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Maxwell, system requirements

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#1 swaim

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 01:06 PM

Can anyone give me the info needed on the ins and outs of the system requirements for the Maxwell Plug In? I finally decided it may be easier to ask hear since It's been over a week I sent my questions to "Maxwell / Next Limit" and have yet to hear back from them, and the online research I've spent time on, hasn't exactly been presented in basic terminology. 

 

Here is where I'm at. I have upgraded my system software to Mac OS 10.11 per the system requirements. (for those who are still toggling back and forth from FZ 6 to FZ 8. FZ v6 does open and works in OS 10.11). Right now my source of confusion is with the graphics card. What it looks like to me, Maxwell 4 will only operate with an nVIDIA graphics card that is CUDA supported for GPU rendering. It also appears that Mac will not run a GPU card only a CPU card. Am I to understand that 1. Maxwell will only run on a GPU nVIDIA card. 2. Since Mac does not support GPU, Maxwell is unable to run on Macs? or am I missing a whole lot of information? 

 

In short. Will Maxwell run on my Radeon card on my Mac? 

 

Answers suggestions and consultations are greatly appreciated and accepted. (Preferably in layman's terms)


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#2 Des

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 03:23 PM

Hi Swaim,

From my experience with version 4, it will run on a mac with a CUDA compatible nVidia card. I have been using Maxwell 4 fine on an a late 2013 iMac with an Nvidia GeForce 775M 2048mb card. With saying that, Maxwell 4 will run fine on any mac using CPU rendering.

However, I haven't tried out the GPU rendering much as I've been just using the standard CPU rendering (I think the resolution with GPU on macs is limited).

 

IMO, I'd stick with version 3 until you're up and running with Maxwell. At least you will have full use of the plugin, maxwell render app and studio. With v4 you have to pay for the use of studio separately.

I'm using both versions on the same machine at the moment, rendering (CPU) in v4 and using v3 studio (on a separate Hard Drive) for creating/editing mxs references etc.

 

I'm sure Pylon will clarify..

 

Des


Edited by Des, 02 April 2017 - 03:24 PM.


#3 swaim

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 06:13 PM

Thanks Des. I'm just now jumping into the Maxwell arena. If I opt for V3 I'm assuming like most every software, once they have moved to the next version you probably can't get the earlier version any where. I do hope Pylon chimes in and walks me through my options here. In a perfect world I'm hoping my Radeon card will work fine and I can find V3 at a reduced rate some where and I'll be off and running.

 

 



#4 Des

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 01:58 AM

For just rendering in Maxwell straight from Formz, the v4 plugin is fine on pretty much any mac, you only need the CPU anyway.



#5 pylon

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 02:42 PM

Hi Swaim,

 

Maxwell implements three rendering engines: Draft, Production, and GPU. (The Maxwell application will render all three, while Fire uses only Draft or GPU to generate previews.)

 

The Draft and Production engines are CPU-based, and will work with any hardware. Of course, the faster the CPU and the more cores, the better. The GPU is not used for processing in these modes; you do not need to have a specific type or class of graphics card to use these modes. These modes can handle massive amounts of geometry and render at very high image resolution. You are only limited by the amount of RAM in your machine.

 

The GPU engine is based on Nvidea's CUDA technology, so an Nvidea graphics card is required to render in this mode. Nvidea's Maxwell (no relation) and Tesla microarchitectures are officially supported by Next Limit. The entire scene and image buffers must fit in graphics RAM, so GPUs with more VRAM will allow you render larger images and more complex models. Older cards may not function, or may function with serious irregularities. Graphics cards have been improved dramatically over the past few years. Rendering with contemporary high-end GPUs is great, but older cards are too limiting in terms of what you can render, and how large a resolution you can render at.

 

MacOS was not supported with the initial release of Maxwell 4, but will be in the next public release. (MacOS is currently supported in the Maxwell beta version.) Unfortunately, as of this writing Apple does not produce hardware that meets the minimum GPU-rendering requirements. There are unsupported solutions, however, such as rendering with an external thunderbolt GPU, flashing a contemporary Nvidea GPU for use on a 2012 or prior Mac Pro, or participating in a cargo cult.

 

Next Limit's goal is to iterate the GPU engine until the results are identical to the Production engine- just faster. They have made great strides in this effort over the past few months, but there are still areas that need to be implemented.

 

In short, on your (Radeon-based) machine, you can use the Draft and Productions with Maxwell 4, but not the GPU engine.



#6 swaim

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 04:04 PM

Thanks Pylon. So to be clear. based on your "In Short" I've got clearance for take off on V4. My 2010 MacPro and radeon card will work if I buy V4, in Draft and CPU mode but not GPU mode. Yes? 

 



#7 pylon

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 04:12 PM

Yes.



#8 swaim

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:44 PM

Thanks Guys!



#9 pylon

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:53 PM

You're welcome. Let us know if you have any more questions after installing Maxwell.



#10 pylon

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 08:37 AM

Hey look - new mac pros actually on the (distant) horizon! All I had to do was to make that cargo cult quip yesterday. Man, if I'd known that, I would have made it years ago ;)


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#11 swaim

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 10:32 PM

Down loaded and installed tonight. What a head ache they make that process! So far after 2 hours I've learned that Maxwell is not a "plug and play" kind of software as I have yet to get anything to work like the youtube videos show. There seems to be a whole lot of "what maxwell can do" info out there, but not as much "how to make it do it" info out there. However, I figure that surely this info is out there because users obviously know how to make their mawell work. Is there a user friendly outlet that truly walks FZ users through the set up and working process and how to make it go. Even the software's own videos are pretty vague in their descriptions. It took some hunting to figure out why Maxwell wouldn't render a simple box. Thanks to these forums, I discovered Maxwell only recognizes 2 of FZs light source options. Now I can't figure out fire. All the video clips I watch show it being an interactive window that adjusts with the work flow. Mine has been trying to render a white cube for 30 minutes now.. Not what I hope for with 32 gigs of RAM.  Any leads on good resources to get this $600.00 experiment up and running?



#12 Shibui Design

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 07:56 AM

Make sure you have Maxwell lights in your scene, otherwise you end up with a black rendering. Also, be sure to properly adjust the Maxwell camera settings for the scene. The fundamentals videos at Maxwell's site does a pretty simple overview. Also look at Evan Troxel's videos at https://getmethod.com/maxwell-render/.



#13 pylon

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 09:07 AM

Hi Swaim,

 

You probably don't have adequate light in your scene for your current exposure, so the rendering appears black. The default exposure is for a daylight exterior (Display Options> Maxwell> Camera Tab) so if you added a 100 watt Point Light to expose your scene, for instance, it's likely that the resulting frame will be completely black.  Maxwell is like a real camera, not like Shaded Full or Renderzone.

 

I recommend using a "physical sky" light (lights palette) and experiment with adjusting your exposure (Display Options> Maxwell> Camera Tab) until you get the hang of exposing. See: http://support.nextl...g a Still Image

 

Here's a great list of help resources for beginners:

http://forums.formz....well-resources/

 

I will be back in on Monday and can help you with any specific questions then.



#14 swaim

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 09:07 PM

Thanks Guys, Just these two replies have me moving forward. Thanks. I'll be looking into the links to see if I can get this plane off the runway sooner than later.  Thanks



#15 swaim

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 08:03 AM

Where will I find the info on.

1. Turning the shadows off so it only renders the shade and not the shadow.

2. How to export the final render in a higher resolution than 72 dpi. When I open the file in PS it looks as though Maxwells default is 72 dpi. I need it to be at minimum 300dpi



#16 pylon

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 02:09 PM

 

Turning the shadows off so it only renders the shade and not the shadow.

In Maxwell, disabling shadows is per-object, not per-light or per-scene. With the Pick tool, select an object which you do not want to cast shadows. In Pick Tool Options, Attributes Tab, select Maxwell Attributes... from the pulldown menu. In the resulting dialog, select Hide From > Global Illumination.

If you want to apply the same Maxwell Attributes to multiple objects, you can set them up on one object, and then use formZ's Copy Attributes tool to propagate to other objects.

 

 

How to export the final render in a higher resolution than 72 dpi. When I open the file in PS it looks as though Maxwells default is 72 dpi. I need it to be at minimum 300dpi

Set your desired image size in Display Options > image Options. (Photoshop may show 72 DPI, but the pixel dimensions will be correct.)



#17 swaim

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 03:40 PM

In Maxwell, disabling shadows is per-object, not per-light or per-scene. With the Pick tool, select an object which you do not want to cast shadows. In Pick Tool Options, Attributes Tab, select Maxwell Attributes... from the pulldown menu. In the resulting dialog, select Hide From > Global Illumination.

If you want to apply the same Maxwell Attributes to multiple objects, you can set them up on one object, and then use formZ's Copy Attributes tool to propagate to other objects.

 

Set your desired image size in Display Options > image Options. (Photoshop may show 72 DPI, but the pixel dimensions will be correct.)

Shdow casting: Thanks. Yea, It dawned me later this morning that I could turn off shadow casting and receiving per object attributes in FZ. It took me a little searching and inquiring to find where FZ moved the "set attributes tool" but they pointed me in the right direction.

 

Resolution: That makes sense. I guess for some reason I was thinking Maxwell was rendering completely separate from FZ and it didn't occur to me that setting my image options as I do for render-zone also applied to Maxwell. That is easy enough.

 

Thanks!



#18 swaim

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:13 PM

I should probably create a new thread since my post have veered away from "system requirements" to "where can I find the answer to...." I've been dabbling and trying to get up to speed and up and running enough to get something accomplished in Maxwell, and by all accounts it's going well. The resources you guys passed along are great. However... I'm having an issue with Maxwell decapitating my models. It's not properly matching the established view I have set in FZ and in some cases it is cropping off sections of the model that are clearly within view. Where do I find the information on how to set up Maxwell to properly render what is specified to be rendered? In short. I have a box that is completely visible within the view in FZ. but Maxwell over rides that view setting and picks it's own and crops the top out of the scene.

I'm also noticing that maxwell isn't matching my established view. It kinda gets close but I need it to match the fz view exactly. Where might I find the setting to get this accomplished?  see basic example attached.

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#19 Shibui Design

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:23 PM

Double check the image size in the image options palette (Pull down menu> display> image options. This sets the image size that Maxwell uses to render. Once Maxwell launches, that image size is carried over and is displayed in the "Camera" area of the interface.



#20 swaim

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 04:15 PM

Double check the image size in the image options palette (Pull down menu> display> image options. This sets the image size that Maxwell uses to render. Once Maxwell launches, that image size is carried over and is displayed in the "Camera" area of the interface.

The FZ window automatically reflects the numerics that are specified in the image options palette. So, what I'm seeing in the FZ window is what is specified in the image options palette. So theoretically, Maxwell should pick up what is set in FZ image options and do it's thing. But it also looks like it's switching my view from 2 point to 3 point perspective. I need to know how to tell maxwell to render what is set up and not change it to it's own preferences... I think the way I worded that kinda makes sense. :-) 







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