Autodesk Facecast Round Two
We attended part of the second Facebook Facecast for Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac event. These events are interesting for their format, the way in which Autodesk responds to questions coming in directly through the Facebook wall. There is a bit of awkwardness in this type of event but we applaud Autodesk for exploring the use of Facebook this way.
Okay, some notes from the event. A few things that were mentioned and discussed (and some of these questions came from us) had to do with whether or not there were preferred graphics cards for running AutoCAD for Mac as quickly as possible. Here is what they said. More power is always better and Autodesk doesn’t have a brand preference per se. However, at the moment the company prefers the ATI graphics cards. They did not elaborate why but we thought this was an interesting tidbit.
From our experience with visiting the ATI/AMD graphics offices here in New England, we can assume that their own internal testing is showing better performance and/or stability with those cards at the moment.
Another note. Intel Integrated Graphics on MacBooks do not work for running AutoCAD for Mac. Generally anything within the last 2-3 years is good to go in terms of hardware support for the app.
Lion OS X
When we came into the discussion there was talk about Lion, the next version of Mac OS X. The company is working to support that upgraded OS. Someone asked about Lion’s new Full-Screen mode and if there will be support. Autodesk responded by saying that they have that now in Clean Screen mode. That is not clear if they mean to say they will tap those new API’s in Lion directly or handle it the way they do now.
3D Mice Support
We asked if AutoCAD for Mac–being very much a solid performing 3D modeling app now–supports 3D mice from 3Dconnexion. The answer? No yet.
We also asked about rendering, as did others, and the bottom line on rendering is that the mental ray rendering engine is fully incorporated into AutoCAD for Mac and is very powerful and produces stunning renders. We actually would like to spend more time learning about this because we believe AutoCAD for Mac is the only Mac application where you can utilize mental ray’s engine. If we are wrong about this do tell us.
Lastly, Autodesk did answer our question about animation support. AutoCAD for Mac does not yet support the creation of flyby animations, despite the high performance rendering engine integration. So that completes our notes on
AutoCAD for Mac is the only Mac application where you can utilize mental ray’s engine. If we are wrong about this do tell us.
AFAIK, Maya also provides the Mental Ray rendering engine (among others) and is available for OSX.
Thanks for pointing this out. I am wondering if this was the case before when it first came out, back when it was started prior to Autodesk owning it. Could you shed any light on that?
I’m not a Maya user, so hard to tell, but http://digitalcontentproducer.com/news/video_mental_ray_maya/ mentions in 2002 that before Autodesk, the Mental Ray rendering engine was already included in Maya without an additional license cost. AFAIK, Mental Ray as a rendering engine has always been in Softimage which was in IRIX before running on Windows and Linux and, AFAIK, most rendering engines in themselves are not platform-dependent.
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