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NVIDIA Iray: How Well Does it Scale With a Second GPU?

February 14, 2016 Leave a comment

With the inclusion of NVIDIA Iray with Daz Studio 4.8+ we now have the ability to render using NVIDIA GPUs. While that’s old news, you might be wondering what kind of performance increase to expect with the addition of another GPU. Well, I did anyway…

Lucky for you, I tested just that…

Rampage V Extreme Dual GPU

In the picture you can see I have my SLI cable installed. Disable SLI before rendering for the best performance with Iray. You don’t have to remove the cable, just disable SLI in your NVIDIA Control Panel.

I also measured the difference in power consumption (watts) using a single GPU vs. both GPUs, as well as render times in both Daz Studio 4.8 and Daz Studio 4.9.

First, the hardware used for the tests:

Second, the method:

I started off by rebooting my computer. I then fired up Daz Studio and loaded the scene I would be using for the tests. For the single card power consumption tests, I only had one GPU installed in my computer.

I rendered the scene once to make sure the first test results wouldn’t, coincidently, take extra-long due to loading the textures and geometry into the card’s VRAM. From there I proceeded with the testing.

And, the results:

The results in Daz Studio 4.9
1x GTX 980, no CPU, without OptiX Acceleration 9 minutes 54.92 seconds
1x GTX 980, no CPU, with OptiX Acceleration 7 minutes 5.82 seconds
2x GTX 980, no CPU, without OptiX Acceleration 4 minutes 43.48 seconds
2x GTX 980, no CPU, with OptiX Acceleration 3 minutes 19.17 seconds
2x GTX 980 (Running at 1400MHz), no CPU, with OptiX Acceleration 3 minutes 8.96 seconds
The results in Daz Studio 4.8
1x GTX 980, no CPU, with OptiX Acceleration 9 minutes 38.12 seconds
2x GTX 980, no CPU, with OptiX Acceleration 5 minutes 50.36 seconds
1x GTX 980 Power Consumption
@idle no programs open viewing desktop 85-90 watts
Daz Studio open no scene loaded 115-120 watts
Daz Studio open with scene loaded 135 watts
While rendering approximately 300-320 watts with spikes up to 327 watts
2x GTX 980 Power Consumption
@idle no programs open viewing desktop 96-100 watts
Daz Studio open no scene loaded 170 watts
Daz Studio open with scene loaded 170 watts
While rendering approximately 420-460 watts with spikes up to 481 watts

NVIDIA

Conclusion:

Iray scales exceptionally well with the addition of a second GPU! By adding a second GTX 980, I cut my render times by 53%! Now, the extra 3% beyond the 50% is probably just due to variances in render times. You could render the same scene, with the same hardware, a dozen times and probably never end up with the exact same render time twice.

Here is a link to get an idea how individual cards perform by themselves:
http://www.migenius.com/products/nvidia-iray/iray-benchmarks-2015.

I’m extremely curious if one could expect the same kind of improvement (33% faster than compared to the two cards) with the addition of a third GTX 980. Currently, with the two GPUs installed in my system, they both get 16 PCI Express Lanes. Due to the fact my motherboard/CPU combo can only handle a total of 40 PCI Express Lanes and the way my MB manages them, if I installed a third card they would get configured into a x16, x8, x8 configuration. Unfortunately, I don’t know how this would affect scaling.

I thought it was interesting that running the cards at 1400MHz vs. 1279MHz, roughly a 10% increase, only cut 10 seconds off the total render time using the dual GPU configuration. I didn’t test the difference with a single GPU.

Please make sure your system can handle an additional GPU before you run out and buy one. Also, keep in mind if I were to install a M.2 SSD it would disable my 4th PCI Express slot and consume x4 PCI Express Lanes. Meaning I could have either 4 GPUs, or 3 GPUs and a M.2 SSD. (M.2 SSD are even faster than SATA SSDs.)

I would also like to point out the improvement in OptiX code in Daz Studio 4.9 vs. 4.8. Whatever the programmers did over there at Daz, improved render times when using OptiX Acceleration. Let’s hope the trend continues. So, whether you love or hate Daz Connect, and/or the idea of encrypted products, you still might want to make the jump to 4.9 if you haven’t already.

Plus, Iray in Daz Studio 4.9 renders things a little bit differently. The biggest difference is in the way it handles scattering. Most likely, all the new content released from now on will be optimized for Daz Studio 4.9.

I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know in the comments below!! If you did, remember to share and like it, so other people can enjoy it too!

Sleeveless, Shorts, Capris & Camo Textures Add-on Released!!!

February 8, 2016 Leave a comment

I finished my Hollywood Styles Biker Outfit: Sleeveless, Shorts, Capris & Camo Textures Add-on and it finally released!!! Currently you can find it exclusively at Renderosity. I’m super excited about how it came out! I ended up adding presets to turn the pants into shorts and capris, as well as make the top sleeveless!!! The presets work with the original textures too!

Hollywood Styles Biker Outfit: Sleeveless, Shorts, Capris & Camo Textures Add-on

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Products used in the image:

Sneak Peak: Camo Add-on for my Hollywood Styles Biker Outfit

January 23, 2016 Leave a comment

I’m am currently working on a camo add-on pack for my Hollywood Styles Biker Outfit. I’m doing both military prints/colors and fun prints/colors. I’m setting up the materials to have a similar shiny, bling, bling look to them as the original textures, but not exactly the same.

Here’s a couple sneak peak pictures:

Hollywood Styles Biker Outfit OJ Camo Preview

Hollywood Styles Biker Outfit Woodland Camo

Hope you like them! Let me know what you think!

Products used in the image:

Hollywood Styles Biker Outfit for Genesis 3 Females

January 17, 2016 Leave a comment

My latest product just released yesterday on DAZ3D.com! It’s called “Hollywood Styles Biker Outfit” made for Genesis 3 Females. The design for this outfit was kind of created by accident. I was messing around with some new software I had bought, figuring it out, and this was the end result LOL. I like the way it came out, hopefully other people do too…

Hollywood Styles Biker Outfit

It wasn’t originally going to be a biker outfit, hence the vinyl materials. It wasn’t until I showed my wife one of the promo images and she said, “It looks like something a biker chick would wear.” I was like huh, it kind of does. And that’s the story behind the name…

Since I was happy with how the vinyl materials came out, I decided to ship it with them instead of making new leather materials.

Check out more pictures of the outfit here!

I Hope you like it!!!

Products used in the image:

The scene was assembled and rendered in Daz Studio 4.8 with NVIDIA Iray and then layered over the background image I found here.

DAZ3D Shortcuts to Material Presets & Renaming a Product

January 12, 2016 Leave a comment

While working on my latest product (keep your eye out, it should be released soon) I decided to change the name when it was nearly finished. What sounds like a simple task isn’t if you want to also update the texture file names as well. Normally this would involve re-saving all the Material Presets while going through them one by one, updating the path and file name of each texture. With 11 Material Presets for the top and 11 Presets for the pants, each with 3 references to texture files you can see how this could quickly become an annoying task. Fortunately there’s a better way…

This video is probably most beneficial to content creators, but could also benefit any hobbyist that likes to make custom materials for items in their content libraries. I’ve also used the techniques I demonstrate in projects outside of the CG world. They can work great for HTML. Sometime when you’re trying to import a word document into HTML, HTML editors will create unwanted page breaks and other random things when maybe you just want paragraphs. You can use Replace Text to help in those situations as well.

In this video I demonstrate my method of renaming a DAZ Studio product and updating all the Material Presets to use a new folder structure and new material file names.

You can also use these techniques when creating Material Presets as well. Sometimes when creating them, all the settings in the preset will be the exact same except for the actual texture files themselves. I have found it more convenient in certain situations to make one Material Preset, save it uncompressed, create a copy and use Replace Text to change it from referencing one texture file to another. Then just rename the copy, and repeat for all the materials you’re trying to make for that one item. This is especially useful when one Material Preset references the same texture file in multiple locations, i.e. Base Color, Glossy Color, etc. Then when you’re finished creating all the Material Presets in this manner, you can use DAZ Studio’s Batch Convert to re-compress them all at once (I show how to do this towards the end of the video).

I mention WinRAR as my favorite archiving program, here’s a link to the website. It’s not free, but you can download a trial and check it out. The trial never actually expires, after 30 days it will just start asking you to buy the program when you open it up. If you like the program, I’d recommend buying it, you can find it for around $25-$30.

Other programs used in the video (All are Free):

ZBrush Preferences Tips ‘n Tricks

December 20, 2015 21 comments

ZBrush

I recently purchased ZBrush 4R7. At first for me, getting used to the interface felt a whole lot like trying to pick my nose with a baseball glove on. The hardest thing was getting used to how to navigate the viewport. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very powerful program and I am happy with the purchase, but there were a couple things I wanted to customize that I couldn’t find the ability to do so within the user interface.

Here are a couple things that I wanted to customize, how I was able to do so, and a couple other tips ‘n tricks that may be helpful for both the beginner and more advanced user as well:

Set ZBrush canvas to fill entire viewport

Depending on your monitor size and screen resolution, you may be annoyed when you open up ZBrush the canvas doesn’t fill the entire viewport. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix.

Go to the “Documents” menu. Next to the “New Document” button, make sure “WSize” is highlighted, then click the “New Document” button.

A new document should be created with the canvas filling up the entire viewport.

Now to make it like that when you start up ZBrush, navigate back to the “Document” menu and click “Save As Startup Doc” button.

Bam, you’re all set.

Add mouse wheel zoom functionality

I simply was losing my mind not being able to zoom using the mouse wheel!

Thankfully I found a plug-in to add the function.

Here’s a link to the main thread with the plug-in and installation instructions.

*For it to work with ZBrush 4R7, refer to post #83, here’s a direct link.

Change ZBrush’s scratch disk location

If you’re like me and have both a SSD and a HDD, you may not like temporary files being constantly written to your SSD. If you don’t know, SSDs wear out faster than HDDs. In normal use scenarios most people probably don’t need to be concerned about this, but I like to keep things in tip top condition =). Another reason a person may want to change the location of the scratch disk is to conserve precious SSD space for other things.

There are a couple ways to change the scratch disk location:

The easiest way is to go to your “C:\Users\Public\Documents\ZBrushData” location, open up the “ZBrushScratchDiskPath.TXT” and change the file path located in the document to wherever you would like the scracth disk to be located.

*Now make sure whatever path you specify actually exists (ZBrush won’t automatically create the folders, you have to manually create them) or it won’t work properly.

The 2nd way is a little more advanced, but in my opinion, is the way to go if you also want to change where the “QuickSave” files will be saved as well.

Change where ZBrush saves it’s QuickSave files

To change where ZBrush saves it’s QuickSave files you have to create a directory junction. A junction is similar to a desktop “shortcut” except programs will also follow the path.

To create a junction fire up the good ol’ “Command Prompt”, make sure to run it as administrator. Now simply type in:

mklink /J “C:\Users\Public\Documents\ZBrushData\” “D:\YourNewLocation”

*Important: type in exactly as shown, except replace D:\YourNewLocation with whatever path you would like.

**Note: this is to change the location of all the files in the “ZBrushData” folder. If you only want to change the “QuickSave” files location see below.

To paste into Command Prompt, right click on the Window Title, select Edit > Paste.

The command I used was:

mklink /J “C:\Users\Public\Documents\ZBrushData\” “D:\Users\Public\Documents\ZBrushData”

Finally, cut and paste the original “ZBrushData” folder to its new location.

Now every time ZBrush tries to write to it’s default “C:\…\ZBrushData\” location it will actually be writing to whatever location you specified.

If you only want to change the location of the “QuickSave” folder, add “QuickSave\” to the end of both paths and only move the “QuickSave” folder to the new location.

Change GoZ Cache location

Navigate to “C:\Users\Public\Pixologic\GoZBrush” and change the path specified in the following 3 text documents:

  • GoZ_ProjectPath.txt
  • GoZ_ObjectPath.txt
  • GoZ_ObjectList.txt

You may not have all 3 files depending on how many times you’ve used GoZ.

*Again, make sure that whatever path you specify actually exists (ZBrush won’t automatically create the folders, you have to manually create them) or it won’t work properly.

A couple of other useful resources

A keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet pdf with the most important items – download here

full list of keyboard shortcuts as a printable pdf – download here

Terrifying Monsters

December 9, 2015 Leave a comment

Renderosity’s 2015 Halloween Contest’s theme this year was Terrifying Monsters.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time I would have liked to dedicate to this contest and threw something together as quickly as I could. This is what I was able to come up with:

Terrifying Monsters

I think I spent most of a day on it, between coming up with ideas, and then when I decided on this concept, assembling the scene. All of it was done in DAZ Studio, rendered with Iray, and I didn’t do any post work.

I would have liked to have spent more time playing with the lighting and what not, to try and give it a creepier feel.

I let it render for 4 hours with two GTX 980’s to try and get rid of all the pixelation. If I remember correctly, even after 4 hours it was still only around 92% converged. It probably could have gone another 2-4 hours.

You can view all the contest details, entries, and winners here.

Products used in the scene:

FREE for Sakura, Superhero Monokini Support Add-on!

April 27, 2015 Leave a comment

I thought it would be cool if all the clothing I create is compatible with all the characters I make.

This is my first step in making that a reality!

Sakura Superhero Monokini

It took me longer to get this up then I was expecting. I wanted to make sure the update was live, and then work got in the way of things like usual. =(

Anyway here it is:

To install, download this and just extract the “FBM*.dsf” files to:

“your DAZ3D Library”\data\LayLo 3D\Clothing\Superhero Monokini\Morphs\LayLo 3D\Base\

Then restart DAZ Studio and you should be good to go!

I’m assuming you guys and gals have done stuff like this before, if you need more detailed instructions let me know in the comments below. Or, you can always email me: landon@laylo3d.com.

Thanks, enjoy!!!

Superhero Monokini Update Released

April 22, 2015 Leave a comment

I released an update for my Superhero Monokini today. Honestly, I thought these updates were already in circulation. I had uploaded them before the suit was released, but I guess because the product was already in testing, they didn’t make it to the installer. My bad…

Make sure to get the update via DAZ’s Install Manager or via your preferred method of installation.

Superhero Monokini Update

The Changes…

I added some “default” material settings to both the suit and trim. That way if you’re experimenting with the shader settings you can revert them back without having to reload the suit into the scene.

I changed the icons for various material settings and made them more exciting.

I fixed an issue with the Half Black Trim materials, before the color for the trim around the neck wasn’t on the correct side. Whoops…

I adjusted the weight maps a little bit.

And I changed the folder structure to make it’s files more organized.

I hope you are happy and consider these improvements.

Let me know what you like, dislike, or experience any issues!

Thanks!

P.S. If you own Mei Lin 6, make sure to get the free add-on here, so the suit fits her properly!

My First Character, Sakura for Mei Lin 6

April 19, 2015 Leave a comment

I finally finished my latest project. Woot! Woot!

Sakura for Mei Lin 6

Render by LayLo 3D

Meet Sakura for Mei Lin 6, an Asian themed character for DAZ Studio. She is currently on sale for 30% off until May 19th! She is available exclusively at Renderosity.

Warrior Sakura

Render by LayLo 3D

I had Renderosity’s RenderFX team take care of the promos, let me know what you think. The one below is one of their’s:

Sakura for Mei Lin 6

Render by Renderosity’s RenderFX Team

Let me know what you think!

P.S. I will be releasing a free Sakura add-on for my “Superhero Monokini” here soon. Check back in a few days.