Blender's future on Mac is in jepordy and we're looking for support

Due to Apples policy of developing micromanaging tools offered by Nvidia and AMD/ATI there has been a history of problems that Apple either chooses to ignore or is unaware of.

In light of this some of us are tying to contact Apple CEO Tim Cook to have this situation evaluated and in so looking for Apple users, software developers and the gaming community (which will be affected as game developers move towards CUDA enabled games for more realism) to respectfully lend their support.
http://www.cgchannel.com/2015/05/open-source-3d-devs-criticise-apples-opencl-sup port/

Recently Ton Rosendaal mentioned the problem has gotten to the point that they may have to abandon OS X as a viable platform for further Blender releases. This would be a tremendous blow to the Mac community as a viable 3D workstation platform for both the seasoned artist as well as the budding hobbyist.

Please lend your support if you feel obliged.

It’s not even just OpenCL support. Their OGL system is a mess too, which makes combining certain feature sets impossible. Which is bad news for things like OSD in the near future.

Mac has never been a viable platform for professional production 3d work, but I agree that it’s important to keep around for hobbyists. Would be a pity to see blender just disappear from the system because they refuse to play nice with their drivers.

I’m wondering if this means Ton himself abandoning the Mac and moving to Windows or Linux (I’m guessing he’ll more likely go to Linux)?

Even the CGchannel comments suggest that Apple is more or less strictly a mobile computing company now as they wind down their level of effort for their Mac division. Based on what I’ve read, Blender is far from the only application seeing major issues on the newer versions of OSX.

I don’t care.
A favorite OS is more important than blender for sure.
Good day to all.

Now, let’s concentrate on making blender a better application and stop all these nonsenses.
:stuck_out_tongue:

So, what is the best Linux distro?

Mac has never been a viable platform for professional production 3d work

I though they mostly use Mac osx machines at pixar.

1 Like

If I had to choose a Linux distro, I would go for Mint (they’ve been making great strides in usability in the past year or so).

Though it really depends on what stance you take on this controversial project set to become a mandatory part of the Linux ecosystem. It may ultimately be a good or bad thing for Linux development, but I don’t know myself (probably not going to cause Blender, GIMP, Krita, and LMMS to strictly become apps. for Windows).

Macs are mostly used in production for editing and texture work. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere where modeling and animating weren’t done on a Windows or Linux box. And that article Richard posted just seems to exist to stroke Apple’s ego. I don’t think I know a single artist who would choose to buy one of the new Mac Pros for their work, especially considering the premium you pay and their reliance on AMD hardware in a field dominated by nV and CUDA.

Ace, that doesn’t affect this situation much. I do agree with Mint, I have been using it for the last 4 months or so, and it has been pretty reliable as a home workstation OS.

I use Mac at work, and only CPU for rendering - but any large render I do, I have to use CPU anyway because of the size of the scene and texture space, so it is still okay for me here. I do hope Apple listens, as I agree their focus has been too much on iPads/iPhones/iWatch and kids just don’t learn coding on those devices.

I don’t think you get it, do you?

If the core technologies that Blender relies on are badly maintained on OSX, there’s absolutely shit Blender can do about that. That’s what is so unfair about all this, and why so many people are upset.

Zbrush and the other 3d apps you use will also be affected by this, you know? It is not an isolated Blender incident.

I keep hearing about Pixar being big on Linux, according to this they’ve been running mostly Linux workstations since 2001. They also develop a lot of their own tools. Presto, for instance, uses NVIDIA Optix, so it’s not going to run on those new Mac Pros.

The whole Mari presentation was more of a PR stunt. Apple had not delivered a competitive workstation in years, so they had to tout that new Mac Pro as if it was somehow revolutionary technology that delivered unprecedented performance. That’s of course bullshit. The only revolutionary part was that it was so small, even an atrophied desk worker could easily hurl it out of the window when it malfunctioned. A real high-end workstation is much heavier, so by the time you get to the window, you might have already changed your mind.

The crappy 3D support on Mac OS is in direct conflict with that goal. Furthermore, as a non-Mac OS user, I would kindly request that no disproportionate developer effort be spent on such an inadequate and developer-hostile platform.

Sent from my iPad.

I feel bad for the OSX users, that really sucks, hope something can be arranged for you folks to keep Blender running for you, and I hope that you get some good news soon.

Otherwise, the writing is possibly already on the wall. If you look at Macbook Pro, only the 15" top of the line (most expensive) model even comes with a GPU (the rest have gone all integrated graphics with Intel HD), and on the one version that still does have a GPU, it’s an outdated model of the laptop that doesn’t have the new haptic/force-feedback track pad, and the GPU it does have is a GT (non GTX) older revision Nvidia card with only 2GB of ram. For comparison, Windows laptops with 8GB on a GTX and a much newer revision GPU are readily available and so are 16GB ones (that’s Graphics card memory, not system RAM).

I think it adds up to the idea that Mac is no longer trying to cater to this market. If I am wrong, then there will be an updated Macbook Pro or a refresh with new specs coming shortly, but I doubt it, because it’s way overdue and Apple doesn’t tend to slack unless it’s shifting it’s focus.

Pixar does NOT use Apple computers to make 3D for their movies (modeling, animation, render, shaders, etc.). They use Linux, just like everyone else in the industry. Now they might use a Mac to paint a background or texture something but all feature animation is done in Linux (Disney, Dreamworks, Sony Animation, Blue Sky, etc. etc.). That’s also true for SFX shops like ILM, Weta, Sony Imageworks, DD, etc. etc. All Linux.

+1 for Mint as a good Linux distro.

Are they using Red Hat/Fedora?

Come to my office sometime. Admittedly, the MacBookPro wasn’t bought specifically for Blender work (it was bought for development - a requirement if you develop iPhone/iPad apps); but I’ve been doing most of my Blender work off the Mac for over three years now.

Gotta say it does suck… but many a 2D/paint graphic studio branching into 3D due to Blender’s low cost I’ve seen was primarily a Mac shop with a Windows box or two for the “office” stuff. As is frequently pointed out by others in these forums, often Blender is among the first (if not the first) 3D software packages people encounter due to the low cost of trying it out.

With all due respect to the comments about render farms, what Pixar chooses, etc - when we’re told that Blender caters to the hobbyist as much (if not more than) the professional when critical of the pipeline issues it has, basing decisions moving forward on what is used by those investing tens-to-hundreds of thousands of dollars in their backend seems somewhat odd. If Blender gets a pass on professional pipeline issues because of the hobbyist base; then the fact that hobbyist base will definitely include Mac users is something that cannot be dismissed so easily.

FWIW, I’m not actually arguing that BF/Ton need to be 100% behind the Mac. I’m actually well aware of the OSX shortcomings in this regard (and the lack of attention they give to such things). Simply looking for consistency in perspective when it comes to Blender development. Cutting OSX out because it cannot do what the professional studios are all doing seems to conflict (very strongly) with such a consistent approach.

This thread is a bit misleading, we have a new maintainer for OSX (thanks to Martijn Berger), OSX hasn’t been dropped.

Driver bugs are something we’ve had to deal with ever since Blender was created - on all platforms.

Having said that, theres a limit to what we can do on our side to workaround issues with hardware/drivers, So bug reports for OSX relating to hardware support may get moved to ‘known limitations’, which remain unresolved until Apple gets around to fixing.

What is really the problem here?

My OS X side and Blender works perfect - on Windows 7 I see anti-aliasing problems.

I am not a programmer so I might not be fully aware of problems there.
But if one would google Windows and GPU problems OS X hardly is the only platform that has problems.

With CUDA I install the NVIDIA CUDA and web drivers and encounter not many issues at all.

What I find odd about the openCL complaint is that Apple promoted the new MacPro with openCL and the ATI cards.
One would assume they would be serious if they would invest that type of resource into the mini PC.

Based on what I hear about the openCL complaints it is not the case. Somewhat crazy and not logical.

But then we are not dealing with Apple computers anymore - it is just Apple and since a long time they decided
that mobile “i” products are more lucrative. Android might have more market share but they don’t have the profit margin
and in that Apple is very successful and the market for PCs shrinks further. Still an annoying move for those who prefer
OS X over Win7 like I do because from my experience it offers a better smoother media and file handling workflow and productivity process.

Recently Ton Rosendaal mentioned the problem has gotten to the point that they may have to abandon OS X as a viable platform for further Blender releases. This would be a tremendous blow to the Mac community as a viable 3D workstation platform for both the seasoned artist as well as the budding hobbyist.

Link please.

Zbrush and the other 3d apps you use will also be affected by this, you know?

How do you know what apps I use? After all, zbrush is not a GPU based application. You should know that.

To moderators.
This thread should be locked. As many other similar threads in the past.
Seriously, it’s the BA forum. Nothing to do with the blender foundation.

The only reliable is this, so far.
http://lists.blender.org/pipermail/bf-committers/2015-May/045367.html
The rest are speculations.

It’s not speculation. I’ve personally had conversations with Antony and Sergey to the effect of “OSX need to get their s**t together or we’re going to have to drop graphical features from OSX in the future”. Most of these conversations have revolved around Viewport 2.0 (Antony) and OSD (Sergey). Tessellation is the big one here, since OSX has big problems when you try to mix and match OGL compatibility profiles, or so I’ve been told.

In addition to this, the comments from Ton come from Twitter I believe. He got behind an initiative to tell Apple that their support for OCL is unacceptable as long as they continue to push themselves as a realistic platform for artists.

Regardless, it’s not exactly an unknown fact that OSX has issues with locking down every aspect of its environment, even in places where it hardly makes sense like OpenGL and OpenCL. But that’s a debate for another day/thread.