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General => Open Discussion => Topic started by: rcallicotte on February 22, 2008, 09:42:26 am

Title: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: rcallicotte on February 22, 2008, 09:42:26 am
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: old_blaggard on February 22, 2008, 10:15:44 am
Wow, Aprils Fool's Day came early this year....
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: dhavalmistry on February 22, 2008, 11:02:06 am
Quote from: old_blaggard on February 22, 2008, 10:15:44 am
Wow, Aprils Fool's Day came early this year....

totally agree with that!....

I am pretty sure microsoft has some trick up its sleeve in this one too...
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: Harvey Birdman on February 22, 2008, 11:28:31 am
Sure, I believe... that it's another stalling tactic.


And I believe in the giant talking bunny rabbit, too.   

;)   :D
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: rcallicotte on February 22, 2008, 01:26:55 pm
Yes.  The BUNny rules at M$.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: matrix2003 on February 23, 2008, 06:07:00 am
Found this on Digg:
"Red Hat not impressed with Microsoft's interoperability plans"
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: rcallicotte on February 26, 2008, 02:54:00 pm
"The European Commission takes note of today's announcement by Microsoft of its intention to commit to a number of principles in order to promote interoperability with some of its high market share software products. This announcement does not relate to the question of whether or not Microsoft has been complying with EU antitrust rules in this area in the past. The Commission would welcome any move towards genuine interoperability. Nonetheless, the Commission notes that today's announcement follows at least four similar statements by Microsoft in the past on the importance of interoperability. In January 2008, the Commission initiated two formal antitrust investigations against Microsoft - one relating to interoperability, one relating to tying of separate software products (see MEMO/08/19). In the course of its ongoing interoperability investigation, the Commission will therefore verify whether Microsoft is complying with EU antitrust rules, whether the principles announced today would end any infringement were they implemented in practice, and whether or not the principles announced today are in fact implemented in practice. Today's announcement by Microsoft does not address the tying allegations." - from the European Commission on February 21, 2008
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 07, 2008, 10:26:22 pm
I just upgraded to Ubuntu 7.10. Awesome.

I have ATI graphics card so some problems with Open GL especially in Wine. However the latest Wine in a major improvement. TG2 is not perfect but that's my old graphics card. NVidia are better under Linux. TG2 works in Linux now if you have a recent graphics card. LightZone (my image editing app) is back in development for Linux. Blistering past even my Mac in performance.

Goodbye Windows  :D
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: rcallicotte on March 08, 2008, 11:55:48 am
@efflux - You're using Linux with TG2 now?  How?  Is it as good as it sounds?
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 09, 2008, 07:02:00 pm
There is one problem on my systems here. It's an open GL issue. I know my ATI graphics cards will be causing this. You're much better with NVidia for Linux especially if you are using Wine. I'm going to pick up an NVidia card (or two since I still have two decent old PCs) to sort this. Wine 0.9.47 has sorted a lot of UI issues in Windows apps including TG2 but on my systems I have no preview or node graph. It's my graphics cards. However I have noticed a total speed up and fixing of the rest of the UI in TG2 and various other apps so UI speed is better than even Windows, certainly better than Mac which is sluggish. For rendering my Linux systems work with TG2. I'll get back on the forum when I have TG2 perfectly functioning but I know other people have reported that it is working totally AOK with the latest Wine.

As for rendering speeds, they are OK but I'll need to do a proper test of this. However OK is OK when it's a free OS that can be installed on an old system. There is an issue with multi core. I'm not sure how this will pan out when TG2 becomes multi core. My systems are not multi core but hyper threading. Linux runs brilliantly with the HT enabled but TG2 only sees half of the CPU so I keep HT disabled. Not sure if multi core apps will use multi cores under Wine. I have not looked into this at all. I'd assume they would.

I think it's really important that developers of rendering apps take note of Linux because it is so cheap and easy to set up a small Linux rendering farm. Not even necessary to have a full UI native app just rendering capabilities.

Also, as I mentioned, I use this app called Lightzone for post editing. It's a fantastic photo editing app. Originally they had a free Linux version then ditched it but now its in beta again. I tried it and it's great. I bought a Mac license but would happily run this under Linux. So now Linux has what I consider THE best image post processing tool - this is a big step. You also have Gimp to handle other stuff that Photoshop does. I just tried the very latest Gimp on Linux. It goes like shit off a shovel.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 10, 2008, 07:33:43 am
Wine 0.9.57 now. Even with the ATI card TG2 is almost entirely functioning. UI has become a bit slow (now that preview and nodes are displaying) but that's my graphics card. Not much worse than OSX version. I'll be upgrading the card in the next few days for radical Open GL improvements in other apps. This should help TG2 UI as well. The only things I've found are no icons on the buttons and the secondary menus from the right click in node graphs have to be navigated using arrow keys. Very minor issues. Rendering times aren't good now but I've been messing with different kernels for real time audio pre-empt so this may have something to do with it. I'll try booting back to standard kernel.

Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: rcallicotte on March 10, 2008, 11:55:22 am
Cool.  Makes the whole Apple / Linux thing look even better.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 11, 2008, 12:08:51 am
Well it's getting there bit by bit.

TG2 seems fine but I've yet to fully test rendering speeds. I know it's slower than when I previously tried it for some reason. I've got an old but powerful Quadro FX graphics card coming. That will improve TG2 but it's not the reason I'm getting it. I want it for Open GL in other apps.

I have Artrage (very cool painting app) working fully now under Wine with proper Wacom graphics tablet support. There was a problem with pressure (under Wine) before but now fixed. This is the one app that without question functions better in Wine than it does on Native Windows or OSX. In fact this app works so brilliantly under Wine that I've bought a Windows license for it. My Mac license doesn't cover the Windows version but it's $25 so no complaints.

Next I'm going for ZBrush. It works apparently.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 11, 2008, 06:32:18 am
ZBrush 3.1 is a total Linux performer. It works perfectly and outperforms Windows. Not sure about the licensing activation, could be a problem but boy does it work and this is on a system that is not really exactly the same as my Windows box. Everything is the same except less RAM! This is brilliant.

The Quadro FX card will arrive probably tomorrow and I'll report back about TG2 but unfortunately it's not in the same league (yet) as ZBrush or Artrage. Those rocket under Wine.

Once I get the Quadro in, my Open GL poly count in native Linux apps will probably burn Modo (what happened to Modo Linux version? - Sad).

The latest Wings 3D is cool. Blender will be getting a tool redesign soon to be similar to the way Modo works. Not much beats Modo's renderer though.

Modo doesn't work or at least it didn't when I tried a while back. Might try again but it was so problematic I think it will probably fail again.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: rcallicotte on March 11, 2008, 10:17:59 am
Thanks for all of these updates.  I'm looking closely at which OS to use next and most of these programs are where my interest lies.

Next, I'm looking into Artrage.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 12, 2008, 08:23:48 am

I got the Quadro FX card. It is mindblowing. I can not believe it. I picked this up on ebay for peanuts. It was several $1000 a few years ago. All the TG2 UI is going at lightening speed now. Smooth as hell. I'm pretty sure rendering has speeded up but I have yet to test that. There were probably  lot of things bottlenecking before and screwing up the CPU performance.

However that's just the minor issue. I've been testing Blender and I can't believe it. With the extra Open GL performance it is flushing my Mac running Modo down the toilet. Blender has sculpting now and even this is fantastic.

So the solution is Linux but not the latest hardware unless you've got money to burn. I dread to think what a comparable graphics card for the Mac would cost and that wouldn't even be top end.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: Cyber-Angel on March 12, 2008, 09:27:34 am

Do you mind me asking you which Quadro FX card Model you have, as I am looking in the near future to buy a system with the Quadro FX 4600, which should be nice?

Regards to you. 

Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: rcallicotte on March 12, 2008, 10:24:03 am
Would you tell me if you've tried Modo on this new machine running Linux?  And...? 

Thanks for everything so far.

Quote from: efflux on March 12, 2008, 08:23:48 am
With the extra Open GL performance it is flushing my Mac running Modo down the toilet.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 12, 2008, 11:09:38 am
Quadro FX 3000. This one seems quite quiet which is good. It has a big sink and fan and takes two PCI spaces. I'd say anything more than this would be overkill for TG2 but for the other Open GL apps it has been great. Sadly Wings 3D is useless on Linux now. It's never worked properly for me but maybe I'll try to get it sorted. Some Open GL issue that always happens and it crashes. This is really poor. Too many Windows users and Linux version not getting the support when Linux was the best system for that app.

The sculpting in Blender is definitely usable. It's better than Modo but that's due to the graphics card. Modo sculpting would be much improved If I spent a fortune on a new card for my Mac but that's the point - the cost of Modo and a new card compared to a second hand card and Blender is extreme. ZBrush is worth every penny though no matter what system you run it on. No expensive graphics card needed. It doesn't use it. You might as well forget sculpting in any other app outside of ZBrush to be honest. They are all totally inferior. That's one app that simply has no competition at all.

Some TG2 rendering times:

Linux PIV 3.0 GHz (hyperthreading disabled)                        0:4:18
Windows XP PIV 3.0 GHz (hyperthreading disabled)              0:3:50
Mac G5 2.0 GHz dual core (using one core for TG2)             0:4:34

This is pretty good for Linux considering TG2 is running on an emulation layer.

I'm not sure I can be bothered trying to get Modo running under Linux because the last time it was impossible to even begin to load it there were so many windows dependencies that needed sorting. I expect it's still the same. Modo performs very well on the Mac for rendering. If only I had a better graphics card on it. There is no ZBrush Mac yet and TG2 won't be so good on my Mac until multi core is enabled but that should also mean I can enable hyperthreading on the Linux box to improve performance.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 12, 2008, 11:23:52 am
One thing I have noticed in TG2 is that the UI does get a little messed up here and there but when you click on a button or something it repairs. It's only very minor and it is far superior to the sluggish Mac UI. I'll be using it on Linux I think. Can't be bothered with the Mac version compared to this and I just don't like Windows. You don't have any rebooting in Linux or in OSX when TG2 crashes. It crashes my Windows system completely. Not as often as it used to but it's still annoying and wastes time.

The TG2 Windows performs better for rendering so I wouldn't be rushing to get Linux yet just for TG2. The problem is that upgrades can break apps that ran perfect under Wine. However ZBrush and ArtRage are outperforming Windows on Linux which is great, especially with ZBrush because that's a Windows only app but a superb one and once again ZBrush occasionally crashes Windows. On Linux you just kill the app never a reboot scenario.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 12, 2008, 11:28:01 am
My dream would be a Modo native Linux version. They had one in development but nothing has come of it. People talk about Modo as if it's the be all modeler but it isn't. The best part at present is the renderer. For sculpting I want ZBrush but Modo will one day be a fantastic animation app. The way the animation is integrated through the whole app will make it awesome.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: rcallicotte on March 12, 2008, 12:50:12 pm
Interesting insights.  zBrush's learning curve seems extreme or is it just the many things we can do with it?  It seems closer to an "all-in-one" app than anything else I know about, as far as modeling goes.  Perhaps, some would disagree.

Looks like the verdict is out on a Linux version of TG2, but there have been some who have asked without any commitment from Planetside.  I can understand.  We'll see...
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: Matt on March 12, 2008, 08:52:39 pm
Hi efflux,

Quote from: efflux on March 09, 2008, 07:02:00 pmLinux runs brilliantly with the HT enabled but TG2 only sees half of the CPU so I keep HT disabled.

If you compare render times with HyperThreading enabled vs. disabled you will probably find that you are not gaining anything by disabling it. Probably the opposite, in fact, even though TG2 is only single-threaded. Ignore what Windows says about % of CPU being used: when you have HT enabled, Windows thinks that there are two processors, so even if a single-threaded app is running at 100% on your HT processor's main pipeline, Windows divides that by 2 and reports 50%. In fact it is still running as fast as it was before, perhaps even slightly faster because background tasks can run on the extra "virtual processor" provided by HT.

I recommend that you always leave HT enabled. It won't slow down TG2, and it will make background tasks run faster.

Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: Oshyan on March 13, 2008, 01:27:56 am
If and when we do a Linux version it would start as a commandline renderer. That's definitely something we're interested in. A full-blown UI version is less likely, and if it happened it would be well in the future. Linux would have to become a lot more popular to really justify it, especially if we have a Linux render client and Wine works reasonably well as it seems to now.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 13, 2008, 04:16:18 am
OK I'll experiment with the HT.

Wine is acceptable for full UI TG2. In fact I prefer it to the Mac version but a render client would be ideal.

ZBrush is actually quite easy to learn in my opinion. I don't get why people criticize the UI. I think it's brilliant. I love the ZSpheres. There is no other way to model organic forms so quick.

One thing I find is that to do good stuff in ZBrush i.e. characters you need to know anatomy even if the stuff you are doing is not life like. I can draw but I'm used to drawing from life. I'll be doing some work learning anatomy.

This looks really good:

People criticize it but what they don't get is that this guy is not teaching you how to draw he is teaching you how to invent a human form from your mind. If you can't do this you get stuck for ideas in ZBrush.

I've got Wings 3D working now. The version in the Ubuntu repository is compiled with the wrong version of Erlang and has been for ages. Plus, my old graphics card had problems with it. The version from the Wings site works but the stable version is better. It has the new Open GL shaders whereas the unstable version hasn't for some reason.

I'm experimenting with taking full mesh terrains into Blender from TG2. The difference now is that I can do it without the Open GL collapsing. The trouble is this divided terrain output. I'm not sure how to join it again in Blender or any app for that matter. It might seem like a simple task but I haven't actually found a way of doing it. For certain reasons, I need to be able to treat the whole mesh as one. It's very annoying because this terrain would have benefitted from smoothing but if it is separated I can't do this. All done on Linux including the TG2 part. Blender is fast for rendering but if you want global illumination you have to use Yafray then render times go into nightmares. That's why Modo is so good. Very fast global illumination.

I'll have to eventually try going the other way - bringing models into TG2.

Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 13, 2008, 09:49:50 am
One of the problems with Linux is monitor drivers. I think Ubuntu sets this up on install even if proprietary drivers are used but eventually you end up having to change something like when I added this Qaudro card. I couldn't find out exactly what driver I needed. NVidia didn't bother explaining that (typical Linux). So I used this app which analyzed my card then got the driver and installed it. It didn't set my resolution correctly but the NVidia driver had a GUI for doing that. I also changed something in the Gnome desktop settings for monitor. The trouble with all this was that these things were all dumping various data into this file called xorg.conf. When my computer started it was still wrong resolution. The xorg was a mess, my tablet no longer worked but I had the original xorg file. I de-installed the app for getting the right driver and I dumped my original xorg back in (which was wrong because I now had the Qaudro) so then I started the NVidia app which dumped the correct extra data into the xorg. Linux backs up files when they get changed. You always have previous versions.

This is all takes a bit of time to learn. You need to know about the xorg. You can install Ubuntu and it doesn't give you full root admin easily. This is for security and the system can't get messed up but sometimes you have to do a few things due to unusual hardware configuration like work station graphics cards that hardly anyone uses. However, once it works then that's it. It will carry on working forever without ever crashing or slowing down, as long as the computer lasts. Installing all your apps doesn't create any problems. It's only the hardware configuration that is tricky.

Sadly Linux forums are full of total geeks that are very unhelpful telling you to do this and that always by command line. Command line is good in one way - easy for someone to give you a solution but also easy for someone to give you a wrong solution. I don't always use command line - that's why we have GUI. For example I have a script that opens files as root to edit from a right click menu - you can put scripts anywhere to do anything from a menu. The GUI makes it easy to visually remember where folders and files are and things on menus. That's the point of GUI.

I wouldn't want to put anyone off trying Linux though. It is definitely worth using it. Some stuff has to be learnt but imagine if you knew nothing about Windows. People are just use to it.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 15, 2008, 05:35:14 am
Here are the hyperthreading render results for the same file I used before:

Windows XP 0:03:49
Linux Wine   0:04:45

Windows is more or less the same. I don't notice any improvements in Windows with HT and some apps don't work well at all but those apps are not in use now. I'll keep the HT enabled.

Linux Wine is slower with HT however there is a benefit. The general system and UI is much improved even in Wine. That's good for TG2.

Linux does noticeably improve when you enable HT especially with multi thread native apps. An SSE2 optimized Blender running on two threads is almost twice the speed for rendering as the standard Blender running without HT.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 15, 2008, 05:55:33 am
OK, I just got a new result. When I set Wine to emulate Windows 2003 instead of XP I get a render timer of:


Also, TG2 generally seems to perform a bit better. I have no idea why this would be the case.

TG2 is actually performing superbly now under Wine apart from slower rendering (but not bad) so a good fast graphics card is the solution otherwise it'll be like a slug. This is totally usable and in fact FAR superior to the sluggish UI handling on the Mac. Not that the Mac version is bad. Macs are generally a little sluggish in UI anyway. I would probably would be much better off with a higher powered graphics card in the Mac but it's not worth it. I use the Mac for audio. Also, the Mac version has been very solid from a reliability point of view. Never crashes. No crashes yet under Linux Wine either.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: rcallicotte on March 15, 2008, 03:40:48 pm
Good to know.  Not sure why Windows 2003 emulation would outperform XP, unless it's using the CPU differently to handle different services.

This would be interesting to test on the next Beta version.  Are you planning to do any tests on these difference after the next version comes out?
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 19, 2008, 12:31:11 pm
When the next version comes out I'll be testing straight away for sure.

I'm just leaving HT enabled now on both systems. Some problem occurred in the past on the Windows box so I disabled HT. I can't remember what the problem was.

A couple of side issues.

On Windows and on Mac, TG2 can look for upgrades. This doesn't work on Linux. In fact I never even have my Windows system hooked to the net so is there any other way to download upgrades? I just used that way in the past and didn't notice any other.

Another unrelated side story about Linux. I thought my Mac was king of audio. It was. I had tested Linux on several occasions in the last few years for audio. Using realtime kernels and fully blown multimedia customized distributions. Linux audio was not that great. Firstly, only a customized system really performed. That performed brilliantly but software wasn't too hot.

Now it is a totally different story! Linux audio is awesome even without a realtime kernel and standard Ubuntu it is working great. A realtime kernel or a fully customized streamlined distribution will most certainly outperform my Mac. I've been testing this:

Since my last test this software has come on by miles.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 19, 2008, 12:51:33 pm
One thing I have noticed which does not seem to be the same with Windows is that the new graphics card I have put in the Linux box has improved the performance of everything, probably audio as well. The whole system seems to fly now compared to before. It's cool because even although this card has a huge heat sink and fan it is not noisy until you open a graphics app that pushes the Open GL. The card steps it's MHz in accordance with what is needed and the fan speed. I thought I was going to have a noisy fan which was the case with another work station card I had. I took that out due to the noise but this Quadro is great. The noise is a problem if you are doing music, obviously.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 19, 2008, 01:39:56 pm
OK. I now see to get an update without using update inside TG2 I need the email. Think I've lost that. The version I am running on Linux is not the latest. It tells me this when I start the app but I can't download from Linux.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 19, 2008, 01:50:32 pm
Looks like my Linux tests against Windows may be slightly flawed. The Windows version is the latest but the Linux version isn't. However I read:

Planet Atmosphere:
    Reverted some changes that increased render times in build

Cloud Layer V2:
    Reverted some changes that increased render times in build
    "Wispy base" and "Softer base" are now adjustable scalars "Base wispiness" and "Base softness".

Bearing in mind my test render scene was thick cloudy atmosphere. Maybe this accounts for the fact that I thought TG2 was rendering faster on a previous test in Linux a while back or would I even notice the difference with these different versions?

I actually thought both versions were not the latest due to a ghost back of my Windows system but at some stage I must have installed the latest on the Windows box but I don't know where the installation file is.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 19, 2008, 02:08:19 pm
Forget what I said. I wasn't reading the update info correctly. The last update doesn't effect render times but I don't have this file for build
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 19, 2008, 04:49:48 pm
Got build by hooking Windows to the net so no problem.

Mojoworld is close to being sorted under Wine now. You get the UI now which was no good before but there is a problem with rendering.
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: rcallicotte on March 31, 2008, 11:31:51 am
Title: Re: Do We Really Believe?
Post by: efflux on March 31, 2008, 02:45:35 pm
Ubuntu  :-*