpson paul at realisestudio.com
Wed Aug 20 09:03:24 EDT 2008


this last job was MP.  i also was looking at our PBR render logs - and found
that i did have auto retry on that job - and lots of frames were retrying.
so, there's certainly some stability issues regardless of the renderer.
yes, mantra is soo close...


2008/8/20 François Duchesneau <sidefx at trinix.ca>

> Thanks Paul for the update.
>
> I'm not if you were the one who once said you were trying out PBR. Is
> all below made with regular shading or PBR?
>
> I haven't rendered that much with Mantra but the fact that no clear
> error message is given must be very painful. Let's hope SideFx will fixe
> those issues so we can have a good cheap alternative to PRman and
> MentalRay.
>
> François
>
> paul simpson wrote:
> > 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.
> >
> > regards,
> >
> > paul
> >
> > ps - also, we were onlly getting 20-40% effeciency on these 8 core
> renders
> > :(
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