H17 on Mac?

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Did not see or hear anything in the presentation about Mac. Is it still a supported and viable platform? Especially interesting with the Vellum OpenCL solver now that Apple is moving macos towards Metal only.
The optix denoiser in Mantra also hints at an nvidia future which meabs no mac. Would be good to know. I'm about to invest in both HW and SW.
Best regards
/Filip
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OpenCL and OpenGL on mac are still supported, just deprecated. All new graphics development on the Mac is going into Metal, and GL/CL are staying as-is aside from bug fixes.

The Optix denoiser isn't available, unless you happen to have an older mid-2010 Mac Pro with a custom Nvidia card (not sure it's available even then, though).
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So there will be a version of H17 for mac released at the same time as linux and windows I take it? OpenCL accelleration that works on par with other platforms? ( I ask this since I have a lot of problems with other software that uses OpenCL like Blender/Cycles that is broken and AGI Photoscan that seems to be faulty as well)
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The Optix denoiser isn't available, unless you happen to have an older mid-2010 Mac Pro with a custom Nvidia card (not sure it's available even then, though).

Optix works fine on the Mac with Redshift, so I would think the same would be true with Mantra. But yes, you are correct that an Nvidia GPU which supports Optix is needed, such as a GTX 10xx. In my case I'm running a Hackintosh with two GTX 1080ti's with no issues whatsoever both in Houdini and Redshift. I hope H17 will be as solid as H16.5 has been for me!
>>Kays
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OpenCL on Mac is very good on AMD cards but on Nvidia and CPU it is very bad. The Vellum OpenCL solver could be totally unusable if it has the same characteristics as the other DOP solvers for non-AMD Macs.
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So there will be a version of H17 for mac released at the same time as linux and windows I take it?

Our releases are always platform-wide. Mac, Windows, and Linux will all have the same release day.
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OpenCL on Mac is very good on AMD cards but on Nvidia and CPU it is very bad. The Vellum OpenCL solver could be totally unusable if it has the same characteristics as the other DOP solvers for non-AMD Macs.

Hopefully Radeon Instinct comes soon and is a viable option for the Mac users in the Houdini community.
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OpenCL and OpenGL on mac are still supported, just deprecated. All new graphics development on the Mac is going into Metal, and GL/CL are staying as-is aside from bug fixes.

I am curious are there any plans to support metal on mac?
Apple said it would release a new Mac Pro sometime next year and even though that probably will be a powerful machine and I would very much like to go back to the mac I see no point if the software runs on deprecated and probably in the near future (I am guessing apple plans to remove them completely by approximately macOS 10.16; this is just a guess on my part) removed frameworks.
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There are no current plans to support Metal on the Mac. The fact that Metal uses a different shading language than GLSL and we have hundreds of GLSL shaders makes it a non-starter for us. Apple has simply announced that GL is deprecated in favour of Metal, not that it will be removed. In other words, if you were starting a new software project on Mac you should use Metal (assuming you're not concerned with cross platform compatibility, which we also are).
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Good point. I think part of the problem is the word “deprecated” sounds so final, like terminated, or deleted, but in truth it only means that it's no longer the preferred way since there are better ways.

Personally I think that, if Apple is really serious about recapturing the pro market with a new set of Mac Pro computers, they can't simply stop support for Open CL, Open GL and CUDA. They have been able to arm-twist users when it comes to abandoning certain things in favor of others (like for instance getting rid of DVD drives), but in each of those cases, there were options available to still access those functions through 3rd parties. In the case of Open CL and GL, if they stop supporting it completely the only option is for users to move over to Windows or Linux.

Since Houdini was so prominently featured in the recent iMac Pro Artists series of ads, and considering that there was a shiny Mac Book Pro sitting in front of Scott Keating during the H17 presentation, I really do hope that the relationship between these two companies is strong and that Apple understands the needs for an app like Houdini to continue working on the OS X platform.

P.S.

If Steve Jobs was still around, and this was 2004, I wouldn't have put it past Apple to try to buy SideFX and make Houdini a Mac-only app! ;-)
>>Kays
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Apple is driving a nail into his own Achilles heel. He lost the north of the professional sector a long time ago. he had in his hands the Shake application that was a standard in composition and lost that sector. Nuke is what Shake could have been. With Metal, it is the same mistake to close the system to have a blockage of property rights, without taking into account the professional sector and its needs.
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Apple does support us and they are aware of our specific software needs (GL, CL, etc). We're in contact with them on a fairly regular basis about various issues.
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If Steve Jobs was still around, and this was 2004, I wouldn't have put it past Apple to try to buy SideFX and make Houdini a Mac-only app! ;-) bury it like Rayz
FTFY
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Please let Apple know, again, that it needs to fix it's Nvidia drivers. MacOS(10.13.6) and a fresh H17 crashed in under 10mins whilst Linux is still going strong hours later.

Crash report; Houdini FX Version 17.0.352
Uptime 512 seconds


The single bone placement still insta-crashes Houdini ~3+ years on too.
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Might be a longshot as Apple no longer uses any Nvidia hardware. But I'll check with them. I also found Apples default driver to
be more stable than the nvidia mac driver you can install from Nvidia's site.
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I also found Apples default driver to be more stable than the nvidia mac driver you can install from Nvidia's site.

Problem is that Apple's built-in Nvidia drivers do not support GTX 10xx gen GPU's (not to even mention RTX 20xx).

Nvidia seems to at least be up to speed with the consumer base of people who use their products with the aging Cheesegrater Mac Pro, as well as people like me who use Hackintoshes to get their work done. I estimate that I've spent about $5000 on Nvidia products since becoming a Hackintosh user, and the community is pretty sizable by now.

My advice to FUOS would be to use slightly older Nvidia drivers for more stability under High Sierra. I use 378.10.10.10.25.105 and it's been quite stable for me using both Houdini and Redshift with dual GTX 1080ti's.
>>Kays
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I'm very concered about all these developments and am scared to invest in the Mac ecosystem while Apple behaves like this. Mojave has disabled support for CUDA for example and there is no info of if this will be solved. Mojave also f*cked up Unity editor performance so I stay in 10.13.6 until these things are resolved.

It would be so easy for Apple to be the darling of the 3d/VFX production world if there only was a workstation available that could use and be upgraded with regular graphics cards from Nvidia if one wanted. And support for all APIs and let the developer choose what to use.

Oh, this became a rant…sorry 'bout that but every day as Mac user that wants to work in 3D and games feels like struggle…
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For 3D I would not invest in Mac at this point. I now have an 5 year old iMac and 2 Mac laptops which I want to keep going for as long as possible - but my last new build was a PC. I was able to build something as good as a MacPro for a fraction of the cost. As things stand today I will never get another Mac desktop. Laptop just maybe.
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Ok just did a test. Basic Vellum sim of pighead-“ballon” falling onto a plane. First simmed on internal pro 560 which of course was slow but ok for a laptop. Then connected my eGPU with Vega64 which has about 5 times the TFLOPS. Restarted H and tested again. (making sure that the Apple performance monitor showed usage of the right GPU). NO SPEED INCREASE percievable. Maybe the CPU is the limiting factor but that was surprising in a bad way. What should one expect?

Edit: tested the Intel graphics which produced simular results and finally running OpenCL on the CPU instead which resulted in a massive performance boost. Maybe twice as fast?
Edited by filipw - Oct. 11, 2018 09:46:22
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It's probably still using your internal GPU. Try setting the OpenCL device to the Vega64 in Edit > Pref > Misc.
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