AccuRender nXt

advanced rendering for AutoCAD

We've just added a couple of powerful servers onto our render farm, but they are only running steadily at 40% capacity.

Both machines are running on Windows 2012 Server. Would this make any difference?

They both have quad 10 core processors and all seem to be running.

In comparison, the dedicated render farm bounces up and down between 50% and 80% as it runs through a render (running on Windows 7 Pro).

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I'll need to check-- the current product may have some build in limitations or may be subject to some less than ideal scheduling bottlenecks.  You're, of course, a very good candidate for the new stuff-- but there may be ways to make the legacy stuff work better.

I don't know if it's possible to get AutoCAD installed-- if you can you could try to run interactively and see if it makes a difference.  (It probably won't, so I wouldn't spend too much time on it.)

I could send you a file to test with ArStudio-- you could run that interactively and see how that does just for grins.  I have a 16 core box here and the utilization is very high with this product.

My local machine bounces up and down from 29% to 100%.

The main renderfarm actually bounces from 5% to 75% (not sure why I got a different reading yesterday).

I generally render with the Path Tracer engine which has a different pattern of processor usage to the other two engines.

Looks like there's a 32 core hard coded limit in the legacy product.  AccuRender Studio doesn't have this limitation.

So the original render farm having 4 nodes with 20 cores each, doesn't have a problem (although they still only max to 80%). Whereas the new server farm has three machines with 40 cores each and therefore underperforms. Correct?

So, what would be involved in moving across to Accurender Studio?

It's a little hard to say whether the bottleneck is the limit I'm imposing on the number of threads created or something else.

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AR Studio is not too far from production ready-- but let's test the thing first on your new farm machines. The first test involves making sure that we are indeed getting better performance out of the thing in a 40-core scenario.

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I assume you can install and run programs interactively from your main console? 

If so first step is to install ArStudio on a node and I will give you a test file to run interactively so you can measure its performance. 

Download ArStudio setup here.

Test file (which you'll recognize) is here.

Thanks for that Roy.

I'll give it a go tomorrow.

We tried to run nXt Studio on one of the servers, but got this error:

I've managed to run it successfully on one of the dedicated render nodes and it bounces up to 100%.

Can I hook Accurender Studio on my local machine up to the render farm?

I can see how to point it to the shared folder, but that's about it.

Also, how would I export a .arscene file from AutoCAD/Accurender?

The tools are all there, although perhaps in a somewhat primitive state.

In the install folder-- usually c:\program files\accurender studio\:

ArFarmNode.exe runs on the servers in the farm

ArFarmMonitor.exe allows external monitoring and a few actions.

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This thread has some detailed information about extracting an ArScene file from AutoCAD.  This stuff is all still work in progress but getting closer.

Just FYI, if you decide to go this route a good noise filtering program will be a useful tool.  I like NeatImage but there are others.

I think I've hit a snag.

There's no support for AutoCAD 2011, so I am unable to extract an ArScene file.

Wow 2011! 

It may be possible to do-- it looks like they did have .net support back then.  I'll look into it.

Are you modeling in AutoCAD or with other software?  

All in AutoCAD.

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