Proposal: Auto tile size should be standard part of blender....


(nigratruo) #1

…and enabled by default.

Depending on the tile size, your render can be fast or terribly slow. Setting it manually is a source of endless problems:

Rendering on a CPU, it needs to be small (16 x 16 or something), while using a GPU it should be 256 x 256 or larger.
Then, depending on the resolution, you might get fractions of tiles on the edges, which also kills performance.
This addon calculates this perfectly and on auto setting changes the tile size to what it needs to be.


(Richard Marklew) #2

You should request the author to submit it for inclusion if they haven’t done so.
Just starting a proposal thread achieves nothing unless you actually do something constructive instead


(nigratruo) #3

The purpose of this is to point it out, let others comment, submit improvements and additional useful ideas and have a proposal that I can refer to, with the input of others.
Sadly, there is nowhere where you can post improvements or feature requests, everybody you ask shrugs their shoulders and go “no idea where to post it”

So this is a request for comment from other users. Is there a reason why it should not be included?
In my view, there is absolutely positively no reason why this addon should not be made part of standard blender, it would make things a lot easier by putting things on automatic that should have been automatic always.


(Ace Dragon) #4

I could easily see it being bundled with Blender (though the idea of translating it to C may raise issues of option overload and UI clutter).

I think for now the devs. could stop at just having it included in general Blender builds (with the activation defaulting to ‘off’).


(nigratruo) #5

Yes, having it in there, but having it switched to off would be a great compromise: It would allow testing in a safe way.
Users could use it and experiment, to see if there are any bad side effects and if there are none, it could be turned on by default. Clutter is not a problem, as in the auto setting, it hides the settings and handles them for you. Also, you never ever need to touch, or for the matter, concern yourself with the tile settings for efficient fast rendering.

The initiative for including this in Blender Master is coming from my experiences in the last year, where I had the plugin active all the time, set on auto and doing both CPU rendering and GPU rendering, and varying resolutions, it has always given me ideal render times. I have even noticed that my benchmark times are slightly better when compared with the same hardware by others.
And the addon explains that very well: depending on the resolution, to get a perfect tile size, you have to change the tile size accordingly, both for CPU and GPU, which is a huge hassel. And who whips out a calculator to do that calculation every time?

Now who would I have to contact with this in order to start negotiations to get it included?


(nigratruo) #6

Hold on, I just found that it has been included into a standard addon that comes with Blender! It is in the community section.
How cool is that?

https://developer.blender.org/T36785

It is just not switched on by default. I wonder what experiences users have made that used it so far, if there are any ill effects. If not, it might be time to switch it on automatically and nobody has to bother about tile size ever again.

I guess I will try to reach the author, he will know who to contact, as he submitted it already.


(blackdot) #7

+1 for inclusion. Ive been using it since i started out in blender


(Ace Dragon) #8

Any buildbot build will have this addon now, but it doesn’t come included in the official release builds.

I believe there is a place on the Blender website where you can download the folder that contains the addons within the contrib category (or just copy it from the directory of a buildbot build to the one in the release build).


(English is not my native language) #9

When you have installed and enabled the addon, Is there any way to make the addon is not automatically applied when the scene is opened? I would like the addon respect the original Tiles Size the scene have, and the addon is applied only when you manually activate it. Even if the addon is enabled, apparently you can not know what the original scene Tiles Size was (at least in Blender 2.76 testbuild that’s where I’m trying it)

Edit:
Ok, I know. It is “auto” tile size. But I think is more important the “auto” calculation of optimal sizes, than the “auto” applied part. Especially for some scenes for benchmarks, I would like to know what the original size was configured for the scene.


(nigratruo) #10

Hmm, correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know, there is no “original” tile size. It is just what is set randomly or what the author set. Now changing the resolution and not adjusting the tile size is something that will kill your performance big time, as the tile size depends on the resolution for ideal performance.
Now most people I would assume will not whip out a calculator and recalculate it every time they do use another resolution. So the original tile size will often be suboptimal for performance and therefore not desirable.

You can deactivate the addon in preferences, that will preserve the “original” tile size, if that is what you want. If you have it enabled, you can switch off the auto mode, but before you do, it might have adjusted the tile size already when you loaded the scene.


(nigratruo) #11

I guess for the benchmarks to be really telling, we would have to hope that all people use the addon, because otherwise their score might not be hobbled by their hardware, but by a suboptimal tile size.

An interesting idea would also be to have a self calibration setting in the auto size, where you can let it do some renders, with different tile sizes to find out which ones deliver the shortest calculation time on your system.


(GottfriedHofmann) #12

Auto tile size is shipping with Blender since version 2.74: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Ref/Release_Notes/2.74/Addons

It’s just not enabled by default.


(English is not my native language) #13

@nigratruo. As I said, with “the original tile size” I mean the original size that the author had been established in the scene, like the scenes for benchmarking you can find out there. But anyway, not only in those scenes for benchmarks, is about having the control on when the addon must change those sizes that one scene have. Disable/Enable the addon from preferences according to the circumstances, I do not see comfortable.
Perhaps someone could add a feature to the addon to set it to not be applied by default when open some scene.


(nigratruo) #14

Well, when is there ever any reason why you would want this addon not to be active? To get a scene rendered slower and take more time? But why would anybody ever want that?
Once this addon is standard and enabled, also all the benchmarks will be rendered with it and then even that point (that some people are rendering it without the optimal tile size and take longer because of it) becomes moot.
So at this point, there is no drawback of any kind that I know of to this addon not always being enabled.


(English is not my native language) #15

Ok , never mind.
I just realized that if the addon would be enabled by default for all users, what I said before would only be a concern for me with older scenes that had not been saved with the addon enabled. New scenes saved when the addon is enabled, the tile sizes chosen by the author of the scene are respected when open the scene. So for me there is no problem with the addon is enabled by default in future versions of Blender.
However, the optimal size addon choose for my card (GTX 960) by default is not the right. Seems optimal size is calculated for cards like GTX 580. For what I’ve seen, the optimal tile size for Maxwell cards is greater than the size for previous chips. But it is not a big problem, I could set it manually.


(Jason van Gumster) #16

Except for the fact that the add-on uses an (IMHO) over-simplified mechanism for optimizing tile size. The optimal tile size when rendering can vary wildly not just based on the renderer and if you’re using GPU or CPU, but also on your hardware configuration and even on the objects and materials in the scene itself.

Just because it’s called “automatic” doesn’t mean that it’s actually the most optimal.


(nigratruo) #17

Well, the guy that did Autotile size, Greg Zaal seems to know what he is talking about and his tests that he did and how he calculates the tiles are all available here:

he is also owner of the cycles module, so I trust his judgement. I would generally agree with you, automatic is usually not ideal, and a suboptimal shortcut, but in this addon everything I have so far seen seems to support that it works optimally.

Do you have any benchmarks and test results that you did that show that autotile size does not calculate optimal tile sizes in certain scenes or on certain hardware, that supports your claim that automatic is not optimal?
If this is the case, we definitely need to know about it and improve the addon. An automatic calibration run where different tile sizes are tried to see which ones are best might help.