I need a better cooling system, and heck, while I am at it, a better, faster machine than the one I have now. I just realized that my current PC, the one that I do most of my work on, is now reaching three years old, way past its upgrade time according to Moore’s Law. My latest creation 3D from Blender was reaching 1.3 million polygons in the scene, and as soon as the PC would start a render, it would crash. Finally, I finished with a much lower poly count than what I wanted in my final render of the scene, a far reduced expectation of my envisioned art. It boils down to the need for a better graphics card for my PC, and a faster CPU for it, with a more efficient cooling system attached to that.
An image I rendered with Blender 2.71: The Ice Cube, using volumetric atmosphere lighting, rendering in cycles at a very high render.
It is not surprising that I would reach my PC’s limit on nearly every 3D scene I have created in the last month or so. Achieving a super realistic look,with super fine details, would lead to the machine’s physical limitations. I have switched from the world of that cartoon look and feel, to the real world look in my 3D art. Some renders now take up to a whole day to complete, yet only a couple of hours to create.
With my PC working so hard, I have had on more than a few occasions now where the warning alarm has gone off becuase of overheating issues inside the machine. Sure, I have cleaned the dust-bunnies out from it, and added more cooling fans, but after fifteen hours of hard rendering, and the mid-day Sun, my poor machine just cannot keep up with it all. It is frustrating having to restart a render after loosing a ninety percent completed scene, only to start all over again–hoping for the best.
Here is the offending scene, at 1.3 million polygons. I ended up reducing the particle system’s count on the floor-plane (the simulated grass) to less than 1000, to keep the PC from crashing while trying to render it out in Blender. There is a lot going in this scene, volumetric atmosphere, sculptured rocks using Blender’s Dynamic Topology sculpting tools, and the trees–using the sapling plugin. In order to pull off the render (as you see it now) I had to leave the scene without using any subsurface modifiers, and a reduced partial system that I was using as my scene’s grass. I never even got to adding in image textures, colours and more objects.