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Morgan Nilsson
06-05-2018, 04:04 PM
https://developer.apple.com/macos/whats-new/

Hello!

As you can see from the link above, Apple is clearly intending to remove support for OpenGL/CL entirely in favor of their own API, Metal. I was curious what this means for Lightwave running on the macOS platform moving forward.

Seeing as I am not a developer or know anything of code, I can't even begin to think of how difficult it would be to port an existing codebase that is heavily relying on OpenGL which I imagine Lightwave in its current form is. Is there risk of Lightwave dropping macOS support entirely in light of these news? It would be great if we could hear from NewTek/LWG about this as I imagine others are worried about these news as well.

Best regards
//Morgan

rsfd
06-06-2018, 02:22 AM
It isn't a big surprise that Apple plans to remove support for OpenGL/OpenCL, as Metal -similar to other low-level API- has clear advantages.
I wouldn't expect that to happen for years though. I would expect a similar process as it had been with the move from Classic Mac OS to OSX with Carbon and Cocoa API.
In the end, Apple needed to force the big software houses to finally do their homework, as many had used Carbon to migrate their applications to OSX but then draw out the move to Cocoa to make native OSX applications.
And Apple needs to continue to develop the Metal-API too, as it still isn't "fully featured".

The migration does not seem to be extraordinary difficult: Luxology/Foundry had shown a Modo tech demo running with Metal some years ago at WWDC which was done in a pretty short time.
But nothing has changed in Modo's production releases since then. And no official words on that topic.

The future of LW-Mac (and other Mac-versions of various "bigger" software packages) comes down to the will, the resources and devotion of the developer team(s).
It might be a tough decision for NT and others. Especially for all applications that are based on a pretty old codebase.
Wouldn't expect official statements on that topic.

¬Roger

Tobian
06-06-2018, 04:01 AM
It's pretty ironic that a lot of the reason that many 3d software hung on as long as it did in the Mac is because of OpenGL and now they've dropped it entirely. It's debatable if there's really much future in the mac, as a serious 3d workhorse, since their hardware is now majorly underpowered, and now this. it's going to be very hard to do advanced viewport type rendering in metal, as that will represent a lot of work for something which is mac-only, and will be a shrinkingly small market share of most apps.

lardbros
06-06-2018, 06:58 AM
I've heard rumours that Apple are developing their own chips now too... not sure if that's a good idea really, but hey... it's their choice!

Markc
06-06-2018, 11:37 AM
Yet another reason why I don't upgrade my OS 'just because'........:D
LW 2018 works on a mac with 10.7, which is 6 versions back (soon to be 7).

raymondtrace
06-06-2018, 12:30 PM
...Luxology/Foundry had shown a Modo tech demo running with Metal some years ago at WWDC which was done in a pretty short time...

LinkedIn suggests a former Newtek/Luxology developer (S.F.) recently joined Apple. Related or just interesting coincidence?

vncnt
06-06-2018, 01:12 PM
I hope NT is not going to waste resources, time and development budget on this.
I'd suggest there are other issues with higher priority.

JohnMarchant
06-06-2018, 02:00 PM
Why do Apple really think this is a good idea, its not like they have a bigger market share in the 3d world.

gerry_g
06-06-2018, 02:42 PM
Next OS being named Mojave is very apposite then, cos it looks like we are all heading into the wilderness, between intel's inability to produce a decent fast processor and Apples inability to build a genuine professional grade machine with a competent OS were all [email protected]$*^%d

JohnMarchant
06-06-2018, 04:55 PM
Next OS being named Mojave is very apposite then, cos it looks like we are all heading into the wilderness, between intel's inability to produce a decent fast processor and Apples inability to build a genuine professional grade machine with a competent OS were all [email protected]$*^%d

Interesting times ahead and i am glad i jumped a few years ago, although i dont like windows 10 at all.

MichaelT
06-06-2018, 05:17 PM
Looking at their samples for the new framework it is much easier than OpenGL. That being said... the history of OpenGL is very... very long. And so is the number of apps that is no longer in a position to be updated. Especially when games are concerned. I think Apple have opened a can of worms here.. A can that will explode once it reaches the general public. When they no longer can run those older applications they love. I suddenly have an urge for popcorn.

JohnMarchant
06-06-2018, 05:30 PM
Looking at their samples for the new framework it is much easier than OpenGL. That being said... the history of OpenGL is very... very long. And so is the number of apps that is no longer in a position to be updated. Especially when games are concerned. I think Apple have opened a can of worms here.. A can that will explode once it reaches the general public. When they no longer can run those older applications they love. I suddenly have an urge for popcorn.

I dont disagree that Metal might turn out to be very good for 3d work. Its a bit like the old Betmax vs VHS in the 80's, Betamax was far superior but VHS won because it got the mass support.

3dworks
06-07-2018, 12:32 AM
I hope NT is not going to waste resources, time and development budget on this.
I'd suggest there are other issues with higher priority.

thanks for your unselfish support of all us mac lightwavers.

markus

vncnt
06-07-2018, 05:29 AM
Ha! I knew someone would say that.
Of course you're right (I don't want to pay for support of Apple products, you may call that selfish - our customers buy tickets from another airliner because they can get a $ 2,- discount).

On the other hand, having too many different target platforms doesn't contribute.
Apple isn't exactly famous for backward compatibility and interoperability. If you have a different machine, too bad.
I would never ever buy Apple hardware for continuity.

So yes, I'd rather see new features than support for platform XYZ++.

Morgan Nilsson
06-07-2018, 07:25 AM
Please let's not derail this thread.

I agree that it would be far better if Apple just continued to support OpenGL, but fact of the matter is that it is an important platform to a lot of people to support.

Let's not make this into a typical pie throwing contest with Windows vs Apple and the alike.

rsfd
06-07-2018, 09:45 AM
{@ Tobian}
as far as I had understood a discussion about Apple’s Metal API some years ago, this move of Apple could turn out as a benefit for all users in the end as this could also boost the interest in other low-level API on Windows platform (Direct3D, Vulcan,…).
If I’m not wrong, the usage of these API would lead to more platform independant code, while the platform specific code would be easier to implement as anything OpenGL related.
Hardware-wise you’re right at the moment. Even the iMac Pro is a powerful computer, the All-in-One concept clearly does not fit everyone. New Mac Pro is coming next year, no one knows about the Mac mini’s future. Wouldn’t blame Apple to 100% for the developments of the last couple of years though, as Intel also wasn’t the most innovative company in the CPU department then…

{@ lardbros}
those chips are mostly for iOS devices and they are reality for years now. Apple also stated that they will continue to rely on Intel for their desktop computers.

{@vncnt}
well, 3dworks beat me on this one ;)
But, as already stated, Apple’s move could turn out as beneficial to all…

{@MichaelT}
That’s what I’ve read too: in the end, the usage of these low-level APIs seems to be easier to handle for developers. OpenGL has a long history, but OGL might be the can of worms here: it has grown to a monstrous code mound with many proprietary code fragments that are hard to support.
The main problem will be that the big software houses will have a lot of work with upgrading their existing code base. Remembering the carbon/cocoa path, Apple will have hard times to get these on board.
But again: dropping OGL on Mac could (imo) open the way to Direct3D and Vulcan on Windows too…

Markc
06-07-2018, 11:38 AM
Like any transitions that happen with Apple hardware/software, I am sure it will be gradually integrated, thus enabling software developers to get on board.
Much like when they moved from PPC to Intel, LW supported both for many years until finally dropping PPC support.
You would imagine they (Apple) would have discussed such plans with the likes of Adobe for example, with such a large user base.

CaptainMarlowe
06-07-2018, 11:43 AM
Well, I think I'll stick to Mac for all 2D work because I really enjoy Motion 5 (especially with upcoming mObject 2) and Final Cut Pro X, but I will certainly just keep my current Mac Pro for this and add at some point a windows rig, possibly threadripper-based, for all 3D.

nic98
06-09-2018, 09:43 AM
It's another case of Apple fixing what isn't broken, like dropping support for 32 bit apps.
I have used some 3d programs long gone on mac, in Parallels with pretty good success, (Electricmage modeler, Carrara and bryce) so that's one option.
You could get a big hard drive, partition it and run the software on there with an older system.
Would the 3d companies drop Mac support over this?

jwiede
06-10-2018, 07:42 PM
It's another case of Apple fixing what isn't broken, like dropping support for 32 bit apps.

That's probably not the best example to use for that, as there are some really strong real-world justifications for dropping 32-bit code support. The 32-bit x86 programming model is a nightmare from security standpoints, because of all the potential edge cases in the competing hw security models present (esp. when you add in 32<->64 transitions), so removing support for 32-bit code actually offers some very real, significant security benefits. Not having to provide and support dual-mode toolchains, executables, libraries, and all that also provides an enormous savings in development and testing efforts (== costs).

nic98
06-11-2018, 06:40 AM
That's probably not the best example to use for that, as there are some really strong real-world justifications for dropping 32-bit code support. The 32-bit x86 programming model is a nightmare from security standpoints, because of all the potential edge cases in the competing hw security models present (esp. when you add in 32<->64 transitions), so removing support for 32-bit code actually offers some very real, significant security benefits. Not having to provide and support dual-mode toolchains, executables, libraries, and all that also provides an enormous savings in development and testing efforts (== costs).

Is there any reason why Windows keeps support for 32 bit though?

jwiede
06-25-2018, 08:07 PM
Is there any reason why Windows keeps support for 32 bit though?

Much too complicated to answer in even a long post, and this thread isn't really proper place for that discussion in any case.

Markc
06-26-2018, 11:20 AM
On a side note, latest version of combined Fusion/Davinci supports AMD/Nvidia/Metal Gpu's........so no excuse for other developers to support all.

valanchan
09-02-2018, 07:10 AM
This syncs the mac to iOS.
There are no mainstream 3d apps on iOS and Adobe, Affinity and others are beginning to create iOS as a viable professional platform.

Lightwave 3d exploded in popularity when it was sold outside of it's perceived target audience.

I think it could do so again if a version was made available on iOS.