Exception with thread rendering

On 08/04/2013 at 07:49, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi everyone!

I want to render a picture using a thread, so C4D isn't freezing during rendering. I use a CommandData plugin and the c4dThread module. Here's my thread code:

  
import c4d  
from c4d import documents  
from c4d.threading import C4DThread  
  
class RenderThread(C4DThread) :  
  def __init__(self, doc) :  
      super(RenderThread, self).__init__()  
      self.doc = doc  
    
  def Main(self) :  
      renderData = self.doc.GetActiveRenderData()  
      xResolution = int(round(renderData[c4d.RDATA_XRES]))  
      yResolution = int(round(renderData[c4d.RDATA_YRES]))  
  
      renderBmp = c4d.bitmaps.BaseBitmap()  
      renderBmp.Init(x=xResolution, y=yResolution, depth=32, flags=c4d.INITBITMAPFLAGS_0)  
  
      result = documents.RenderDocument(self.doc, renderData.GetData(), renderBmp, c4d.RENDERFLAGS_EXTERNAL | c4d.RENDERFLAGS_CREATE_PICTUREVIEWER | c4d.RENDERFLAGS_OPEN_PICTUREVIEWER)  
      print result  

This is the call:

  
class CommandDataExecute(plugins.CommandData) :      
  __dialog = None  
  renderThread = None  
    
  def Execute(self, doc) :  
      doc = documents.GetActiveDocument()  
  
      if self.renderThread and self.renderThread.IsRunning() :  
          #todo  
          pass  
      else:  
          self.renderThread = RenderThread(doc)  
          print 'start thread successful: ', self.renderThread.Start()       
      return True  
  
  def RestoreLayout(self, sec_ref) :  
      pass  

My goal is to render several pictures one after the other in the picture viewer. But the picture viewer doesn't open with this code (but if I launch the code directly in the plugin main thread it works). When I try to open the picture viewer from the menu after launching my plugin, I get an Access Violation and C4D terminates.
So how can i reach my goal? Thanks for any advice in advance!

On 08/04/2013 at 08:30, xxxxxxxx wrote:

threading does not allow gui operations, and also trying to lauch the whole rendering
operation from another thread than the c4d main thread does seem to be pretty optimistic 
to me ;)

On 08/04/2013 at 08:42, xxxxxxxx wrote:

In this thread https://plugincafe.maxon.net/topic/7030/7938_cinema-freezes-while-rendering&KW=rendering&PID=32944#32944
it is suggested to use threads for rendering. I'm confused, what's correct? Are there any other possibilites to prevent C4D from freezing during rendering?
I speak of dozens of pretty big pictures (11k x 8k pixels). If there is no graphical response to the user, this will be a serious problem.

On 08/04/2013 at 10:03, xxxxxxxx wrote:

When it comes to rendering and working on the scene at the same time. It might be simpler to open a second instance of C4D to work on it while your other instance is rendering the scene.

Right click on the C4D shortcut icon and edit the Properties->Target field so you can run multiple instances of C4D.
Example: "C:\Program Files\MAXON\CINEMA 4D R13\CINEMA 4D 64 Bit.exe" -parallel

This will let you work on the same scene while it's rendering in the other instance of C4D. But you will probably have choppy performance. So to help with that you can limit the number of threads used for rendering.
That will allow smoother editing of the scene in the other opened instance of C4D.

In the preferences. Go to Renderer->Custom Number of threads
Set it to 1 or maybe 2 threads. How high you can set it will depend on your computer system.

-ScottA

On 08/04/2013 at 10:18, xxxxxxxx wrote:

well,

opening dialog boxes or even just printing to the console can lead in a threaded environment 
to crashing c4d. it is stated in the documents and i can also confirm it from personal experience.
i cannot guarantee that using the render document method is a gui operation, but it seems very
likely imho. i am not quite sure nikklas has considered that in the linked thread, but i might be 
wrong.

On 08/04/2013 at 11:46, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi!

RenderDocument() is not a GUI operation and it should be safe to call it from a threaded context.
However, using the RENDERFLAGS_OPEN_PICTUREVIEWER flag only works in synchronous (non-
threaded) context. You can use c4d.bitmaps.ShowBitmap() to manually show the bitmap in the
Picture Viewer. Also remove the RENDERFLAGS_CREATE_PICTUREVIEWER flag in this case,
otherwise your bitmap would be shown twice in the PV.

Even modifieng the document to be rendered is fine while rendering, since the document is copied
internally for rendering.

Note that passing the C4DThread, which is normally used by RenderDocument() to check if it should
stop rendering or continue by calling C4DThread.TestBreak(), will not work. Its a bug in the API and
you will get a System Error with "bad argument to internal function".

I can't reproduce that Cinema freezes.

import c4d
  
class RenderThread(c4d.threading.C4DThread) :
  
    def __init__(self, doc, bmp, flags=c4d.RENDERFLAGS_EXTERNAL) :
        super(RenderThread, self).__init__()
        self.doc = doc
        self.bmp = bmp
        self.flags = flags
        self.result = None
        self._assert()
  
    def _assert(self) :
        assert self.doc and self.bmp
        assert all(self.bmp.GetSize()), "Bitmap is not initialized."
  
    def Main(self) :
        self._assert()
  
        w, h = self.bmp.GetSize()
        rdata = self.doc.GetActiveRenderData()
        rdata = rdata.GetClone(c4d.COPYFLAGS_NO_HIERARCHY)
        rdata[c4d.RDATA_XRES] = w
        rdata[c4d.RDATA_YRES] = h
        rdata[c4d.RDATA_SAVEIMAGE] = False
  
        self.result = c4d.documents.RenderDocument(
                doc, rdata.GetData(), self.bmp, self.flags)
  
def main() :
    bmp = c4d.bitmaps.BaseBitmap()
    bmp.Init(600, 300, 32)
  
    thread = RenderThread(doc, bmp)
    thread.Start()
    thread.Wait(False)
    
    print thread.result == c4d.RENDERRESULT_OK
    c4d.bitmaps.ShowBitmap(bmp)
  
  
main()

On 08/04/2013 at 13:52, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Niklas,

Your example doesn't work for me.
While the thread is running and rendering. Everything is frozen and can't be used until the rendering is completed.

-ScottA

On 08/04/2013 at 14:17, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi Scott,

yes, that is due to this line:

thread.Wait(False)

I need to keep the thread alive somehow, and there is no other option than waiting in the
main-loop until the thread is done in the script manager. In a plugin, like Nachtmahr did, you
can store the thread in the plugin object (CommandData in this case) to keep it alive.

I should've added that the script freezes Cinema, because, as a script, it can't be avoided (ok,
with some really hacky stuff, it could be avoided, but then, still, I couldn't open the PV from the
thread).

-Niklas

On 08/04/2013 at 14:33, xxxxxxxx wrote:

I also tried it in a simple Command plugin.
But I'm still getting the same results. Everything is frozen until the rendering is finished.

import c4d  
from c4d import gui  
from c4d import documents  
from c4d import utils, bitmaps, storage,plugins  
  
#get an ID from the plugincafe  
PLUGIN_ID = 1000001  
  
class RenderThread(c4d.threading.C4DThread) :  
  
  def __init__(self, doc, bmp) :  
      super(RenderThread, self).__init__()  
      self.doc = doc  
      self.bmp = bmp  
        
  def render(self) :  
          print "rendering"  
            
          w, h = self.bmp.GetSize()  
          rdata = self.doc.GetActiveRenderData()  
          rdata = rdata.GetClone(c4d.COPYFLAGS_NO_HIERARCHY)  
          rdata[c4d.RDATA_XRES] = w  
          rdata[c4d.RDATA_YRES] = h  
          rdata[c4d.RDATA_SAVEIMAGE] = True  
          self.bmp = c4d.documents.RenderDocument(self.doc, rdata.GetData(), self.bmp, c4d.RENDERFLAGS_EXTERNAL)              
  
    
class SceneRender(c4d.plugins.CommandData) :  
  
  def Execute(self, doc) :  
    
      bmp = c4d.bitmaps.BaseBitmap()  
      bmp.Init(600, 300, 32)          
      w, h = bmp.GetSize()      
  
      thread = RenderThread(doc, bmp)  
      thread.Start()  
      thread.render()  
      #thread.Wait(False)  
  
      c4d.bitmaps.ShowBitmap(bmp)  
  
      return True   
        
if __name__ == "__main__":      
    
  help = "The text shown at the bottom of C4D when the plugin is selected in the menu"      
  plugins.RegisterCommandPlugin(PLUGIN_ID, "Scene Render", 0, None, help, SceneRender())

-ScottA

On 09/04/2013 at 05:03, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi, you didn't overload the correct threading fuctions. Pls use C4DThread.Main() instead of render().
Also make your thread variable as a member of your SceneRender class, otherwise your RenderThread object will be destroyed when Execute(...) is left.

Cheers, Seb

On 09/04/2013 at 10:53, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Thanks Sebastien,

I've got it working now. And it does render the scene while I'm also working on it.
But I'm having trouble with ending the thread properly.
I'm not 100 % ceratin. But it seems like the thread never ever stops?:

import c4d  
from c4d import documents  
from c4d import utils, bitmaps, storage,plugins  
  
#get an ID from the plugincafe  
PLUGIN_ID = 1000001  
  
class RenderThread(c4d.threading.C4DThread) :   
  
  bmp = c4d.bitmaps.BaseBitmap()  
        
  def Main(self) :      
  
          doc = c4d.documents.GetActiveDocument()          
  
          rdata = doc.GetActiveRenderData()  
          rdata = rdata.GetClone(c4d.COPYFLAGS_NO_HIERARCHY)  
          w = rdata[c4d.RDATA_XRES]  
          h = rdata[c4d.RDATA_YRES]  
          rdata[c4d.RDATA_SAVEIMAGE] = True  
            
          bmp = c4d.bitmaps.BaseBitmap()  
          bmp.Init(int(w), int(h), 32)              
          bmp = c4d.documents.RenderDocument(doc, rdata.GetData(), bmp, c4d.RENDERFLAGS_EXTERNAL)   
  
    
class SceneRender(c4d.plugins.CommandData) :   
  
  doc = c4d.documents.GetActiveDocument()  
  thread = RenderThread()  
  image = thread.bmp  
  
  def Execute(self, doc) :  
    
      self.thread.Start()  
      self.thread.End(False)      
      if self.thread and not self.thread.IsRunning() : print "Render Finished"     #<------ This never happens!!! Thread never stops?  
        
      return True  
        
if __name__ == "__main__":      
    
  help = "The text shown at the bottom of C4D when the plugin is selected in the menu"      
  plugins.RegisterCommandPlugin(PLUGIN_ID, "SceneRender", 0, None, help, SceneRender())

-ScottA

On 09/04/2013 at 14:51, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi Scott,

your thread is still running while the Execute() method has already reached its end. At the point
you check if the thread is still running, the thread is actually still running, and you never happen
to reach this statement again. Try this instead:

        if self.thread and self.thread.IsRunning() :
            print "Cannot start render, still running ..."
        else:
            self.thread.Start()

If you pressed the command in Cinema, it will start to render. If you then press it again and
rendering is not done at this point, it will tell you about this, otherwise it will start a new
render thread.

You do not have to call End() on the thread object. If you wanted to wait until the thread is
finished, you would again block Cinema's main-thread resulting in a temporary freeze.

PS: One usually explictly binds a thread to a context, it is rather unusual to create one thread
object and start it more than once. :)

Best,
-NIklas

On 09/04/2013 at 15:29, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Thanks Nik,

I did try it that way also. But it still doesn't give me any way check the thread for it's stopped state.
Per your comment on CGTalk. You made it sound like we can't get the stopped state due to a bug.
I'm not sure if that's what you meant?

The way I normally use threads is:
-Create a thread class.
-Run a loop inside that class with some task being run per loop iteration
-Then ending the thread

All of this is done in the thread class.
To make the thread class code execute. I would use a call from one of the plugins methods. For example when a gui button is pressed.
I don't normally do any thread status checking from within the plugin's methods like in my example. So this is new territory for me.

At this point. I can create a thread and render the scene out while still working on the scene. Which is sort of a success.
But there is no visual feedback as to what's going on. And no way to even tell when the thread has finished running.
And if I try to open the image viewer while rendering. All I get is a black image in the image viewer. Instead of the sequence of renders being rendered.

You mentioned you had similar problems and had to find a completely different way to hack around this without using threads at all. So maybe what I'm trying to do can't be done?

-ScottA

On 09/04/2013 at 22:56, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi Scott,

What I said is, that when you start a render in the Picture Viewer using RenderDocument(), you can
not stop the render anymore (eg. closing the PV doesn't ask you to stop the render and the
"Stop Render" command in the PV is greyed out).

I don't see where you are unable to check for its stopped state. IsRunning() is just fine for this job.
A thread ends automatically when it quits its Main() method, you do not have to call End() on it.
What End() does is stated in the docs: It enables you to interrupt the thread before it is actually
done (imagine, eg: When Cinema closes and your thread is still running, you want to tear it down,
either waiting for it to finish or even interrupt it).

As for the visual feedback: What do you expect? You didn't implement any visual feedback

Since my PV Render Queue plugin is only rendering in the Picture Viewer and does not require
any reference to the rendered image, I've been using a simple CallCommand() to start the
Picture Viewer rendering (as I said @CGSociety). Although I'm not a fan of using CallCommand(),
it was necessary to get around this "I can't stop the rendering, what a sh*t plugin!" thing. 😉

Best,
-Niklas

On 10/04/2013 at 04:14, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Thanks for all the answers!
I changed my code a bit to copy yours, but now I get this Exception after calling ShowBitmap() :
RuntimeError: illegal operation, invalid cross-thread call

This is my Thread:

  
class RenderThread(C4DThread) :  
  def __init__(self, doc) :  
      super(RenderThread, self).__init__()  
      self.doc = doc  
    
  def Main(self) :  
      renderData = self.doc.GetActiveRenderData()  
      xResolution = int(renderData[c4d.RDATA_XRES])  
      yResolution = int(renderData[c4d.RDATA_YRES])  
  
      renderBmp = c4d.bitmaps.BaseBitmap()  
      renderBmp.Init(x=xResolution, y=yResolution, depth=32)  
  
      result = documents.RenderDocument(self.doc, renderData.GetData(), renderBmp, c4d.RENDERFLAGS_EXTERNAL)  
      print result  
      if result == c4d.RENDERRESULT_OK:  
          c4d.bitmaps.ShowBitmap(renderBmp)  

And this is the call:

  
class CommandDataExecute(plugins.CommandData) :      
  __dialog = None  
  renderThread = None  
    
  #plugin started by user  
  def Execute(self, doc) :  
      doc = documents.GetActiveDocument()  
  
      if self.renderThread and self.renderThread.IsRunning() :  
          print 'Thread is still running. Please try again later'  
      else:  
          self.renderThread = RenderThread(doc)  
          print 'start Thread erfolgreich: ', self.renderThread.Start()  

Any suggestions on this?

On 10/04/2013 at 06:13, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi Nachtmahr,

it has already been said: GUI Operations can not be invoked from a thread. ShowBitmap() opens
the Picture Viewer and is therefore a GUI operation. You will have to invoke it from the main thread.
Eg. all Message() and CoreMessage() are usually called from the main thread so it is safe to open the
bitmap from one of these methods.

Best,
-Niklas

On 10/04/2013 at 06:50, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi Niklas,

yes you said that before, I remember. But to call the PV from the main thread, I only see 2 possibilities:

  1. In the mainthread I wait for the renderthread to return, so I can open the PV with the picture. But in this case the thread is useless.
  2. I have to send a message from the renderthread, catch it with my Plugin and open the PV. But how? When I search for "SendMessage" I only get GeDialog.SendMessage which is not what I can use (I think) and to catch a message I'd use CommandData.Message. But here the API (only in the one for C++ -.-) states, that I only can use these two: MSG_COMMANDINFORMATION and MSG_BODYPAINTEXCHANGE. Is there any other Message I can catch, where to find the information, how to send usermessages, etc etc. So many questions and the documentation let them all be unanswered... _<_t_>_
    |

---|---

<_<_t_>_

On 10/04/2013 at 07:47, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi Nachtmahr,

no, GeDialog.SendMessage() is not what you need. Many ways will lead you to Rome, and so there
are many was this can be achieved. I think the best option would be to implement a MessageData
plugin and override its ~.CoreMessage() method. Then you can send EventAdd() from your
RenderThread and check for EVMSG_CHANGE in CoreMessage(). When this message is sent, you
simply check the thread for the bitmap and open it in the Picture Viewer. Make sure you have a
reference to the thread. You can either use global variables (not good design) or pass the thread to
the MessageData plugin.

-Niklas

On 10/04/2013 at 08:14, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Thanks, I'll try that tomorrow! Looks like an interesting approach :)

On 10/04/2013 at 12:10, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Nik,

You're misunderstanding me.
I can run the thread just fine. But I could not find a way to test for it's finished condition.
Then it just hit me today like a ton of bricks that the reason I probably can't do this is because I'm using a CommandData() plugin.
Which means after the plugin is executed from the menu and the thread starts. The plugin then probably closes. So it makes sense to me now that there would be no way to check the Thread's finished status using a CommandData() plugin.

Do you happen to have an old version of your plugin where it renders to the image viewer with a thread. But does not stop? Or have you deleted it?
I would like to see what type of plugin you used(GeDialog?) And how you called the c4d.bitmaps.ShowBitmap() method.

If not don't sweat it.

-ScottA