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3D-Pangel

C4D Viewport Performance - Can We Get The Truth Behind It?

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  • From reading some of the forums on the announcement of C4D Lite and Cineware, reading about the release of Modo 701 and reading some of the comments from NAB conference last week, the general theme that keeps coming up are the negative comments behind C4D's viewport performance.   There are even some rather negative threads on viewport performance here at the Cafe.

     

    I must also admit that I have been less than pleased with the response from any MAXON representative on this subject.  MAXON rep's sound like alcoholics denying that they have a drinking problem when this subject comes up:  "C4D doesn't have a performance issue, it's your hardware"  or "C4D's viewport performance is no different than any other 3D software program out there".

     

    Well, so what is it?  Is it hardware? Is it a real problem with C4D?  Is it trying to maintain cross platform compatibility between Windows and OSX?  Is it the lack of support for DirectX or other standards?  Or is it the user (as sometimes has been suggested)?

     

    And more importantly, has MAXON adopted a 12 Step Program to viewport sobriety and completed Step 1: Admit that they have a problem?

     

    Can we get to the truth?  Honestly, the rhetoric coming from MAXON on this subject is so frustrating that I feel like flying to Germany and staging an intervention!!!

     

    Dave


    Sorry...but I simply do not have enough faith to be an atheist.

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    I would say it depends on your graphics card. I guess it mostly happens with mograph which produces a lot of polygons. For polygon heavy scenes you should use the display tag. You can specify the amount of detail (polygons) as well as the shading for every object and even animate it. Works much better then the overall level of detail.

     

    By the way our 3DMax is doing big scenes completely in lines mode, cause their viewport is freakin' out as well.

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    Guest Chriscorr

    It's not really about polygon count. You can have one object with millions of polygons. But if you have millions of objects with 1 polygon each, then you're in trouble.

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    The problem has been discussed many times and the reasons for slow viewport performance are known.

    There is of course no single reason why the viewport can be slow, this depends on the exact situation.

    CINEMA 4D performs rather fast if you have few high polygon objects in the viewport. A couple of million polygons is no stretch for any current machine, a fast machine can handle two digit millions without problems.

    This changes if either high object counts or many active deformers and generators come into play.

    Deformers and generators require single CPU power to be fast, people with lower clocked multicore systems will experience dissapointing viewport performance, although rendertimes might be ok.

    In these cases the single core CPU and GPU speed have about equal influence on the performance and a lack of one of those will cripple performance.

    Another case are high object counts. The problem here is the object system of CINEMA 4D. While very flexible it has certain limitations that creduce viewportspeed at high object counts. Like the other issues this one is known to MAXON and many users. Beeing aware of a problem isn't the problem, beeing able to resolve it without even worse sideeffects is.

    Most people don't recognize this, but there is a constant "under the hood" development going on for CINEMA 4D. Each and every major release and most smaller updates, include performance and stability related fixes and changes. This is an ongoing process, trying to change this in one big step would lead to a vast number of compatibility and stability issues that no user wants.

    Cheers

    Björn

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    Thanks for clearing that up srek.

    My question is why does C4D only use 5% of my video cards GPU when I am working on a scene?

    It seems like if C4D used 100% that is a 20x increase in speed right there. 

    I have a GTX480.

     

    Edit:  None of my CPU core even get close to maxed.

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    For simple poly modeling 5% sounds ok to me. Keep in mind that most of the GPU features are dedicated towards gaming purposes and are simply not beeing used in CINEMA 4D.

    Same for CPU, you should see the CPU useage, at least for one core, go up to 100% if you have some generators/deformers etc. active.

    But even then the set playback rate can limit tha actual use of CPU and GPU. If you have set the playback to 20/30 FPS but the scene is light enough to be played back @200FPS the CPU and GPU will idle most of the time.

    CINEBENCH will give you a heavy useage of both CPU and GPU for testing purposes. The OGL test scenario is optimized towards GPU features though.

    Cheers

    Björn

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    I don't know about the technical issues behind it and frankly I don't care. All I know is that when I work on a comparable scene in Maya it has a far better working viewport than C4D. In C4D I frequently have to use Display tags to change my models to lines or similar just to be able to navigate around. I hardly ever have to do this in Maya.

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  • Topic Author
  • The problem has been discussed many times and the reasons for slow viewport performance are known.

    There is of course no single reason why the viewport can be slow, this depends on the exact situation.

    CINEMA 4D performs rather fast if you have few high polygon objects in the viewport. A couple of million polygons is no stretch for any current machine, a fast machine can handle two digit millions without problems.

    This changes if either high object counts or many active deformers and generators come into play.

    Deformers and generators require single CPU power to be fast, people with lower clocked multicore systems will experience dissapointing viewport performance, although rendertimes might be ok.

    In these cases the single core CPU and GPU speed have about equal influence on the performance and a lack of one of those will cripple performance.

    Another case are high object counts. The problem here is the object system of CINEMA 4D. While very flexible it has certain limitations that creduce viewportspeed at high object counts. Like the other issues this one is known to MAXON and many users. Beeing aware of a problem isn't the problem, beeing able to resolve it without even worse sideeffects is.

    Most people don't recognize this, but there is a constant "under the hood" development going on for CINEMA 4D. Each and every major release and most smaller updates, include performance and stability related fixes and changes. This is an ongoing process, trying to change this in one big step would lead to a vast number of compatibility and stability issues that no user wants.

    Cheers

    Björn

    Srek,

     

    Thank you very much for that honest and direct answer.  This is the first statement I have seen that clearly puts C4D at issue --- but fortunately an issue that is being worked.  That in itself is encouraging.

     

    Therefore, my original thinking relative to my next computer was to favor the number of cores over processor speed --- but based on your comments as well as others, favoring processor speed above all would do more for increasing my overall enjoyment of C4D than would faster rendering.

     

    Apart from a faster processor, is there anything in graphics card that should be considered?  It sounds like GPU cores will not make a difference, but will support for OpenGL, OpenCL, DirectX, PCI Express, etc. make any difference?  Or better yet, what graphics cards does MAXON use in their development PC's particularly as they are testing the changes they are making changes "under the hood" to increase viewport performance?  That information would be very helpful.

     

    Dave


    Sorry...but I simply do not have enough faith to be an atheist.

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    Apart from a faster processor, is there anything in graphics card that should be considered?  It sounds like GPU cores will not make a difference, but will support for OpenGL, OpenCL, DirectX, PCI Express, etc. make any difference?  Or better yet, what graphics cards does MAXON use in their development PC's particularly as they are testing the changes they are making changes "under the hood" to increase viewport performance?  That information would be very helpful.

    We are using a mix of all kinds of graphics cards. What will not contribute are features like SLI, Multi GPU, Direct X, CUDA or Open CL.

    "Under the hood" stuff is explicitly not done, it would cause more work and trouble than it is worth.

    Unfortunately the two big manufacturers of usefull GPUs (Nvidia and AMD), both only realy support our development in regard to their professional lines of cards. This leads to the Pro line cards (Quadro, Fire Pro) having drivers that are more stable when used with CINEMA 4D than their gaming line equivalents. There is no performance advantage though and feature differences only occur in regard to stereoscopic viewport support.

    Cheers

    Björn

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    Dave, have a look at the Cafe's Cinebench results especially concerning graphics cards. Now that we've sussed out how to make ATI cards work properly with C4D I would have no hesitation in buying a new one. The bang for buck is great.

     

    Nigel / 3DKiwi

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    Thanks srek again for your input.

     

    Another question.  Would it be possible for C4D to use Direct X so it could utilize 100% of my graphic cards GPU and at the same time use fancy video game graphic things?

     

    Seems Maya was able to do it

    http://youtu.be/XlMuQYgnKm4

     

     

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    I'm not sure why many people think that Direct X should be faster than Open GL. There are feature differences, but the speed of both directly depends on the hardware and the useage. Using Direct X instead or additionaly to Open GL would increase develeopment and testing effort by at least the factor of 2 since Direct X is not available on Os X, which half the MAXON customers uses. As for gaming features in the viewport, i would like to see any examples on this in Maya or Max that do not feature game scenarios. Scenes for games are usualy heavily optimized and adjusted to the capabilities of the graphics engine used. The nice marketing pictures imply that you can have that also. Yes you can, if you make the same effort and if you work within the same restrictions.

    To sum it up, Direct X and Gaming like display can't be used by everyone and certainly not in every situation, but they would increase the price of the product by a fair margin.

    Cheers

    Björn

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