Luke Thompson

How I get Visualize Queue and Boost to work

Discussion created by Luke Thompson on Oct 1, 2020

I see a lot of discussion on broken queue servers and Boost functionality. I posted this on a thread a couple months ago, but I'm creating a separate discussion because I think it's particularly valuable. Below are tips and tricks i've used over the last 2 years to get Visualize Pro Queue server to work consistently. I'm running Visualize Pro 2020.

 

Please note I only have 1 PC with one Quadro RTX 4000 graphics card on the cluster. Additional or different graphics cards may have special nuances. Usually something usually breaks every 3-6 months that I have to spend a few minutes to fix it. I don't know how much of this is due to my company's firewall. The Queue can be a huge pain in the rear, but I usually have several renderings going simultaneously and so it's a necessity otherwise I'd be bogged down. 

 

Here are a few of the things that have been fixes or good practice for stable operation.

  • Restart your computer. I have to say that (don't judge me). 
  • Always run Visualize and Queue in administrator mode***** This is a big one. 
  • Purge your queue occasionally or if you're having issues. I usually stop and restart the services when I do this. 
  • If you have multiple versions of visualize installed, ensure previous visualize queue manager and boost versions are not running. Uninstall all previous visualize versions otherwise they conflict. I've had difficulty removing my previous installation's services so I have to make sure the old 2019 services are stopped.
  • The "stop service" and "start service" usually has to be done both from within the queue manager as well as the Windows task manager. Stop in visualize, then ensure it stops in windows. Then restart in windows and start in visualize. Flip flop back and forth until it works.
  • If your renders are failing, check the log files which you can find a link to in the settings. You'll learn to look for fatal errors and warnings in the SWVisualize.Queue and SLDWORKSVisualize and OfflineRenderer files and SWVisualize.Queue.Server. This can hint at what is going wrong. "String maybeFullPAth" or "String fullPAth usually means your file name is too long. All you really care about are the ones that say "WARN" or "ERROR"
    • When my boost doesn't work usually it's a windows permission issue (hence running admin) or my character limit is too long.
    •  Change your Queue Output directory to somewhere in your root directory of your local hard drive. Windows has a 255 character limit and for some reason Visualize likes to make huge long deep directories for where it actually stores files. A simple short name is already at 96 characters out of 255 available on my root directory. Put that in your user directory and it'll get to 255 in a hurry. This will allow you to use longer more descriptive file names. 
  • Ensure your computer doesn't run out of VRAM. I use GPUz since window's GPU monitoring is very lacking. 
  • Ensure your and your farm PC has IP addresses that are fixed and not floating if you're using a farm PC
  • Windows updates really mess with visualize as permissions, security changes and others really mess with the Queue. If you're stuck, undo the last updates. 
  • Ensure windows and any firewall you have have exceptions made for all of the ports you're using to communicate to a farm PC. 
  • If your completed or practically completed render won't load when you click it, it's probably stuck. you can usually dig it out of your output directory if you go deep enough. For some reason it couldn't move the file from the temporary directory to the location you told it to save. 
      • For me the files are at: C:\VisQueue\Username\ Render File name \jobs\ Really Long gibberish \output  (See how you reach 255 characters in a hurry?)
  • Don't save your output directory to a networked drive. Always use a local drive. For some reason at least our network connection isn't stable enough and can lead to failed renders. 
  • If your queue will render 1 job then fail the rest, it's usually an issue with the services in windows. 
  • Last resort is to delete all of your temporary files in windows under directory "%Temp" using windows explorer. Visualize uses some files there and occasionally gets stuck. 
  • Here are a few helpful screenshots for settings I use: 
  • Be gentle with Visualize if you use the PowerBoost feature. Don't do any work until powerboost starts to kick in. Queued camera movements and appearance changes while it's trying to load will cause it to crash Visualize. Be patient while it loads. Save before you initialize Powerboost. Also, within Visualize, be sure the boost cluster status reads as "Rendering" or "Connected". Mine usually crashes visualize if it reads "Idle". Click "Connect" to re-connect and it should be good to go. I'm not quite sure what it's doing here. 
  • PowerBoost is really handy when you want to preview the final render. I can get up to 20 passes per second with my RTX 4000 on a fairly complex assembly. With my Quadro P4000 on my workstation, it's about half that. Beyond that, I don't use it since it's too unstable and it needs to re-upload to the queue every time you change something. 

 

Hopefully this brain dump helps a few of you. I wish I found some of this info when I first started. I've probably spent 3-4 weeks on debugging and troubleshooting since I started just over 2 years ago. Get the queue working first, then you can get a farm attached if you want one.

 

Good luck. 

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