Autodesk Alias 2010 for Apple Mac OS X Hardware Qualification
Last Updated: March 2009

Products
Platform
Version
Software Date
Build Number

Alias (Automotive, Surface, Design, StudioViewer, Renderers)

64-bit 2010 March 10, 2009

200903110006-299039

Contents of this Page
General Hardware and Software Requirements
  • Apple® Mac OS® X 10.5.2 or later
  • Intel Core CPU Architecture, minimum 2GHz (PowerPC systems are unsupported)
  • 2GB or greater system memory, 4GB or more is highly recommended
  • 256MB minimum video memory and supported video card
  • 3 button mouse
  • DVD drive
  • Wacom tablet is strongly recommended for any 2D paint workflows (refer to Tablet Support section in this document).
Please Read
  • It may be possible to successfully use Alias for Mac OS X with a non-qualified configuration, however, Support and Maintenance programs will be subject to the Autodesk Support services guidelines.
  • The configurations shown are subject to change, and additional qualified configurations may be added after qualification testing has been carried out.
  • All systems were tested with the lastest available version of Mac OS X. We encourage customers to remain current with updates from Apple.
  • Autodesk will continue to explore new candidates for Alias for Mac OS X qualification and will monitor the current configurations. For the most recent information on qualification, please refer to www.autodesk.com/qual-charts.
Qualified Hardware Configurations
Color coding legend
Graphics hardware and driver meet all requirements for stable and acceptable performance in all functional areas of the software.
ο
Graphics hardware or driver meet some but not all requirements. Limitations exist.
Graphics hardware or driver not suitable for use with Alias
NA
Not Applicable
Untested Configuration not tested by Autodesk and at time of press are not qualified for use with Alias. Use at own risk.
Systems consisting of any combination of the workstations and graphics drivers listed below have been certified for use by Autodesk and are fully supported for use with Alias. Please review all documented limitations for a given configuration, in some cases not all functionality is supported.
Graphics*
Hardware
Mac Pro
MacBook Pro
iMac
Macbook
Mac Mini
ATI Mobility Radeon X1600
NA
NA
Mobility Radeon X1900
NA
NA
NA
NA
Radeon HD 2400 XT
NA
NA
NA
Radeon HD 2600 PRO
NA
NA
NA
Radeon HD 4850
NA
NA
NA
Radeon HD 4870
NA
NA
NA
NA
Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT
Untested
NA
Untested
NA
NA
GeForce 7300 GT
ο
NA
Untested
NA
NA
GeForce 8800 GS
Untested
NA
Untested
NA
NA
GeForce 8800 GT
NA
NA
NA
NA
GeForce 8600M GT
NA
NA
NA
NA
GeForce 9400M
NA
Untested
Untested
Untested
GeForce 9600M GT
NA
Untested
NA
NA
Quadro FX 4500
ο
NA
NA
NA
NA
Quadro FX 5600
NA
NA
NA
NA
Intel GMA 950
NA
NA
GMA X3100
NA
NA
* Minimum 256MB of Graphics Memory is required. Anything less is unsupported.
Known Hardware Limitations
Limitations
Affected Hardware Known Limitations
ID
MacBook Pro (Nvidia 8600GT)
Limitation Hardware Allocated Anti-Aliasing crashes Alias with Ground Plane Shadows.
326924
Solution Use Camera based Anti-Aliasing
All
Limitation Shading maps with file textures may look incorrect in Hardware Shade
297444
Solution Use procedural textures or do not use pure white values in the file texture
All
Limitation Intermittent incorrect tablet input causing inconsistent stroke behavior. This occurs if there are many queued mouse events needing to be processed.
319445
Solution Undo stroke
All
Limitation Hardware Shade with Spotlights results in extremely slow performance.
316369
Solution This is a bug in Apple's OpenGL driver. Apple has been notified of this problem.
All
Limitation Slower selection performance with Anti-Aliased surface display. This is more noticeable with large datasets
Solution Disable driver controlled Anti-Aliasing in driver control panel or Application control Anti-Aliasing through Preferences->General Preferences->Draw
GeForce 7300 and Quadro FX 4500
Limitation Display artifacting and inconsistent shading results with Nvidia GeForce 7300 and Nvidia Quadro FX 4500
311419, 311658
All
Limitation Hardware Anti-Aliasing has little effect on some hardware and can cause some mild UI artifacting.
320384
 
Advanced Hardware Rendering Features in Alias


Using the advanced capabilities of modern graphics hardware it is possible to produce higher levels of realism when using the Hardware Shade functionality within Alias. These features enable more accurate reflection mapping and other effects in hardware. In order to achieve these results in hardware your graphics card and driver combination must fully support the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL) which is part of the OpenGL2.0 specification. The following table lists features that require GLSL support. In most cases Alias detects incompatible hardware and will not expose these advanced features.

Per-Pixel Shading Mode must be selected inside the Hardware Shade options in order to see the advanced shading capabilities.

Alias 2010 Hardware Shade Functionality
OpenGL 2.0/GLSL Driver Support Required

Self Shadows

No

Shader Glow

No

Displacement Mapping

No

Planar/Camera Projection Mapping (Color, Transparency)

No

Depth of Field

No

Ambient Occlusion Calculation and Display

No

Cube Map Reflections

No

Image Based Lighting

Yes

Blinn Shading

Yes

Bump/Specular Mapping

Yes

All Projection Types (Color, Bump, Transparency, Specular)

Yes

Linear/Spot Lights

Yes

Advanced Virtual Ground Plane Reflection Control

Yes

Advanced Virtual Ground Plane Shadow Control

Yes
Shading Maps
Yes

Environment Reflections

Yes

Wirefile Compatibility Chart
Alias
Supported File Formats (not all formats available on Mac OS X)
Format
Read
Write
Notes
Wire
As of version 10.0 of Alias (formerly known as StudioTools) wirefiles are backward and forward compatible with newer versions of Alias. StudioTools 10.0 and later will read wirefiles written by prior versions, however, prior versions will not be able to read v10.0 or later wirefiles. We have provided the from100to97.exe translator that will convert 10.0 and later wirefiles to v9.7.x wirefiles.
Autodesk Inventor
 
Open Inventor
 
IGES
 
STEP
 
DXF/DWG
 
DES
 
NEUTRO
 
CATIA CAI
CATIA v4
 
CATIA v5 R11-R19
 
Unigraphics NX3- NX5 (see note)
 
PTC Granite
 
OBJ
VDAFS
VDAIS
JT
JAMAIS
C4
Illustrator
 
EPS
ProE Render

 
STL
Binary and ASCII formats supported.
Anti-Aliasing

Anti-Aliased display in Alias can be achieved using one of the following methods:

Anti-Aliasing Controls and Settings
Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA), Driver Controlled Graphics driver Anti-Aliasing control is set to override any application settings. The entire Alias window is anti-aliased. There is no distinction between a OpenGL viewport and rest of the application. Benefit: Amount of oversampling only limited by card resources and graphics memory resulting in extremely smooth shading. Anti-aliased display is persistent
Drawback: It is not possible to toggle anti-aliased display. Can cause noticeable degredation in interactive performance.
Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA), Application Controlled
This allows for Alias to use a 4x Full Scene Anti-Aliasing from the graphics card. Only modelling windows receive the Anti-Aliasing visual and can be toggled ON and OFF. This is enabled inside of Alias: Window Display->Shaded Anti-Alias.... 'Allocate Hardware Anti-Alias Resources on Startup'. Benefit: Only modeling windows receive the Anti-Aliased display resulting in less visual artifacting. Can be toggled ON and OFF. Anti-aliased display is persistent
Drawback: Can cause mild degredation in interactive performance.
Camera based Anti-Aliasing
Anti-Aliasing is controlled entirely from within the Window Display->Shaded Anti-Alias.... Software Anti-Alias options and is only applied when Hardware Shade or Diagnostic Shade is enabled. The results are additive to any existing FSAA if enabled in graphics driver. Benefit: Not dependent on graphics card and can easily be controlled within Alias without restarting. Various quality settings can easily be specified for very high quality smoothing.
Drawback: Anti-Aliasing is only active during idle camera positions. It is disabled during camera moves and animation (playblasts do receive Anti-Aliasing). Expect delays when used in conjunction with other Hardware Shade effects.
Tablet Support

Alias has been tested and confirmed to work with the Wacom Intuos series of tablets (see driver level below)

Active Tablet Displays: Alias has been tested and confirmed to work with the Wacom Cintiq 18SX and Cintiq 21UX Active tablets. A DVI compatible graphics card is required to use the Cintiq series of tablets.

Dual Monitor Configurations: Dual monitor configurations may cause incorrect cursor behavior when spanning multiple monitors. Refer to Dual Monitor Support below for more information on running Alias with dual monitors.

Tablet Driver Notes/Limitations

Wacom Driver: 6.1.0-7 (RC)

Limitation Intermittent problems with cursor offset after changing Wacom tablet properties
Solution/Workaround Solved by minimizing and restoring the Alias main window.
Limitation 5 button mouse cursor not in sync with paint stroke after initial driver installation with Intuos2
Solution/Workaround Reinstall tablet driver.
Dual Monitor Support
    Limitations
    • Alias Palette and Shelf icons will be unresponsive if Display Arrangement is not configured such that the primary display is on the left.
    • If dissimilar display resolutions are used, be sure to configure the Display Arrangement so that the bottom edge of each display is continuous.