Have you ever worked on a Blender scene and all of a sudden it crashes for no reason or at the very least becomes inconvenient to work with due to the slow moving and sometimes laggy viewport?
This happens to me a lot and is so frustrating, lol. In this post, I’ll show you 5 ways to make your epic scene far more manageable in terms of memory and thus increasing your PC’s lifetime!
While you create your scene, you might come to a point where Blender’s viewport starts becoming laggy and something as simple as moving around the viewport creates great stress on your PC! This might be due to your scene reaching the maximum memory limitation in Blender. Blender is storing so much information about your scene in your computer’s local memory. On top of that, one of Blender’s main issues is memory hunger. Before thinking about buying more RAM for your PC (although it can help), it will be helpful to learn to work with Blender in a more optimal way allowing you to create large epic scenes with minimal stress on your PC. Here are 5 ways to reduce memory when using Blender:
- Use Modifiers – Using modifiers can help add great detail to your scene. For example, the SubSurf modifier and the Multires modifier can add extreme levels of detail to your models. The great thing about modifiers is that you can simply toggle visibility of the modifier. So if you decide you want to work on another model, you can simply switch off the modifiers in your mesh and thus save some memory.
- Use Instancing – Use as much as possible. If you’re creating a forest full of trees or a busy city, or a bunch of bees swarming around the afternoon sky or even grass/fur, it’s best to use instancing. Instancing is a method where you render large number of duplicates of the same object mesh. With instancing, the memory that’s required to render thousands of trees will be approximately the same as rendering one tree! With Blender, particles can simulate instancing. Also, when making duplicate copies of an object, you can use Alt+D, which sort of simulates instancing. Another way of instancing is using ‘DupliVerts’. You parent the object you wish to duplicate with another mesh with vertices. Then you select verts or faces or whatever you wish to duplicate your instance.
- Display objects in ‘Bounds’ – Sometimes you might find it difficult to work with Blender’s interface if you have a couple of very high-poly models in your scene. For example, you may have 2 very high poly trees which slows down your viewport. You can select your object and in the Object panel, you can select display type to ‘Bounds’. Doing so will drastically reduce memory usage as Blender only works with displaying 4 vertices now instead of millions. Displaying objects in Bounds will not affect rendering in any way.
- Link instance groups – Linking an object from another blend file can help save memory. You can do this by File –> Link or pressing Ctrl+Alt+O to launch the shortcut. According to this Blender Stackexchange question, you can link in billions of polygons if you have 4GB of memory! That’s a lot!
- Use layers/Local view – If you have a large epic scale render with plenty of objects, it will be best if you can organise those objects in layers. That way, memory will not be used on objects that are not visible in the current layer and hence working in the viewport will be a lot easier. Another way is to use local view. You select an object and then press the “.” period key. This puts your object in a temporary layer all on its own. Most of the memory will then be dedicated to this object.
- Turn down subdivision – Or you really might just have too many objects with SubSurf turned on. You can temporarily turn off the SubSurf on ALL the meshes by simply going to the Scene panel and checking ‘Simplify’. Turn down the subdivision level to 0. If you now find your viewport experience much smoother, than SubSurf was probably the reason!