Friday, May 7, 2010

New video card, new ram chips ... happy, happy, joy, joy!

3D sets and lighting ... the woodland shrine ... and as you can probably tell from the above renders -- the new video card and ram chips have worked their alchemy! These renders would have been impossible yesterday. It uses a huge, ram hungry standing set called The Shrine (from DM, via Renderosity -- actually a Poser kit, but it works like a dream in DAZ Studio 3 too), and to this I added about a dozen shrubs with all textures set, and then about half a dozen trees plus textures, and then about 20 lights.

And you can fly the camera around it at whim, without any hint of the jerk-jerk-jerks. Also, renders are faster. The only thing that takes exactly the same amount of time is the creation of deep shadow maps -- and that's all processor. We didn't do anything with the processor. But the time taken to save a file has now gone from well over a minute to under two seconds!! As for the program crashing --

It doesn't. At all. It just stopped shutting itself down every time I try to add a model, texture, light, pose or something. It ... just ... works!

The first thing I did, soon as the case was snapped back together and the drivers were installed, was this:

And what you have there is a standing set that's even bigger and hungrier than the Shrine (it's the Garden of Galahad -- very beautiful too), and to this I added a full set of garden furniture, Michael 4 with hair and full costume, Victoria 4.2 with hair and full costume, half a dozen lights ... and then I started adding trees and their textures, to see if I could make it crash. Nope!

Last test I did was to take the jacket off Michael 4, zoom the camera in close an do a render there to see if the skin tones would go away to murky "dotty" renditions of what you expect from DAZ. Nope! Even with the scene overloaded with stuff, renders are still high-rez!

So I'm wearing a large smile and thinking about all the things I can do, now, that I never could do before. We put in a 1 Gig NVIDIA video card, plus a pair of ram chips for a total of 2 Gigs, and all this needed a new power supply unit ... the old one would have blown up. Literally. With a 1 in 10 chance of the small explosion taking out the rest of the computer.

The results are fantastic. The machine is now screamingly fast, renders are faster, and DAZ doesn't shut itself down in a huff and need restarting 15 times per render -- and take more than a minute to save a big, complex file. The work is many times faster now, and also -- better.

I invite you to open the above renders at large size (I uploaded them at 800 pixels wide to show you the details) and take a squizz at the quality. Surfaces no longer tend to look ice-smooth. Rock looks like rock. I'm happy as the proverbial clam, and the old brain is racing with ideas -- things that never could have been done before. How much did it cost? A smidgen under $400. And well spent.

Jade, 7 May
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