What can be done to reduce startup time?

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  • Hi,

    I am using Enscape to render complex Revit projects with several Revit links and large numbers of RPC Entourage coming from Archvision. I do not expect Enscape to work magic in processing such large amounts of data, but it seems like lately my load times have increased substantially and I would like, at a minimum, to develop an understanding of why.

    While I understand the ongoing status of texture resolution and downsampling treatment in each release, either this is a huge issue for the model I am working on currently, or there is something else at play. For what it's worth, we have recently gone through all of the textures in this model to eliminate large file sizes and resolutions... nearly all of our bitmap textures are now under 1600px square and 1mb, and most are much smaller, with perhaps 6 exceptions that might be 3000px square and 2.5mb. After crippling startup times and completely unusable lagginess in recent and current (as in today - 5/23/19) Enscape builds, I just rolled back Enscape to and the difference in smoothness of navigation once the model is opening is night and day (and that's an understatement).

    I have immediate use for some of the features in more recent versions of Enscape and would prefer to use the most current build, but unfortunately I am finding that impossible with respect to usability for some reason.

    I am on an Alienware R15 with an i7-7820HK, GTX1070 and 32GB RAM. NVIDIA drivers are up-to-date as of today as well.

    Independently from the feedback above, I am also curious to understand more about the bottleneck between Revit export and model loadup in Enscape. With a large model I am experiencing at least 10 minutes of "pause" between Revit's completion of the model export to Enscape and Enscape's processor/GPU blitz in the minute or so preceding loadup of the model in Enscape. During this period, Task Manager shows a dropoff in CPU and GPU usage to ~30% or less, RAM usage drops from ~90% to ~60%, and disk usage is negligible. Can someone explain to me what is occurring during this time, and whether there is anything that can be done to reduce it?

  • I'm on almost the same R15 laptop but with a GTX 1080 card and when using the builds just before 2.5 was released, I was also experiencing extremely slow Enscape startup times. After updating to the latest build today, it has gotten back to 'normal" with much shorter startups. I'm using Enscape with Revit 2019, not Sketchup or Rhino.

  • I don't know about Revit, (I use SU) but I have found that using PNGs instead of JPGs has quite an impact on larger models. (Using 2 JPGs - one for a mask and one for the image is much quicker than using one PNG.)

    The standard advice is also to reduce the poly-count of high rez components before using them, and if you don't need to zoom in to see the detail of a surface, you don't need to use an ultra-high definition texture for it.

  • The latest releases do not allow textures larger than 2048x2048px, just like it was before the first release of 2.5. There is somewhat more logic implemented since 2.4 for better textures distribution in VRAM, but it should not influence the startup time significantly. You can check how much time was spent on textures allocation in logs (%AppData%\Enscape\Data\Logs), look for the following lines:

    [normal] Updated model textures in Xms.

    There might be several such lines.

  • Thanks for the insight, Alexander. Would you say that the texture downsampling/optimization process would or would not add a perceptible amount of loadup time when comparing a model with no textures above 2048px to an identical model with perhaps 20 textures above 2048px?

    To go back to my original post, I am also very curious about the lagginess after the model has loaded that I (and other users in my firm) have experienced with more recent Enscape builds. I was inclined to attribute this to the reduction in texture size limitations, but with the reintroduction of downsampling in 2.5.2, for me at least, the smoothness of navigation and lagginess actually went from bad to way worse, which is what prompted my downgrade to and this post. My comparison between these two builds is running the same computer, same GPU driver, same model and same Enscape settings.

    I know nothing about the backend of this software, but for what it's worth, to me it almost seemed like "Automatic Resolution" was not working, even though I triple-checked Enscape settings to ensure that it was enabled, over multiple attempts to resolve the issue including restarts. The issue I was experiencing (independent of the long load times) was essentially getting one updated frame in the Enscape window every 20 or so seconds. This one frame, when loaded, would be noticeably sharper than usual and even have some pixelation around edges similar to a high-res image that has been scaled down, which is why I mention automatic resolution. Even dragging or resizing the Enscape window itself (not the content loading within it) was cripplingly slow. So at least for me there is some other issue at play here, and given my immediate success with the older Enscape build mentioned, I am disinclined to believe that it is hardware- or driver-related. I should also mention that we have at least two additional staff members who are working in the same model and who are experiencing the same issues.

    I am going to add a list of some additional facts about my model below, in the event that it helps the development team or others here answer the question about the source of these issues:

    • presence of NURBS content in solid polysurface form brought into Revit from Dynamo (only one family)
    • many *'d views... worth noting that the Enscape build that I am having success with is pre- 'Views' sidebar
    • *'d views include several 3d views and several perspective views
    • presence of roughly 800 Archvision RPC entourage families, many of which are "3D+" (i.e. the rendered content is actually 3d)
    • high degree of reflective materials (glass, terrazzo, powdercoated metal, etc)
    • Revit model filesize is roughly 970mb; links loaded in our typical rendered views add roughly 650mb to that

    ...I will update this post if I think of anything else that might be contributing to my issues.

    • Official Post

    Hi thomasvick

    thank you for your thorough feedback report! There should be no siginificant slowdowns in rendering performance in general between version 2.4 and 2.5, except when using very high res textures. However we've introduce textured reflections on quality level Ultra with 2.5, so in case you're working on Ultra this might be something you'd want to check, as it could explain your described behavior.

    Other than that we'd appreciate receiving feedback with log files from you (there's a feedback button on the Enscape ribbon) and if possible the opportunity to have a look at the mentioned Revit project ourselves (all data will of course be handled completely confidential). Getting a first hand look will allow us to figure out what's going on a lot faster, otherwise we can only offer speculations.

    Thanks for your help in advance! :)

  • Hi Clemens,

    Unfortunately, I am not able to share the Revit project with you - however, I would be happy to review any relevant information with you over a web call via GoToMeeting or Skype for Business (which my company uses), as well as send log files (done) and provide you with any desired metrics and data-points relevant to the Revit project and/or hardware.

    This issue is still unbelievably frustrating for several users in my company, which currently holds 15 floating Enscape licenses. I am working on animations in a large model, and recognize the significant improvements that have been made to movement and path smoothing between keyframes in 2.5, so again today I tried upgrading from 2.4.1 where I have been stuck for months. I upgraded to 2.6 and was (as noted in another thread) unable to see any of our Archvision RPCs, so I proceeded to reinstall 2.5.2 with the assumption that you must have been correct and my experience was a either a fluke or attributable to textured reflections. Unfortunately, with the same hardware/drivers/model/view/settings as I was using yesterday without issue in, 2.5.2 has such extreme input and render lag that it is... not borderline unusable, but completely unusable. That is the case even with Rendering Quality all the way down to Draft (I have never felt the need to work in any setting besides Ultra in my experience with 2.4 and below). This means that I must once again spend an hour or more of billable time closing down my project, reinstalling a legacy Enscape build from 7 months ago, and relaunching my rendered view to work on pathing for an animation which I know would be more successful in newer versions of your software. I am by far the heaviest Enscape user and advocate within my company, and all of our users with whom I am in contact are experiencing the same issues with large models in newer Enscape builds.

    I really do love and rely on your software, and I apologize for the tone of this message, but... PLEASE put someone in contact with me or the license-holder for my firm with the intent to work through this until the source of the problem is identified - otherwise we will have no choice but to refocus our attention to other software options for rendering, much to my disappointment.

    • Official Post

    Thanks for your further feedback thomasvick , it would be very helpful for our developers to, in the first instance, receive the feedback report as mentioned. Please include your forum name in the submission form so that we can directly connect the info to this thread.

    If you've already submitted feedback, kindly send me the e-mail of yours (via PM) which you've used in the form.

  • I've been experiencing the same thing what I did that fixed it for me at least temporarily (my enscape exe is 656mb, the revit model is 542mb and there are 349 RPC's.) Its 6 stories, with rpc content in many rooms and exterior and I found if I launched the whole thing at once and turned off all the rpc's it was fine(no good, need the rpc's). Or today I tried creating a section box around just level 1 with rpc's on and it was fine, i then adjusted the section box to show the whole model and all is well again. So maybe there is an issue with the way enscape loads the model to the memory that if it spikes to high at first it kills it. Just like the surge of a compressor motor kicking on, drains to much power and causes a fault.