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Wow, does this mean Maya, Houdini, and basically every 3D package out there will no longer run on macOS? If so that seriously sucks for 3D pros.

I'm guessing it's not the end of the world for Autodesk to add a metal backend to maya. Some smaller teams might very well choose to let go of mac though.

If they weren't already doing that just for the performance improvement itself.

Apple will easily ease the transition. That would be way too stupid to kill partners that way.

No, because contrary to HN beliefs about 3D APIs, in the real world most business already added Metal backends to their rendering engines.

Exactly. Not sure why everyone thinks their favorite Mac apps are using OpenGL anyway. They probably moved to Metal a long time ago — it is much better.

I'm sure everyone's favorite /exclusive/ Mac apps are probably using Metal.

I'm guessing you haven't used apps like Maya, Nuke, or Houdini. They were all written in the mid-90's on IRIX machines and later ported to Linux, Windows, and OSX. Surprisingly, 3d performance isn't always big goal of their's. My guess is the core features don't sell new versions, so even though they have annual releases those things don't get much attention. They'll have drawing issues and transparency sorting problems for years. Same with audio bugs.

Their Mac support was spotty and irregular until the past 5-10 years.

OpenGL has just been deprecated. It hasn’t been removed.

It will be in a year.

Won't there just be OpenGL drivers as a separate download? Is this any different than when they removed Java?

Does anyone know how this will effect Blender in the short term?

When Metal was introduced for the Mac they had the Modo devs at WWDC and they ported their code to Metal in like a week or two. Not really the apocalypse.


Metal and OpenGL two completely different APIs, shading languages and probably a whole host of other things.

I've ported my fair share of things from fixed-function to programmable shader pipelines and you'd be effing naive if you think you can do that in a couple weeks on anything more than a toy demo.

I worked with a AAA gamedev recently who had written a Vulkan renderer for their game to demo quality level in 2 weeks. It all depends on existing level of abstraction for the rendering API and shading language (and to some extent assets), and how much performance and efficiency you’re happy leaving on the table.

> demo quality level in 2 weeks

Getting pixels on the screen and shipping something to end users are to very, very different things, 90/10 rule and all that.

Vulkan also has the benefit of multiple platforms supporting it so you're not doing all that work for a minority(which is what OSX is in the graphics space) platform.

If you already had an architecture with replaceable renderers, especially with DirectX 12 one already written, adding Vulkan one will be a matter of just a few weeks. If you hadn't, it will be much tougher.

Well Modo isn’t a toy.

The question is, how many devs did they have working those two weeks (and what resources did Apple provide to help them)?

I develop an OpenGL-based video engine for a live media playback application, which is very nearly as simple an application of OpenGL as you can expect to find in the real world, and there's no way I could expect to port it to Metal in a week or two singlehandedly. Like others have mentioned, it's a completely different paradigm, not just a matter of changing around some function calls.

That said, I welcome this change with open arms (and secure in the knowledge that legacy code will continue to work for the foreseeable future). OpenGL is a fragmented, brittle, spaghetti-inducing pile of global state. Rewriting in Metal isn't anywhere near as small a project as Apple claims, but I'm perversely looking forward to it -- I'll be very happy to have OpenGL in my rearview mirror.

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