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Giacomo99
10-27-2007, 08:56 AM
Hello-

I just purchased FPrime a couple days ago. I love it, but it's incredibly unstable on my system (Dual 2.5 G5, Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Special Edition--LW 9.3 and OS 10.4.10)--Frequently, Layout just abruptly quits.

What's even weirder is that recently while in Layout, the computer just "lost" both of my monitors--they went dark, and the indicator lights went from green to orange. I had to restart to get the machine to recognize them again.

Since installing the above-mentioned video card, I've had occasional problems getting the computer to recognize the monitors on startup-- but I've never had the monitors just drop out before. I'm wondering if this might have anything to do with FPrime and its use of OpenGL.

Please advise.

3dworks
10-27-2007, 09:44 AM
Hello-

I just purchased FPrime a couple days ago. I love it, but it's incredibly unstable on my system (Dual 2.5 G5, Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Special Edition--LW 9.3 and OS 10.4.10)--Frequently, Layout just abruptly quits.

What's even weirder is that recently while in Layout, the computer just "lost" both of my monitors--they went dark, and the indicator lights went from green to orange. I had to restart to get the machine to recognize them again.

Since installing the above-mentioned video card, I've had occasional problems getting the computer to recognize the monitors on startup-- but I've never had the monitors just drop out before. I'm wondering if this might have anything to do with FPrime and its use of OpenGL.

Please advise.

hey giacomo, i had the problem with the screen going black quite often before, when i used the same graphics card and a double screen setup, also some kernel panics. it happened frequently when working on large scenes, and i managed to keep those crashes down with the tips worley gave me, especially to keep opengl at wireframe mode and setting it to streaming mode in display prefs. glsl shading mode is a no no!. no problems at boot up, though. but since i upgraded to the ATI X1900 G5 edition and run a large single screen a few months ago, this happened only once, so it seems to be a driver conflict somehow. unfortunately, i cannot say whether it's the dual screen setup or the card, as i changed both at the same time, but it is definitely related to fprime, because without using it i never got into this situation.

so maybe a tip would be to try a single monitor setup for a while just to test if it's getting any better, and maybe to upgrade to the X1900 card (which anyway is much faster, so there's definitely an advantage)...

hope this helps

markus

Giacomo99
10-27-2007, 10:43 AM
Markus-

Your comment was very helpful! It's good to know others have experienced this.

Regarding the video card: unfortunately, my G5 (a dual 2.5) is *not* PCI Express, so I'm limited here. Based on your comment, though, I went into Layout's OpenGL Preferences and switched "Geometry Acceleration" to "Streaming" and "Shading Method" to "Multitexture Shaders." Hopefully this will stabilize things somewhat. When you say "keep OpenGL at wireframe mode," however--where do I do that? I don't see any "wireframe" options anywhere. Please advise.

Also, I've encountered a recurring problem with FPrime and print-resolution renders. If I have Photoshop open at the same time as I'm doing a high-res FPrime render, Layout *always* quits when I try to exit FPrime. (This is a real headache--I'd like to be able to edit texture maps, replace them, and do a test redner without having to quit Photoshop every time.) Have you encountered this?

Scazzino
10-27-2007, 10:47 AM
Hello-

I just purchased FPrime a couple days ago. I love it, but it's incredibly unstable on my system (Dual 2.5 G5, Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Special Edition--LW 9.3 and OS 10.4.10)--Frequently, Layout just abruptly quits.

What's even weirder is that recently while in Layout, the computer just "lost" both of my monitors--they went dark, and the indicator lights went from green to orange. I had to restart to get the machine to recognize them again.

Since installing the above-mentioned video card, I've had occasional problems getting the computer to recognize the monitors on startup-- but I've never had the monitors just drop out before. I'm wondering if this might have anything to do with FPrime and its use of OpenGL.

Please advise.

Layout does crash with FPrime often but that can largely be avoided by using the FPrime pause/refresh commands. Add them to your menus and then before doing any texture/object edits pause FPrime, do your changes and then Refresh & Unpause FPrime. Doing that makes LW/FPrime very stable. I haven't had any FPrime related crashes since using this procedure.

At home I have a DP 2GHz G5 with the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro bundled from Apple when I bought the machine. I've been using Mac OS X.4.6 with the built-in drivers, but have recently upgraded that machine to Mac OS X.4.10. I also use it to drive dual monitors. I have never seen the monitors blank out as you describe though...

3dworks
10-27-2007, 12:47 PM
Markus-

....

When you say "keep OpenGL at wireframe mode," however--where do I do that? I don't see any "wireframe" options anywhere. Please advise.

Also, I've encountered a recurring problem with FPrime and print-resolution renders. If I have Photoshop open at the same time as I'm doing a high-res FPrime render, Layout *always* quits when I try to exit FPrime. (This is a real headache--I'd like to be able to edit texture maps, replace them, and do a test redner without having to quit Photoshop every time.) Have you encountered this?

"opengl at wireframe mode" means to select wireframe mode in the camera viewport...

some additional tips i got from worley some time ago:


No matter how much ram your computer has, an application can only address 2GB( more on the Mac) so adding more ram is often not a solution

Reduce polygon counts, subdivsion levels and image resolutions to decrease memory usage.

A common trick that can greatly reduce image memory used is to convert the images to 8bit 256 color format( but make sure to back up the originals if you want to edit them again since information is lost during the conversion )

Quit and restart LightWave to help defrag LW's application memory.

Turning off OpenGL Textures in the Display Options can significantly reduce ram usage depending on your scene. You'll need to save and reload the scene in order for the memory reduction to take effect.

yes, same experience here with photoshop or other RAM intense apps open: close them before or during LW + fprime use!

cheers markus

Giacomo99
10-27-2007, 01:12 PM
This is all a little disappointing--FPrime is great and endlessly useful, but I just wish I'd been informed about these necessary tradeoffs before I bought it. The Photoshop workaround is particularly annoying.

Oh well. Thanks for the help, guys.

Scazzino
10-27-2007, 02:04 PM
That's strange, I've never had any problems with Photoshop open at the same time as LW/FPrime. I'm not sure how one could possibly affect the other anyway since in Mac OS X each app is isolated AFAIK.

archijam
10-28-2007, 02:48 AM
This is all a little disappointing--FPrime is great and endlessly useful, but I just wish I'd been informed about these necessary tradeoffs before I bought it. The Photoshop workaround is particularly annoying.

Oh well. Thanks for the help, guys.

Photoshop is notoriously hungry with ram and scratchdisk space, especially noticable when you tab between apps .. I would not pass the fault too quickly to Worley or NT.

That said, I ahve not had the same problems with Fprime/PS, but have also not used them together since 9.3.

j.

3dworks
10-28-2007, 02:57 AM
That's strange, I've never had any problems with Photoshop open at the same time as LW/FPrime. I'm not sure how one could possibly affect the other anyway since in Mac OS X each app is isolated AFAIK.

photoshop, unlike other apps on OSX, can use up to 3G of RAM if a huge image is loaded, and if you have for example only 4G installed, less than 1G real memory is available for LW. apparently available virtual memory does not help to prevent fprime to crash LW.

markus

Giacomo99
10-28-2007, 12:55 PM
Just a postscript to my earlier comments. Thanks to everyone who helped.

FPrime is a great piece of software, but after a few hours working with it, I've come to the conclusion that it's just not compatible with my computer. The issues are itemized below in case anyone's interested:

1. Completely hung the entire machine (beachball lasting twenty minutes, "fixed" only with a reboot) the first time I tried to do a preview. (Admittedly, this happened only once.)

2. Caused both monitors to shut off (detailed in the first post in this thread), requiring a reboot to get them back on. This happened twice in a three-hour period while using FPrime's previewer, and has never occurred before.

3. Causes Layout to quit if I do any of the following:
a) Open the Scene Editor after I've used any FPrime tool, even if FPrime's not currently open. The Scene Editor normally pops up on the second monitor, so this might have something to do with the video driver.
b) Exit the FPrime renderer with Photoshop open.
c) Switch to Modeler using the Modeler button in Layout. This is not as reproducible a problem as the two above, but still happens more often than not. My basic experience has been that FPrime shouldn't be used with the Hub.
d) Change a surface's image map, even if Preview is not open--when I launch FPrime Previwer, Layout quits (again, this doesn't happen 100% of the time, but it happens a lot.)
e) Almost anything else in Lightwave, especially, but not necessarily, if the Preview window is open. (Again, this is not always reproducible.)

These problems persist even after doing everything specified by Markus and Scazzino in the thread above--including the refresh/pause/unpause workaround suggested by Scazzino. I'm not blaming Worley or NewTek here--the problem seems to be a combination of video-card and dual-monitor issues, plus some RAM problems that might relate to the print-resolution renderings I use Lightwave for. Nevertheless, FPrime makes Layout crash so frequently on my computer that it's essentially unusable. Bummer.

RedBull
10-28-2007, 04:50 PM
One thing i can suggest is to try setting your CPU affinity to only use 1xCPU, when using the Fprime previewer. (on dual or quad core machines)

This cuts down the amount of crashes and threading deadlocks that occur with FPrime on the PC, i would only assume the same issue is prevalent on Macs too.
While this does slow down the previewer a little, it makes a large difference to stability. (likely a better solution than pause/resume)

Giacomo99
10-28-2007, 07:42 PM
One thing i can suggest is to try setting your CPU affinity to only use 1xCPU, when using the Fprime previewer. (on dual or quad core machines).This cuts down the amount of crashes...

Thanks for the suggestion, but like many of the suggestions above, ("reduce polygon counts" for example) it defeats the entire purpose of using FPrime.

With all due respect to fellow commenters, if I followed every suggestion made on this thread to make FPrime more stable, I'd have something pretty much identical to the existing Lightwave renderer. Only, with only one processor, it might be even slower. :P

vadermanchild
10-28-2007, 08:00 PM
One thing i can suggest is to try setting your CPU affinity to only use 1xCPU, when using the Fprime previewer. (on dual or quad core machines).This cuts down the amount of crashes...

Thanks for the suggestion, but like many of the suggestions above, ("reduce polygon counts" for example) it defeats the entire purpose of using FPrime.

With all due respect to fellow commenters, if I followed every suggestion made on this thread to make FPrime more stable, I'd have something pretty much identical to the existing Lightwave renderer. Only, with only one processor, it might be even slower. :P

I get frustrated - everyone is well meaning with their advice. A lot of good advice although as you say defeating the purpose.

I would rather everyone was up in arms over the condition of LW and Fprime so as theres no chance Newtek think its user base are suckers for a good workaround or hack.

Newtek still have yet to satisfy anyone with a roadmap - we all pay good mopney for a heap of poo that is meant to be getting better. Some peple say be patient - I paid money for promises that were to be delivered. A 9 cycle that had Animation improvments as part of the core rewrite. A working FPRIME and for us to say goodbye to some of the cheap hacks we perform hourly.

When anyone suggests its not up to par here theres lots of people jumping to its defence. Newtek should NOT THINK ONE SINGLE USER condones the sloppy POS we now call LW9.

Fprime was my HerO. LW is a second class product now.

SAVE FPRIME - SAVE LIGHTWAVE.

Chilton
10-28-2007, 10:55 PM
Hi Oldteker,


As far as I am concerned every one of us that has purchased LW9 has been completely ripped off, because I have not seen a complete (production ready) software since I paid for my upgrade. NT please fix your program so I can get what I paid for over a year ago!:newtek: :thumbsdow :lwicon: :thumbsdow :devil: :thumbsup:

I am curious, what Mac specific issues are you having?

-Chilton

Chilton
10-29-2007, 03:10 PM
Hi Oldteker,

I've been doing 3D work since Super3D, but not on a scale that even touches most of our users. However, I am pretty familiar with most of our competitor's products, and have followed every 3D app on the Mac since the early 90's. If it's a 3D app on the Mac, I've used it. It's tough actually working for one of them though, as every time someone pipes up about this or that competitor, I'd LOVE to give my honest opinion about them. Our users would think I was being nit picky.

Would I buy LightWave 9.3? Oh, absolutely! But I'm probably biased. I am surrounded by people using it all day, and what they can do with it amazes me. We have users who bring things to NewTek HQ that astound me.

With regard to LW9, specifically the UB version, I have made a few changes here and there over the last year. Some were well received by our users. Some were eh... not well received.

So maybe I'm not the guy our users want *designing* LightWave 3D. Right now I have my hands full keeping the Mac version up to date with the PC version. But I do like the Open Beta program, and I really wish more apps would follow NewTek's lead there. I like that our users have some say in how the product evolves, if they care to.

Sure, there are a few things I think LightWave could do better. But then, I feel that way very passionately because our competitors haven't figured them out either, and I'd love to beat them to the market with a few of them. Also, being behind the magic curtain, you get to see things our users don't get to see.

It would be fine with me if our competitors thought we were out of ideas though. That'd be just fine... :devil:

-Chilton

Steamthrower
10-29-2007, 03:29 PM
I just purchased FPrime a couple days ago. I love it, but it's incredibly unstable on my system (Dual 2.5 G5, Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Special Edition--LW 9.3 and OS 10.4.10)--Frequently, Layout just abruptly quits.

I regularly run Photoshop and LW at the same time. Oftentimes Flash, Dreamweaver, and good ol' iTunes will be open as well. I've never had issues like this (I have an ATI video card).

I really think that all these issues are machine-specific. I have used 9.0, 9.2, and 9.3 on a Mac and I have never been forced to use the PPC version because of UB errors. I really think that LW is more stable than some here tend to crapheap about.

I'll stay out of the Oldteker vs. Everyone Else fray here...

vadermanchild
10-29-2007, 04:18 PM
I'll stay out of the Oldteker vs. Everyone Else fray here...

THis is not OLdteker VS Everyone.

There is a growing number of long term users (much longer than me) who are on this forum growing rather HAVE GROWN tired of LW and its foibles.


I beleive theres quite a lot of users looking at LW who feel conned and/or are very dissatisfied with 9 series.

Theres the users who defend it. I ask if the guys creating plugins to patch Newteks sloppy work would feel so pationate about defending LW if they didnt make a buck from its problems? Or theres the others who have little but praise for LW and its current sloppy condition who are students or perhaps work in an industry which has little need for a bristling piece of software keeping up to date with competitors.

If Newtek intend to share your roadmap and start delivering software that steps out of the shadow of the even the freebie software never mind big apps then I might not throw in the towel.

LW used to have a buzz about it a 3 years ago - now its a hollow shell.

The mention in another thread by Newtek that Fprime problems were partially down to (or still existed) because Worley did not return Newtek emails or calls was massively disturbing.

I hope someone realsies LW gets significant sales cause of Fprime. Dont permanently screw up a good thing.

People are turning away- once they go elsewhere they wont be back - make people belive in your product and they might hang around long enough to see it deliver.

RedBull
10-29-2007, 09:39 PM
One thing i can suggest is to try setting your CPU affinity to only use 1xCPU, when using the Fprime previewer. (on dual or quad core machines).This cuts down the amount of crashes...

Thanks for the suggestion, but like many of the suggestions above, ("reduce polygon counts" for example) it defeats the entire purpose of using FPrime.


Fair enough, Fprime only became better multithreaded in version 3.0, i wish i used 2.0 more, because it allowed to open 5 FPrime previewers which would equalize over the cores, FP3 one previewer will use 100% of the CPU, this actually slows me down, combined with crashes, using only a single core for previewing allows me to achieve much more, which is what I'm looking for from Fprime, otherwise you will suffer from what is known to be a architecture and multithreading problem.

firstsingle
10-30-2007, 07:30 AM
[QUOTE=Giacomo99]Hello-

I just purchased FPrime a couple days ago. I love it, but it's incredibly unstable on my system (Dual 2.5 G5, Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Special Edition--LW 9.3 and OS 10.4.10)--Frequently, Layout just abruptly quits.

Yup. The abruptly quit part sounds familiar. I lost a 2.5 million poly object over that one.

Captain Obvious
10-30-2007, 10:05 AM
Fair enough, Fprime only became better multithreaded in version 3.0, i wish i used 2.0 more, because it allowed to open 5 FPrime previewers which would equalize over the cores, FP3 one previewer will use 100% of the CPU, this actually slows me down, combined with crashes, using only a single core for previewing allows me to achieve much more, which is what I'm looking for from Fprime, otherwise you will suffer from what is known to be a architecture and multithreading problem.
FPrime 3 only uses one core until the quality ticker pops up.

Giacomo99
10-30-2007, 03:19 PM
Let me clarify, since this thread seems to be wandering a bit: my issues were only with FPrime's stability on my particular computer, and not with Lightwave in general (for what it's worth, 9.3 has been generally rock-solid for me.) The problems seem to specifically lie in FPrime's compatibility with the RAM and video drivers of pre-PCI Express Macintosh G5s (c. 2004) that use ATI 9800 Pro video cards--a very small subset of all FPrime users, to be sure.

It is also worth mentioning that Worley Labs was outstanding and professional in their response to my woes--they answered all my inquiries promptly, and agreed to refund my money when it was clear the problems were unsolvable short of buying a new machine. I very much look forward to buying another copy of FPrime the next time I upgrade my system hardware.