3DS Max: Bitmap Paging/High Memory Use

Recently during a project, a problem arose where massive amounts of temporary files were being saved to a local drive. This was directly related to the bitmap paging option in the common tab of the 3DS Max render options (below), which by default is turned on to move the handling of image memory away from the physical RAM and instead store it in a specified area of your computer. This was traditionally a good way to help alleviate bottle-necking with 32bit computers (That can only use 4GB of ram) to deal with memory heavy tasks, such as loading high resolution images, however as 64bit system computers are not only becoming the standard, but also able to use much higher levels of memory (Theoretically 16.8 million terabytes, although practically this is currently not possible) the enabling of this option can not only, as Joker Martini has specified, heavily impact upon render times, but also cause unwanted bloating on your computer, so if you are having issues, turn it off!

RenderCommon3DS Max Common Render Tab

RenderPaging3DS Max Bitmap Paging tab

RenderPagedFilesSome examples of paged files

Another issue with this choice being standardised by Autodesk is that the path used is fairly well hidden and at least in this instance it was nestled within the user AppData folder heirachy (C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Local\Autodesk\3dsMax\2014 – 64bit\ENU\temp), which is not visible when you manually search through windows explorer, instead you need to specify it by entering %AppData%. In the project that this became a problem the files ended up stacking to over 20GB and slowly reduced the amount of available space on the local disk to a noticeable level. Whilst it can be argued that this is relatively not a massive size, if users are unaware of this happening and are using low space solid state (120-500GB) hard drives for example it can make a difference (It can also be frustrating to not understand why the space is rapidly disappearing). There were also a few temporary files that had remained even after the program was closed and it can only be assumed these were due to crashes, so it is beneficial to check this folder in any case as they can slowly begin to build up (See image above). Rendering in general can also be a very storage expensive process and often when you layer multiple passes for animation sequences (Diffuse/Specular/Reflection etc) and each of these are being saved in a high dynamic range format, having extra space taken up by superfluous processes is inefficient.

1 response to 3DS Max: Bitmap Paging/High Memory Use

  1. Laurelion says:

    Sorry for the, maybe, silly question, but exactly what is the function of the bitmap imager?

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