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Memory 99%

Enthusiast ,
Feb 17, 2022 Feb 17, 2022

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Substance Designer  freezes my whole pc while show zero  cpu or gpu graphs .  With evry complex material I see that red text:  memory 99% or memory 128%.   What kind of memory does it need to work  properly?   System memory or vram ?    Or maybe  SSD  to store something cashed ?      Should I uncheck node image cache  or something?    I have 32gb system memory and 6gb vram .  What should I upgrade?



Bugs & Crashes , General






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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 28, 2022 Feb 28, 2022

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Hello @kirkr5689,


The freezes and crashes are indeed likely caused by the workload of loading and rendering complex graphs.


As a first step, please make sure your graphics drivers are up to date. You can find the latest drivers matching your GPU here (NVIDIA) or here (AMD).


Then, to prevent crashes I recommend increasing the Timeout Detection & Recovery (TDR) values in the Windows Registry Editor.


These values will determine how long a GPU driver can remain unresponsive before Windows terminates its processes and reboots it. This prevents the system from being unusable in case of too long GPU computations, but it also means a program will crash if any of its graphics processes lasts more than a few seconds without the driver responding to the system.

Such workloads are common in Designer: rendering a heavy graph or an intensive node, exporting a scene from the 3D View, using the bakers, ...




To increase the TDR values, you may follow the instructions in our documentation.


Important: Please note some system events, such as a graphics drivers update or a Windows update, can reset these values. It is therefore advised to go back to check the TDR values if you experience regular crashes again while working in your graph.


Then, the memory shortage may be mitigated by taking the following steps:


Optimising the graph


A good start for optimisation is making sure the most efficient resolution is set for each node. Consider what level of detail is actually necessary for what you aim to achieve.



For more information about optimisation, I strongly recommend taking a look at Substance 3D Designer’s Performance Optimisation Guidelines.


Splitting your graphs into subgraphs


For each node in a graph, Substance 3D Designer stores a full resolution, uncompressed image in memory.

These can have a very significant memory footprint at high resolutions, which stacks up very quickly as nodes are added to the graph. For instance, an 8K RGBA node will have a memory footprint of 256 MB.

When the memory is fully used, the overflowing data is written to disk, which is orders of magnitude slower, resulting in significantly longer graph processing times and sometimes system instability leading to crashes.


To reduce the memory usage of Substance 3D Designer, I recommend splitting a graph into subgraphs, according to what seems appropriate and makes sense to the user. In the example below, a group of nodes which generate a pattern is split into its own subgraph, which is then imported as an Instance node. This also makes blocks of functionality easily reusable.




When graphs are split in such a way, the thumbnails of the split portions are only kept in memory temporarily as the final output of the subgraph is computed. Then only the latter will be kept in memory.


Increasing memory budget


Intensive graph computations might require allowing Substance 3D Designer to use more of the available system resources, such as system memory.

To do this, open the Preferences window, found under the Edit menu in the main top bar. Then, select the General tab.


In the Memory section, increase the Memory Budget value found under Image Cache. You can find more information about this setting, and the consequences of running out of memory, in this section of Substance 3D Designer's documentation.



I hope this is helpful and informative!


Best regards.


Luca Giarrizzo | QA Analyst, 3D & Immersive | Adobe





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