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I have a fairly simple scene - large ground plane, five uv spheres, Pro-Lighting envmap - that's consistently and almost instantaneously crashing Blender on render.

From my tests, it seems to be a result of a very high subdivision on my primary ground plane (which is approx. 2.8x7 blender units with around 54k verts), combined with a high subsurf level (for microdisplacement). It handles a Level 3 Level 4 subsurf fine; crashes almost immediately at Level 5.

I've done a number of large scenes with millions of verts on this machine before (scene + 20k object particles, with randomly between 1500 and 17k verts each) and while it takes forever and an age to build, eventually it cranks through and renders just fine. I've had a few slow almost to a complete standstill for a while, but I've never had one crash outright.

I know someone is going to quote the subsurf exponent table to me, and I acknowledge that it's almost ridiculously high, but I do legitimately see a difference in the scene at that level.

Given that it crashes almost instantly, as soon as it attempts to synchronize that mesh object, is there a mathematical limit that it's hitting before memory even comes into play (this is a 16GB system)?

Is there some internal limitation to the number of vertices a scene can trigger via rendertime subsurf?


marked as duplicate by cegaton, iKlsR Jul 3 '16 at 6:55

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  • $\begingroup$ You are using the microdisplacement build? It is known to be buggy. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Craddock Jul 3 '16 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ No, just trying to fake it. This is stock 2.77, Supported features only. $\endgroup$ – mike.thorn Jul 3 '16 at 4:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Surely you don't need all of that terrain to be subdivided that high (?). What I've done in the past that worked well is subdividing the terrain near the camera more. So very near terrain was hi-res, somewhat near terrain med-res, and distant terrain low-res. If you need to animate the scene, you might try creating a hi-res version of the terrain and use it to bake a normal map for the lower res one. Also, I'm curious - does your mesh have a very hi-res texture on it? Very hi-res textures are known to crash Blender, probably more so than hi-poly meshes. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Jul 3 '16 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ Believe it or not, I'm already breaking down the terrain by distance, although it could probably always be chunked down further. Most of the textures I'm using are from Poliigon and are 6K or less. I've been using these for a while without issues, but I am scaling it on the ground plane x100...who knows. It's an intense scene I guess. $\endgroup$ – mike.thorn Jul 3 '16 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ Using subsurf is quite easy to push your computer past its limits... read: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/28222/… and blender.stackexchange.com/questions/15654/… $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jul 3 '16 at 4:34

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