SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

3D/2D CGI and the tools used in their creation (Maya, Photoshop, Blender, GIMP, etc.).
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RobhG
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SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby RobhG » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:41 am

I've used current software like Maya, 3DS Max, poser 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11, Miku Miku Dance, MikuMikuMoving and DaZ Studio, the only one that pleased me was Poser 5.7,11, MikuMikuDance, MikuMikuMoving and Daz Studio, but I would like to know if it is advisable to buy an SGI Irix machine to work With animation computer graphics, use SoftImage 3d 4.0 and Maya 6.5 or just the SoftImage 3d 4.0? You think they're going to accept my work on him? I know the last time he was used was in 2006 and 2009 in games and some documentaries, I did that Star Wars animators say he's a perfect tool, will he? What are you going to advise me? I used blender but it is very confusing, which machine should buy? A SGI Octane 2, with video card and 256MB of RAM or SGI Indigo 2? is able to make movies and series like the current ones?? Help ?
The Irix SGI Marketplace has never been abandoned so much that gaming and movie companies still used from 2006 to 2009, the software and this machine are perfect! What do you recommend me?
Last edited by RobhG on Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently?SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby jimmer » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:11 am

In my not so humble opinion, don't bother with a SGI box for current commercial 3D work.

Yes, you can do work, yes, your work might be fabulous, yes, you might even be able to get the work into portfolio viewings. But, you're going to be out on your own. There's no community round these old applications anymore. Nobody is going to help you. Chances are you wont be able to play nice with other people in your team or other people downstream in your project pipeline; the file formats and other things will have changed and they'll be using features that old versions don't have. Finally, don't underestimate how SLOW SGI hardware will be compared to modern (2017) hardware.

It's touching that you still want to consider SGI machines for 'real' 3D work - but get over it and buy something new with a bazillion cores, a ton of memory and a silly name.

J.

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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently?SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby GRudolf94 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:42 am

You can make some amateur work on old workstations, maybe even use it for some freelance stuff and make some money if you're working alone, but professionally, they're pretty much a dead end, unfortunately.

Don't expect making complex stuff like rendering complete complex animated sequences on a single desktop SGI machine, this is not possible.

However, if you really do want to get an SGI for working with this, get something newer, at the very least an Octane2 or Fuel. Old workstations have slow I/O subsystems like hard drives and ethernet, and may be frustrating to work on. Indigo² doesn't support 3D textures unless if equipped with a TRAM module on an IMPACT boardset, which is expensive nowadays.
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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently?SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby RobhG » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:17 am

GRudolf94 wrote:You can make some amateur work on old workstations, maybe even use it for some freelance stuff and make some money if you're working alone, but professionally, they're pretty much a dead end, unfortunately.

Don't expect making complex stuff like rendering complete complex animated sequences on a single desktop SGI machine, this is not possible.

However, if you really do want to get an SGI for working with this, get something newer, at the very least an Octane2 or Fuel. Old workstations have slow I/O subsystems like hard drives and ethernet, and may be frustrating to work on. Indigo² doesn't support 3D textures unless if equipped with a TRAM module on an IMPACT boardset, which is expensive nowadays.

But how could I not? I see professional works better than current Maya done in 3d Softimage! Or even Maya Irix version, like Jurassic Park current for example, it has poor effects compared to the done in the 3d SoftImage at 2003 in Jurassic Park 3, so if I want to work I should buy a SGI Tezro?

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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently?SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby RobhG » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:18 am

jimmer wrote:In my not so humble opinion, don't bother with a SGI box for current commercial 3D work.

Yes, you can do work, yes, your work might be fabulous, yes, you might even be able to get the work into portfolio viewings. But, you're going to be out on your own. There's no community round these old applications anymore. Nobody is going to help you. Chances are you wont be able to play nice with other people in your team or other people downstream in your project pipeline; the file formats and other things will have changed and they'll be using features that old versions don't have. Finally, don't underestimate how SLOW SGI hardware will be compared to modern (2017) hardware.

It's touching that you still want to consider SGI machines for 'real' 3D work - but get over it and buy something new with a bazillion cores, a ton of memory and a silly name.

J.

I do not like current 3d software, are a waste of time and I am not the only one, I see many users buying Tezro and using Maya 6.5 and Softimage 3d or xsi on SGI Irix machines, the current softwares in my view are waste of time.

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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently?SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby Intuition » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:30 am

Lots of ground to cover here so bear with me.

The applications that you say that you like are decent 3D applications. They are not being used by major studios to complete television, film, or video game projects though. Daz, Miku, and Poser are more utilized for concepting than for actual modeling or animation. They have great prebuilt setups and UI that help concept artists create quick mock ups for ideas.

There is a wonderful charm in using my little o2 computers to do 3D tests with older versions of the software still used today. Because the Irix versions of Maya and Softimage are in a more basic stage it is easier to learn less features. BUT... at the same time when it comes to rendering complex images it is very difficult to learn because without someone guiding you on how to create industry standard photoreal images in Maya or Sofimage with Mental Ray or Renderman you will be clawing around in the dark. Even the ghost website tutorials that are still hidden around the web or were reuploaded to youtube can only go so far.

I am going to do more Softimage and Maya tutorials soon. You can maybe watch and learn from that since it will be in SGI versions. I am mostly making these retro tutorials though so people can see how things were made 20 years ago.

If you are serious about wanting to learn 3d animation, graphic, visual effects I would recommend using even a cheap machine from today's market vs SGI.

The reason is that even a cheap $500 computer from Best Buy, like I bought my son for his Steam Games is very capable. I put in an Nvidia 1070 in it and it screams through games and even the little i5 processor, cheap by today's market, is vastly better for doing render tests vs any SGI. Except maybe the Quad 1 ghz tezros... BUT even then it is probably faster.

Also, the modern render engines now run on the graphic cards instead of the CPUs so if you have Redshift or Octane (the renderer not the machine), or the latest Vray or Renderman which are adding GPU/CPU hybrid renderers. You will get beautiful frames in seconds. That way the rendering portion of your learning curve will be very fast. Because you can watch the changes in near real time in most cases.

None the less. You can still learn 3D animation/VFX on these SGI machines very well on most points except the rendering process.

Softimage and Maya allow for presets for low quality renders to see your feedback quickly. Then save your finishing render for the final test frame.

Depends on what you want to do.

The current work is vastly superior to the effects work in 1990-1996. What you are seeing back then is a mix of practical and VFX.
You are also seeing them use customized Renderman for Jurrasic Park and Terminator 2 and Star Wars. Impossible to buy or get on an SGI today unless you have access to one of these rare renderman artist tools discs with the license. Those things were custom per job and are not a standard out of the box setup.

Today I was surprised playing around in Maya 6.5 that it was capable of micropolygon displacement and blurry reflection.

These were very rarely used in vfx in the 90s except in Renderman. So the fact that Mental Ray in Maya 6.5 has them was a big surprise. My little o2 actually made a pretty image that was nearly on par with something you get automatically in Redshift with basic settings.
It took 15 minutes for the frame but I was amazed the little o2 pulled it off with 256 MB ram.
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RobhG
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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently?SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby RobhG » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:43 am

Intuition wrote:Lots of ground to cover here so bear with me.

The applications that you say that you like are decent 3D applications. They are not being used by major studios to complete television, film, or video game projects though. Daz, Miku, and Poser are more utilized for concepting than for actual modeling or animation. They have great prebuilt setups and UI that help concept artists create quick mock ups for ideas.

There is a wonderful charm in using my little o2 computers to do 3D tests with older versions of the software still used today. Because the Irix versions of Maya and Softimage are in a more basic stage it is easier to learn less features. BUT... at the same time when it comes to rendering complex images it is very difficult to learn because without someone guiding you on how to create industry standard photoreal images in Maya or Sofimage with Mental Ray or Renderman you will be clawing around in the dark. Even the ghost website tutorials that are still hidden around the web or were reuploaded to youtube can only go so far.

I am going to do more Softimage and Maya tutorials soon. You can maybe watch and learn from that since it will be in SGI versions. I am mostly making these retro tutorials though so people can see how things were made 20 years ago.

If you are serious about wanting to learn 3d animation, graphic, visual effects I would recommend using even a cheap machine from today's market vs SGI.

The reason is that even a cheap $500 computer from Best Buy, like I bought my son for his Steam Games is very capable. I put in an Nvidia 1070 in it and it screams through games and even the little i5 processor, cheap by today's market, is vastly better for doing render tests vs any SGI. Except maybe the Quad 1 ghz tezros... BUT even then it is probably faster.

Also, the modern render engines now run on the graphic cards instead of the CPUs so if you have Redshift or Octane (the renderer not the machine), or the latest Vray or Renderman which are adding GPU/CPU hybrid renderers. You will get beautiful frames in seconds. That way the rendering portion of your learning curve will be very fast. Because you can watch the changes in near real time in most cases.

None the less. You can still learn 3D animation/VFX on these SGI machines very well on most points except the rendering process.

Softimage and Maya allow for presets for low quality renders to see your feedback quickly. Then save your finishing render for the final test frame.

Depends on what you want to do.

The current work is vastly superior to the effects work in 1990-1996. What you are seeing back then is a mix of practical and VFX.
You are also seeing them use customized Renderman for Jurrasic Park and Terminator 2 and Star Wars. Impossible to buy or get on an SGI today unless you have access to one of these rare renderman artist tools discs with the license. Those things were custom per job and are not a standard out of the box setup.

Today I was surprised playing around in Maya 6.5 that it was capable of micropolygon displacement and blurry reflection.

These were very rarely used in vfx in the 90s except in Renderman. So the fact that Mental Ray in Maya 6.5 has them was a big surprise. My little o2 actually made a pretty image that was nearly on par with something you get automatically in Redshift with basic settings.
It took 15 minutes for the frame but I was amazed the little o2 pulled it off with 256 MB ram.

The 3d animation software, current computer graphics, are simply nothing, full of embarrassed and laborious concepts, what you mean about custom effects is the SoftImage 3d SDK? Yes this I knew really, but even so, if you can get similar effects to the current ones, then should I buy SGI Tezro?

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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby GRudolf94 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:17 pm

Current x86 systems and software ARE more capable, that's a fact, and no amount of romantism will change that. Trust me, I do love SGI stuff more than x86, but MIPS/IRIX stopped evolving ages ago. Interoperability is an important part of any media production workflow, and nowadays SGI machines are kinda isolated from the world in that aspect.

However, if you really want to go down this route, and can afford a well-spec'd Tezro, go on! We'd love to see work being done on one. It just won't be as quick or practical as in a new computer.
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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently?SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby hamei » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:47 pm

RobhG wrote:I do not like current 3d software, are a waste of time and I am not the only one, I see many users buying Tezro and using Maya 6.5 and Softimage 3d or xsi on SGI Irix machines, the current softwares in my view are waste of time.

You are delusional. You can't even browse the web on an SGI computer now. I use mine DAILY but that's because a business and personal desktop doesn't need much more than a Trash-80. Go watch a current animated film then try to tell me you can do that on Maya or any SGI every built. It would take you 300 years.

Get real.
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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby JacquesT » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:23 am

You also have to realise it took, and still takes, many man months to complete even a 4min short. While there is a certain romance about pulling polys around on an Octane, modern equivalents are miles and miles ahead in terms of speed. Yes granted, most modern software and versions of Maya are bloated and buggy, that doesn't mean you can't disable plugins and modules. My 7 year old MacPro still runs everything I throw at quite happily.

If you want to do some animation and export the curves or rig up some characters go for it, but forget about doing a full production pipeline on one Tezro. Imagine working with what would be considered a 'low resolution' proxy object by todays standards of hundreds thousands triangles to rig and animate?!

I suppose you'll want to model only in Maya then, limited sculpting?

See it for what it is / was, a brilliant tool of it's time.
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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby RobhG » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:17 am

JacquesT wrote:You also have to realise it took, and still takes, many man months to complete even a 4min short. While there is a certain romance about pulling polys around on an Octane, modern equivalents are miles and miles ahead in terms of speed. Yes granted, most modern software and versions of Maya are bloated and buggy, that doesn't mean you can't disable plugins and modules. My 7 year old MacPro still runs everything I throw at quite happily.

If you want to do some animation and export the curves or rig up some characters go for it, but forget about doing a full production pipeline on one Tezro. Imagine working with what would be considered a 'low resolution' proxy object by todays standards of hundreds thousands triangles to rig and animate?!

I suppose you'll want to model only in Maya then, limited sculpting?

See it for what it is / was, a brilliant tool of it's time.

There is a misconception, it is possible to work with SGI in the current CGI, just to work with it, look at games for example it was used until in 2009, Incredible! I think I can sim to combine 3d work and animation on the SGI for my notebook, I still see SGI as a great choice for CGI work in movies and games.

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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby jimmer » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:11 am

Fair enough - you seem set on trying your luck with SGI gear.

Here's what I suggest you look for in a desktop. Though others may want to pitch in wrt. deskside Onyx-en.

System 1: Octane 2
- 2x400Mhz CPU (2x600Mhz if you can find it)
- 4Gb RAM (8Gb if you can find it)
- V12 graphics

System 2: Tezro
- Quad 700Mhz CPU (Quad 1Ghz CPU if you can find one)
- 4Gb RAM (8Gb if you can find it)
- V12 graphics

Don't bother with an O2, Fuel, or anything else if you're going to be doing 'serious' 3D work. And don't forget to show us the stuff you make :)

Good luck.

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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby Irinikus » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:57 am

The thing that's important when it comes to manipulating 3D models is the system's ability to shunt huge amounts vertices around (especially when you make use of high levels of tessellation or make use of the mesh smooth function for example) besides the CPU performance required for ray-traced rendering, the geometry performance of the graphics hardware is of extreme importance when it comes to shunting huge amounts of vertices around.

Although the pixel fill rate and the amount of available texture memory are significantly less on the V12 than that of the IR3 or IR4, the V12 has better geometry performance, and this has significance when it comes to manipulating a 3D model in a viewport.

Another thing to bear in mind is that rendering really loads the system when it comes to the CPU side of things, and this can go on for rather long lengths of time, depending on the complexity of the scene or the lighting that you are rendering in the scene.

For this reason, I would tend towards one of the newer SGI machines, as older machines might not respond well to large degrees of thermal loading in the long run. (Ageing components)

I would therefore agree with jimmer in recommending the Tezro over the various other SGI systems for this purpose.
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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby RobhG » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:18 am

Irinikus, Octane 2 ou tezro its a nice options to do 3d models and animation at same ILM ?

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Re: SGI IRIX and computer graphics currently? What that should i use ?

Unread postby Irinikus » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:31 am

The Octane2 is also a nice option, as it's a really nice robust machine, but it's busses and memory system are not as fast as those of the Tezro and therefore, even though they have the same graphics hardware, the V12 performs better on a Tezro system.

The fact that the Tezro has four CPU's also helps when it comes to the rendering side of things.

The Onyx2 is also a really nice machine, but it's power consumption is way more than that of the Tezro (something to be factored in if you want to work on the machine for long periods of time), and it's graphics system's geometry performance doesn't match that of the V12.

If you look at the setup that was used in the creation of Final Fantasy, most, if not all of the 3D modelling was carried out on Octane machines, so the Octane is also a viable option.

The Tezro is just the newer version of the Octane2 in my opinion, so if you can get yourself one of these machines, it would be great!
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