Blender vs. ATI -- another battle!

Still in shakedown cruise on the Vista machine a friend laid on me gratis, been doing fine until I went to start sculpting some shape keys. I’d recently d/l’d the legacy Catalyst app and drivers for the ATI x700 that came with the free machine, and it was working superb as far as I could tell. I had enabled hardware AA mainly because it looks good for animation playblasts.

But when I went to sculpt – nothing. Searched the forum and found the ATI/sculpting issue plus solutions, went in and disabled the relevant Catalyst settings, sculpt now works, EXCEPT…

In half the display modes (Object, Sculpt and Edit) whenever I move the mouse in a 3D viewport, everything in the view except the selected item vanishes, and in Edit Mode the view switches to wireframe. As soon as my pointer leaves the 3D window, it all updates to normal. For the “painting modes” no glitch, it all works normal.

If I turn hardware AA back on, the glitch goes away, but I lose my sculpt functionality. Bummer.

I’ve tried many combinations of ATI settings and Blender settings, including the “tablet” values in the Sculpt mode menu, nothing makes a diff.

One observation: just clicking the mouse in the view while working does not make the glitch happen – it’s only when clicking + dragging. Happens with many mouse types (though all USB) – tablet + pen, tablet + mouse & laser mouse.

Other than changing vid cards (can’t afford it right now), can anyone suggest how to I can fix this, I guess I can live with it but it’s not very efficient and the flashing UI is a real headache generator.

you never mentioned what you turned off in the drivers, but did you turn off the AI? That normally helps.

Also turn off all of Vista’s “gee-wizz” visual enhancements.

Hardware AA is off, h/w anisotropic filtering is off, basically everything is set to “Let the application decide.” However, I did keep AI on because when it’s off, everything in the 3D window vanishes when doing a mouse operation. OpenGL triple buffering is on but I don’t think it’s relevant, since having it off makes no diff.

Which Vista features do you consider “gee whiz?” I really haven’t looked at its options much yet, since I’m still getting things settled in after moving from my XP machine

The “gee-wizz” stuff is the areo desktop, cool transparencies, etc. I made my account on my wife’s Vista laptop look just like windows 2k (and my XP install on my desktop looks like 2k too. :smiley: ). I forget 100% how to do this but I think there’s a theme preset to do this.

Next, with all that off, D3D shouldn’t be running your desktop any more. That might help. But also, all the hardware options shouldn’t effect your desktop either (or any non-3D programs).

I have a 3850 but I’d think that similar settings should work accross the cards (I never tried my older ATI’s on Vista, only 2k & XP, but never had any issues on those OS’s).
AA: Use App Preferences
Anisotropic Filtering: 2x
AI: disabled
mip-map: high quality
vertical refresh: off unless app specifies
adaptive AA: off
triple buffering: on

Give those a shot & see what happens.

OK, thanks for the recos. I did try umpteen combinations of settings, so I probably hit this set at one time or another, but it’s worth a try.

I’ll look into retro-fitting Vista, too.

EDIT: Set the Theme for Classic Windows, kinda funky but crisper and cleaner, I like it better, and everything does seem to respond a noticeable factor more quickly. Set the Catalyst options to your recos (most of which I already had going) – no real change in the problem, I still get things vanishing when doing mouse moves in Sculpt & other modes, but they do re-appear as soon as I finish the brush stroke, so it’s not a killer issue, just inconvenient.

Hardware AA is the main issue with sculpt, since even set at its lowest factor, the Sculpt tools don’t work worth a damn when it’s on. But all other editing processes except sculpt work fine with it on, no probs selecting or anything, so I guess I’ll just switch back & forth as needed for Sculpt mode.

I had a nice nvidia card on my old XP machine, but it was so old that it was AGP (Pre-PCI Express bus), so it stays with the old machine.

So it goes.

I happen to like Sculptris for sculpting much more then Blender, but you can’t just bring a blender model in to sculptris. There can be issues. So maybe that could be a work around if you’re using blender to make sculpts.

I use the Sculpt tools for a lot of things in Blender besides high-detail sculpting, such as making and refining shape keys, which can only be done in Blender. So for those purposes I’ll just have to put up with the ATI’s glitches until I can replace it.

Thanks for your help & advice, btw, 'tis appreciated!

I think there’s a set of preferences where you can set whether you want your computer to look swish, or run fast. There is an option like ‘configure for best performance’ or similar…

Ive got a lot of troubles with my 1950XT and new drivers, panels dissapearing, wrong display of textures and so on. The only way ive found to solve this is by downloading omega drivers (based on catalyst 4.8) and extracting atioglxx.dll to blenders directory.

It solved all my problems regardless of performance.

The Omega Drivers site says those for Vista aren’t ready yet, only XP/2000, otherwise I’d give them a try for sure.

You said you have an x700 too, which means you’re really out of luck on driver choices. :frowning:

You should give a try. They were cases on old ati cards where nvidia ogl worked better on ati cards than the atis itself (original post and another post about downgrading drivers).

You dont have to install omega drivers just extract and copy atioglxx.dll to blenders folder.

Anyway, when i did that, it solved all my display problems but performance also decreases so i dont know if this will work fine on sculpt mode. Just give it a try.

It would be great if we had the best of those worlds, display and performance, but atis are famous for bad opengl drivers and a lack of solutions about these problems even when they worked fine on catalyst 4.8.

I dont know why newer versions of this ogl file causes these problems it would be great if someone could drop some light and tell us how to tweak newer versions of this file.

Yeah, but since both it and the Vista machine were given to me for free, I don’t gripe much :wink: The comp is so much faster than my old XP machine I have to “relearn” some of my Blender moves because I’m over-compensating for a slow machine!

And to to be fair, the Catalyst suite I downloaded does everything it’s supposed to do, and the principle issue is that Blender’s Sculpt doesn’t work well with hardware AA turned on. Note that it does work, but not very well. So this may have something to do with Blender’s implementation of Sculpt as well as ATI’s drivers and features. Plus the probs I have in Sculpt mode with h/w AA turned off do not extend to the “painting” modes – Weight, Texture and Vertex. So there’s some basis for assuming that Blender’s modes are not 100% innocent in the problem. Weaknesses on both sides of the situation may be reinforcing one another.

But, it’s livable-with, so to speak.

I’ll give that Omega .dll a try, just to see what happens, as long as it’s reversible (?)

Sure it is since you dont have to install anything, just copy the file to blenders folder and blender will run opengl by this file. If u want it back just delete or rename the file and thats it.

You can even try dlls from another cards, even nvidia ones. I know some old ati cards problems are fixed with nvidia ogls (Forceware 53.3). Of course if is ati the better but with these cards you never know.

OK, I’ll see what’s up. I also d/l’d an archive of older drivers since the x700 is rather obsolete by now.

EDIT: No joy. Adding atioglxx.dll to the Blender folder causes Blender to crash on opening, and it’s specified as the failed module in the crash test dummies’ report :wink:

I tried another lib from the same archive, atiogl2x.dll, and while Blender would open and run OK, nothing changed with the Sculpt mode behavior. “Say lah vee.”

Guess you have to rename the file from atiogl2x.dll to atioglxx.dll in order to work. if that doesnt solve it just rename the file back or delete it.

At the previous linkabout downgrading drivers they talk about problems with ati cards when objects are selected and which drivers versions affected. Maybe that info can help.

Lookin’ pretty hopeless here. Renaming the lib as suggested, Blender wouldn’t open, just flashes the console window then shuts down, no error messages, naught, nada, nil. Seems like anything named ‘atioglxx.dll’ crashes Blender on startup.

I’ll scan that link while I’m baking a cloth sim, see if adds any new info.

Not all ogl dlls match with your card. For example i cant use ATI FIregl library with my 1950XT, blender crashes if that file isnt compatible with your card. Ive just found one that works for me (that omega one) and hoped to help anybody else by sharing that info.

No sweat, I appreciate the info, always worth a try since it’s basically harmless if it doesn’t work.

OK, now I am totally, totally confused!

I’ve been editing a series of shape keys using the Sculpt tools, about 100+, and up until now have been experiencing the same issues as mentioned above – when in Sculpt mode, any time I use the mouse or pen to stroke a model while reshaping it, all but the selected mesh vanish from the UI, only to reappear when the stroke is finished. A bit annoying but I’ve gotten used to it.

But of a sudden, while in the middle of Sculpting, with no changes to anything on my part in terms of Blender or ATI card settings, the problem has suddenly gone away. The UI acts perfectly normal while sculpting.

It can’t be the “sculpting session” length – with the card changing its characteristics over time – because I’ve only been at it a little over an hour today, while yesterday I spent 5 or 6 hours on the same processes with no change in the glitches.

I rather doubt that the card has “healed” itself in some way, microelectronics generally don’t behave in that fashion. Nor will I assume that this sudden reversion to “normal” behavior will be permanent, since I have no idea what made it happen.

Other than CPU VUDU, anyone else have any ideas?