Startup speed Enscape in large Revit models

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  • We currently have a fairly large model of an office tower of 12 floors. The model takes on average 12min to start up. Is that expected, or is that slow enough that I should file it as a bug report?


    The model also crashes often, but we always get stuck in support tickets with infinite checklist requests. Things like:


    - "try using the latest test build"

    - "I see you are using the latest test build, try using the official build"

    - "update to latest graphics driver"

    - "try rolling back the graphics driver"

    - "oh this is a bim360 model, enscape does not officially support those, we only support single user models on the local drive" (lol, are you serious?!)

    - "oh the textures are all stored on dropbox, try storing them on the local drive and see if that makes a difference" (does support realize how much time this takes to 'just give it a go to see if that makes a difference')


    The support people are clearly going off of an unrealistic long and demanding checklist, which in turn results to every one of our support requests to be closed because sooner or later, they find you don't provide enough information.


    So I'm going to ask this to the fellow Revit users: what's your experience been with loading times on Enscape 3.4 models? What's considered normal these days?

  • Hey Pieter -

    - What's the file size (all combined models) and how many models? Try turning off the links and starting Enscape. Let's rule out something weird in one of the files.

    - Textures take up a lot of memory. Dropbox is fine. Your materials are stored on a locally sync'd folder right?

    - Create a new default 3d View. Turn off everything that's not geometry (including linked files): Scope Boxes, Levels, 2D CAD files, etc. Start Enscape. How long does it take to open?

    More troubleshooting here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse…autodesk-revit-phil-read/

  • What Phil said, +, I know this is not always a fair question, but is your hardware the best your can afford, and or TOTL? Also, I do not model 12 story structures, but I do model very heavy models (15k s.f. highly detailed custom content rez with fully developed topographical sites in model (5 acre), and all elevational hardscape/landscape attached), and even when mine are drunk with a couple of hundred plants/trees, all on/rendering , my load times are never more than a minute or so. I have to believe part of that is now that I'm playing in the textured real-time 3d environ, I did decide to go nuts on the hardware, and it has made such a huge difference.

    Also, I always have HWinfo hardware monitor running, and always watch my GPU temps (especially if you are not running a full spec video card), because these real time programs can really do run up the temps, esp on your GPU, and if that is happening (without knowing it, because not everyone monitors their temps), you will get GPU frame rate reductions and GPU throttling, which will slow your render times (real time/start-up) to a crawl, as your GPU tries to cool itself down so it does not self immolate). This goes for all real time renderers, like Enscape, e.g., Lumion, D5, Twin Motion. Thankfully, out of the bunch, Enscape runs the coolest, and without exception, on anything but the best GPU's, every other real time renderer ran my temps to scary high levels. Which brings up another possible bug to chase: your frame rate in those other programs can be reduced (through settings) which will cool down the temps, and speed up performance, but I don't know a path to reduce frame rates with revit and enscape (that's a question for the Gurus) .

    Back to HWinfo, I would install it, it's free, open your model, and have the monitor running for your GPU and CPU temps in the tray. Monitor those while you are loading, and if your GPU runs into the high 80's or low 90's (and your CPU as well), you could be throttling (on both devices), which could be a big issue, or at least compounding your core problems.

    Therefore, if you begin to realize you could need to upgrade, or at least consider the path, I did try Nvidia's lower end professional graphics cards (RTX A4000), which they claim are the finest cards in their class, and they are good, but in real time rendering, that poor thing would temp spike into the 90's, with every renderer I tried, except Enscape, very quickly. So I decided to bite the bullet, and get the best card I could afford, and because I cannot afford an RTX A6000, I went to an RTX 4090 with an on-board AIO waterblock cooler, and I am SOOOOOO happy I went the gaming card route with the watercooler (Aorus Waterforce 4090, and I understand the Waterforce 3090 is also a great option, and both mean you should also install a 1k power source). Since I installed all of that, my machine is smoking fast, and running very, very cool, even under the most demanding loads, regardless of the renderer.

    So again, what Phil said, (Phil, I know you're a rock star, I've been in the Rev/SU ecosystem since 2001-2, so I've watched\admired/respect your roll), but on the flip side of his sage advice, lays the hardware. You can't go 200 miles an hour in a family car, or even a Mustang, for that, you need a Ferrari, or at least a 911 Porsche.

    So, for me at least, <<<<YMMV>>> a great GPU, a great CPU, (Intel CPU's are now comparatively dirt cheap at the top end), a good motherboard, and in my humble, DDR5 ram and the most you can pack on board, and you'll have the hardware side covered. I also forgot to mention your CPU cooler, I used to run water, full blown, but the intels have gotten so much cooler now, the Noctua coolers work fabulously, so that too. So if your fans are spinning at full blast when you are starting up Enscape (or anything else for that matter, and I'm not talking about the initial 5-8 second fan bump most programs illicit), you could really be maxing out temps, so the best hardware, and GPU on water, great CPU cooling, and that should get you as good as you can be on the hardware side. And the plus is overall fantastic performance improvements in every other area, including Revit's overall performance.

    Best of luck, and skill.

    B.

  • What's the file size (all combined models) and how many models? Try turning off the links and starting Enscape. Let's rule out something weird in one of the files.

    660mb + about 1gb in linked files. So 1.7gb in total. 800Mb of these links are optional and usually not loaded into Enscape. I have made a detached model to experiment and removed all unnecessary links, so the model is down to 660mb+200mb in links. But the loading times are still the same and seem to vary between 7min at the fastest and 16min at the slowest (loading the exact same view with the same worksets loaded).


    - Textures take up a lot of memory. Dropbox is fine. Your materials are stored on a locally sync'd folder right?

    I thought it might be related with that, but I broke all texture paths intentionally so no textures are loaded anymore, and the loading times seem to be the same.



    - Create a new default 3d View. Turn off everything that's not geometry (including linked files): Scope Boxes, Levels, 2D CAD files, etc. Start Enscape. How long does it take to open?

    None of this seems to be make a difference unfortunately.

  • What Phil said, +, I know this is not always a fair question, but is your hardware the best your can afford, and or TOTL? Also, I do not model 12 story structures, but I do model very heavy models (15k s.f. highly detailed custom content rez with fully developed topographical sites in model (5 acre), and all elevational hardscape/landscape attached), and even when mine are drunk with a couple of hundred plants/trees, all on/rendering , my load times are never more than a minute or so. I have to believe part of that is now that I'm playing in the textured real-time 3d environ, I did decide to go nuts on the hardware, and it has made such a huge difference.

    We are using Razer laptops. Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10875H CPU @ 2.30GHz 2.30 GHz with 64gb of ram and an rtx3070. I'm not sure if that qualifies as 'top of the line', but I think it's reasonable.


    It's interesting to hear that you are experiencing a different startup time. In what program are you working? I'm wondering if it could be that Enscape just got a lot slower in some programs but not in others. Or with specific setups, for example a Revit model with links in it. It would be great if others could also share the startup times they are experiencing.


    Thanks for the tip on HWInfo. I used a similar tool years ago but haven't tested it on Enscape. I will keep an eye on the temperatures.


    On the other hand, I think are laptops are reasonably powered and Enscape is a consumer tool for the broad market, so I think if our computers turn out to be underpowered, there's a good argument to be made that Enscape needs to do more optimizing so it runs better on reasonably spec'd hardware. I think that's a big part of our frustration: similarly sized and detailed models, used to run a LOT faster and smoother in Enscape, with fewer crashes, just a few years ago. Yes I appreciate more features and render quality, but not at the expense of crashes or rapidly escalating loading times.

  • Materials use a lot of memory too. Another method to temporarily ignore materials (without breaking links to the materials) is to overwrite the Proposed Phase with a solid color. Revit will ignore the real Appearance material and the model will appear solid. Now start Enscape.

    Check the materials in your custom material folder. What's the total folder size and are there any large textures (4k) that represent a small sample size? I once found myself troubleshooting a customers project with a lid and texture that would've been about 2" x 2" in the real world, and it was a 4K texture assigned throughout the project. Slowed everything down.

  • Materials use a lot of memory too. Another method to temporarily ignore materials (without breaking links to the materials) is to overwrite the Proposed Phase with a solid color. Revit will ignore the real Appearance material and the model will appear solid. Now start Enscape.

    I tested two views, one with all materials overridden and one with regular materials, but the startup times are the same (the one with materials even loaded slightly faster).


    Check the materials in your custom material folder. What's the total folder size and are there any large textures (4k) that represent a small sample size? I once found myself troubleshooting a customers project with a lid and texture that would've been about 2" x 2" in the real world, and it was a 4K texture assigned throughout the project. Slowed everything down.

    I think we can safely rule out textures being the issue here. Originally we had 1gb of textures loaded into my test model but removing all of them barely made a dent in the project performance or stability.


    I appreciate the suggestions of users trying to rule out user error. I'm not ruling it out completely, but we have been working with Enscape for +5 years now and these problems have only appeared since version 3.4. Could still be user error, but I think we should also be open to the possibility of an issue with the newer versions of Enscape with specific setups, for example something specific to large Revit BIM360 projects.


    What would be most helpful for me now is other users' sharing their statistics: When working on large Revit workshared models (+1gb with loaded links), what has your experience been with 3.4 and the preview versions? And how does it compare to earlier versions (3.3 and even going back to 2.9)?