Well with all of the hub-bub about PhotoWorks in 2007, I thought that I
would give it a try, and have spent most of the day (on and off for any
clients that are listening) and I must say that it is worlds better than in
But you've got to be kidding me right! Does anyone actually use this for
real? On real jobs, that they're getting paid for???
Click, Wait.... Click, Wait... render..... oops! Click, wait...
Changing a couple of things to the material might literally take you 10
I can't take it. Now... where's my Flamingo?
Heh! Well, I use it in conjunction with animator and a smoking fast
computer - and yes - money is involved! It's very good for this -
nice and fast - I made a 25sec anim in about 45 min. with gi turned on
and high aa. I do not use it for stills anymore however. I actually
cranked everything up on a sample scene when I installed 2007 -
including shadow quality to max - just to see what happened and after
leaving overnight the progress bar had not moved past the first
Your post is intriguing me! I'm facing major problems with photoworks and
animator 2006 sp5 (you can see my previous post).
What are you actually rendering that goes so fast? what kind of scene? how
many objects? which materials? how many lights? which photoworks settings?
and finally the million dollar question - what are your computer specs?
Forgive me for all those nosey questions, but I'm considering buying a new
workstation because mine doesn't deliver the job, and would appreciate any
advice so I would not waste my money on something unsuitable.
The animation I mentioned was a collapsing assembly of about maybe 25
parts, some multibody. 2 lights with an hdri skydome (not visible -
just for illumination). GI turned on and aa set at high - I don't
remember the gi setting but it was probably just shy of max.
The main thing is the computer though. I have a new conroe e6400 asus
p5b deluxe wifi mobo, 2 gb of ocz platinum ddr2 800mhz. Raid 0 c
drive, raid 1 storage and raid 5 network storage. older fx1400 quadro
While I havn't done any scientific measurements I have one other
program that provides a 'benchmark' number and since I have 4 machines
here I've been able to at least compare that number. Here is what I
e6400 @ 3.2 ghz: benchmark: 45
x2 3800 @ 2.5 ghz: benchmark: 30
p4 2.4 @ 3.0 ghz: benchmark: 11
dell m70 benchmark: 11
I think you mentioned your rendering on a p4 2.6 right? That's about a
3 year old machine and probably just a little slower than my p4. As a
very rough measure my new conroe is about 4 times faster than the p4.
So if you take your render time and divide by 4 you should get an idea
of the time savings involved. The conroe pc I mentioned cost me
exactly 1270$ cdn. which is one of the cheapest computers I ever
purchased (I already had the fx1400 in my x2 so part of the 1270 was a
70$ nvidia card which I swapped into the x2 machine.)
Gil Alsberg wrote:
Thanks for the details. your computer sounds impressive and I'll try to get
a similar system (still need an OK signal from my boss). one problem that
you don't have and we do, is that my quadro card is AGP8, and the new mobos
have PCI-E so I guess we will have to buy a new GC too. so this will add
another 600-700 $.
Zander, did you build your system, or buy a package? Just wondering
because I'm in the market for a new box. I just read the review of the
E6400 on hardware.info and it looks great for the money.
I ordered the components from my local computer store. Normally they
build the system for you but in this case I put it together - either
way it's all about knowing which components will work together well.
I also achieved a 50% overclock on this system quite easily using a
zalman cnsp9500led with as5. But it was difficult learning how to set
the bios - required a bit or reading and research. I tested the
overclock stability extensively and it's totally stable. (I ran p95 x
2 for over 24hours amongst other torture tests)
I am sorry but I fing this very hard to believe.
I aim to spend no longer than 4 min rendering each frame on an
animation as a trade off between quality and practicality - equivalent
I guess to 1min on your pc - for PAL size.
25s x 24fps x 1min = 600min = 10hrs....it must have been 15 fps at 320x
240 or something surely?
You can turn off that annoying preview if you want, so that you can make
changes without having to wait for the preview to display. I always
forget what I'm doing by the time the preview renders. It is turned off
using a button on the PW toolbar. It took me 20 minutes to find it
because it used to be in the Options dialog somewhere. They put it right
in front of my face, and now I can never find it.
That button is in the preview box itself - set the render option to
'defered' and you no longer have to wait each time....
I have found, however, that when tuning the plug-in on it takes ages to load
and get ready in SW2007 SP1
I turned the preview box off years ago and never looked back. When I
want to see what the rendering or material or whatever will look like,
I do a test render to the screen - it takes just as long (especially if
you split viewports making your own, small, personal preview window)
and takes away any guesswork.
Guesswork? For instance, unless things have changed lately, the
preview window doesn't show the effects of indirect illumination (huge
difference on brightness of materials) making it essentially useless
except for scaling textures and surface finishes.
- you can render to the screen while in the material editing dialog so
you can see changes right away without closing anything.
- though I rarely use it, 'render selection' can allow you to focus
your test render on just one component, face, feature or whatever and
not have to wait on processing everything else.
- Last, if you have an image editing package I recommend running it at
the same time you are doing your test renders - after each
(significant) render to the screen I print screen and paste it into a
layer in the image editor so I can log, track and compare my changes as
I make them. When making small changes, it helps to see what effect
they really have.
BTW - good call by matt on guessing it was the preview window. I
wouldn't have guessed it because, as I said, I abandoned it years ago
for its inefficiency. He smart.
Yes, things have changed in 2007 and now the preview window shows all
the attitubes of the final rendering and you can selectively filter
them on and off from the preview and they including Indirect, Global
Give preview another chance.
Cool, I (and others, I am sure) are happy that indirect illumination is
finally part of the preview window.
So, to be fair, I decided to give 'preview another chance'.
And, to be fair, here are the issues that came up in my first two
(I always do the pepsi-challenge when anyone suggests another way of
doing stuff because I want to see anything that will make me more
First, if you took the preview window off of your toolbar (like I did
based on past experience) and then put it back on because of mark's
post, like I did (sp1), it is grayed out until you choose to edit a
material. When I closed and reopened the assembly it was still gray in
the toolbar, so it is seems in my brief test that it is not something
you can turn off, until you take a 'hit' by editing something like
I like the old days when it was an option that you could turn on or off
at any time, without having to get into a special mode that will allow
access to turn it on or off.
Second, when I finally was able to enable the preview window when,
editing a material, AND that preview window has 'deferred' checked, I
still have to stop and wait for a render at the beginning of the edit
of material (it appears to only 'defer' after editing the material
has started - probably an oversight, but still a hit on productivity)
That was my first try - just to be sure, I closed and re-opened SWx
and PWx 2007 to try again.
I just went back and triple checked that the rendering to the window
was deferred (big black check next to 'deferred') but I lost a minute
to the preview rendering anyway when editing a material from the
Also, if I rotate the image in the 'deferred' preview box, it doesn't
give me the open GL preview - SWx stops again and renders anyway
(giving me plenty of time to type right now - again, it looks to me
that the rendering ought to be deferred based on that big black check
So, the preview window is still lacking, imo
Mark, I am always open to evaluating my methodology, so I really
appreciate the suggestion.
After a simple test I don't see how the preview window beats
splitting the viewport and getting the test rendering I want - only
when I want - by pressing a single button. No bugs, no inconsistency
- only efficiency
Mark, I like you and respect you and admire what you bring to SWx.
That is for the record and can be searched for via this post and
referred to for perpetuity, so you know I believe it - I want that out
in public - you are a great guy.
I especially like seeing your fingerprints (or what I interpret as your
fingerprints) all over PWx 2007 - have we ever seen so much done with
so much vision in so little time?
So there are bugs. No surprise there, and no fault is assigned. I do
not author anything as complicated as a CAD package, and am constantly
humbled by the challenge you guys face there at SWx (everyone, it's a
But guys like Muggs need to know that there are ways to edit PWx stuff
that doesn't require a stall when editing a material.
Muggs, imo, turn off that preview window until it works.
Mark, I send all my files to you tomorrow.
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