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Mac User Comments on Maya 7.0 and 8.x
Reports Last Updated: 1/11/2008 (iMac firmware update/Maya 7 problems)



AL iMac owner report on Maya 7.0 problems after Graphics Firmware Update (1/11/2008) Anyone else running Maya on an AL iMac see this?

"(Graphics) Firmware update for (AL/2007) iMac causes Maya to freeze the Mac. Mouse movement unaffected, but no input is possible.
Hard reboot required. Very annoying.
(I asked for more details - Maya version, OS X version, etc)
Maya version 7.0
Graphics card firmware update - most recent version (iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0 released Nov. 15th)
iMac 20in, 2.4 GHz, 2GB RAM running OSX 10.4.11
Regards, Paul (UK)"


Maya PLE 8.5 (free) Available: (5/24/2007) Autodesk's Maya Personal Learning Edition based on Maya 8.5 complete is now available. (Download/form link in the sidebar there.) The page also has links to Questions & Answers, Documentation, and Demonstration content as well as a list of features (down the page). Maya Personal Learning Edition (PLE) is a special version of Autodesk® Maya® 8.5 software for free access to Maya for non-commercial use. ("Maya PLE restricts users to non-commercial applications through the display of a watermark on images as well as through the use of a special non-commercial file format.")
It's available for OS X for Power PC or Intel-based Macs (and 32-bit Microsoft Windows XP Pro). For details on requirements (OS version, graphics cards, CPUs, etc.) see their Maya 8.5 Qualified hardware for OS X which recommends OS X 10.4.8 and mentions testing with 10.4.7, but notes due to graphics drivers issues 10.4.5 or earlier is not recommended and it will not install of OS X 10.3.9 or earler.

I haven't downloaded this version yet although I did try the original PLE from several years ago. (The big screen overlay/watermark gave me a headache after using it for awhile.) If you try Maya PLE v8.5 let me know what you think of it (and the mac you're running it on). Thanks.


(earlier info follows)

Maya 8.5 Universal Binary: On Jan 16th, 2007 a reader sent a note that Maya 8.5 Universal is shipping:

" Universal Mac Version Maya 8.5 now shipping; however, does not, at this time, work on Mac laptops. (The person who stated Maya 8.5 "does not, at this time, work on Mac laptops" was Rob Hoffmann, senior manager of product marketing for Autodesk/Maya) (See below - a reader replied he's running Maya 8.5 on a MacBook Pro. -Mike)
According to what I have read/been told, Autodesk is working on a laptop version for the Mac...which may be released with the next 'upgraded' Apple laptop release.
have a great week,
~@~"

For more info on 8.5 see the What's new page and Detailed feature list.
BTW - a MacBook Pro user replied to this post:

" Maya works fine on my MacBook Pro, Core 2 Duo.
(I asked to confirm the Maya Version)
It's Maya 8.5 that I have installed, we use Maya here at Ghost (www.ghost.dk) all the time.
Venlig hilsen / Kind regards"

The MacBook has onboard Intel GMA-950 graphics so not sure that mac notebook would be supported. (MacBook pro has ATI X1600 w/dedicated vram.)
FYI - I did some searching and found the Qualification of Maya 8.5 on Mac OS X page that has info on supported systems, graphics cards and more. (The page currently is a work in progress apparently.)


(The following are reader reports on version 8.0 and 7.0, Including a G5 tower w/FX-4500 card user and notes on Maya 8.0 graphics card issues.)

Mac Pro/Nvidia FX-4500 running Maya 7.0 (under Rosetta emulation)
"Hi Mike, I ordered the top of the line Mac pro quad 3.0 Ghz with the Nvidia FX 4500 graphics card and 5 GB ram from the apple store and it arrived last week. I ordered this computer specifically to do work in Maya 7.0 (I haven't upgraded to 8.0 yet).

At first all seemed well, but the speed wasn't what I had hoped for. (Rosetta emulation takes a big preformance hit vs native. Memory use is another thing...) Maya isn't a universal application, so I knew that it wasn't going to be "blow you away" until they (ever) release a universal version.
What I found was that there are some graphics issues with NURBS surfaces and this computer. Also, the Hypergraph has some issues. When working in NURBS, the only CV's that show up are at the origin and the U and V CV's. All the others don't show up at all. They are there and you have to blindly select in the area for them to show up.
The way around this is to force the "smooth wireframe" option in the shading option for the camera you are looking through.

The Hypergraph doesn't show the grey boxes around the nodes when the names on the nodes are visible. I haven't found a workaround for that yet. I want to know if anybody out there is using maya on a mac pro with any other configuration or the same configuration and whether or not they have any issues like the ones I have described above.
Thanks!
Chris"

If you're using Maya on Mac, let me know what you've seen (include OS X version, Maya version and Mac model/graphics card used). Thanks.
I asked if he'd contacted Maya support to see what they say about the issues (or if they'd blame rosetta emulation):

"Autodesk officially does NOT support maya on any intel based mac, no matter what model you use. I have a friend that works at Autodesk tech support and he says the only way to make it work "properly" is to install linux or windows using Bootcamp. He's not a mac user and doesn't really know about the intel macs at all. In fact they're quite ignorant when it comes to macs in general. Maya 8.0 isn't even universal, and it came out many months after Apple had first started switching to intel.

On another note, the MacPro is quite nice when working in photoshop and illustrator and Poser. Those are really the only applications that I use and unfortunately, none of them are even universal yet!
One thing that really bothers me though is that there is no control panel for the Nvidia cards. (Ever since the first Nvidia Mac card was shipped (years ago) a control panel (like ATI Displays) has been on the wish list - still nothing though.-Mike) I would like to be able to force hardware line antialiasing and OpenGL overlay panes etc... You would think that spending an extra $2000 on a graphics card would at least give you some software to fine tune it, like a professional card on Windows. I actually wouldn't recommend this card unless the software they are using is FOR SURE going to use the benefits of the card. I was really hoping for a world of difference between this new computer and my old 1st gen 2.0 ghz dual G5. The Rosetta emulation I think isn't doing the OpenGL properly with Maya. The "smooth wireframe" in maya looks like crap. REALLY CRAPPY. It's like mud over the wires. I wouldn't recommend anyone buying this system for maya yet.
I don't know about the other 3D apps like Lightwave or Cinema 4D or the like because I don't use them. This system may scream on those apps, but not so with maya.
-Chris "

A native app would be at least twice as fast as emulated I think.
The problems Chris mentioned reminded me of some problems Mac 6800 card users reported a couple years ago with Maya 6.x and Lightwave 3D. (There were some tips/workarounds for some issues but later versions may have addressed those.)
Update: Here's some initial reader replies to this post. A reader sent a link to a page with Maya 8.0 graphics card issues:

G5 Tower with ATI 9600 Card
"Maya has severely dropped the ball when it comes to Mac support since they were aquired by Autodesk. I'm not surprised given Autodesk's Mac support history for CAD apps and such. We are staying on Maya 7 even though we are running Dual 2GHZ G5's with Ati 9600's. Maya 8's hardware rendering doesn't work with any Mac video card correctly.
www.alias.com/eng/support/maya/qualified_hardware/QUAL/maya_80_osx.html
If you scroll down to the video card compatibility section you will see that hardware rendering doesn't work with the 9600,9800, x800, x850, Nvidia 6800 Ultra, Quadro FX 4500,etc. (That section has both general notes and graphics card model specific issues listed. The page is based on OS X 10.4.7 tests, but not sure if OS X 10.4.8 would address anything there (i.e. if problem is due to a card hardware limitation, a Maya issue or driver/GL related).-Mike)
I guess that leaves the Nvidia 6600 as a possibility. Esssentially version 8 only supports software rendering on the Mac. Welcome to the slowdown. I think this is shameful. We are seriously considering not renewing our maintenance agreement.
(I asked what OS X version he's using.-Mike)
We are running 10.4.7. Didn't deploy Maya 8 based on system requirements listed. I will have someone test 8 on 10.4.8 with our G5 Dual 2.0/9600 rigs and report back.
-Mike F. "

A Quad G5 owner with FX-4500 card also wrote (see updated comments, he just started using Maya).

Quad G5 w/Nvidia FX-4500
"I'm running Maya 7 (and now v8) fine on my Quad G5 with an FX-4500 video card. I can find no visible flaws in display of windows or graphics output. (Update - early on Thursday AM he wrote with a note that there are graphics card related issues with Maya 8. He promised to send results of more complete testing and notes of Maya 8.-Mike) I actually bought a new last-gen G5 specifically because I expected delays in an Intel-Mac compatible port of Maya, and it looks like I made the right choice.
Surely Chris' problems are caused by the unsupported Intel Mac system, it is unlikely to be related to the FX-4500 video card (although I heard that the Mac Pro FX-4500 card is slightly different than the ones that came in the G5s, they cannot be swapped between Macs with different processors).
(The Mac Pro requires an EFI compliant graphics card at least for OS X use (this came up early on in questions about using G5 Tower PCI-e graphics cards in a Mac Pro - I assume the Mac Pro version has different firmware.) A reader did use a different PC Nvidia graphics card with BootCamp/WinXP but it was not recognized with OS X.-Mike)

(I asked him if he had seen any of the Maya v8.0 graphics card issues mentioned in the Alias page a reader linked to above. And if he's running OS X 10.4.8 in case that addressed anything.-Mike) I'm running OS X 10.4.8. (But see updated comments below)
I haven't seen any of the problems listed on that page, but then, I have barely started using Maya 8 so I might not have run into them yet. I'm going to run a few tests tonight, I'll get back to you. But suffice to say, hardware rendering is one of the main reasons you'd buy a high end video card like the FX-4500, not just for hardware rendering of output, but so you can use High Quality Rendering in one of the preview windows while designing your scene. I bought the FX-4500 specifically because it fully supported hardware rendering in Maya 7.

(I asked if he had used Maya 8.0 under 10.4.7, in case 10.4.8 fixed anything listed on the Alias Maya 8.0/10.4.7 page. I wasn't sure from the new Maya user comment if he had it before 10.4.8, but apparently so. In fact his comments above were based on using it in 10.4.7.-Mike)
Now that you mention it, I realize I haven't fired up Maya 8 since the OS X 10.4.8 update came through. So hang on and I'll do some tests tonight, it should be fairly obvious if there are any hardware rendering issues.

BTW, I recall there were some video card-specific options for the FX-4500 that were not obvious in Maya 7, perhaps they also need to be set up in Maya 8. I recall writing some environment options to some dotfile in your home folder, reminiscent of old linux .rc files. Without those environment options set, certain OpenGL options in the FX-4500 card were not activated. I'll check around and see about this, so hang on and I'll collect more info on this tonight. Of course a direct statement from the developers at Autodesk would clear all this up, but they are notoriously close-lipped about this stuff unless you have an expensive software service contract.
-Charles E. "

Latest Updates/Reports: (If anyone else running Maya 8.0 finds 10.4.8 fixed an issue (or didn't) that's mentioned on the Maya 8.0 OS X page or a tip for a user problem here, let me know the details. (Include OS version, Graphics card used, etc.) Thanks.

(added 10/31/2006)
"Maya 8.0. I too am having the exact same issue reported here (RegisterPkg Error) with my Mac Pro, 2GB RAM, ATI X1900 XT, 10.4.8:
http://discussion.autodesk.com/adskcsp/thread.jspa?threadID=510076
-Jason K. "


(added 10/31/2006)
"I've experienced one severe bug with Maya 8 running on a G5 (w/Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT) & OS 10.4.8. In the Hpershade window only, text does not display on any of the icons/rollovers. I have a platinum maintenance agreement with Autodesk and it seems service has given up on solving the problem because they can't replicate the issue.

I've sent window screen shots of both, the working Maya 7 using OS 10.3.9, and the bugged Maya 8 using a G5 and OS 10.4.8 to Autodesk developers. I've noticed in Maya 7 all windows except Hypershade use the Lucida Grande Font. I can't identify the font used for Hypershade icons and rollovers.
-Bill"

Just for the record I asked Bill what graphics card he was using.


(added 10/31/2006)
"Any ideas why maya 8.0 would not run at all (starts up but crashes on first mouse click in program) on a G4 Mac Laptop 1.25 Mhz, running 10.4.8 with 2GB Ram? (He originally said a G5 Laptop, but I corrected that as there is no G5 laptop. I asked what specific model but a reader reply below notes Maya 8 requires a G5 CPU.-Mike)
Thanks for your help, Greg "

A reader replied to this post with a reminder that Maya 8 requires a G5:

"As listed here:
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=7639522
Maya 8 requires a G5 processor in it's minimum requirements
-Craig S. "

I missed it originally but in the previously linked Qualification of Maya 8.0 on Mac OS X Under system it says:

"Any G3 and G4 (G3 and G4 based Desktop and portable systems will no longer be tested. See note above under General Disclaimers )"

And only lists G5 based Macs.





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