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Varl
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Posted: 04/04/2007 at 3:05pm | IP Logged Quote Varl

I think I have a pretty decent computer, but the past few weeks, I've been having terrible save times when it comes to saving a map. I'm working on a cave/dungeon map now for a friend that has no floor textures at all, and minimal detailing such as doors, walls, chests, treasure, and some furniture. It takes my computer about 5 minutes to save even small changes or upon closing. Anyone got any tips on performance I can try with DJ? Item placement is fine. Editing walls with the eraser is laggy, but most item placement and editing is okay.

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WayneFrancis
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Posted: 04/04/2007 at 5:30pm | IP Logged Quote WayneFrancis

What are your walls like? Maps with lots of curved walls take more processing to save.

When I start getting large lag times dealing with walls I do a save and restart DJ.

Just to cover the basics.
1) How much memory does your computer have?
2) How much memory have you set DJ to use?

One thing you can do to check if it is just the Java environment being slow is bring up task manager by pressing "Ctrl-Shift-Esc" then click on the "Processes" tab


Next click on the "Image Name" column header and scroll down until you see "javaw.exe". Select it so you can monitor it better.


During many operations it is common for javaw.exe to use 99% of the resources. If it is not you may have another process fighting for CPU time. You can find out by clicking on the "CPU" column header, once or twice (until you see the top item in the list show a high CPU usage. When nothing is happening this should be "System Idle Process"

Another nice piece of info is the "Memory Usage" you can get an idea of how much data your map is actually using.
Without a map loaded and just the base art packs you should be sitting at ~43,000k or 43meg. With a map just loaded I often sit at ~200,000k. Saving will bumb that up another 50,000k or so, this only happens the first save. Exporting a map is the big memory killer. I can often get the java platform using over 700meg during and after an export.

As far as tweaks go there are so many things you could try I don't know where to start and I'm not sure if any of them would help with saving.

could you post a small jpeg of your map to give us an idea of what your wall placement is like? We'll go from there.


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Varl
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Posted: 04/04/2007 at 6:24pm | IP Logged Quote Varl

Here's the image of the map I'm working on.



Here's my system specs: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2 Ghtz, 2 Gig RAM, DX 9, GeForce 6800 Ultra 256M, and I don't know how much RAM I have allocated to DJ, nor do I know how to set that or where to look. I didn't know you could allocate RAM specifically towards DJ. Let me know if you need any other info. Thanks Wayne!

Edited by Varl on 04/04/2007 at 6:25pm


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heruca
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Posted: 04/04/2007 at 6:52pm | IP Logged Quote heruca

There's info in this thread about how to allocate more memory to DJ.
http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=2279&PN= 0&TPN=2

I'm sure there are more concise instructions posted here somewhere, but the only ones I can find right now are Mac-specific. This should really be made into a sticky in the Tips forum.

Edited by heruca on 04/04/2007 at 6:53pm


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WayneFrancis
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Posted: 04/04/2007 at 7:14pm | IP Logged Quote WayneFrancis

Here is a clip from a post of mine on tuning DJ

Adjust your Dundjinni memory useage if you desire.
This can be done by altering the registry key. To do this follow these instructions.
    a) Click on "Start" on the taskbar.
    b) Click on "Run" in the Start menu.
    c) Type in "RegEdit.exe" in the "Open" dropdown box.
    d) Click on "OK". Regedit will then start up
    e) expand the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" folder
    f) expand the "SOFTWARE" folder
    g) expand the "Fluid" folder
    h) expand the "Dundjinni" folder
        you should see something like this

    i) double click on the "Memory" entry (called a key)
    j) adjust the number "Value Data" text box to suit your hardware configuration. IE if you have 2gig of RAM you can put this up to 1024 which equal 1024meg or 1gig
    k) click the "OK" button
    l) Close Registry Editor

I'll put this in the tips forum and under tutorials
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WayneFrancis
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Posted: 04/04/2007 at 7:17pm | IP Logged Quote WayneFrancis

Oh ... let me comment on the map, thanks for getting an example up so quickly. The walls are very complex as DJ goes. I'm running a similar spec box as you
AMD 3500, 2gig RAM, GF7800 (really doesn't matter to DJ)

Big thing I can suggest is bump your memory usage up to 1024 (1 gig). It is probably at the default of 256. This should help alot. Let us know if it doesn't help. Bear in mind I'm used to saves taking around 1 minute often.

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Kepli
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Posted: 04/04/2007 at 11:57pm | IP Logged Quote Kepli

WF is right Varl, that is a very complex wall placement for DJ. More allocated memory should definitely help you.

Great advice again WF

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Varl
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Posted: 04/05/2007 at 3:29pm | IP Logged Quote Varl

I shall make the memory changes as soon as I get home from work. Thanks Wayne and everyone for the advice.

If this drops my save times down to just one minute, I could live with that. I'm also confused how people can draw maps I've seen on these forums that are incredibly more detailed than what I've done, and still have time for dinner.

I'd be curious for the creators of some of those very intricate maps to let us know approximately how long it took their machines to save such files, because if mine is causing such lag, I can't imagine what those maps caused (unless, of course, they made said memory changes, and it helped them0. I'll let you know of any performance improvements.



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Posted: 04/05/2007 at 6:21pm | IP Logged Quote forumLurker

Varl wrote:
If this drops my save times down to just one minute, I could live with that. I'm also confused how people can draw maps I've seen on these forums that are incredibly more detailed than what I've done, and still have time for dinner.

Sometimes we don't. Honestly, most of my stuff (contest maps especially) are done in the same vein as my writing. Work on it for a few hours, go do stuff, come back to it a few days later, etc. Take the draft, fix the parts that suck, start adding the RAM-draining detail bits (lighting/shading), show it to someone for feedback, go eat dinner, nap, post to forums. My Tomb contest map took me around 3 hours to do, and it was pretty dang small, while my Modern scene for the hideout contest took around 6-9 hours with much revision, over the period of a week or two.
~lurker~

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Varl
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Posted: 04/05/2007 at 7:26pm | IP Logged Quote Varl

No change. I edited the memory key for DJ in the registry to 1024, rebooted, and opened the file again. I didn't add anything to it, but simply relocated one already existing object, and saved. If there was a change, it wasn't significant enough to detect. I even loaded a different map in Adventures called Ambush (default I think), and it took a good 4 minutes just to load. I'm out of ideas. Don't get me wrong; I don't have unrealistic load or save time expectations, and DJ used to load and work just fine.

To be fair, I have been experiencing some weird technical difficulties with an unknown graphical component on my system (blue and red "dots" that occasionally plague me whenever I scroll on a page). My IT guy and I suspect something is failing, but so far, we've been unable to pinpoint what it is thus far. Perhaps this is what's dogging DJ. I have no idea.

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WayneFrancis
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Posted: 04/05/2007 at 9:27pm | IP Logged Quote WayneFrancis

I'd like to take the easy answer and say its your problem with DJ too but that to me sounds like a ... hmm if it is a video problem it shouldn't effect DJ. IE having a $800 graphics card isn't going to make DJ work any better then a good $100 video card. If the problem was memory I'd say windows would have crashed.

Next step, testing your map on another computer, I'll volunteer. Zip the DJA up and post it on the maps forum. I'll do a simple alter and save and see how long it takes my machine. Mine should only be slightly faster.

As far as complexity goes DJ can be a bit like quantum mechanics what your intuition says DJ should act like is not always what DJ actually acts like. Don't take this the wrong way because you could look at many "complex" maps that perform better then what you think is a simple map like yours.

I'll explain. Many of my maps are out door maps and if I'm not doing any shadowing/shading within DJ they probably don't have any walls at all. Your map might only be basically walls but the information DJ has to store on complex walls is a lot more then it needs for lots of stamped items.

Look at the following image from DJ.


We have 1 X&O drawn with line tools and marquee tool and 2 drawn freehand, I never claimed to be an artist!

Intuitively you might not think there would be all that much difference in these 4 items. As a programmer I could think "Well the none free hand ones might define the area using a formula like "Circle,X=3,Y-3,RadiusX=1.9,RadiusY=1.9,PenWidth=.2,Texture= Boulder" and some similar method for the X made with the line tool.

What actually is done is more complicated for various reasons that I honestly haven't tried to reverse engineer.

What I can tell you is that the most simple object up there is the X made with a line tool taking up 934 bytes of coordinate data.
Next comes the O created with the marquee tool and punches in at 3,012 bytes of coordinate data.

What happens next, even knowing some basics of DJ’s format, is again not intuitive.

The next most complex item is the freehand O at 17,502 bytes of coordinate data
And finally
The most complex item is the freehand X that comes in at 42,440 bytes of data. Over 45 times as much data for a roughly similar area.

Now does this mean you shouldn't use freehand? No, just understand the issues. Slash or some of the others might have some guidance on how to tweak walls. I know slash has made posts before on what is more efficient for DJ walls. Maybe not having a huge solid area of a wall but have your wals only 2' thick might help. It might not but I'm just chucking out ideas.

I'll watch for a zip of your .DJA file and test it on my system and let you know the save time. Maybe Slash or one of the others that remembers/knows the issues can expand upon what I've talked about here.
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WayneFrancis
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Posted: 04/06/2007 at 8:24pm | IP Logged Quote WayneFrancis

Ok, just did a benchmark. I altered the map a small amount then saved. 2min 12sec.
There are some things I'm going to try to see if I can get a faster save time. I'll post when I'm done testing them and give you the results.

For now if you are getting 5+ minute save times I would say it is probably a issue with your environment that we may need to try to work on. You've allocated 1024meg of memory to DJ so the big difference between our 2 boxes should just be I'm running a 3500 AMD while your running a 3200. I wouldn't expect more then 20 seconds difference between the 2 saves but we are seeing a factor of 2.

Ok of to do some testing.

Ok I've just did a big step and DJ is calculating. Here is what I've done.

I selected another wall texture, Boulder in this case, to redraw your walls.

In the cave system I picked the 2' round brush and just did the outline of the walls.

In the romms I used a few of the square brushes sizes and used the line pen to draw those wall.

That went rather quickly in that DJ never slowed down.

Next I planed to remove the wall system you have but there is 2 problems with that.

First is due to me. I've drawn over the walls with a different texture, they are still there just under the new walls meaning I can't select them to delete.

Second is that it appers you either had a floor or used an eraser to carve out some rooms and maybe painted some more walls in. What this left was lots of little areas only a few pixels in size of wall texture free standing.

So what I did was use the same "Boulder, Small" texture and filled in the floor area with that wall. What this should basically do is give me 1 huge wall of "Boulder, Small" that covers the entire map that I can then delete leaving just the new walls.

Now as I expected this is making DJ crunch away trying to figure out the region to be filled. We are well past 10 minutes now of it figuring out the area. I think the same thing is happening with the general save. IE DJ is going out to figure out the wall area and finding lots of these small, few pixel area walls, and defining them.

I'll post now and continue when it is done...good time for me to grab lunch or surf the web :)
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Varl
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Posted: 04/06/2007 at 9:13pm | IP Logged Quote Varl

Quote:
Second is that it appers you either had a floor or used an eraser to carve out some rooms and maybe painted some more walls in. What this left was lots of little areas only a few pixels in size of wall texture free standing.


It used to have a floor texture, yes, but it was even worse using a floor, so I deleted it to try and improve times. Thanks for helping me with this Wayne.

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WayneFrancis
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Posted: 04/06/2007 at 10:21pm | IP Logged Quote WayneFrancis

Ok...I've just got a save time of 6min 14sec
This is from a modified map where I removed EVERYTHING besides my newly created walls.

I've close DJ and restart it in between but the saves are getting longer. I'm wondering if java is having a problem releasing resources. Next step for me is to reboot and try a save. BRB
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WayneFrancis
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Posted: 04/06/2007 at 11:06pm | IP Logged Quote WayneFrancis

Well it isn't java, reboot my machine, load up DJ with the map, 6min 12sec.

WOW, like I said DJ is like quantum physics.

I just got a save time of 1min 14 seconds by, now get this, filling in more wall!

So this map took 6min 14sec


While this map took only 1min 14sec


What is the difference? Painted in regions giving the walls a smaller surface area I'm guessing.

Things I can suggest to speed up saving time on your map.
paint and erase your walls carefully. Try to avoid stuff like this


Get your walls and floors, if you put them in, looking like you want them to then stamp down objects like doors, treasure, etc

I noticed while looking at the actual DJA file that you have stamped items that have been partially erased which can slow down DJ Saves.

When stamping down a door try this technique. Where the door is going to be go ahead and have the wall solid thru that area and then erase it before stamping the door. Fore example

Draw your walls solid with no opening for the doors.


When you are ready to place doors erase the area you need. For 5 foot doors you can use the 5' Square eraser and if the door is going to be aligned with the grid you can use the snap to grid setting before erasing.


Lastly zoom in as far as you can and place the door


If you need you can drag the door around to adjust its position.

It is better to move objects under the wall layer rather then erasing part of the object when ever possible. like if you had a coin pile in a corner. Only erase if you have to like if the pile shows in the next room. It may be even better if you can stamp another object in the other room to hide the overflow rather then eraseing part of the first object.

Finally I'll saved the .DJA file of my version of your map to see if it helps on your computer. You'll have to restamp the object on your map but that shouldn't be to bad you didn't have to many of them anyway.

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Posted: 04/07/2007 at 12:09am | IP Logged Quote Kepli

Awesome work WF and yes, what you suggest is all correct from my own experiences. I never have very long saving times and you have seen how complex some of my maps get

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Posted: 04/07/2007 at 12:57am | IP Logged Quote Mindy

Great analysis, WF! In fact, it might be good to create a Performance Tips for DJ sticky with the tips you list here as a good first set.

I think you're correct in asserting that the issue is that DJ is tracking all those irregular little bits of wall - where exactly they begin and end, etc. The more breaks in walls, the more little chunks of stray wall, the more irregularities in contour, the more partially erased objects (where DJ is tracking the outlines of the erasure), the more DJ is trying to hold in memory (to make it easy to change later) - and hence the slower the save times, etc. So keeping those things to a minimum by careful planning can definitely help.

Edited by Mindy on 04/07/2007 at 2:11am
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Posted: 04/07/2007 at 1:09am | IP Logged Quote Kepli

Mindy wrote:
Great analysis, WF! In fact, it might be good to create a Performance Tips for DJ sticky with the tips you list here as a good first set.

Just started a sticky where all moderators/admins can add Tips for this purpose

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Varl
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Posted: 04/07/2007 at 8:34am | IP Logged Quote Varl

Thanks again Wayne.

If the aforementioned irregular wall contouring that Mindy mentioned is so risky on system resources, it sounds better not to create caves and caverns using the freehand tool to me, not if it's going to bog systems down like this. I understand the need to be precise and not leave bits of wall fragments like I did on my map (which btw, I couldn't even see and didn't know were there), but I'm praying DJ2 is going to move away from the java/web-based code, which is more suited for web development than application code. I also hope DJ becomes more freehand-friendly in the future. Straight and narrow, perfectly aligned walls are fine for some things, but once in a while, you need caves.

A bit OT: I told my IT guy about the fact that DJ uses java as its main code, and he guesstimated that DJ in some distant iteration, might have been a web-based mapmaking program. Is this correct? Is this why DJ is java-based? Just curious.

Edited by Varl on 04/07/2007 at 8:38am


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Posted: 04/07/2007 at 8:47am | IP Logged Quote Kepli

Not completely sure, but I believe Java was used to make DJ multi platform (Windows and Mac). But you could be right about some web aspects being there

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