View Full Version : FPrime on the Mac

03-22-2004, 02:24 PM
My first impressions of FPrime are that it's a bit flakey. At least the initial release is.

I've just been running a test animation, and it often stops halfway. Anyone else finding this?

(OS X 10.3.3, LW7.5C, G5 dual 2GHz)

03-22-2004, 02:52 PM
you mean it stops? or it crashes LW halfway a render?

If you mean stop.. I don't have a clue.. If you mean it crashes LW,. I don't have a clue either.. :D No, just kidding. That problem is being solved. I have that problem as well. In the middle of a render via FPrime rendermode, it crashes LW on unpredictable base. Sometimes it goes good for 200 frames, other time it crashes in 5 frames.

I contacted worley about this and they're working on a 1.02 update that should see the internet-light end of this week, maybe sooner.

He also said that it was machine-dependent. More G4 like crash then a G5 like. But since you have a G5, maybe it's something else?

03-22-2004, 03:21 PM
Hi GeForce, that sounds like the sort of problems I've had with FPrime.

At the moment, FPrime ain't for Prime Time!

Well, at least in this initial release. I have a lot of faith in Worley Labs, and look forward to their next release of FPrime, maybe in a few days.

03-22-2004, 03:25 PM
Well they said they were gonna release the update this week. Maybe it isn't bad sending a crash report to worley. It could help. Especially because you have a G5, and maybe they think at the moment that this problem is only G4 related (that's what they said, but not this literary so don't quote me on that)

03-22-2004, 04:07 PM
I also have a G5 and had a random crash in the
same way. Just lunched lw in the middle of a


03-22-2004, 04:11 PM
Same thing here, on my dual 2GHz G5...

03-22-2004, 05:14 PM
g5 2x2 also.

is this just happening about 200 frames in?

could it be a limited buffer somewhere?

03-22-2004, 05:50 PM
Nope- I'm only rendering stills.

03-22-2004, 07:17 PM
For rendering animations, I can confidently say that FPrime (as it is in its first version) is completely useless!!!

But, as I said, I have full confidence in Worley. I'm sure they'll have it fixed in a matter of days.

03-22-2004, 11:43 PM
Hmmm...must be a Mac thing. I just rendered out a 400 frame animation using FPrime and had no problems.


03-23-2004, 04:23 AM
FPrime on my G4, 1ghz Dual, 1.5 Gig Ram is totally flakey, I'm sorry to say.

Never managed to get more than 2 passes into a Rendered image sequence before crashing (Simple to complex scences)

Crashes Layout when surfacing too FAR too often.

Lots of people have posted similar experiences on the Worley Yahoo site.


Early days.

I have faith in Worley, but this kind of experience is getting to be 'par for the course' for LW Mac versions....

I hope I'm about to be proved wrong with LW8

03-23-2004, 12:15 PM
I wonder how much of these crashes are going to go away once 8 is around, and I also wonder how much of it is the ATI video cards?

Over in PC land the people who have had a lot of crashes seem to be running ATI cards. Strange since FPrime doesn't use ATI cards. Anyway...

03-23-2004, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by wacom
I Strange since FPrime doesn't use ATI cards. Anyway...

No, Fprime does not use it to render, but it does use it in many ways. For example, FPrime uses you cameraview to render what it sees. That's why in object proportions display subpatchlevel affects FPrime quality in stead of Render subpatchlevel.

Second: every time Fprime renders a new frame, the slider goes at that frame. So OpenGL is always in the game. Something goes wrong with OpenGL? LW crashes.. We have been there allready..

03-23-2004, 02:28 PM
Selling UN-COMPLETED software is just the norm! No one should
be supprised that "FPrime" has turned out to be a buggy as it has........ It's sad really.... Until software laws are changed
(Doesn't Work As Advertised) ect.... This will only continue to

Jim R.

03-23-2004, 03:33 PM
I agree most software companies push crap
through the door and on to end users to early.
Having beta testers is expensive and good ones
more so. They are only needed at ship time so no
one wants to pay for them year round. For
example I purchased a game called temple of
elemental evil. It rolled out the door so broken
many people could not play the game past a very
short time before it was not playable. Atari has
a beta test team. It had to know it was broke
but shipped it anyway for the fall buying season.
The result is many people will not buy from them
that kind of game (rpg). I have every plugin
worley makes. They do take care of customers
and even give customers free useful stuff.
Fprime had allot of focus on it and high demand
for it so they did ship early to get it out to people.
Example: they have a multi-thread version but
have not finished it. Worely will stand behind
there products and make updates to fix problems
and add features for free( like sasquach uv map).
I feel comfortable even if its not polished
because of past history with products I own
from them.


03-23-2004, 04:37 PM
Worley is aware of the FPrime Renderer problem and is working on a fix.

But as a preview / surfaceing tool Fprime is working flawlessly on my Mac (Dual G4). Stick to LW for rendering for now and all is fine.

03-23-2004, 05:05 PM
I bought FPrime solely for its rendering speed enhancements.

At the same time, I'm not particularly worried that it's buggy at present. This is because I've bought Worley's plug-ins in the past (all of them), and he's really good at getting things fixed quickly.

Worley has always offered free updates. I've never had to pay an upgrade fee yet, even through the transition from OS9 to OS X. He just keeps updating these things for free!

I'll see if there's an update for FPrime in the next week.

Originally posted by js33
Hmmm...must be a Mac thing. I just rendered out a 400 frame animation using FPrime and had no problems.

JS JS, I know you use Windows as your primary OS for Lightwave. Every time you post here it seems like a subtle jab at the Mac platform.

We won't mention the Windows screen freeze bug that is listed on Worley's website. It seems to be caused by the shortcomings of the Win OS, and will be harder to work around.

03-23-2004, 05:32 PM
No I downloaded the Mac version as well but haven't tried it out yet. FPrime works pretty well on Windows but it does freeze sometimes but not enough to worry about. FPrime is just awesome for surfacing and lighting setup.

Also Beam I've considered getting a dual G5 but am waiting to hear about speed increases.

Also waiting to see if 8 will help the Mac version and see if the new G5's bring any more choices in the Graphic card area.


03-23-2004, 06:03 PM
Hi JS,

I'm using LW7.5c on Panther now and it's very stable. I haven't noticed any problems.

FPrime "unexpectedly quits" after every 200 frames or so, but OS X is robust enough to not be affected. I just launch the FPrime scene again and keep rendering.

I'll wait until Worley patches FPrime before doing anything important with it. In the meantime I'll use Lightwave's renderer.

New G5 machines will be out soon. But I think that software optimized with Xcode will bring a bigger speed boost than hardware will.

03-23-2004, 06:10 PM
When is soon? I know Steve said they expect to be at 3Ghz in a year from when the original G5's launched. It wouldn't seem there is enough time for an interim release between now and June.

Hmmm. Fprime doesn't unexpectedly quit on me but if I have too many panels open it does freeze sometimes.


03-23-2004, 07:33 PM
So that windows freeze bug is in general LOL..
I thought my lw7.5 at work on a dual xeon was just that one particular pc.

I have to say using both platforms, mac is the better multitasker by heaps, but as for now intel is by far the faster rendrer due to optimisations.

Macs arent far behind and im sure the g5 will easily level it. Stability is by far more important and osx has the won.

to be fair:
Windows 2000 PRO
Compaq we6000 dual 2.2 xeon 2gig ram quaddro 4, UW scsi, wacom, lw7.5.

Mac 10.3.3 DP 1.25 g4, 1.75 ram, lw7.5c, wacom.

Triple G
03-23-2004, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
For rendering animations, I can confidently say that FPrime (as it is in its first version) is completely useless!!!

Can't say that I share the same view...I just rendered a 700 frame animation with no problems whatsoever. Took 2 days in FPrime, as opposed to over 4 with LW. 1GHz G4, 1GB RAM, 7.5 (with 7.5c plugins installed), Radeon 8500.

I have noticed that occasionally the preview window will freak out and show big blocky pixels and artifacts from other open windows...but this is usually due to the scene containing an element that FPrime does not support, i.e. lens flares, volumetrics, etc. On the rare occasion that it's not due to this, quitting LW then relaunching the scene tends to solve the problem. The only other problem I've had with FPrime is that it doesn't seem to like it when you put an envelope on the Blur Length in LW's camera properties panel...I'll have to do more tests to confirm this, though.

03-23-2004, 09:37 PM
I never really purchased FPrime with the intention of using it for final renders. For me, FPrime has instantly become my most used utility. If you're trying to get a specular highlight "just right" or making minor changes to surfacing or reflections, the "on-the-fly" abilities are just sensational.

I'm going to keep using the LW renderer for my final images, but FPrime is still worth every cent, even at the higher price.

03-24-2004, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by Triple G
[B]Can't say that I share the same view...I just rendered a 700 frame animation with no problems whatsoever. Took 2 days in FPrime, as opposed to over 4 with LW. 1GHz G4, 1GB RAM, 7.5 (with 7.5c plugins installed), Radeon 8500.[B]

Count yourself lucky! I can't render more than 20 frames in a row without LW going Poof. And this is with the simplest of scenes.

Still I'm not worried. I know Steve is working hard on a fix.

03-24-2004, 03:23 AM
1. Load up a object (anything)
2. Openup Fprime Preview window and Texture Editor
3. Choose Image Type>Procedurals
4. Start cycling through the Procedurals (as slowly as you like)
5. Wince as Layout Crashes after about the 4th procedural selection.


This is not a rant - but something that obviously wasn't happening on Worley's Mac Testing set up.....

So, it might help him if we could isolate the particular systems that are flaking out in this way.

Please post you experiences, and I make sure they get a link to this thread.

Thanks all

My Set up:
Dual Gig G4, 1.5 Gig ram, OSX 10.3.3, Panther, LW 7.5c

03-24-2004, 06:19 AM
It's just plain touchy for me. I did the following:

Created a new scene
Loaded an object
Started FPrime
Moved the pivot point of the object
Started playing with rotation/position of the object
FPrime blew up

03-24-2004, 08:06 AM
i've had many crashes when i do a lot of changes to textures in the surface editor. especially if i shift "T" to remove the texture..... crash. i've started saving a lot more. i've had the problem both at home and work. i've had to save a lot more regularly when i'm messing with the textures now.

home: Dual 1.24 G4, 1.5 Gig Ram, OS 10.2.8 Lightwave 7.5c

work: Dual 1.42 G4, 2 Gig Ram, OS 10.2.8, Lightwave 7.5c

03-24-2004, 08:12 AM
Pain, pain, pain!

Trying to texture is just a bomb-fest.

Incredibly frustrating...

03-24-2004, 11:19 AM
i'm having no problems at all like these.

03-24-2004, 11:23 AM
how about posting your spec? :-)

03-24-2004, 11:36 AM
have you sent anything to worley. i sent something today although it was kind of vague. seems like were having similar issues with textures. when you crash, does your whole lightwave go or just FPrime?

03-24-2004, 11:50 AM
Layout Crashes - just left with a OS Crash Report

Yes I posted Worley 3 days running

Got this reply on 22nd to my first post (about crashing render Sequence)

Thanks for reporting the crash. That's similar to one where editing an image
in the image editor
will crash. Both are LW bugs, but we found a way to "walk around" the crash
on the PC but not
the Mac (yet). But we're working on it. :-)

No replies about other stuff.

Seems to crash most when you attempt to edit LW Dialogue boxes with the FP window open.

No crashes when FP window is closed.

I read somewhere there was a similar bug with Sasquatch and using numerical sliders - which had something to do with Panther.....

So I'm guessing (hoping) these are manifestations of the same bug.

Who knows....?

03-24-2004, 03:21 PM
could the quits you all are reporting be same as or related to my issue?

...that of LW quitting even the first time I invoke fPrime to see what my Machine/Dongle ID number is, LW quits, provides that option to submit a report to apple.

I just fired off an e-mail to worley, and included that report..


03-25-2004, 09:06 PM
I've found FPrime to be quite stable as long as I don't enlarge the FPrime window. Once I enlarge it, LW just crashes constantly.

03-25-2004, 09:15 PM
i have a g5 2 x 2 with the stock ati card. 1g of ram and 10.2.8.

lw 7.5c

i do get the crash when i try to edit images or edit my model and then go back to layout with fprime window open. i have to close the window, edit the model, go back to layout and reopen the fprime window. it starts rendering right away.

i notice that sometimes when i think it has crashed, it's just processing for a few minutes, then it's okay.

i don't have suitcase or very many fonts loaded. i know this causes some funky system problems.

anything else that i didn't think of, just ask. i've rendered out 200 plus frames fine usually with "3" as the final level. stills i let run indefinitely just fine.

03-26-2004, 07:05 AM
Got a message back from the great man....

Hi, Steve!
Yes, some people are having crashes with the render sequence option. It's
very machine specific! But looks like you hit it.
We've actually solved the problem inhouse and we'll be releasing a 1.02
update probably next week.

Steve W

It's LOVE, and I don't care who knows it!

03-26-2004, 02:50 PM
For what it is worth, I haven't had any issues running fPrime (and I've been rendering to print res on several occasions).

My specs are:

PowerBook 1Ghz G4
768MB Ram
OSX v10.3.3
LW 7.5c
fPrime 1.01


But good to hear Worley is on top of things.:D

03-26-2004, 03:23 PM
blabberlicious, thanks for passing on the message from Mr Worley, that an FPrime revision for the Mac will be released next week.

As I said, I always have a lot of respect for Worley Labs. Any issues like this always get fixed very promptly.

03-27-2004, 05:45 PM
FPrime seems to crash on random on my machine. But one scene crashes immediately when I'm trying to render a sequence, where the object is using an image sequence in the texture channel. Crash boom bang... Not even a single frame.

Hopefully a patch will be up soon, 'cause now FPrime isn't of much use on the Mac...

03-28-2004, 11:48 AM
to you it may not be workin. it seems to be very machine specific. i've been rendering a 625 frame sequence for 24 hours and it's still going.

i've only had it crash randomly once.

03-28-2004, 01:03 PM
...EVERY scene....

I really hope he gets this sorted soon.

I'm having to continually resurrect the Render, which isn't really the point.

Sequence Rendering unusable for me till it's fixed.


if you are going to post a - 'it works great for me' type reply - post your set-up spec, OS & LW Version.

I think we've established it's machine specific, folks

03-28-2004, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by blabberlicious

if you are going to post a - 'it works great for me' type reply - post your set-up spec, OS & LW Version.

I think we've established it's machine specific, folks

well, the dialogue box you get is exactly what I get when I first try to launch fPrime just to get my machine code. my rig is the G5 you see below in my sig; I'm on 10.3.3


03-28-2004, 01:27 PM
i posted my machine data in this thread already. i don't think fprime needs to be fixed as it obviously works.

03-28-2004, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by pdrake
i posted my machine data in this thread already. i don't think fprime needs to be fixed as it obviously works.

judging from the posts here, it seems obvious that fPrime doesn't work for *every* one...it also seems that the author knows about this, and is working on a fix, and maybe if the people having trouble compare notes, it can help the author fix things.

As it stands, I have a $300 plug in that doesn't work; a problem that NEEDS attention.


03-28-2004, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by pdrake
i posted my machine data in this thread already. i don't think fprime needs to be fixed as it obviously works.


There speaks the voice of compassion...

03-28-2004, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by pdrake
i don't think fprime needs to be fixed as it obviously works.
Hmmm, "obviously". Ah ha.
Originally posted by blabberlicious
There speaks the voice of compassion...Kind of amusing, isn't it!