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Author Topic: waiting for frames to render  (Read 3160 times)
Description: how do you deal with pain?
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makc
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« on: March 27, 2010, 01:08:50 AM »

I mean, I just wrote simple mandelbrot animation program, and it renders at ~5 seconds per 640x480 frame. Imagine the pain of waiting for just 500 frames, when other people render many minutes of animation. And those extra deep zooms that take hours... I mean, omfg. Or every hi-res render of mandelbulb... The only reason I'm not doing them is that I can't wait that long. What do you do to train your patience, or how do you ease the pain?
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Timeroot
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2010, 01:45:59 AM »

Depends on what kinds of speed-ups you're using, and where you happen to be zooming. For zooms "deep" into the seahorse valley, optimization to skip the cardioid and period-2 bulb can be very useful. Also, make use of symmetry; if (a,b) has an iteration value of n, then (a,-b) does too (same things with inside/outside). Finally, when testing bailout, to calculate the absolute value squared you can use the same values of the real part squared and the imaginary part squared that you did when calculating the real part of z^2. Just stored these two in two separate, global variables, and it should a speed-up of about 40%.

And if you still tire to quickly: A watched pot never boils. Spend the other time reading something, or watching the Simpsons, or something else educational like that.
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makc
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2010, 02:35:32 AM »

I couldn't wait for 500 frames and terminated on ~120, and just in time too, because my iterations cap (3000) was about to be inadequate... no antialiasing too, so it turned out very noisy. Finally it was a hour or so, and youtube still have not processed it... so the wait continues  sad

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/4NnAV4BbWeY&rel=1&fs=1&hd=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/4NnAV4BbWeY&rel=1&fs=1&hd=1</a>
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Sockratease
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2010, 11:44:27 AM »

What do you do to train your patience, or how do you ease the pain?

My trick is to use a cheap crappy computer for internet use and other play, while keeping a Good Computer completely offline and dedicated to my Art.

Then I can just let it run and still have another computer for play.

I also find myself letting things render while I sleep or go to my day job.

Or both when the render will take a couple hundred hours...
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teamfresh
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2010, 09:52:21 PM »

I mean, I just wrote simple mandelbrot animation program, and it renders at ~5 seconds per 640x480 frame. Imagine the pain of waiting for just 500 frames.....


OK I am going to have a little rant now  fiery - Because When I rendered trip to e214, the final frame alone - took longer to render than the whole of your animation would have - even if you had finished it.

<a href="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1908224&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=01AAEA" target="_blank">http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1908224&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=01AAEA</a>

Altogether, it took just over a month to render the whole thing! (imagine that pain!) Like Sockratease, I have an offline machine that is dedicated to rendering whilst I use a laptop for all my other fractal creating and surfing needs. Patience is undoubtedly a true virtue when rendering fractal animations. 

I have created animations before and cut corners to speed up render time such as - not anti-aliasing - less iterations - lower rez - and once they are finished I have found that I just don't like what I see. The satisfaction that I gain from doing the animation is just not enough for me. I feel like I have wasted my time and my computers cpu/gpu.

On the other hand, when I have gone the other way - ie - max anti-aliasing - max iterations - HD rez - the resulting animation is of such quality I find myself actually glowing inside, I get this crazy feeling that feels like its going to burst right out of me! - Its like a drug. Comments I receive on the videos reflect how I feel inside about the animation. People know quality when they see it.

The result is an animation I can watch over and over again. And every time I watch it there are no niggling voices in my head saying "imagine how amazing this would be if this was anti-aliased" or "imagine all the extra detail you would see if this was in HD" No, my brain's to busy soaking in all the rich crisp clear detail to start criticizing.

So where as it may take much much longer to render at the highest quality (I could have rendered trip to e214 in less than 3 days) I would rather wait a month and have something so very special, than wait just 3 days and end up with something that is just simply a waste of space on my hard drive - something that I just end up deleting.
(although from what you say even three days is a long time by your standards)

I would dare to say to you to try creating something that takes that extra length of time. See if the extra quality in the result gives you the satisfaction that I have experienced.
(be warned - you may never go back)

Of course there is a place for low its/res aliased animations - and that is when you need a preview for an anim, so you can see how it flows, and check that it is going to run correctly. For example before rendering e214 at my maximum quality settings, I rendered a low quality version in 3 days first (as seen below) to give me a better idea what it would look like, and to see if I needed to make any changes

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/pT_wdYg2AxA&rel=1&fs=1&hd=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/pT_wdYg2AxA&rel=1&fs=1&hd=1</a>

Imagine if I had stopped there.
that was it,
finished product.
In my mind it would have been a pointless exercise.
What did I get out of it?
let me tell you -
I got about 2000 views over the space of a year and about 3-4 comments.

Well thats just great huh?

what about the high quality version that took a month to render?
what did I get out of that? let me tell you -
I got over 200,000 views.
It was embedded on over 100 websites,
and has lead to literally hundreds and thousands of comments and discusions from maths to physics and life in general,
It lead to my blog visitors jumping from 50 visitors a day to over 3000 visitors a day.
It lead to much money as I have been asked to do more commissioned/paid work than I am able to handle,
(thinking of all the new hardware/software that is now within my reach is a buzz in itself)

but more important to me than all of any of that -

It gave me that warm glowy feeling of satisfaction inside that absolutely nothing else can ever give me.

P.S. I will leave you with another one of my animations that I nearly cut corners on - but was oh so glad that in the end I did not..... and remember, How you learn patience is ultimately up to you - I learnt through the experience of the pay off at the end.

<a href="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1814664&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=01AAEA" target="_blank">http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1814664&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=01AAEA</a>

I just wish you could see it the way I do (lossless  tease )
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David Makin
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2010, 11:30:22 PM »

You guys are lucky - a few years ago I did a *single frame static render* at 8000*6000 and it took 27 days !
(Admittedly I overdid the AA setting)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 11:32:54 PM by David Makin » Logged

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hobold
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2010, 01:37:07 AM »

Yeah, must be some generation gap. Those young ones just never knew the primitive machines we once had. smiley
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Sockratease
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2010, 12:25:55 PM »

Yeah, must be some generation gap. Those young ones just never knew the primitive machines we once had. smiley

Once had??

I *still* have an old 1977 TI-89 Home Computer!!

And I break it out every once in a while to play a game of chess  (I swear it plays a better game than my new apple laptop!).

Speaking of apple - my old apple II-C still works as well!

I like old computers.

Not for generating fractals, but just to laugh at people who claim a hard drive only has a 3 to 5 year lifespan!
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makc
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2010, 10:31:41 AM »

When I rendered trip to e214, the final frame alone - took longer to render than the whole of your animation would have - even if you had finished it.
Ok, but even in that case you had to stop somewhere, or else you would be rendering an animation for many more months (a year maybe (and even then, again, you'd have to stop somewhere)). If I understand you correctly, you stop when you beat some specific record (like "noone has made it to e214 yet") and everything else is just "a pointless exercise" - with this line of thinking, from now on everybody who has no month-full of cpu/patience should not even think about making Mandelbrot animation, because it doesn't beat your zoom. What is this - Mandelbrot olympics? Imagine if noone would paint a portrait after da Vinci painted Mona Lisa. Or if noone made a movie after Cameron filmed Avatar cheesy That would be pretty boring artscape, don't you think?

But even when I do accept non-extreme stop conditions, I can't wait for that and terminate earlier, or do not even attempt to render it - that's the focus of my post. As Timeroot said, watched pot never boils, but I just can't set my mind on something else while waiting (so using another computer or reading a book wouldn't work for me). I guess I will just have to find some niche where near-real-time renderings are possible.
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kram1032
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2010, 05:45:18 PM »

makc, I think, you misunderstood him on that.
It's not about the depth. It's about the quality.
He goes for high resolution, high anti alliasing and similar quality improving settings, as he wouldn't like it in a different way.
Also less deep zooms would need that, according to him. wink
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hobold
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2010, 06:35:08 PM »

I *still* have an old 1977 TI-89 Home Computer!!
I tend to lose the old boxes. Looking at them makes me sad. All the knowledge I accumulated about the Commodore 64, the Amiga 500, the Amiga 4000, the PowerMac G4 ... all the hours and hours I spent optimizing that algorithm, squeezing out that last clock cycle, vectorizing that unwieldy algorithm ... all obsoleted ... by the inferior 'x86 ISA. On 'x86, assembly programming causes me emotional pain.

I focus more an abstract optimization and theory these days.
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teamfresh
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2010, 09:22:55 PM »

When I rendered trip to e214, the final frame alone - took longer to render than the whole of your animation would have - even if you had finished it.
Ok, but even in that case you had to stop somewhere, or else you would be rendering an animation for many more months (a year maybe (and even then, again, you'd have to stop somewhere)). If I understand you correctly, you stop when you beat some specific record (like "noone has made it to e214 yet") and everything else is just "a pointless exercise" - with this line of thinking, from now on everybody who has no month-full of cpu/patience should not even think about making Mandelbrot animation, because it doesn't beat your zoom. What is this - Mandelbrot olympics?

Ha! A lot of people seem to think this - I think you missed my point - As much as I like the idea of "Mandelbrot olympics" I would be somewhere at the back of the pack with my hardware. When I created e214, it was not intended to be the deepest zoom ever made - it was not intended to break any records, if that was the case then I would have had to have at least gone past e1000, as thats the deepest zoom I have ever seen. And I don't even know if thats the deepest zoom ever made - nor do I particularly care.

Besides I feel its more about the iterations than the magnification that would be a more fitting "going for gold" goal.

Ultimately I made e214 for me - no-one else. The fact it gained me traffic and was so well received on the internet, just reinforced how I felt about it, and made it easier to, well, The point I'm getting at is that in your original post you asked...  

"What do you do to train your patience, or how do you ease the pain?

Well what I do to train my patience/ease the pain is produce something of a high quality - once this is done the feeling inside my head tells me it was worth it - reaction from growing amount of fans and followers on the internet reinforces that feeling - this makes it easier for me to wait long periods of time to produce more high quality work. It snowballs - I'm not saying my method of training patience will work for you. All I'm saying is that it works for me. (you did ask after all)

when I first started rendering fractals I had no patience at all, but as I have produced more and more high quality work, I have found it makes it easier for me to do more high quality work - even though it takes a hell of a lot longer. It still kills me all the waiting sometimes - don't think for a minute that I'm not wishing all the time that my animation has finished rendering - I just know that if I cut corners I wont be as happy at the end result - at least not as happy as I am when I render at a higher quality.

Just in case anyone is thinking of telling me that my work is not of a high quality at this point I would just like to say that although I say my work is high quality - that term is only relative when compared to work I have done before, no-one elses - and when I compare my work to other animators such as Tglad and bib
(there are many more I admire but these two have been blowing my mind just recently)
I feel my work pales greatly in comparison - one day I hope to have the intelligence and hardware to produce works of art to their caliber.

So in the end its up to you - everyone has their own goals when it comes to fractal animation, whether its 3D, depth of magnification, amount of iterations, etc etc
If you find that when you hit your goals - you feel it has not been worth the wait/effort, then either go do something else with your life or go find a solution to your problem.

If your hardware is not fast enough and/or you dont have the patence/cant find a way to keep yourself occupied then you should either

1)learn patience
2)buy better soft/hardware
3)do something else with your life

In my eyes it really is that simple....

oceans of love

teamfresh

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Sa2_5cZyBZA&rel=1&fs=1&hd=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/Sa2_5cZyBZA&rel=1&fs=1&hd=1</a>
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teamfresh
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2010, 02:27:29 AM »

...how do you ease the pain?

P.S.

I have been rendering one particular animation for about four months now and I guesstimate that it will take at least another month maybe two to finish rendering - at one point I crashed the computer and lost nearly a whole months work! BIG ouch!! I felt really very sick that day!!!! This animation is really trying my patience like no other, and after this I intend to stick to projects that have a much shorter time span!! I get the feeling this will be like when I had my tongue pierced - I will be really really glad I did it but I will never do it again! -- This pain I can not take again.  hurt


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/0HlDrw3si7A&rel=1&fs=1&hd=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/0HlDrw3si7A&rel=1&fs=1&hd=1</a>
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kram1032
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2010, 03:48:36 PM »

nice images smiley
Maybe it would be better to save them out as single frames. Then, if the computer crashes, you at least have all the frames that where finished 'till then.
Afterwards, you can combine them to a video in another tool...
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makc
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2010, 05:53:07 PM »

yes, it's very easy to do with virtualdub or mencoder or ffmpeg you name it. but images should waste a lot more of space.
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