[Bf-funboard] Baking issues

Tony Mullen tony.mullen at gmail.com
Sun Mar 8 08:50:54 CET 2009

Hi all,

As always, there's a chance I simply don't know what I'm doing. If
that's the case please let me know. These seem to be design issues,
though, so I thought I'd bring them up here.

I'm trying to do some moderately heavy cloth simulations, and the
baking takes around 10 minutes a frame on a dual quad core intel Mac
Pro. At this point, I've had to re-bake the same simulation going on
four times now after the bake cache has been cleared for no apparent
good reason. The bake cache was cleared when I tried to add a subsurf
modifier after baking. Another time, after baking 35 frames, my
apartment's circuit breaker got tripped (which happens any time
somebody tries to make toast with the heat on) and I was pleased to
see that after re-starting the bake was still there. But when I set
the Start frame to 36 to continue the bake, the cache was cleared! I
have had the cache disappear suddenly for other reasons too, but I
haven't made a note of all of them.

Fair enough if the cache simply must be cleared for reasons like this,
but if so, I think some kind of warning is in order. It's safe to say
that anything that needs to be baked needs it because it takes up a
lot of time, so poor (or confusing) bake management has the potential
to waste massive quantities of user time. I have to laugh when I think
of discussions about shaving milliseconds off of interface speed and
making the most of muscle memory after seeing six hours of baking time
disappear down the drain because I clicked on a text field. Obviously
baking persistence--having reliable and stable storage of bakes--is
central to the whole point of having baking in the first place.

How about making a new rule where  *nothing clears the cache EVER
except for the Free Cache button itself* without at least a warning
and a confirmation button. Also, bakes should really, really be
enabled to continue from where they left off. We don't always have the
number of hours in one Blender session needed to do the entire
simulation in a sitting.

Another related issue is the issue of escaping from large bakes.
During this same project I have had to Force Quit Blender more times
than I can count, literally, because I cannot escape from the bakes. I
press Esc, hold it down, press it a few more times, wait (minutes) and
still the bake frames keep incrementing. It's gotten to the point
where frequent Force Quitting has become just another step in my
workflow, which doesn't really seem right. I'm hoping that the event
recode may have dealt with this problem, so maybe this is already
solved. It also bears mentioning that the Mac I'm using often has
issues with foregrounding applications (mainly Blender and Firefox) so
it might just be the fault of the OS.



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