AMD releases Mac versions of Radeon ProRender plugin for Blender & Maya

Posted:
in Mac Software edited April 14
AMD this week published Mac versions of its Radeon ProRender plugins for 3D creation mainstays Blender and Maya -- enabling Macs with compatible hardware to take advantage of ProRender for physics-based rendering.




Macs must be running at least macOS 10.13.3, and using hardware that supports Apple's Metal 2 graphics platform. When those are in effect, ProRender offers a scalable ray-tracing engine exploiting maximum CPU and GPU power.

The new plugins also include AMD's updated Uber Shader, with touches like better subsurface scattering for elements like skin. In Maya, "interactive" denoising attempts to strip noise while retaining detail, simultaneously lowering render times.

Several Blender upgrades have been made, among them adaptive subdivision of surfaces, more AOV options like reflections and diffuse lighting, and volumetric effects such as fog, smoke, and clouds.

The plugins are mostly of interest to graphics professionals with the iMac Pro or any recent model with a connected eGPU. Most Macs use integrated or mobile-level GPUs not suited to professional work.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 367member
    This is actually a pretty big deal, especially if other high end software firms follow suit as it dovetails nicely with Apple's efforts to "finally" re-invigorate their pro line of hardware.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,068member
    Blender eh? Will have to look into this. Will this work on 4K iMac? 
  • Reply 3 of 14
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,329member
    cornchip said:
    Blender eh? Will have to look into this. Will this work on 4K iMac? 
    Meaning “do I have the specs to run it” or “does Blender itself work”? I guess the distinction is irrelevant; Blender has been around for Macs forever. It’s really powerful and free. You’ll be able to run the software no problem. Whether what you build with it will render with just a single machine is another question.  :p
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    xsmixsmi Posts: 120member
    cornchip said:
    Blender eh? Will have to look into this. Will this work on 4K iMac? 
    Cornchip, my guess is you would need the 2017 4K iMac because the older ones had mobile GPU’s. I don’t know if they have a pro side to them. 
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,068member
    cornchip said:
    Blender eh? Will have to look into this. Will this work on 4K iMac? 
    Meaning “do I have the specs to run it” or “does Blender itself work”? I guess the distinction is irrelevant; Blender has been around for Macs forever. It’s really powerful and free. You’ll be able to run the software no problem. Whether what you build with it will render with just a single machine is another question.  :p
    Yes, I meant will my 4K iMac (at work) run the rendering software. I’ve been using blender on Mac for over a decade :smiley: 

    And I HIGHLY doubt anything I’ll be rendering will require a farm! 


    xsmi said:

    Cornchip, my guess is you would need the 2017 4K iMac because the older ones had mobile GPU’s. I don’t know if they have a pro side to them. 

    I’ll check the specs Monday. Can’t remember if it was 16 or 17.





    edited April 14 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    You can still use ProRender on older macs, but the processing is done exclusively in the CPU. For built-in graphics cards you need a Radeon, Radeon Pro or AMD FirePro. The 2017 4k iMac has Radeon Pro (the 2015 does not.) Also the 2013 Mac Pro has AMD FirePro.

    So that's:
    • 2017 iMac 4k 21.5 inch
    • 2017 iMac 5k 27 inch
    • 2017 iMac Pro
    • 2013 Mac Pro
    edited April 14 watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 7 of 14
    To follow that up: for Macs with external GPUs: Radeon RX 570, Radeon RX 580, Radeon Vega 56, Radeon Vega 64, Radeon Vega Frontier Edition (Air-Cooled), Radeon Pro WX 7100, Radeon Pro WX 9100.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 374member
    So, my Mac Pro 5,1 with the AMD Radeon HD 7950 (3072 MB) won't qualify?
  • Reply 9 of 14
    cornchip said:
    cornchip said:
    Blender eh? Will have to look into this. Will this work on 4K iMac? 
    Meaning “do I have the specs to run it” or “does Blender itself work”? I guess the distinction is irrelevant; Blender has been around for Macs forever. It’s really powerful and free. You’ll be able to run the software no problem. Whether what you build with it will render with just a single machine is another question.  :p
    Yes, I meant will my 4K iMac (at work) run the rendering software. I’ve been using blender on Mac for over a decade :smiley: 

    And I HIGHLY doubt anything I’ll be rendering will require a farm! 


    xsmi said:

    Cornchip, my guess is you would need the 2017 4K iMac because the older ones had mobile GPU’s. I don’t know if they have a pro side to them. 

    I’ll check the specs Monday. Can’t remember if it was 16 or 17.






    Cornchip, how are you finding Blender?  (I remember my Linux toting friend being a big advocate of it back in the early days and he did this 'cel' render on it with Asterix the Gaul and seemed impressive then (seems like twenty years ago?) in-between him playing with the venerable Truespace (shame it got M$'d...). 

    (I have downloaded Blender, yet to install it...been looking the Hype machine surrounding the new 2.8 and Eve real time preview...looks crazy good....)

    Myself, I've had Lightwave 3D which I like as an affordable end to end package for a great price.  Only $295 for an upgrade to LW 2018!  (I've had 6, 7, 8 and LW9!)

    Shame Appleinsider didn't review it, they've done some great work on the renderer this time around though the 'still decent' modeller needs some modernisation of features.

    How do you find the interface on the 4k iMac?  I'm pre Retina on my iMac.  Every time I go into PC World (in the UK...) I bewitched by the 5k display...

    Lemon Bon Bon.
    cornchip
  • Reply 10 of 14

    To follow that up: for Macs with external GPUs: Radeon RX 570, Radeon RX 580, Radeon Vega 56, Radeon Vega 64, Radeon Vega Frontier Edition (Air-Cooled), Radeon Pro WX 7100, Radeon Pro WX 9100.
    To follow that up: for Macs with external GPUs: Radeon RX 570, Radeon RX 580, Radeon Vega 56, Radeon Vega 64, Radeon Vega Frontier Edition (Air-Cooled), Radeon Pro WX 7100, Radeon Pro WX 9100.

    You know.  If Apple actually upgraded the Mac mini and Mac Pro (both of which are a disgrace to Apple and desktops...out of date and insanely priced instead of insanely good and value priced...) then we could have up to date rigs that could run the latest choice of GPUs internally and externally and push those GPUs harder rather than throttling.

    Intel have i7s, i9s now.  AMD have cooler running cpus that have 6 and 8 cores in them!  Plenty of options to have a broader gaming, VR and workstation tower (remember, folks?  Like the Blue and White G3 state of the art tower?) solution for more Apple 'creative' customers.  There's plenty of cpu choice.  There's plenty of solutions.  Apple don't have to be HP in terms of 'choice' but right now, Apple customers don't have a tower choice.  At all.  Apple had this nailed twenty years ago...how did they design themselves into this decrepit design cul-de-sac?

    How hard to have a mini with update to CPU that can run an external GPU?  It's not like their Core base haven't been telling this for 6 years.  And they finally decide to listen?

    The mini is still an important product but they don't update it?  They said that with a straight face.

    Meanwhile, 'red' iPhone.  Whoop-de-dee.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
    cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 14
    Newtek's Lightwave 3D is supporting cpu rendering with the latest release as they have done some.  Maybe GPU rendering will come in a future release as that is 'big' right now with all these 3rd party solutions.

    But it would be nice to have Macs with MORE cpu cores in them.  It's not like the options aren't there to get the most out of things like Blender, Lightwave3D etc.

    A broad Tower option from £1295 right up to a fully loaded £2500.  That would give it more than single digit sales performance.

    6 and 8 core cpus are becoming more common.  Yet you have to buy a nearly £2k iMac 27 inches (I remember when the top end iMac came in at sub £1.5k) and you're still getting that crummy i5 as standard.  They could easily have AMD 6 and 8 core solutions in the iMac.  Affordable performance for the 'not flush with ten grand' creative.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,068member
    cornchip said:
    cornchip said:
    Blender eh? Will have to look into this. Will this work on 4K iMac? 
    Meaning “do I have the specs to run it” or “does Blender itself work”? I guess the distinction is irrelevant; Blender has been around for Macs forever. It’s really powerful and free. You’ll be able to run the software no problem. Whether what you build with it will render with just a single machine is another question.  :p
    Yes, I meant will my 4K iMac (at work) run the rendering software. I’ve been using blender on Mac for over a decade :smiley: 

    And I HIGHLY doubt anything I’ll be rendering will require a farm! 


    xsmi said:

    Cornchip, my guess is you would need the 2017 4K iMac because the older ones had mobile GPU’s. I don’t know if they have a pro side to them. 

    I’ll check the specs Monday. Can’t remember if it was 16 or 17.






    Cornchip, how are you finding Blender?  (I remember my Linux toting friend being a big advocate of it back in the early days and he did this 'cel' render on it with Asterix the Gaul and seemed impressive then (seems like twenty years ago?) in-between him playing with the venerable Truespace (shame it got M$'d...). 

    (I have downloaded Blender, yet to install it...been looking the Hype machine surrounding the new 2.8 and Eve real time preview...looks crazy good....)

    Myself, I've had Lightwave 3D which I like as an affordable end to end package for a great price.  Only $295 for an upgrade to LW 2018!  (I've had 6, 7, 8 and LW9!)

    Shame Appleinsider didn't review it, they've done some great work on the renderer this time around though the 'still decent' modeller needs some modernisation of features.

    How do you find the interface on the 4k iMac?  I'm pre Retina on my iMac.  Every time I go into PC World (in the UK...) I bewitched by the 5k display...

    Lemon Bon Bon.
    Blender is very cool for what it is, but know there’s a much steeper learning curve than many other CAD programs. The reason, as I understand it, is that it was originally developed as an in-house solution for a big client project and then open-sourced rather than abandoned. So it wasn’t designed for intuitiveness but to solve a problem quickly. But I digress. 

    I dont use use it as much as I used to as Fusion360 suits my current needs better, but there’s some stuff that only blender can do (although I’m sure Maya & 3DSM can do a lot of them also). A lot of people poopoo blender because it’s open source and doesn’t have ALLL the features of  Maya & 3DSM, but again, very cool for what it is. And like I said UI takes some serious focus to grasp, and it has some really unintuitive quirks, but once you grasp the concept and why it’s designed the way that it is it gets a little easier. 

    I’ve only cracked open blender once or twice briefly on the 4K, but I don’t recall it being any better or worse than on other monitors. Then again, blender isn’t known for its great UI.

    One nice thing about it being open source is that there’s tons of how-to YouTube videos (at least until the goog decides to make everything subscription based) and plug-ins (if you ever get to the point where you want to get into minor pithon coding which I have not quite yet. Although I’m itching to get into some of the new voroni plugins). 

    But yeah, install it and give it a try!
    edited April 15
  • Reply 13 of 14
    nhtnht Posts: 4,177member
    Wow, NewTek and Lightwave.  Havent done any of that stuff since the Amiga and VideoToaster.  
  • Reply 14 of 14
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,068member
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