Chaos Corona Forum

Chaos Corona for Cinema 4D => [C4D] General Discussion => Topic started by: dacian on 2022-04-14, 12:16:11

Title: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: dacian on 2022-04-14, 12:16:11
Does anyone use the Mac Studio yet with Corona?
Really curious how it performs.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: Philw on 2022-04-14, 13:44:09
Well, v8 is perfectly usable on my M1 Max MBP with its 10 cores - using it every day. So I would expect more of the same with the Studio - and even more so with the Ultra!
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-01, 11:40:25
Hi, just got a new Studio Ultra 128ram / 2tb.
Runs fine with v9. CRv9 is more buggy than I experienced before. Especially some materials are behaving weird, in the preview as well as in the renders.

I noticed that calculating displacement is a one core thing. So time to first pixel depends very much on displacement settings. CR renders at 1950% when workload is heavy but at smaller files I noticed that it renders at 1850%. Maybe it has to do with performance cores being used or not.

My previous computer was an 32Gb ram iMac from lat 2015. So this is a lot better. But I also noticed that the way models are made makes a huge difference in render and viewport response. I am now working on a rather sloppy model from a co-worker which is very slow in every way. My own models are far more efficient in terms of instances and geometry. I think this is something to consider. No matter the hardware the files need to be up to speed as well.

Well, I just got this Mac Ultra Studio so maybe more later.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-06, 01:54:06
Had a chance today working on a detailed high rise project (20+ stories) with the Studio Ultra 128GB.
Interactive preview was almost instant.

For about 3 hours editing the building model, cameras and lighting was ( compared to my 4 core Intel iMac from late 2015 with 32Gb ram ) a completely different experience all together. Final renders at about SL10 to 15 (exterior) took only minutes. In these 3 hours I could almost do the whole presentation with about 6 final images. We sat down with 3 architects and could just instantly follow all steps in C4D and CR. If the new Mac Pro's (40 cores, m2 ?) are any faster I wonder really for me what the benefit would be.

I think there is a lot more to gain in properly modelling the building and properly setting up assets databases for vegatation, hdr's and scatter techniques. At some point with this super fast rendering hardware the UI (C4D & CR) gets in the way. Its actually incredible how many repetitive mouse clicks are needed to keep the process going from start to finish. When the system gets this fast you become much more aware of it.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: Philw on 2022-05-06, 08:11:01
Thank you. Good to see that the 20 cores makes the difference it should!
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-06, 16:51:30
yes, they are also fully involved in the interactive rendering. I noticed though that at parsing the scene calculating the displacement is a one core event and can take up most of the parsing time.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: jojorender on 2022-05-06, 18:24:40
Hi frv,
thanks for sharing your experience with Studio Ultra and C4D/CR.
Remind us what "SL 10 -15" stands for? Is that noise level?

I was wondering if you create your bldg models in a CAD app and how this might see benefits using M1 Ultra.
We build our 3D models in Archicad from .dwg files and I believe vector calculations in CAD apps are largely single core. In large, very detailed plans this can slow down the line redraw by a lot. I’m not sure how much this process relies on CPU and/or GPU, but I think it’s mostly CPU.
If the M1 Ultra has access to 128GB of ultra fast ram, I imagine vector line redraws are extremely fast too?
Do you see some large “real world” improvements in CAD apps even when running in Rosetta?
For context, our CAD hack-mac uses a GTX 1080TI 8GB / I9 9900K / 32GB RAM.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: BigAl3D on 2022-05-06, 19:05:25
Going from that 2015 iMac to the Studio is like going from a horse-drawn buggy to a Ferrari. Would be awesome if you could record your screen showing the real-time you're seeing.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-07, 01:28:32
@BigAI3D
I fine tuned my workflow to be quit fast with my iMac & C4D & CR. I just avoided the kind of things I can do now with the Studio Ultra. Especially interactive preview is really something that improves the quality of my renders enormously. Also the number of finals has increased. Vegatation needs to be much less optimised. I can throw in any amount I like so far. I will see if I can make a little video. Never done that before.

@jojorender
SL stand for sampling level. I don't actually know for sure if that's how its named in CR. It was in Maxwellrender that I used before. But in CR you also see the amount of samples rendered. Usually my clients are totally happy with something between 10 and 20. Yesterday I rendered an image overnight with the Studio Ultra and got to 1150. I must say the image looked very crisp. The Studio Ultra was very silent venting out slightly warm air.

I model with Vectorworks which is native m1 as C4D is and haven't been doing any work with Vectorworks yet with the new Studio Ultra. But in Vectorworks I never really get slowed down much modelling even with very large projects on my Intel iMac. But I have been working with Vectorworks since 1989. Anyhow, Vectorworks is one core or a few at most.  It depends greatly on modelling techniques as well. I modelled a four building highrise project of about 15Mb in C4D. A co-worker managed to get a smaller project in at 800Mb....
I never render anything with Vectorworks even with Redshift integrated as off recently. I tried it and it was rubbish to work with. Extremely slow and I assume with the new Ultra is still is very slow. For some reason Vectorworks render features are decades behind and will probably never go anywhere. I model in Vectorworks since its very easy to model buildings with and has an excellent export to C4D. I model terrains in C4D since Vectorworks is not good at that at all. All assets are added in C4D as well. All together the workflow can be very fast once the Vectorworks model is done. Co-workers also use Lumion and Twinmotion on PC's. Absolutely worth it going PC for these apps and fantastic results. But C4D with CR is a bit like a Leica Camera. The images that I make in C4D/CR compared with Lumion and Twinmotion still look a lot more photo real. Now with the new Studio Ultra it can also be done super fast and interactive.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-07, 13:29:05
Checking the benchmarks it seems that a 20core Studio Ultra matches more or less the speed of the new AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ PRO 5975WX with 32 cores.

I don't understand since the 5975X is multithreaded and renders at 64 threads. How would Apple match that with a 20core cpu in a small enclosure. Maybe there is something wrong with the benchmarks. I wonder how this relates to Coronarender. Most likely the 5975X is about 3x faster with CR than the m1 studio ultra but I can not compare.

I attached the Geekbench results including my current iMac late 2015. Its seems I have gained about 6 times multicore and less than twice the single core performance with my new Studio Ultra in about 6,5 years.

( I added a benchmark that looked a little more realistic. Maybe Geekbench does not say much )

Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: ingemar on 2022-05-07, 14:58:05
Thanks @frv for all the details! I’m planning for a new MBP in the autumn and your numbers make me quite optimistic.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-07, 21:07:03
I sometimes use a MBP m1 10core with 64Gb and it as well feels very fast with CR.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: ingemar on 2022-05-08, 17:46:27
Good to hear! I’m on a tightish budget so one the mid models will have to do for now.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-09, 13:18:27
I just completed the Corona benchmark test.
There it shows that my Mac Studio Ultra with 128gB is the fastest Mac so far.

But slow compared to much cheaper Windows PC's of even years back. A 12 core PC is about as fast as a 20 core Mac Studio. So anyone on a budget will be far better of with a PC and have the added benefit of being able to experiment with real time rendering like Unreal etc.

I have borrowed my Ultra for a few months and I might go PC after all looking at these results.

I must say as well the Mac Studio Ultra is a thrill to work with.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: ingemar on 2022-05-09, 13:47:09
That’s what I was afraid of hearing : ) It seems I will have to consider a PC this time.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-09, 15:01:07
The Mac Studio Ultra is sold as being equal to the newest 64 core AMD but regretfully the truth is it can't keep up with a 5 year old i7 16Gb PC.....
If budget & performance is of any concern forget about Mac's now and foreseeable future.

It needs to be said as well that the whole Mac experience remains very pleasant and with the new Studio (Ultra) feels fast for most especially if render times are not really bottlenecks in your daily workflow. Business wise a few 1000 more or less is over a period of 5 to 7 years also not huge concern and might be covered by the resale value.

Photographers buy Leica's for the look and feel alone. I understand it. You live only once and spending year over year with tools you can't stand the look of is not smart either.

Something I don't know is if the Mac Studio Ultra with its ultrafast SSD and RAM is noticeably faster in editing, pasting assets and working on materials. Speed is not rendering alone. Much work in C4D is single core like displacement mapping.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: jojorender on 2022-05-09, 18:02:49
Hi frv
ah ok, SL stands for passes. That makes more sense than noise level…
I saw your benchmark test but you forgot that corona benchmark runs in rosetta not M1 native - big difference.
We ran a bunch of test in the “Corona for Apple Silicon M1?” thread
The Ultra running M1 native corona would score somewhere in the 10M rays/s not 6.7M r/s as in rosetta.
If you are interested you can find test & results here. https://forum.corona-renderer.com/index.php?topic=33540.60

If someone “suffered” the last 10 years with “slow” render speeds on macOs and now that M1 (and soon M2) is out concludes that it’s time to go PC… well, that does not make a whole lot of sense to me.
For me, seeing how well M1 ultra performs was just to evaluate if it’s time to go Silicon or stick with Intel Mac just a little longer.

One thing that remains the same since forever, is that many tasks are “single core” .
Squeezing significantly more performance out of a single core is probably unrealistic on x86 or arm. Unless these processes can be converted to multi core, I don’t think we’ll see much real world workflow speedups in the foreseeable future.
Even in max, people choose the 32 core ripper over the 64 core for better single core performance.

“I must say as well the Mac Studio Ultra is a thrill to work with.” …I would say go with your gut feeling and leave the Windows BS (BS stands for amazing render speed) to others.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-09, 22:05:39
Well, the PC & Mac world differ on many levels. I see co-workers with Lumion, Unreal and Twinmotion doing fantastic work that is loved by our clients. Rendering fine-tuned photoreal images seems to be something of a lesser order especially when it is much more time-consuming. The difference between real time rendered images and the typical press a button and wait image is fading. Most clients don't see it anymore. I do, but I am a photographer that would rather carry a 4x5 than a mirrorless.

But I don't want to be stuck in the past or be a one trick pony with C4D/CR, I am afraid the future is with hardware raytracing and Apple is not going there and not planning too. Another thing to consider is an economic crisis I see developing. Subscriptions C4D & CR plus a Mac Studio Ultra will cost me over 10k euros extra over the next 5 years. Compared to a free Unreal experience  and a bit cheaper PC that can be upgraded.

Whatever the choice is, the Mac Studio Ultra will be a delight to work with as I already see by my borrowed Ultra 128Gb.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-10, 10:39:13
I before wrote that the asset browser in C4D does not work properly or even at all. Maxon support helped me out very well and solved the problem by letting me know to delete the index file in the database and rebuild it in C4D. Now on my Studio Ultra all works really well. The assets are loaded instantly especially with the option in R26 to assign a local database to be indexed.

As I was told here on the forum my testing with the Corona benchmark is useless since it is still not native m1 and running Rosetta. So the Studio Ultra is lot faster than what I wrote here.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-11, 12:51:30
Benchmarked my iMac late 2015 i7 4 core 32Gb. About 3.11 minutes.

I submitted the result under frv. But can't find it there since there is no search based on name of the poster.

Anyhow, my new Mac Studio Ultra with 128gB is about 3x as fast with the benchmark (Rosetta). Considering Rosetta the Ultra most like is about 4 to 5x times as fast.

Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-13, 17:31:08
One other thing is I can't get de Cosmos browser to work on my Mac Studio Ultra. Corona support is trying to help out but so far no luck. The Cosmos brwoser downloaded one asset but at 77% stalled. Then at reopening the Cosmos browser I get a white window without assets.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: Philw on 2022-05-13, 18:09:24
Cosmos has been that way on and off on my M1 since v8. It will be ok for ages then start being stupid like you describe. Unsure what makes it crap out.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: jojorender on 2022-05-13, 19:41:54
Then at reopening the Cosmos browser I get a white window without assets.
Same on Intel mac. Sometimes just blank for 10-30+ mins then suddenly loads.
I always thought the server is overwhelmed. Search still kills C4D completely.
I gave up on the constant updates when opening, because always something funky going on after update.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-13, 23:07:18
Tx, I am having a session with support to fix this next Tuesday. My Intel Mac is just perfect always and the Studio Ultra beside it never connects to Cosmos for more then a one download at 70%. Very frustrating. My Macbook m1 has no problem with Cosmos either but then I only use it later in the evening. But I did notice downloading the daily builds is slow and it looks like Chaos has a server problem.

I must say that it feels a little unprofessional. Usually Coronarender was rock solid.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: Atlantis on 2022-05-15, 14:20:18
I just completed the Corona benchmark test.
There it shows that my Mac Studio Ultra with 128gB is the fastest Mac so far.

But slow compared to much cheaper Windows PC's of even years back.

Are you sure Corona Benchmark is running natively on M1?
I would guess it is running under Rosetta.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-15, 20:58:38
Its running Rosetta. Can't change that. So most likely the m1 get too about 50 sec. natively but who knows. I do see that a co-workers PC with a AMD 16 core finishes at about 50 sec.

The m1 Ultra is not super fast but ok. I do think its faster for general workloads aside rendering like modelling, texturing, the asset browser for instant is completely instant if you have your databases on the Ultra's ssd.

The biggest issue for me is wondering about the Mac in general is that my co-workers have great fun with apps like Twin Motion, Unreal, Lumion and a few others that for me or unavailable. I am certain that the main workflow at the office will go through these apps rather than through me with C4D and CR. Looking a few years ahead it might be better to switch now to PC. Actually I had already expected to be far behind but the image quality is still lacking enough to give me an edge over what my colleagues are producing.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: kade on 2022-05-16, 12:41:36
Twinmotion and Unreal both have a Mac version and run great on current hardware. You should give them a try.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-17, 01:44:04
I heard co-workers say it doesn't run well. Crashing and so on.
Enscape is coming to Mac I understand.

Today I had clients over and I really need tools to give them a bit of a look and feel with a real time app. C4D / CR is better suited for fine tuned images. The UI of C4D / CR is also not really for a client / architect meeting.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: kade on 2022-05-17, 02:51:54
Twinmotion was crashing quite often on low video memory systems of old (Intel). New M1 systems (with 64GB for example) run it very well. It’s really better to try it by yourself. I’m working in it almost daily.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-17, 09:15:47
Ok, Tx. Will surely try it again then. But I have a co-worker here beside working in Twin Motion but the work I see done uses the path tracer. And that as far as I know does work on a Mac.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: kade on 2022-05-18, 17:52:56
Pathtracer works great but it’s only available on high end cards with hardware ray tracing, so not all Windows machines can use it.
As for Mac, current M1 systems do not support it but there should be no doubt that it’s coming with M2 or M3 or wherever Apple is ready.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: Philw on 2022-05-18, 18:17:48
As an aside - I've just seen massive speed gains with Apple Silicon Blender 3.3a and Monterey 12.4 Cycles GPU. Such gains in fact that I've started to doubt what I've seen! :-)
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-19, 00:11:26
Ok, that's good news.
I would love to keep working with Apple but not up to the point that my work suffers.

I will check out Blender as well. Do you have a link of what you saw ?
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: Philw on 2022-05-19, 07:36:06
My post is the last one here: https://devtalk.blender.org/t/cycles-apple-metal-device-feedback/21868/350
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-20, 01:12:54
Tx Philw
I am not familiar with blender, cycles or the render speed.
From what I saw is that is takes quit a bit more hassle to go from Vectorworks to Blender compared to C4D. That's why I have not bothered with Blender so far.

I got a lengthy support session by Chaos to solve the problem of the cosmos browser not functioning on the Ultra .They got it solved for now by installing the previous version of the cosmos browser.

This is one of the first renders I made with the Ultra 128Gb. I had a terrain modeled that was quit a bit larger taking 125Gb ram at rendering. I reduced the size of the terrain and underneath the house and from then on around 65Gb was in use at rendering. I don't know how long it took to the final render at around 500 samples but it looked not all that different at about 3 min at 12 samples.

I think I spend far more time getting the materials, the model and assets right compared to the rendering proces. Modelling and materialising the scene is completely fluent on the Ultra. (The car is a electric Bollinger that never came in full production).


Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: Philw on 2022-05-20, 06:36:35
Excellent work.

The point I was making (badly) is that is still early days for everything on Apple Silicon and the blender post shows that even in gpu land that optimizations are possible/happening. Just sticking up for Macs a bit!
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: runx on 2022-05-20, 10:16:28
Tx Philw
I am not familiar with blender, cycles or the render speed.
From what I saw is that is takes quit a bit more hassle to go from Vectorworks to Blender compared to C4D. That's why I have not bothered with Blender so far.

I got a lengthy support session by Chaos to solve the problem of the cosmos browser not functioning on the Ultra .They got it solved for now by installing the previous version of the cosmos browser.

This is one of the first renders I made with the Ultra 128Gb. I had a terrain modeled that was quit a bit larger taking 125Gb ram at rendering. I reduced the size of the terrain and underneath the house and from then on around 65Gb was in use at rendering. I don't know how long it took to the final render at around 500 samples but it looked not all that different at about 3 min at 12 samples.

I think I spend far more time getting the materials, the model and assets right compared to the rendering proces. Modelling and materialising the scene is completely fluent on the Ultra. (The car is a electric Bollinger that never came in full production).

you can have the latest Cosmos Browser Version!
Install the latest Version
> go to    ~/Users/ChaosCosmos
Backup the 3 Folders somewhere
> delete the Folders
>logout / in
>go to    ~/Users/ChaosCosmos/Packages and change the 3 Folders(your models) with the previous ones
>> restart
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-20, 10:48:49
@Runx
I wa specifically asked by support not to install the lastest cosmos. And it took a long time to get it work again so I better stick to their advise.

@Philw
tx. I am happy with my Mac Ultra but don't think that without Nvidia's hardware raytracing and hyperthreading Apple is a match yet.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-05-27, 11:21:39
My experience with the Mac Studio Ultra matches this review:

I think that for C4D and Coronarender the Mac Studio Ultra is great little computer. GPU performance is not an issue with CR. But if you plan to use Twinmotion and other realtime apps as well along with CR than a PC would be a far better choice. Apple can't compete at all with current GPU render speeds.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: dacian on 2022-07-30, 20:19:46
OK, I finally got my Mac Studio yesterday (maxed out, except for the 2tb ssd). Going to install Corona now. Are there any settings that you guys would recommend for c4d? Like for example to disable cpu+gpu rendering? Is that a thing that Corona/C4D would do by default? My work is less visualisation and more artistic so I'm also not familiar with all the samples or percents or noise levels you guys are talking about. I just render 20 passes or so until the render looks good. Any tips?
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: Philw on 2022-07-31, 11:39:56
Nothing to configure really - GPU is not a thing for Corona.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: dacian on 2022-08-01, 15:11:30
Thanks @Philw for replying both here and in the Redshift Forum.

What is everyone's experience with noise? I expected it to be completely quiet. Maybe the reviewers exaggerated the quietness. I can hear the air blowing when the room is very quiet.
I also hear a slight high pitched humming like when an old HDD would start and wind up, but not that loud. I can hear It when I put my ear close to the exhaust of the Studio.
Here's a recording: https://www.dropbox.com/s/t7oaemgssvvhvdu/Studio%20Ultra%20fan%20noise.m4a?dl=0
The hissing in the beginning is just background noise picked up by the microphone that I don't even hear. Computer wakes at around 5s.
I made it with the iPhone microphone set on the desk right behind the computer. The two louder clicks are my mouse waking the computer and putting it back to sleep. Makes it feel louder than it actually is.
The high pitched sound is audible with the ear right to the back of the computer. But when I work at night and it's really quiet I can hear it slightly from about 1m away.
The air exhaust sound is not bothering me, but this squeak is.

@frv maybe you have some experience with this?

My 2019 MBP is very loud but it only blows air, it doesn't hum. And I can't compare it to a PC.
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: Philw on 2022-08-01, 15:17:22
All I can go on is my M1Max Macbook Pro for fan experience - and fans do kick in under load - which is to be expected. The cooling system in the Studio is huge so I guess the same is also to be expected. My guess is that the squeak is coil whine which is unavoidable sometimes (GPUs are big on coil whine). Some systems don't have it, and some ears don't hear it. I always do!
Title: Re: Mac Studio Experience?
Post by: frv on 2022-08-02, 13:54:38
I hear nothing really. But I work in an office with a lot of sounds. At home I also heard nothing though. Unless I put my ears next to the Studio Ultra. And this was while rendering for hours using all cores and 125Gb memory.