Posts by Janus

1) Message boards : Problems and Help : E-Mail verify fails (Message 15360)
Posted 3 days ago by Profile Janus
I can confirm that there has been issues sending to some German servers again.

Recently spammers tried to register with all kinds of non-existant email addresses and caused the service to burn through the entire email quota trying to send out emails to them (we pay per email regardless if it is delivered or not), so I have had to shut down the secondary mail relay that we used for problematic emails for now until I figure out a better way to handle that situation.

Work is being done on an alternative fix to the issue but it takes some time for DNS changes to kick through to the internet.

This is mostly limited to gmx/web.de, gmail ought to work.

[Edit:] And gmx/web.de should be working again too
2) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3426 (Message 15357)
Posted 13 Mar 2018 by Profile Janus
This session seems to be missing "Winter-in-forest-at-the-seashore-2048x.png" which was references as environmental texture.

Did you remember to pack textures in the file menu before uploading?

The session was rejected.
3) Message boards : Client : BURP Criu Checkpointing (Message 15356)
Posted 7 Mar 2018 by Profile Janus
Beating a dead horse here, but BURP doesn't support checkpointing with Blender because Blender does not support checkpointing.
For quite a while it was believed to be impossible to do this without adding specific code for it in Blender, but it actually turns out to be possible but just very very (very!) very difficult.

The OpenVZ people created a little tool called Criu that can create snapshots of live processes on Linux and surprisingly, with enough tweaking, it actually works on Blender running inside of the Glue3 controller process in our client.

However, getting it working reliably is incredibly complex and the tool has a number of drawbacks:

  • Only works on Linux
  • Only works if BOINC/Glue3 runs as a privileged user or a privileged user has started a Criu service
  • Does not work with CUDA/OpenCL
  • Checkpoints are very large compared to other BOINC projects. Essentially RAM usage + a bit
  • Creating the checkpoint freezes the process for a short while
  • Restoring from a checkpoint is fairly complicated and involves spawning a new PID namespace to avoid overlapping with the process ID of already running processes on the system, which again requires a privileged user
  • Input/Output and log files are more difficult to handle
  • Some data will have to be juggled around and some changes may have to be rolled back in case a stale restore point is ever used (like after a computer crash where it did not have time to write a restore point while shutting down)


Here's an example of some Blender output that was suspended/resumed. Notice how Blender gets a bit confused about the sudden time shift:

... Fra:1 Mem:204.58M (0.00M, Peak 225.66M) | Time:00:00.82 | Mem:27.12M, Peak:27.12M | Scene, RenderLayer | Updating Lookup Tables Fra:1 Mem:204.58M (0.00M, Peak 225.66M) | Time:00:00.82 | Mem:27.12M, Peak:27.12M | Scene, RenderLayer | Updating Baking Fra:1 Mem:204.58M (0.00M, Peak 225.66M) | Time:00:00.82 | Mem:27.12M, Peak:27.12M | Scene, RenderLayer | Updating Device | Writing constant memory Fra:1 Mem:204.58M (0.00M, Peak 225.66M) | Time:00:00.82 | Mem:27.12M, Peak:27.12M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 0/40 Fra:1 Mem:470.08M (0.00M, Peak 483.58M) | Time:00:36.53 | Remaining:03:26.51 | Mem:292.70M, Peak:297.20M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 1/40 Fra:1 Mem:470.08M (0.00M, Peak 483.58M) | Time:00:50.17 | Remaining:03:02.22 | Mem:292.70M, Peak:297.20M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 2/40 Fra:1 Mem:467.55M (0.00M, Peak 483.58M) | Time:00:52.53 | Remaining:02:58.50 | Mem:290.17M, Peak:297.20M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 3/40 Fra:1 Mem:467.55M (0.00M, Peak 483.58M) | Time:01:07.99 | Remaining:02:47.67 | Mem:290.17M, Peak:297.20M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 4/40 Fra:1 Mem:465.02M (0.00M, Peak 483.58M) | Time:01:08.55 | Remaining:02:46.24 | Mem:287.63M, Peak:297.20M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 5/40 [Criu suspends] a bit more than half an hour passes while I mess around trying to get it to resume... [Criu resumes] Fra:1 Mem:462.48M (0.00M, Peak 483.58M) | Time:36:03.08 | Remaining:01:18:41.27 | Mem:285.10M, Peak:297.20M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 6/40 Fra:1 Mem:455.45M (0.00M, Peak 483.58M) | Time:36:15.55 | Remaining:01:05:12.37 | Mem:278.07M, Peak:297.20M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 7/40 Fra:1 Mem:448.42M (0.00M, Peak 483.58M) | Time:36:23.59 | Remaining:57:56.10 | Mem:271.04M, Peak:297.20M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 8/40 Fra:1 Mem:440.41M (0.00M, Peak 483.58M) | Time:36:23.96 | Remaining:57:39.07 | Mem:263.03M, Peak:297.20M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 9/40 Fra:1 Mem:438.44M (0.00M, Peak 483.58M) | Time:36:31.36 | Remaining:52:17.09 | Mem:261.05M, Peak:297.20M | Scene, RenderLayer | Path Tracing Tile 10/40 ...


For now I'll just leave it at this proof-of-concept example and note that Criu is a very impressive tool. It even allows resuming Blender on another computer than where it was originally running, which is quite mind-blowing.

So, yes, it is theoretically possible to provide checkpointing under very specific circumstances for some specific kind of sessions on Linux. However, the downside is that doing so would add a lot of complexity to the client as well as require more privileges than what we are comfortable requesting people to give to the client.
4) Message boards : General talk : Which OS this project support? Also, Can you help me Mapping BOINC community? (Message 15354)
Posted 3 Mar 2018 by Profile Janus
Windows and Linux. Experimental Mac support.
CPU and CUDA so far.

On most projects you can access the /apps.php page to see supported platforms.
5) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3425 (Message 15352)
Posted 11 Feb 2018 by Profile Janus
This session did not seem to contain any animation and was reduced to 1 frame.
6) Message boards : Server backend and mirrors : 2018-02-07: Server issues (Message 15351)
Posted 11 Feb 2018 by Profile Janus
Looks like it may have been a broken SATA/SAS cable to a disk anyways. At least things are looking more normal now. Still performing some more software updates.
7) Message boards : Server backend and mirrors : 2018-02-07: Server issues (Message 15350)
Posted 7 Feb 2018 by Profile Janus
A recent software update has caused the webserver to be very unstable. It locks up after a while and just stops responding to requests.
Still trying to figure out why this happens.

Back-end services seem unaffected by the issue.
8) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3420 (Message 15345)
Posted 29 Jan 2018 by Profile Janus
If this was cloth-sim'ed then you should be aware that Blender doesn't store the simulation data in the .blend-file but rather in a directory on your disk.
9) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3416 (Message 15340)
Posted 12 Jan 2018 by Profile Janus
There is a mismatch between the resolution given during upload and the actual resolution in the .blend file. Since this is also part of the title the session has been rejected.

You have to actually set the resolution in the blend-file.
10) Message boards : Client : Cycles Denoising on split frames (Message 15335)
Posted 2 Jan 2018 by Profile Janus
Some sessions, and #3411 is a perfect example running right now, have a nondeterministic-random component somewhere. Individually rendered tile instances always come back with slightly different noise patterns. I was under the impression that the Sobol sampler was that component because the noise is all over the entire frame, but upon closer inspection the seed value is right there in the sampling settings and a quick simple test indeed shows that it is behaving quite fine at least on the test scene I made.

The issue I was hinting at was that, when you are in that situation, merging the extra margins would create an area in the frame that has the average of two different noise patterns (creating something less noisy), whereas the areas in the middle of a tile only have samples from one noise pattern. My suspicion is that this would be visible in the final result.
11) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3411 (Message 15326)
Posted 21 Dec 2017 by Profile Janus
Looking into why there is so few WUs being created... hopefully this should improve soon
12) Message boards : Client : Cycles Denoising on split frames (Message 15321)
Posted 16 Dec 2017 by Profile Janus
Not much of a difference really.

4 seems like a fairly arbitrary number. Would it look the same if you had used a nondeterministic sampling pattern with the 4pixel blending? We sometimes get back frames from Windows that are different from those on Linux. I could imagine that the blending zones could look odd in that case.
13) Message boards : Client : fetch render settings data for statistics ? (Message 15320)
Posted 16 Dec 2017 by Profile Janus
At the moment the only info we have is resolution, but there's a task to allow the parsed information to be accessible in the rest of the system.

One use of that info could be for some interesting stats like that.

Here's the top 10 resolutions used so far:
1920x1080 1178 1280x720 223 800x600 96 3840x2160 57 720x576 57 1280x1024 44 640x480 38 1920x824 32 1920x5400 28 960x540 27
14) Message boards : Client : Cycles Denoising on split frames (Message 15316)
Posted 12 Dec 2017 by Profile Janus
If you were to animate the 32sample,8x8 split plane with slightly overlapping tiles would the seams be more visible since they systematically deviate from the rest of the image by having samples from both tiles?
15) Message boards : Problems and Help : Upgraded to BOINC 7.8.3, "Postponed: Waiting to acquire slot directory lock. Another instance may be running." (Message 15315)
Posted 12 Dec 2017 by Profile Janus
Not entirely sure what that means - although it sounds like something is keeping files open in the slots directory when it shouldn't. What do you see in the task manager when this happens?
16) Message boards : Problems and Help : why does image embedding not support https ? (Message 15314)
Posted 12 Dec 2017 by Profile Janus
For now try with just //
- it autoselects https/http
17) Message boards : Client : Looking for bold MAC users (Message 15301)
Posted 28 Nov 2017 by Profile Janus
Yes, OpenCL would probably be a better option due to compatibility in general. It may not be quite as fast as CUDA but the simple fact that more systems support it means that it could be the faster option overall.

As for requirements: A fairly recent card will be required but during these tests the actual requirements are much lower. What that means exactly is a bit uncertain.
18) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3411 (Message 15298)
Posted 20 Nov 2017 by Profile Janus
No idea when the implementation of this will be fully ready but we are currently storing all the returned variations of each frame in order to be able to test the implementation on that data when it is.


Currently working on this. Unfortunately it requires a rewrite of the validator service interface.
19) Message boards : Client : Cycles Denoising on split frames (Message 15297)
Posted 20 Nov 2017 by Profile Janus
Tried this already - it was very inefficient compared to simply rendering full-screen tiles (the overlap was rendered many times by many clients). It was especially difficult to establish just how much overlap was needed since some post-processing nodes require more overlap than others (and sometimes even the node settings are relevant too). Extreme blur, as used in the depth-of-field node for example, potentially requires a very large overlap.

In the long run split-frame rendering will have to do all post-processing on the server compute cluster from combined sample data from all clients. It is pretty much the only way to do this in a reasonable manner. We just aren't there yet, so at the moment we do full-frame rendering for that kind of scenes or require the artist to do the post-processing on their own machine after the split-frame render has been automatically combined by the server.
20) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3413 (Message 15296)
Posted 20 Nov 2017 by Profile Janus
The farm can only handle .blend files - not PKZIP archives. Please re-upload as a compressed .blend (Files -> Save As -> Save As Blend File -> Compress).

This session was rejected.


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