Long Opening Time

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Long Opening Time

Postby studioe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:02 pm

Hey All,

Anyone else having opening time issues with Skatter?
I have a large (617MB) Sketchup file with various trees and skattered areas, which has progressively taken longer and longer to open. Two days ago, it took 12 minutes to open the file. Actually, the file opens up relatively quickly - at least everything seems open - but if I start to work in the file, I get the blue doughnut of death for 10 minutes.

Yesterday, I added one small area of skattered ground cover (1/4 acre maybe), and now after saving, it took over 3 hours to open the file, and begin working.

I just bought a new monster machine, which isn't fully set up yet, but I thought I would try opening the same file to see if it was an install issue or RAM thing. Same deal - wouldn't open after 25 minutes, so gave up.

Looking for suggestions, as I'm afraid to even use this extension now.

Thanks!

Eric
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Re: Long Opening Time

Postby Box » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:58 pm

617mb is a significantly large file, plus if you are using skatter you are probably adding huge amounts of geometry.
I don't own a computer that would be capable of opening such a file.
An important part of skatter if I remember correctly is the ability to add proxies rather than geometry.
You may want to look into things like that, not to mention purging your model and using simple styles.
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Re: Long Opening Time

Postby rv1974 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:35 pm

I'd suggest 3ds Max+ Forest Pack (or Multiscatter). It'd take 1-2 minutes to open.
P.S. In Sketchup, you could put everything related to Skatter on dedicated layer and turn it off before closing the file. Please report whether it helped
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Re: Long Opening Time

Postby studioe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:20 pm

It seems large, however because the skatter geometry are only proxies, they don't even need time to regenerate when opening, since they aren't visible until I hit render in Thea. And like I mentioned, everything loads in 60 seconds as I left the file....just the donut spins for another two hours. (See attached image)

The irony is, I get a final render out in decent quality in 5 minutes!

I could try putting all scatters on a separate layer, but too late for this project / budget. Out the door tonight.
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Re: Long Opening Time

Postby jiminy-billy-bob » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:29 pm

studioe wrote:Actually, the file opens up relatively quickly - at least everything seems open - but if I start to work in the file, I get the blue doughnut of death for 10 minutes.

That sounds weird.

Can you send me the file to skatter@lindale.io?
Thanks
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Re: Long Opening Time

Postby jiminy-billy-bob » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:05 pm

studioe wrote:It seems large, however because the skatter geometry are only proxies, they don't even need time to regenerate when opening, since they aren't visible until I hit render in Thea.

Actually, Skatter needs to recompute everything when you open the file. Skatter doesn't store the "Render only" data in the file, but in Ruby space (Ruby is the programming language extensions use to communicate with SketchUp). Skatter only store the parameters in the file (density, hosts, etc). If it stored the actual computed data, the file would be several gigabytes in size. In you case, maybe even dozens of gigabytes.
There is no way for Skatter to know when the Thea render starts, so it has to compute the data at startup, and store it in Ruby so that Thea can read it at render-time.

This is what you experience: SketchUp loads your file, extensions and everything. The UI looks like everything is loaded, and at that point Skatter starts to recompute its setups.

In your file it takes ages, because you have high-density setups trying to scatter on large detailed terrain.
For example, "Skatter 16" is trying to scatter 1'721'468 objects on a surface made of 213'604 faces. That's 368 billions of rays to compute (that's a huge number, even for a modern computer). And that's only one of 11 setups, some of which are even heavier than that.

I'm sorry but the only thing to do is to try to simplify the terrain. Keep in mind that when you pick a group/component as a Host, all of its children (nested groups/components) are taken into account.
Maybe you added an object with many faces (people, furniture, tree...?) in a group used as a Host, and that suddenly made everything much much heavier to compute?
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Re: Long Opening Time

Postby studioe » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:19 pm

Ah Ha...ok, that's very helpful information. I thought it was strange because although it was taking forever to open, it wasn't bogging down my computer at all. I had another Sketchup window up and was modeling / rendering fine.

this particular model was created, added to and modified many many times, and was extremely sloppy. It was intended for a quick study, but got manipulated so many times, it was just a mess. Probably had some hidden surfaces that Skatter was being applied to.

Thanks so much for taking a look and letting me know what the issue was. How were you able to see the details about that particular setup? It would be helpful to know where the trouble points are in the future.
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Re: Long Opening Time

Postby jiminy-billy-bob » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:46 pm

If you open the Ruby Console (from the Window menu) before using Skatter, you'll see some information appear while working with Skatter.

In the future, it will help to reduce the physical size of you hosts to just what is needed. You should create a sub-group with only the faces needed for Skatter, and use this sub-group as host. When you only need to scatter on a small piece of terrain, it doesn't make senses to use the whole terrain as host.
Here is some more information on how Skatter works internally : https://help.getskatter.com/article/10- ... projection
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