[Bf-cycles] Cycles use in Visualization

Ton Roosendaal ton at blender.org
Fri Sep 30 10:51:54 CEST 2011

Hi Mike,

Now that's impressive numbers! I'd be curious to see a video of cycles  
running even on a 1000 cpus!

Brecht can tell more about the use of vertex colors; but it seems to  
me a quite trivial addition to allow shaders to use colors this way.

I'm quite curious to find out how your supercomputer works even... can  
all these cores work together on 1 render job? This kind of  
scalability is quite outside our regular target range, but it's  
certainly interesting to figure out where the boundaries are. :)


Ton Roosendaal  Blender Foundation   ton at blender.org    www.blender.org
Blender Institute   Entrepotdok 57A  1018AD Amsterdam   The Netherlands

On 29 Sep, 2011, at 23:35, Matheson, Michael A. wrote:

> At the OLCF at Oak Ridge National Laboratory ( an Open Science  
> Supercomputing site for the Department of Energy ), we routinely use  
> blender ( along with other packages ) for scientific visualization.   
> Our models probably differ than many users of blender in that they  
> are the output of simulations from some of the large computers in  
> the world.  Over 100M polygons is common with some in the billion  
> polygon range ( and increasing all the time ) as one use.  We’ve  
> recently been experimenting with Cycles and are impressed with  
> capabilities it would give us.  We find that we are often  
> constrained with blender-internal by the time to create the  
> acceleration structures ( seems to be a serial process ) and by the  
> memory footprint.  All of our polygons have vertex colors so  
> possible future plans for Cycles using packed byte colors is a huge  
> win for us ( I’m lobbying for the need ).  However, we don’t  
> understand how to render vertex colored models within Cycles and  
> we’d like to know whether it is implemented.  We also see a  
> different type of cpu load with cycles versus blender internal – it  
> seems more difficult to fully utilize all cores ( although it  
> clearly is much faster ).  I’m sure we use hardware resources that  
> are not at all typical or representative of blender/cycles users.   
> Our newest computer is around the corner with 100s of thousands of  
> AMD cores and 1000s of nVidia GPUs so the models will explode in  
> size.  I appreciate any information we receive.
> Thank You All for the work on this amazing software,
> -mike-
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