Fedora 11/12 – Nvidia – Maya 7/2009

Recent updates of Fedora 11 and 12 seems to make Nvidia driver not usable in Maya 7 and 2009 in two of our test machine at my client.  I usually use the driver provided by RPM Fusion but this time round, Maya kept reporting Signal 11 error just as it was about to finish starting up.  Using Maya’s Crash Reporting environment variable which kept pointing to libc and TWindow, I thought at first it could be a glibc incompatibility issue.  However rolling back glibc does not seem to solve the problem.  Finally, just out of gut feeling, I removed kmod-nvidia and install the driver (190.53) provided by Nvidia and voila!! Problem solve.

On a different machine, we have i7core with 6GiB of RAM and an NVidia GTX275 with 896MiB of Video RAM. An error along the line of “/dev/nvidia0 input/output error” kept preventing the machine from starting up X window.  After searching on Google for two weeks, a not so obvious answer emerges. I don’t understand the solution but it has something to do with the kernel allocating virtual memory.  The default is 128MiB and for reasons unknown to me, its not enough to get GTX275 started even though it was not a problem previously on Fedora 10.  The solution is to increase the “vmalloc” for the kernel via keying in the value in the kernel parameters in grub.conf.  After I added “vmalloc=256M”, X-Window started up in its full glory!!

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BUGS News — 2009 DEC 07

We had a great workshop last month on the 21st of November . Sim shared with us a simplified workflow of how he uses Blender in Industrial design and went through some tricks he uses to give his render a professional look. Compositing is a big part of it and I
certainly learned a lot from him.  One key features he mention is Blender has four mode of compositing – render, texture, procedural texture, material. So anyone up to share with us a full compositing workshop?

For more serious fun in December, we will not just have a meeting but a Christmas gathering!  It’s been decided by a few of the BUGS to hold in on the 26th of December 10am with the venue sponsored by Daniel Yam.  Ching Ling will be back from SIGGRAPH ASIA and will be sharing with us about her experience there.  Once again we will do it potluck style so bring snacks/food to share and the host will supply the drinks!

legacy sound issue of maya

Apparently Autodesk Maya has not move beyond Open Sound System to ALSA or better yet JACK.  Since I am working with studios using Maya 7.0.1 (yeah I know its ancient, but studios tried to stay legal nowadays so I am bearing with it), a recent upgrade from Fedora 8 to 11 broke Maya sound.  It was not detected a couple of months back since we have yet to reach animation stages which require sound.  Long story short, it hit us and boy was I surprise when I saw from the-Area forum that Maya 2009 faces the same problem!!  Here’s the solution to solve it in Fedora 11:-

  1. Make sure you have installed
    alsa-oss alsa-oss-libs alsa-plugins-oss
  2. create symbolic link pointing
    libaudiofile.so

    to

    libaudiofile.so.0.0.2
  3. In your favorite terminal emulator, start Maya by typing
    aoss maya

If you want a more elegant solution, please visit http://area.autodesk.com/forum/autodesk-maya/installation—hardware—os/maya-2009-x64-sound-problem-on-fedora-11/page-last/

MyGOSSCON 2009

On 5th November, I had the opportunity to be invited to speak at MyGOSSCON 2009 at the Putrajaya International Convention Center about Open Source Digital Content Creation.  The time alloted for all the speakers was unfortunately extremely short (20mins + 5mins Q&A).  All the speakers I talked to pretty much commented that its too short to give a good informational talk.  As I am the only speaker there showcasing creative arts side of open source, I choose not to use a “normal slideshow”.  Throughout my 20mins talk, I just let David Revoy’s Durian’s concept art video flow silently and I see it in the audiences’ eyes that they find it unbelievable that a professional uses Open Source Software to create art.  I focus a good 5mins on “its the human that makes the art” while the rest of it I talk about a list of software available in the Open Source world that is used for creative arts covering categories like drawing (raster graphics), illustrating (vector graphics), 2D animation, 3D animation, Audio Editing, Digital Audio Workstation, Music Sequencing and Notation, special purpose software for Guitarist and DJs, etc. During Q&A, I was able to sneak in a lilypond output example while playing a demo from linuxsampler.org. Feedback from the audience is that they were amazed by the quality the Open Source Software can produce.  I am not sure how well I do in the event but that’s not important. What is important is I pray that many, if not all of my audience, find my presentation practically useful and kick start their interest in exploring Open Source Digital Content Creation tools.

BUGS Meeting #4 Report

Since the Blender Challenge was canceled, the BUGS went ahead and planned for Meeting #4 on 24th October @ 10:00hr.  UniSIM allowed us to use the room previously reserved for the Blender Challenge Workshop and boy was it a great place to have a meeting and workshop.  Will take a picture next time!!

Around 8 people attended and half of which are new so we went around introducing ourselves and get acquainted. Daniel Hand gave a brief of how he uses the cloud to start a render farm while Luther Seet? gave us a low down on Architectural Visualization.  Weelian gave a demo on a few very useful built-in python scripts like ones that adds volume to a fedora hat which he speed model it in front of the audience. Sim has a question he could not solve about collada exports and Weelian helped out and got it solved within seconds.  Now Sim just have to tell us how it works in his final project when he finishes!!

Upcoming event is a one-hour Workshop by Sim where he will show us how to do product visualization. So stay tune!!