3D High-Resolution Modeling Pitfalls

3D High-Resolution Modeling Pitfalls

Many novice animators wonder, “Why do those animators need all that expensive workstation hardware to get the job done? Everyone says that your 3D Program can do it on a well-equipped PC.” Well, if you have ever tried to work with a high-detail scene, you know what the answer is – processing power. Whenever you throw a bunch of triangles at your system processor (CPU) and say, “Chew on these and give me a model,” it taxes the system power.

The more highly detailed a scene is, the more power you need. This is perhaps the most serious pitfall of doing high-resolution work. Even the fastest computer is not fast enough for richly detailed scenes. Although the PC has come of age in terms of its status in being a workstation-quality computer, it still faces the same problems that more expensive workstations face: processing power. As an animator, you need to know where the bottlenecks are so that you can minimize the “slow-CPU syndrome” as much as possible.

Hardware Limitations When you talk about a workstation-in the case of your 3D Program, a PC workstation- you are actually talking about several components. Even though they are independent of each other, they must all work together to give you the best performance possible. These components include the: CPU, RAM and 3D accelerator (display).

Although this article is not an advertisement for hardware manufacturers, hardware is king in this business. If you do not have the top of the line in all three categories, you are in the wrong business.

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The time you sell yourself short on hardware is the time that you lose a bid for a job because you cannot complete it on time. Like a Boy Scout, “Always be prepared.” The question is how. If you have to upgrade, what should you upgrade first? To find the answer, first evaluate what it is about your computer that seems slow. Is it the display, the rendering time, or just a general “slowness” that you cannot quite isolate to one component?

Whatever the case is, you will find that there are really three steps to upgrading (or buying a new computer) and they should be followed religiously. These steps are upgrading the: RAM memory,CPU and Display.