Well, this week’s article is a couple of days late. Why you might ask, well I’ve been busy on my end creating some renderings. I found out a few interesting things during many late nights. First off, Accurender has a small bug in it I found. The project that I’m working on is an exterior rendering that stretches about 1000 feet and is composed of numerous buildings. In order to see them all you have to stand back away, in which case the computer rendering software starts to blur the details, check here. Yet in real life while the item that we are looking at does do some atmospheric blurring, we can still make out brickwork and such. We loose that on a computer, unless we bump the resolution up to a higher level.
The Accurender bug comes up when rendering at very high resolutions. When you tell it to render, it will load the model and start it’s process. Once started it checks the available system resources and crashes completely out of Accurender and AutoCAD if it doesn’t have enough rather than informing you of this and taking you back to the rendering options. I found the bug while trying to render more than around 16,000 x 2,000 pixels with a PIII 500 with 256 Megs of RAM and 5 gigs of free HD space. For those who aren’t familiar with pixels in those terms, it’s equivalent to an image 26.6″x3.3″ at 600 dpi which is 91.6 Megs. The interesting thing to note is this machine can open grpahic files in excess of 600 Megs, but it can’t render a file even half that size. When questioned on this McNeel tech support has stated that you would need 30 gigs of free HD space and 1 gig of RAM.
Personally this seems a bit excessive for a program to require, however we now have the ability to create a machine that can actually match those criteria. I should point out here that on the whole, McNeel makes the very best 3rd party software for AutoCAD around and I am almost always impressed to the degree that they go to in order to make a better product. Autodesk could actually take some good lessons from them in customer pleasing and in creating good software. Accurender may have some funky bits to it, but try finding a better renderer for the same price. Actually many of the plug-ins for Max just to create a couple of trees cost as much as Accurender.