Random white flashes in application windows bug

loocas | miscellaneous,technical | Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

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Take a look at the video above. It shows TweakSoftware’s RV experiencing this horrid effect. I’ve also had Maya experiencing similar behavior. Random white flashing for a millisecond or two, just enough to be noticable and very, very annoying! But only in a handful of applications, all sharing a similar GUI framework, Qt. But I never encountered a similar issue in Nuke, for example. It seemed to be related to VSync in the GPU drivers or Windows drivers somewhere, however, after exhaustively testing and ruling out one possible cause after another, I finally found out that the problem was Logitech’s old mouse drivers!

I never paid too much attention to my Mouse and Keyboard (both from Logitech) drivers as they simply worked from day one so I kept on installing the same, aging, version. However, after finally uninstalling and installing the latest SetPoint drivers, I finally got rid of this irritating problem! Both RV and Maya now behave as advertised!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any more concrete information about this issue, but I bumped into a few programming forums discussing VSync issues and Logitech’s mouse drivers, which lead me to try reinstalling them with the current version.

So, if anyone out there suffers similar problems and has no idea how to get rid of it, try uninstalling Logitech’s drivers.

Sandybridge in a RACK

loocas | hardware,opinions | Monday, January 17th, 2011

Sandybridge under full load

I must say, I am very pleased with the new Sandybridge i7-2600 in my render farm. It’s super powerful, it consumes less power and is a lot cooler in the tiny 1U rack configuration!

It’s been under a 100% load (3ds Max rendering) for over two hours and the CPU temperature hasn’t even reached 70°C! Now that is impressive, considering the i7-860s I have in the rack are a bit slower, consume more power, but mainly, in their tiny 1U configs, easily reach 90°C-95°C under full load after a few minutes.

This has been a huge improvement and I can confirm all the rumors and speculations on the forums that Sandybridge really is a great CPU for your general processing tasks. As if it was specifically designed for low-cost render farms. :D

duber.tv will be permanently shut-down by July 2011

loocas | miscellaneous,videotutorials | Saturday, January 15th, 2011

duber.tv

That is right folks, duber.tv, a free VFX videotutorials resource, will be permanently shut-down by July 2011. This is tough news for me as it is, I believe, for some of you.

I’ve given this a long and thorough thought and I came up to this conclusion. duber.tv simply doesn’t make any money and thus doesn’t make any sense for me to keep running. You might not realize, but keeping a server full of lenghty and rather large free videos is an expensive business and since it’s extremely tough to survive in this business, I’ve decided to shut it down and dedicate the resources to a different venture that I’m about to pursue in 2011.

I’m sorry to all of you who loved duber.tv and I hope that at least a tiny plaster might be the fact that I’ll still keep on publishing free lectures and tutorials now and then here on this very place, blog.duber.cz.

Also, I’ll close down the training DVDs shop on my main web-site very soon. So, if you want to make a purchase, do so quickly as I’ll be removing the DVDs from my site for good. They’ve served very well to, both, you guys and me, but I have to keep my focus on more important ventures, which is my core business, VFX post-production and 3D animation.

Thanks for all your support and understanding. You’ve been awesome!

Sandybridge benchmark

loocas | hardware,opinions,technical | Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Sandybridge

When I read the news about the new generation of CPUs from Intel, Sandybridge, I was trhilled! And when these bad boys were finally available at the local hardware stores, I immediately bought one. :)

I gave my new Core i7 2600 a quick spin and after initial OS install immediately tested its performance using Frybench.

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My first AMD turned into my last AMD, ever!

loocas | hardware,opinions | Sunday, January 9th, 2011

My first AMD

If you’ve read my last post about my first ever AMD machine I bought just to test out the fantastic power consumption and mainly heat dissipation attributes, I burnt myself, almost litterarly, with it.

I might have had just a bad luck, but the cpu, AMD Phenom II X6 1055T, is a fucking fusion reactor! Man, I was planning on putting that thing in a 1U rack case config with a special 1U Dynatron cooler, but as it turned out, it’s impossible! The CUP’s TJ Max is about 70°C, yet under no load, in BIOS, the temperature climbed to 45°C with the standard, included, cooler. As soon as I mounted the 1U Dynatron cooler on that thing and checked the BIOS readings, the CPU slowly climbed to about 65°C and kept on rising! That’s when I turned the machine of, just to not catch fire, or whatever!

I am so dissappointed in this CPU and AMD in general that I will never, ever, buy another AMD CPU in my life. You can call it irrational or spontaneous, but believe me, I’ve been building my computers since I was 13 or 12 and I’ve always stuck with Intels (even at their worse times), yet I’ve never been so dissappointed by their CPUs.

I’ll reclaim the CPU and see if it was just a bad unit. If not, I’ll sell the stove to someone with a huge-ass cooler for a few bucks and be done with it.

NukeOps. Tools for 3ds Max to Nuke workflow.

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Nuke,software,technical | Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

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To celebrate a new, fresh year ahead, I sat down and wrote a script that I’ve wanted to write for some time. A simple to use, yet powerful set of tools that’d help out anyone working in 3ds Max and Nuke to get the 3ds Max Cameras and locators (be it geometry, point helpers or anything between) to Nuke, flawlessly and with as little effort as possible.

So I condensed two essential functions into a single-click button in your toolbar. :) Watch the vieo above for a thorough description with examples.

The functionality could be described as Save To File and Copy To Clipboard methods. The first one will take all the selected objects and will generate a .chan file for each of them which can then be imported back in Nuke’s Axis or Camera nodes. The second one is pretty cool and rather powerful. I wrote a set of functions that take the selected objecs and generate a full Nuke script in the memory, which is then stored in the clipboard. A simple Ctrl+V in Nuke’s node editor will then paste in the generated Nuke script with all the Cameras and Axis nodes as they were in 3ds Max’s scene. Very cool, fast and useful for more complex comping in Nuke.

Anyways, the tools are licensed under the Creative Commons License, so, feel free to enhance and share the scripts as you like, as long as you give me credits for it. ;)

DOWNLOAD, install by drag and dropping onto you 3ds Max scene. Don’t forget to copy the import_chan_file.tcl to your Nuke plugins directory.

Enjoy!

EDIT: If you’re having trouble installing the script using the .mzp installer, just open the NukeOps.mzp file with WinRAR or WinZIP (or directly in TotalCommander for example), extract the files and copy them to the appropriate folders of you 3ds Max installation (in my case it’s the C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2011\ folder):

  • duber_NukeOps.mcr to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2011\ui\usermacros
  • NukeOps.ms to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2011\Scripts\Startup
  • all the .BMP files to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2011\ui\usericons

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