Pesky Gremlins Comic 716 – Finding a Bug

Finding a Bug

With the garage itself just about finished and the items to fill the garage completed, it should be a simple matter to load the garage up with all of those items.  Easy, right?

I planned to load the garage scene in a bottom to top fashion.  In other words, the smallest items, like bottles and spray paint cans, would be loaded into the next larger items, like shelves and work benches,  and then the larger item would be loaded into a section of wall.   Thus when I finish, I would have a flexible scene in which I could hide items like walls, and the ceiling in order to generate the scene that I wanted.  Easy, right?

Since one side of the garage is comprised of the garage door itself, that side would serve as the starting point.   Here is what the starting point looked like (and our finishing point from the last installment):

garage render

The garage door still needs a little work in that some supports are missing and not sized correctly. The other wall with the windows is where I will start loading items. garage render Here is that same wall once the items for that wall have been loaded. The garage door supports have been added. The windows now have blinds. Shelves, signs, and even a stack of old wheels are now present. All of the items that have lived on that side of the garage since the cartoon’s inception are now there.

The next wall to populate would be the adjacent wall. This wall would be the one with the red tool chest that has appeared many times in the past. It would also contain work bench and a lot more shelves. garage render Here is the wall once it has been fully loaded with many items ripe for gremlin mischief. The work bench is tidy and clean now. I don’t expect that to last long. It took the computer quite a bit longer to load all of these items and longer still to render them but still easy, right?

One more wall to load and then the cars could be loaded and the scene would be complete, just add gremlins! This wall would have a couple of densely packed shelves, an air compressor, and the water heater. I saved it for last because it would have the most items and probably take a little tweaking to get it right. I loaded the first shelf that was next to the door and that’s when things stopped being easy. For some reason, the Blender program crashed. Probably just a little bug. I could restart it and continue on from my last save point. However, every time I loaded that shelf, Blender would crash! What kind of bug was I running into!

A little Google searching revealed that I might be running into memory constrains. At first I dismissed this. I THOUGHT that I had a powerful computer. How could a simple scene like this gobble up 32GB? But after looking at the Windows Task Manager, I was surprised to see that the scene with the 3 walls loaded was consuming almost 28GB! Loading that last shelf pushed it over the 32GB limit and BLAM, Blender crashes. Stupid bug.

At that point, I did all the usual things that one does trying to conserve memory. I shutdown all of my other programs and tried to load it again. Nope, still not enough memory. I then spent a great deal of time trying to shrink the size of many of the larger models. This helped, but there is only so far one can go with this approach before the models start to look distorted. In the end, I was able to load the first shelf, the air compressor, and the water heater but not the second shelf nor anything else.

Another effect of running out of memory was a greatly increased render time. With the 3 walls loaded, depending on options selected, my computer could render the scene in 5 to 10 minutes. Which is not too bad. However, with the last wall loaded, the scene is taking somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour.

Here is how the remaining wall looks at the moment.

garage render


As you can see it looks a little bare.

…and of course, there is no way to load the cars into the scene.

New memory has been placed on order and I am hopeful that will squash this bug. Finding a Bug

14 thoughts on “Pesky Gremlins Comic 716 – Finding a Bug

  1. The garage scenes look amazingly realistic. But that is a LOT of stuff you have packed in there. I’ve never heard of lack of memory as the reason someone couldn’t put their cars in the garage before! Hopefully more memory will solve that.

    PS What are those grey items on the last shelf?

    1. Ha! You are right, I have heard of forgetting to put the car in the garage, but never leaving it out due to lack of memory. 🙂

      The gray lines in the 4th panel on the bottom shelf of the work bench? Those are shadows cast from the work bench vertical supports.

      1. No, the gray deflated ball things in the shelf by the compressor. Are they like sacks? And two brown ones that look similar.

        1. Oh, lighting isn’t very good there is it? Yes, those gray (,brown, and black) deflated things next to the compressor are nylon draw string bags (sacks). The draw string bags were the output of a “cloth” tutorial, so I stuck a few on the shelf.

  2. Hey Bug! You stink!

    1. I am not a big fan of the Computer Bug’s work here, either.

  3. We hope to see the Gremlins soon!

    1. The gremlins will be back very soon!

  4. And I thought my lack of memory had to do with old age. Damn you Rob, damn you to hell!!!
    The garage is really coming along nicely. Great work. I buy background free panels for my Devils. They’re cheaper that way.

    1. Hmm, you might be on to something. The lack of memory might not be entirely computer related.

      Thanks Tony! You are right in that those background free panels would have been much cheaper than adding more computer memory!

  5. Man, I hate those bugs!
    And OMG I can’t believe that CGI garage! Wow! :O

    1. Computer bugs REALLY annoy me. Especially, when they cost money.

      Thanks Dana! The CGI garage is coming along nicely. However, it still needs a bit of work. It is missing a couple of details (from previous comic strips) and it still looks a little too realistic.

  6. Looking good in the neighborhood.

    1. Thanks JP. The neighborhood is pretty much confined to the garage itself right now but once I figure out how to do this, the rest of the neighborhood will be added.

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