Particle caching does not work most of the time

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adrencg
Posts: 189
Joined: 05 May 2012, 00:50

Particle caching does not work most of the time

Post by adrencg » 25 Mar 2018, 17:00

This subject has been talked about several times around here over the years, but I'd like to see if we can get another discussion going about the best practices to follow when saving and loading particle caches. It's so unreliable. Sometimes it works...sometimes it doesn't, no matter what method I use. If I save it with cache on file, and run the cache from the ice tree it works -- but won't render on my farm. If I use "save cache on selection" and "load cache from selection", it might be unable to read and have error on re-opening the scene because it "can't find xxxxx.cache file".

Most of the time when I have a scene with particles I end up having to render on one computer. I know it's not anything I'm doing wrong because it has worked before. But does anyone have any tricks you employ to make it work reliably? Please, I'm desperate for some help in this area.

jonmoore
Posts: 108
Joined: 30 Jul 2016, 18:18

Re: Particle caching does not work most of the time

Post by jonmoore » 25 Mar 2018, 21:33

I do all of my Soft particle caching with Alembic. The final version of Alembic that came with 2015 was multithreaded so it's a whole lot faster than standard caching. That goes for both reading and writing. Always best to only cache the attributes you need (typically position, velocity & color in many cases).

One counter intuitive thing is that you'll want to disable Exocortex Crate if you have it installed. For all the good things Crate enables, it's single threaded so you'll want to avoid reading the cache back via Crate.

adrencg
Posts: 189
Joined: 05 May 2012, 00:50

Re: Particle caching does not work most of the time

Post by adrencg » 25 Mar 2018, 23:46

Thanks...I don't have 2015 and was going to try Alembic in 2014 sp2(my version) based on your post. I don't care about the speed as long as it works. But, your suggestion gave me idea that never entered my mind before. I tried using a Redshift proxy sequence for my particles with instance objects attached and it works perfectly. I don't know why I never thought of trying that before.

NNois
Posts: 703
Joined: 09 Jun 2009, 20:33

Re: Particle caching does not work most of the time

Post by NNois » 26 Mar 2018, 10:22

Hello,
Yup that, and motion blur infinites problems... was the things that make me switch to Houdini where you don't have to deal with that. On Softimage that's totally unreliable and caching to alembic man... that's not a good way to work at all, too much work.

jonmoore
Posts: 108
Joined: 30 Jul 2016, 18:18

Re: Particle caching does not work most of the time

Post by jonmoore » 26 Mar 2018, 13:36

NNois wrote:
26 Mar 2018, 10:22
Hello,
and caching to alembic man... that's not a good way to work at all, too much work.
I have to disagree. Don't forget Alembic is optimised for point caches too. It's the best workflow IMO and it enables you to easily use the cache in other DCC's (as long as you have the ability to tweak the attribute names either on import to said DCC or when saving the cache or even as a post process in Soft.

But each to their own. The main reason I like the Alembic approach in Soft is performance (multithreaded writing & reading). The traditional cache system is painfully slow (when it actually works!).