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"Build completed successfully" with unbuilt nodes

Started by mr_bbmz, September 03, 2014, 02:04:34 am

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Hey there,

I have a fairly large issue which is leaving me unable to work for today. The thing is, we're using a very complex node setup for our game project. Once we're done with setting up a single terrain, we're heading over to build a 16k version of it. I did that yesterday evening and was expecting to get my exported terrain by today morning to further work on it. Instead, I found World Machine telling my "Build completed successfully" although there are several nodes stating "Unbuilt" in the Device Progress list. Accordingly nothing has been exported at all.

We already created several other terrains in 16k, using the same setup on the same build machine. The only difference between these and my failed setup is the slightly higher amount of shapes inside the layout generators I used. So I suspect that my problem somehow relates to that.

Now I'd like to know: how did that happen? Did World Machine run out of memory or disk space during the process? Should I make our Admin install more RAM and/or a HDD with more capacity? I really need this terrain to be finished asap, so I'd be happy about some quick suggestions! Thanks! :)

Here are the specs of our build machine:
- Processor: Intel Core i7-4700K CPU @ 3.5 GHz
- 232 GB of hard disk space
- 24 GB of RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 (if that's of any importance at all)

I also attached a screenshot of the "finished" build window, a combined screenshot with the device progress and the build report and a shot of the WM preferences. Note that all devices in caps are layout generators.


Hi there,

Here's a few things that might help:

1) For the size of the build you're doing, more RAM would definitely help. If you look at WM's build report, the maximum memory required at any given time was 94GB, far above the 24GB available. Because of this, WM had to continuously page terrains to and from disk as needed, which is both very slow and also may be causing the failed device builds -- paging should not fail the build in a perfect world, but...

2) Make sure you're using Memory Conservation in your Project Settings dialog. It looks like this is probably on already, but if not, do so.

3) Reduce the "Maximum build at once" setting in the preferences dialog to a lower number. This will reduce the peak RAM requirements; dropping all the way to 1 or 2 will probably let you build the world without paging at all. It will also slow down the build as it restricts the number of simultaneous devices being built, but slow devices such as erosion will still use all your available cores (up to the "maximum worker threads" setting), so it won't be as slow as you might fear.

Let me know if any or all of the above help!
-- Stephen Schmitt
- Creator of World Machine


September 04, 2014, 01:52:21 am #2 Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 02:09:13 am by mr_bbmz
Hi Remnant,

that was really helpful, thank you! :)

Quote1) For the size of the build you're doing, more RAM would definitely help.

Okay, I'll see if we can get 32 GB then.

Quote2) Make sure you're using Memory Conservation in your Project Settings dialog.

That flag was actually disabled, as the manual states that with World Machine 2.2 "memory conservation is no longer a necessity for higher-resolution builds". For our next build we'll still make sure to enable this option.

Quote3) Reduce the "Maximum build at once" setting in the preferences dialog to a lower number.

That did the trick! I had first set it to 4, which caused WM to build more nodes than before, but after some hours there were again some devices stating "Unbuilt". For the next attempt I decided to go all the way down to only 1 build, and that finally worked. I was expecting it to take far longer than all of our previous 16k builds, but instead it finished even faster, which is kind of strange (~13:00:00 as opposed to ~11:17:00 for this one).


Yes -- if the build no longer needs to be swapped to disk, it will proceed much faster, even if all of your cores are not quite as utilized as before.
-- Stephen Schmitt
- Creator of World Machine


An excellent example of why more memory can (note: "can" not "will") be a more effective investment than CPU cores or CPU clock speeds for improved machine performance.

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