New to blender and I've run into a problem where I ideally need to subdivide a mesh futher (see attached), but any increase in subdivisons results in running out of memory(I have 16GB) despite render times being fairly quick once it is working.

enter image description here

At the moment the scene is just a plane with two subdivision modifiers (6 simple, 4 Catmull-clark) and then a displacement modifier on top of that with a map created in Gaea, lit by a HDRI.

There is only one material, although it is quite a heavy one with 4 seperate 4k megascans materials mixed together, including their displacement maps. I've tried using an adaptive subdivison after the displacement modifier which I thought might help but that seems to make the problem worse and I've had no luck getting that to render at all - even when reducing the other subdivison modifiers

Scene, Modifiers & Material

The scene is quite simple, so I'm hoping there's a way I can optimise it better, but as I'm new to blender I'm not entirely sure if my workflow is the best!

Also, I'm curious if there is anyway to make it so the render ignores geometry off camera? Some of the mesh isn't visible at the moment, but I'd rather not have to apply the modifiers and then delete those parts of the mesh manually

Thanks for your help!

Test Render

  • $\begingroup$ Have you looked into adaptive subdivision? It basically tessalatesthe mesh based on the screen space, keeping a consistent visual subdivision level throughout the camera distance. Helps save a lot of memory $\endgroup$
    – Linguini
    May 26, 2019 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ Adaptive subdivision seems to make the problem only worse oddly, I tried adding adaptive subdiv after the displacement modifier, but haven't been able to render even after reducing the other subdivs a little. I might have another attempt though! $\endgroup$ May 26, 2019 at 23:40
  • $\begingroup$ You might try adjusting the camera clipping distance so that it doesn't 'see' the mesh that is hidden behind the hill from a given angle. Not sure if that reduces memory use though. Also the Optimal Display toggle in the subdiv modifiers. If you Apply one or more modifiers it may mean that less info has to get held in memory at render time (again, not sure I'm afraid). If you Apply, you could then also do a Limited Dissolve to reduce geometry where it isn't needed. Last option I can think of would be the Decimate modifier. Nice image BTW. $\endgroup$
    – edna
    May 27, 2019 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ Might be with checking out Gleb Alexandrovs videos in micropolygon displacement, they have white a few little tricks for optimization $\endgroup$
    – Linguini
    May 27, 2019 at 18:53


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