Posts by Janus

1) Message boards : Server backend and mirrors : Unexpected downtime September 2019 (Message 15590)
Posted 4 days ago by Profile Janus
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A quick update on the current situation:
- Blender 2.80 was ready and deployed to the farm
- Corona virus took 2020 out of the calendar
- BURP is essentially in maintenance mode until the end of the year
2) Message boards : Server backend and mirrors : Data Compression (Message 15589)
Posted 4 days ago by Profile Janus
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You are right, it is certainly a balance between CPU and network bandwidth, but I definitely wouldn't rule it out at some point. However, these kinds of tasks are never really high priority since it is mostly a matter of trading storage space for CPU cycles. It is fine to pause it for long periods of time then continue from where it left at a later point in time.

Right now there are no compression tasks running on the server so all the images are simply being queued up for later at some point.

Also, we're getting considerable computational capabilities in the server as an upgrade later this year. The hope is to be able to run Blender physics simulations for sessions on it; and then also these compression tasks when it is otherwise mostly idle.
3) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3208 (Message 15584)
Posted 3 Jan 2020 by Profile Janus
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The recently released Catalina version of Mac OSX further complicated the development.

The Mac clients have been put on hold for a while and a new session will be started if/when development is resumed in this direction.
4) Message boards : Server backend and mirrors : Unexpected downtime September 2019 (Message 15583)
Posted 27 Nov 2019 by Profile Janus
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Quick update:
- Raid is back in shape and the raid autodetect issue was resolved and tested
- Java was updated but is still using quite a lot of memory after EXR image operations. Maybe previews of big EXR sessions will have to be disabled for a while until a better solution can be found.
- The database startup issue was resolved and it now starts really quickly. Reboots are no longer multi-hour endeavours

Also, the SSL certificate for the site was updated today.

Ongoing work:
- Work has begun on support for Blender 2.80 with the interesting addition of a new rendering engine: Eevee
- Clear broken sessions from the renderqueue so it can be restarted
5) Message boards : Server backend and mirrors : Unexpected downtime September 2019 (Message 15581)
Posted 21 Sep 2019 by Profile Janus
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Storage issues
The main storage server is experiencing some issues with the raid cards and the connections to the disks. Disks are dropping randomly and it is somewhat unclear why.
A replacement raid card was ordered, delivered and installed but the hardware failed completely after the first few tests - looks like it is simply dead on arrival. A replacement replacement is now being ordered.

We are now running on a temporary solution and have had to rebuild the site from weekly backups + daily deltas. Fortunately no data was lost because the switch-over was instantaneous.
In a few hours the disk resyncs should be complete and a number of general maintenance tasks will begin, followed by creating another full restore point.

More storage issues
A BIOS issue with the SATA controllers has also been causing a separate set of disk-related issues, and the BIOS has now been updated. It seems like this improved the situation. Unfortunately it requires a full shutdown of the backend to update the BIOS like this, so hopefully it will not happen too often.

Storage space
We're trying to use less storage overall and recently the first pass of the year-long compression project completed. Most of our old sessions have had their frames compressed with lossless compression and the disk-space occupied by the original files is now ready to be released.

Future work
Other issues currently on the list:
- We're running out of memory very often because the Java backend does not release it (and we have a few very memory hungry sessions in the mix currently). An update to Java should hopefully fix this.
- There is an issue causing the SQL database to be very slow at starting up
- The raid autodetect feature on the server is broken and needs to be fixed and tested. For now the raid is initialized manually.
- A new version of Blender is available and the farm needs to be updated

While this is going on I'm in the process of selling the apartment that I live in. Things are very much in a state of flux.
6) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3499 (Message 15580)
Posted 21 Sep 2019 by Profile Janus
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Switching the rest of this session to best effort validation since it seems to generate a lot of results that do not match.
7) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3208 (Message 15567)
Posted 8 Aug 2019 by Profile Janus
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No news on this one, the clients kinda work but there are very few. Not sure this is worth pursuing as the platform makes it difficult to debug.

Will probably focus more on OpenCL if the first test hadn't been a complete disaster.
8) Message boards : Number crunching : @ Janus - Volunteer moderator Project administrator (Message 15562)
Posted 7 Aug 2019 by Profile Janus
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Time-left-estimation is broken with Cycles renders like this one. Just ignore it.
9) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3499 (Message 15560)
Posted 7 Aug 2019 by Profile Janus
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There only seems to be one RGBA layer in the multilayer EXR output (the rendered scene), is that intentional?


My bad, it does indeed seem to contain all the information. That's pretty cool, I didn't know you could store the entire compositor state like that.

It prompts the question, what on earth should the preview show in a situation like this? The server doesn't know which layers are the RGBA layers for the output (or if there are any colour layers), it just gets a whole bunch of individual colour channels, some of which are part of the ambient occlusion, some part of the mist, some part of UV etc... Maybe a stitch of all the layers next to each other in greyscale? Hm...
10) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3499 (Message 15552)
Posted 6 Aug 2019 by Profile Janus
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Multilayer EXR is still experimental, not sure what we will get out of this - the preview may be black
11) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3499 (Message 15551)
Posted 2 Aug 2019 by Profile Janus
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Sorry for the delay, this one is a bit more complicated than usual.

I'm getting a warning:
LIB: material 001-Rough-Wood-Bois missing from addons/materials_library_vx/Wood.blend
All used textures and materials must be contained in the .blend-file itself since we don't have any addons on the farm.
That said, it seems to be rendering just fine, so maybe we will try it anyways.

There only seems to be one RGBA layer in the multilayer EXR output (the rendered scene), is that intentional?
12) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3490 (Message 15540)
Posted 22 May 2019 by Profile Janus
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Validation for this session is not working since the render is not deterministic. Switching to best-effort rendering mode.

Some units will be marked as invalid initially but will be properly credited in the next PayDay run.
13) Message boards : Tutorials : Using Filmic Blender (Message 15533)
Posted 1 Apr 2019 by Profile Janus
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False colour, log, raw, film, rrt, filmic and default seem to be the colour profiles available with the current version available on the farm.

You may have to request the use of EXR in the upload description if you need that, since that's still an experimental feature.
14) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3487 (Message 15532)
Posted 1 Apr 2019 by Profile Janus
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Blender may not be storing the simulation data in the blend-file but rather in a random directory on your machine. Let's see where this goes
15) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3485 (Message 15526)
Posted 28 Feb 2019 by Profile Janus
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There may be an issue with the physics simulation for this session
16) Message boards : Problems and Help : Submit for GPU (Message 15521)
Posted 10 Feb 2019 by Profile Janus
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At the moment we try to run only enough GPU sessions in order to test that the code is working - there is an issue calculating how much credit to provide for GPU workunits and it is causing them to be particularly cumbersome since credit has to be granted or corrected manually.
17) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3478 (Message 15518)
Posted 22 Jan 2019 by Profile Janus
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This session was put on hold as we do not yet support the yet-to-be-released Blender 2.80 version.

If you like to I can reject this one and you can try uploading the scene again with a .blend-file from Blender 2.79b?
18) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3476 (Message 15517)
Posted 22 Jan 2019 by Profile Janus
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Sorry about the delay, the project ran out of memory based on the limit from the upload form and I missed the notice.

- Changed required memory from 1GB to 3GB
- Changed resolution to match .blend-file
- Changed split to 4 from 128 which seems a bit excessive.
19) Message boards : Server backend and mirrors : Time Machine (Message 15510)
Posted 17 Oct 2018 by Profile Janus
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The files on the mirror suggest it was last updated 2009-10-04
That's almost a decade ago!

Thanks for being part of the mirror network back then - bandwidth was a real issue both for SETI@home and BURP for several years
20) Message boards : Comments and discussion : 3468 (Message 15503)
Posted 24 Sep 2018 by Profile Janus
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Putting this session on hold until the new validator/stitcher code has been deployed


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