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December 12, 2012 / mistergasman

Part 0: Computer system requirements

Realistic nature environments contains billion of polygons. So it’s imported before you start that your pc meets the software requirements.

Blender and Archicad are programs that don’t need high requirements. That’s because the models are pretty basic, low poly.

Photoshop is a different animal. When using large textures (with multiple layers) it can uses a vaste amount of memory. So for example if you have a 2×2 km terrain, and uses 8x8k pixel textures (so 0,25m detail per pixel), the memory can exceed 16 GB Ram, so 32 GB will be the best option. For 4x4k pixel textures, 16GB should be enough.

E-on Vue uses everything from your pc. The higher your specs, the faster it will go. It’s not possible to say what amount of memory you need. It depends on the scene.

The more plants are populated, the more memory it used. Also the terrain detail (heightmap) is important. From experience it’s you can compare it to Photoshop.

A 8x8k terrain requires 32 GB, a 4x4k terrain 16 GB.

The times it takes to render images and animations depends on your computer processor. The higher speed, the faster. Also the number of cores is important. I suggest to use minimum a Quad core cpu if you need animations. For example:  60 seconds animation at 25 frames a second = 1500 frames to render.

If you have a Dual core and it takes 20 minutes to render 1 frame = 1500 frames  x 10 min =15000 min =250 hours = +10 days

A quad core with the same speed will do it almost 50% faster = 1500 frames  x 5 min =7500 min =125 hours = +5 days

So at the end, it’s sometimes better to invest in a higher CPU cause it saves time!

 

The graphics card is also important for all these software as  it uses the GPU to make the editors visible. Slow graphics cars creates a lag while working. Also photoshop uses the card to speed up brushing etc.

The memory on the graphics card should be at least 512 Mb Ram, but better +1 GB Ram.

 

For all these large textures and 3D scenes, sizes increase fast. So +100 GB of harddisk space is not over the top.

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