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3D Rendering using 97% CPU?

Feb 19, 2013 4:58 AM

Hello all,

 

I know this is probably somewhat of a techy question, but I'm really alarmed at how much CPU 3D rendering uses in PS CS6. My computer just howls! Can I get some tips, apart from the obvious hardware upgrades, to help with this? Here are my hardware specs for my computer:

 

Dell Studio XPS, 12GB ram, Intel Core i7 930 2.8 Ghz, GeForce GT 630 4Gb

 

Aside from that, PS also uses over 6GB of memory at times. This also seems extremely high to me ??

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Andy

 
Replies
  • Noel Carboni
    23,496 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2013 7:31 AM   in reply to Andymc7

    It makes even multi-processor supercomputers "howl".   It's a CPU intensive task and Adobe has programmed it to use as many cores as you've got.

     

    -Noel

     
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    Feb 19, 2013 7:23 AM   in reply to Andymc7

    The memory used by Photoshop when 3D rendering is ridiculously high. Ps uses x gigabytes where other 3D renderers will use x megabytes, without exaggeration.

     

    Photoshop should, but does not, allow the user to specify the maximum number of cores to be used for rendering.

     

    And for a given level of quality, it's the slowest renderer that you're likely to have the misfortune to encounter. The only thing slower than the CS6 renderer is the CS5 renderer which can take hours to render an image that should take less than a minute.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    Dec 23, 2006
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    Feb 19, 2013 9:49 AM   in reply to Andymc7

    Perhaps it will be addressed in a future release.  I know they haven't stopped engineering the product in the 3D area. 

     

    Personally I'd love to see some of the most compute-intensive stuff accelerated by the GPU using OpenCL or similar.  Currently high-end GPUs, for specific graphics-intensive activities, have roughly 50x to 100x or more of the power of modern general purpose CPUs.  That could turn minutes into seconds.

     

    For now, a workstation class machine with lots of processor cores and great cooling is about the best we can do.  That reminds me, I need to clean the dust out of my intake grille.

     

    -Noel

     
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    Feb 19, 2013 10:13 AM   in reply to Andymc7

    Andymc7 wrote:

     

    You'd think Adobe would address this issue, since rendering is such an important step of the 3D workflow.

     

     

    Maybe CS7... or 27.

     

    By the way, not only the rendering is problematic. In interactive OpenGL mode, each move of a camera or adjustment of a light's intensity, or just about any operation, can consume 10s of megabytes instead of 10s of bytes or kilobytes. Yes, that is megabytes instead of the bytes or kilobytes that other apps will use to record a history of such a trivial change. Setting a low number of History States in Preferences > Performance can help prevent reliance on scratch disk and the accompanying lags.

     
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    Feb 19, 2013 10:42 AM   in reply to Andymc7

    Andymc7 wrote:

     

    I'm also very disappointed that I just replaced my nvidia 310 512mb card with a new gt 630 4gb, and I see virtually no difference at all with 3D performance in PS.

     

    That's most likely because your old card wasn't being stressed, anyway. The terrible performance you've been seeing in Photoshop 3D is due to the astounding inefficiency of the software running on the CPU, not the GPU.

     
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    Feb 19, 2013 10:56 AM   in reply to Andymc7

    Andymc7 wrote:

     

    it seems like whenever I want to for example add more than 3 lights to a scene, things get pretty choppy

     

    Something that can be expected to cause increasingly choppy OpenGL, in any app, as the number of lights increases is having high-quality soft shadows enabled for interactive mode (see Preferences > 3D). That's a separate issue from Photoshop's massive history recording for the most trivial of operations.

     

     

    It's also interesting that the further in I zoom, the choppier things get as well. What's the reason for that?

     

     

    Objects closer to camera will be rendered with more detail and higher precision than those which are more distant.

     

     

    If you are keen to do 3D work, try other software to discover that you can have complex scenes with highly detailed models and dozens of textures moving fluidly in OpenGL while you work for hours without a lag developing. Their renderings are easily composited with 2D work in Photoshop.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    Feb 19, 2013 1:40 PM   in reply to Andymc7

    When you say "it gets choppy"...  Are you having difficulty moving camera angles, etc.?  Because I've not noticed that (to be fair I have a powerful system).  But I may not be working on 3D scenes as complex as yours.

     

    Slowness of ray-traced rendering and slowness in the preview display while you're moving things are are pretty different things - the latter being much more dependent on your video card and display drivers.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,496 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
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    Feb 19, 2013 3:23 PM   in reply to Andymc7

    I wonder if that could be a driver problem.

     

    I have an ATI Radeon HD 7850, which is no slouch but not top of the line, and probably not as fast as yours, and I can "fly around" in my 3D designs pretty smoothly - e.g., 4 or 5 frames per second at least.

     

    So we're on the same page, do you have a 3D design online somewhere I could try moving around in?

     

    If not, I can put one of mine online, though these files do tend to get big in a helluva hurry.  I'll have to resave it in 8 bits/channel or something to reduce the size.

     

    -Noel

     
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    Feb 19, 2013 5:21 PM   in reply to Andymc7

    Andy, I misunderstood what you meant by chopiness when zoomed-in. I thought you meant camera zoom or dolly. Now I'm sure you meant the document zoom.

     

    2048 x 2048 pixels RGB 8 bpc document with 3D layer containing 40,000 cubes (480,000 triangles).

     

    View at 25%: interactive OpenGL display is smooth as silk and instantly responsive.

    View at 50%: interactive OpenGL display is just slightly choppy - maybe 20 frames per second.

    View at 100%: interactive OpenGL display is very choppy - about 5 frames per second.

     

    Now I repeat the test with just a single cube (12 triangles).

    Result: the OpenGL responsiveness at each document zoom level is the same with one cube as when there are 40,000 cubes.

     
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    Feb 19, 2013 5:48 PM   in reply to conroy

    Here's screenshots of the simple scene with 40,000 cubes and the document zoom at 25%, 50% and 100%. Notice that the OpenGL display fills the document window regardless of the document zoom, so why the heck does increasing the zoom dramatically reduce the performance?

     

    Screen-shot-2013-02-20-at-01.36.21.png

     

    Screen-shot-2013-02-20-at-01.42.32.png

     

    Screen-shot-2013-02-20-at-01.42.50.png

     
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