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Messages - Dan Rodgers

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So i am going to dig this up, I don't think the problem was understood before, so here goes for try #2

I am rendering the attached image, a render select on just a car's body panels at 6k.

If I do not draw the region around the car, corona predicted around 4 hours to finish the render.

With the region drawn around the objects, the render took 10 mins.

The overall image is obviously identical regardless of whether I draw a region or not.  So Corona seems to be wasting a lot of resources rendering nothing.


We are thinking of moving from Backburner to Deadline in the studio, its small-mid sized 10 artists in-house and a couple who work remote.  I was wondering what the limitations are of using Corona with Deadline?

I have used it with VRay in the past and we used to tile-render, but things like lightmix and Corona Image Editor weren't even around back then.

Ideally we want to be able to tile-render, I had read that people were having issues with GI seams with corona-deadline tile rendering, is that still an issue? 

How do people work with lightmix and deadline, are there any limitations there?

Can you tile render to .CXR?

Basically are there any big drawbnacks with Corona/deadline?


Title says it all really...

Would help a lot with planting during whitecard/lighting phases

[Max] Feature Requests / More intelligent 'Render only Mask'
« on: 2020-02-19, 23:13:14 »
Currently, I am rendering some extra masks out for an animation,  basically the attached image.

if I render normally, with 10 passes it takes 19 seconds a frame, 10 of which is rendering.

If i render with a region drawn, either a max or corona VFB region it makes no difference, the time drops to 7 - 8 seconds a frame. and render time is around 1 second for the exact same mask.

Drawing regions won't really work in scenes where you need lots of additional masks or have more extreme movement

Can we have a more intelligent system that only renders/calculates what it needs to instead of calculating the entire scene? This shot is 150 frames so without drawing a region I would be waiting over 45 mins instead of about 18

[Max] Feature Requests / CMasking_Mask iterative letters
« on: 2020-02-05, 04:47:00 »
Any chance you could update the CMasking_Mask render element to either use iterative letters or even add an underscore after the number?

If kept at default it doesn't work for animation and needs to be renamed.   For example, CMasking_Mask001 frame 01 becomes CMasking_Mask0010001 so AE/Fusion thinks it is frame 10,001

not a big request, but would speed my day up by a few seconds

[Max] General Discussion / Lock sampling pattern - opinions?
« on: 2020-01-22, 02:49:41 »
Hi.  I am looking for some opinions regarding the 'Lock Noise Pattern' option in the render settings (on by default).

I am aware that disabling and using Corona's Denoiser can cause some issues with flickering.

I personally don't like the look of a locked noise pattern, it can look a bit weird, like its stuck on the lens.  And since I have been using Redshift a lot more - which has the lock noise pattern turned off by default - I have been hoping to get that more natural grainy look in my renders.

Just wondering if anyone has had much luck or experimented with disabling the "Lock sampling pattern".

Cheers for any thoughts

Hi Dan,

Can you send me a screenshot of your file save settings for exr?



They should just be default, the only thing I change is every now and then I use full-float

didn't fix it..   

so we are not running max 2018.4 and BB 2018.

Well, that's annoying.  I have no idea how you're going to reproduce the issue then.

We just submit the job as normal to BB and the render is spat out a while later, there's no script or special process that we follow, we just use max's native functions.


Which versions of Max and backburner are you using? I couldn't see this info in the thread..


Max 2018.4

Just spotted our backburner manager hasn't been updated from 2016 to 2018.  I'm going to update now and I'll let you know if that fixes it

Hi Dan

We are looking into this, but so far we have been unable to reproduce this behaviour yet.

Do you have any further reproduction steps which may help us?



Well, that's annoying.  I have no idea how you're going to reproduce the issue then.

We just submit the job as normal to BB and the render is spat out a while later, there's no script or special process that we follow, we just use max's native functions.

any news on this yet?

We are getting to a point where we have to keep clearing old renders out on a regular basis because they are eating up so much server space.  We have the same problem with TIFF files too.

Our only solution seems to be save as CXR, save out passes manually then delete cxr.

That's how it is set up anyway, with ZIP compression.

In your original post, you wrote, the huge(r) files are layered. What makes you think so?

I opened with EXR.IO plugin in photoshop and each file was layered.  But tbh that looks like it was a very rare glitch, we haven't had the issue many times, and possibly could have been an issue with max.  I should have probably started a new thread about the other issue of exr file sizes all being the same...

So what you've shown in the screenshot here could be the result of setting up the render elements on a node/at a time where exr compression was switched off for exr output and then submitting/rendering it on another node with other exr settings; compression active that is.

All in all I think there are at least three topics mixed in this thread meanwhile? To sort it out:

  • Original issue with large render element files (I suspect just uncompressed EXRs, see above)
  • Issue having a layered EXR but also additionally all passes as extra EXR (that's how I misinterpreted it, cause: local settings)
  • The dependency between main output file type and render elements file type(s) as denisgo22 mentioned

As for the latter: It seems that even if you do not explicitly specify a file name/type for a render element (usually a bad idea), the exr settings at creation time get stored and are not adopted from the current main output settings. At least compression settings - have not tested others. Well, that's new to me :)

I genuinely think this is a Corona issue.  In our studio, we do colour drafts at 3.5k and then final images at 6k or 7k.  The 3.5k renders are always fine and render elements have different file sizes, as you would expect, they are saved out as EXR.  The settings don't change, we change the output size to 6k/7k, render, and then we have the issue that I screenshotted, where each file is large and the exact same size.  We regularly use VRay, Redshift and sometimes FStorm in the studio and never get this issue, and we never had it before Corona 4.  Everything is setup exactly the same I we have done for the past 3-4 years.

I will try some more tests as you have mentioned though.


Does this only happen when using backburner? Or does it also happen when rendering with Corona on its own?

Secondly, would you be able to provide a scene where this is happening for you? And I will do my best to investigate the issue.

Instructions on how to send the scene to us are in my signiture.



this happens with both.  The only way to get 'normal sized' render passes is to save as CXR then save out p[asses individually from that.

I'll try and get a file over to you by then end of the week

[Max] Feature Requests / CIE - save some elements
« on: 2019-09-02, 07:52:43 »
So, from the Corona Image Editor when I click save all it would be nice to have a click and hold option to 'Save some...'   From there a dialogue appears, I can uncheck the passes I dont want to be saved out and then CIE does my bidding.

There are plenty of times that I want to be able to play with multiple light passes in CIE, but in the end I don't really want or need to save them for use in PS. I end up saving them out just because it is quicker and easier than saving out 10 passes manually just so I can skip 4 or 5 I don't need.

Oh, this looks like you are not using any compression. Go to "setup" while you are defining the output and use zip compression or wavelet (yes, the latter is also lossless, no worries).

Good Luck

That's how it is set up anyway, with ZIP compression.

Is the below correct?

- You would like to save only a single EXR file with all render elements included in it
- Right now, instead of a single file, you are getting the "main" EXR + all other render elements saved separately as EXR files


One extra note:
If you use the "Save CXR" option and then convert your CXR to EXR, you will end up with a large file containing some layers which are normally hidden (for example information used to perform denoising). Maybe you are getting this kind of files? Could you send us some samples? The uploader is in my signature.

No.  I want all my exr's saved out separate (which is happening).  The issue is that the files are bigger than they should be. MUCH bigger. Even if I make a mistake and have an empty render element i.e Volumetrics but I have no volumes in the scene, it will save out a massive file with no info in it.  Check the image above, there is no way that my alpha should be more than double the size of my beauty pass, and it has no extra info in there that I can access.

So after more testing, this isn't just an issue with Backburner...  and we dont get the issue with VRay, Redshift etc.  It seems to happen with only the high res files.  3k, we get the expected different file sizes per pass, jump to 6k or 7k and we get all [asses with the same file size.  This also happens with TIFFs.  And across every machine in the studio.

I genuinely think this is a Corona issue, something about saving large-resolution files seems to make it shit it's pants, the contents of which are filling up our server space

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