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Any solution to 4k rendering?

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ladlon

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Any solution to 4k rendering?

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 1:54 am

Hi. I'm in a bit of a pickle... I am running Fusion 14 (standard), and am working on a project for a film... and only now, as I'm finishing up, did I realize that Fusion won't render 4k (...I'd need Fusion Studio).

Problem is, I can't upgrade right now.

So, assuming we can't find someone local that is running Fusion Studio, I'm wondering if there's some rendering service for 4k Fusion projects?

If so, can someone point me to some possible resources? I'm new to this kind of thing.
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Bryan Ray

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Re: Any solution to 4k rendering?

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 4:02 am

Check with BeBop Technology:
https://beboptechnology.com/software-we-support/


I'm not exactly sure how it works, but I know they can set up a virtual workstation with Fusion Studio, and I'm fairly sure they can do a render farm, too. Disclosure: BeBop's CEO is an investor in the company I work for.

A couple things, though: There's no such thing as Fusion 14. They skipped from v9 (the last one with a free standalone version) to v16 in order to sync with Resolve version numbers.

A hardware Studio dongle, which would unlock every version of Fusion Studio from 7 - 16, is only $300. I guarantee you're going to spend more than that on whatever service you find. A dongle also unlocks unlimited render nodes, so if you already have a farm on which you can install Fusion, you'd have the render power you need for no additional cost.
Bryan Ray
http://www.bryanray.name
http://www.musevfx.com
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ladlon

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Re: Any solution to 4k rendering?

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 4:46 am

Thanks for the reply, Bryan Ray. Much appreciated.

Oh, I fully want to get Fusion Studio. I just can't currently run it (...I'm assuming) as I'm on a Win7 platform, and have to wait until I purchase my new PC sometime in the next few months. Meanwhile, I have a project to deliver, and forgot about the UHD render limit of Fusion (free).

So, I'm kind of in a bind... as I WANT to get Studio, but can't run it... or at least I assume so. I did another post where I asked that.... and it turns out you answered that too! (Thanks for that!)

Hrmm... I wasn't aware I could actually get earlier versions of Studio. I assumed I'd be forced on the current one only. Ya, I'm running Fusion 9 over here, as it was the last one that was Win7 compatible. But, that's also why I was curious if the Win10 requirement of higher versions was a hard-set rule (won't let you install), or they would let you, but couldn't guarantee everything would work fine.

What you predict about how it would run on Win7 machines is very promising. The three shots I have are not complex. Just comping in some CG elements (with alpha) onto a 4k live-action plate... with a bit of spline matting, colour correction, etc. So, I had the feeling that MAYBE it might work.

That all said, even if I get Studio (which I intend to do) I might still get slammed by the RAM. I have 32gigs, and am currently rendering out 1/3rd rez movs (for client approval)... and (if the value at the bottom right of the screen is RAM usage), that is using 40%... So, unless I'm mistaken, a full res would be 120%(?).... and that means I would be in trouble.

So, the new computer is looking more and more like a necessity (...or at least borrowing a PC from my friend for rendering out the finals for now). I was just wanting to hold off until I was sure I am getting that full-time job before doing any spending!

Ya, the other thing about online rendering, is that I'd have to upload a TON of source footage (...I assume). So, ya, either getting a new PC early, or borrowing one for now seems the best route.

Thanks for that!
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UserNoah

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Re: Any solution to 4k rendering?

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 6:14 am

If you get the Fusion dongle you won't need to wait for a new machine. But you have to wait on the dongle if you can't go to a retailer that has it. I don't even think the digital license will make any issues but the dongle definitely won't. The dongle will probably run every Fusion version from the last decade and I can 100% assure that it will run Fusion 9 to 17 as all of these are installed on my pc and I'm constantly switching between them.

Regarding the RAM usage, it doesn't necessarily mean that 4K will use more than your 32GB RAM. Fusion will save previous frames of certain nodes even when rendering the final images. It essentially only has to fit in 1 to 3 images in RAM (depending on if you use optical flow tools) and 4K isn't that of a huge resolution. I definitely have comped 4K stuff on an iMac with 32GB before. Mac's probably handle writing RAM data to disk better than windows but mostly likely it will work.

That doesn't mean that more RAM won't be beneficial. I'm currently on 64GB on Windows with the ability to upgrade to 128GB and will do that most likely this year. But that has bigger speed improvements while you're working and not while rendering.

But of course, if the deadline is closing in and you don't have the time to test if it would run on your machine you definitely should look at an option to render this somewhere else as Bryan mentioned.
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ladlon

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Re: Any solution to 4k rendering?

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 6:46 am

Hi, UserNoah. Thanks for the feedback.

Yep, I did a 1/2 res test, and monitored the RAM usage. At first, I was surprised (it was at 15%), and then, I was a bit puzzled (it steadily went up, slowly... clearly as the result of each new frame).

At first, I was wondering why it would store anything after the frame was rendered, figuring it would flush the RAM, and move on to the next frame. Soon after, I realized it was (as you say) storing the frames in a cache (...I can see why it would do that as you scrub or play, so that eventually all the frames get cached, and it would play smooth)... but I was confused why it would do that during a render.

But, looking at the Preferences, I could see you could not only control the RAM use, but Fusion seems like it would adjust things and not let the RAM run out.... so, that's good. Even before that, it seemed like I would still be able to (say) render half of the project, then the other, in order not to hit the RAM ceiling (...I'm doing sequential frames). But, it looks like it would prevent it anyway. So, awesome...

Ya, after all that, it seems that a 4k render wouldn't really push the RAM usage up from the 40% I was seeing with the 1/3rd size. So, that's also awesome.

I'm contacting the local reseller here, and probably going to order it.

They boost the price here in Canada. The Fusion page says it's $295 US, yet in Canada, they are charging $415 CAN....which is a fair bit more than the exchange rate equivelant. But, I guess they have to make their money somehow... and it sure beats spending $10k on Nuke. So, there's that.

This may actually work, without me having to get a new system... although I will be, if only later this year. At least this gives me the opportunity to try it on my machine, which I appreciate.

Good group here on this forum. Thanks for your help, guys.
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UserNoah

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Re: Any solution to 4k rendering?

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 11:20 am

The general idea of keeping frames in the cache is good because you might need previous frames. For example, I'm currently working on a project where I also animate paintings using Fusion. A bird flap for example can be looped using the time stretcher and thanks to the caching it can read that loop from RAM instead of recalculating the transforms and grid warps every time. This speeds up rendering immensely, especially because the scans of the painting have huge resolutions.
But Fusion isn't really smart about that. I think it simply uses the same caching from interactive rendering and if it's lucky it keeps the correct frames in RAM otherwise it keeps a lot of unnecessary data.
There have been comps where I needed to flush the cache after each frame with a frame render script because Fusion would cripple itself by keeping so much data in the RAM and vram. But that usually happens in very specific cases and isn't something I had to to in a few months.
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Kel Philm

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Re: Any solution to 4k rendering?

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 10:02 pm

Could you render out the frame in quarters and then stitch it together in some other software? Would be good if you are using it to get a license in the long run, may encourage BMD to take standalone more seriously.
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ladlon

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Re: Any solution to 4k rendering?

PostSat Feb 20, 2021 12:45 am

@UserNoah: Understood... although it seems you should be able to specify how often the cache should be cleared during the render (ex. After each frame, every 10 frames, etc). I suppose the % of memory for cache slider might be that sort of thing.

@Kel Philm: Ha! Ya, I was thinking the same thing! Render each half separately, and then just comp them together... maybe with some overlap and soft edges, just to be sure there's no seam. Looks like I should be okay, though... But, ya, that's Plan C...

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