Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

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part12studios
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Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

Post by part12studios »

Hi everyone, I am in the process of making my dream machine of an Amiga 2000 with video toaster. Part of that dream was to use Lightwave 3D as well as exploring other originals like Imagine 3D and so on. My A2000 will have an 030 / 40mhz (no fpu) with 64mb ram (TF536) and that's just fine for the most part..

What isn't ok though is leaving my lovely lady burning for hours rendering stuff if I can avoid it. I want to build the scenes with original hardware because, well I'm just crazy like that, but the busy work would be nice to avoid on the system.

I heard about MorphOS but I'm confused because youtube videos say it's a G4 or G5 running Amiga software, but none of the videos show workbench.. maybe it's more like Whine for linux running windows apps but not really running a virtual machine / full OS.. but they seem to be getting in the right direction. I have a G5 tower 2ghz that I would love to perhaps be used to just crank out long animation renders. perhaps emulation is all i'd need?

Is there a "best" PowerPC based G4-G5 amiga emulator that folks would recommend?

I'd love to know if I could use my my Sawtooth, Quicksilver or MDD G4s or G5 computers to just be a dedicated machine with the spare muscle to crank out longer rendering projects and not shorten the lifespan of my A2000.

I've heard people using Pi's and while I'm not closed to the idea, I'm trying to use the hardware I own and know already before diving into other stuff.

I'm mostly thinking just having a single machine, not really a "Farm" as that implies a whole new layer of complexity. I'd be ok just having a single MUCH faster computer crank out renders. Maybe if I was feeling really ambitious break a scene into a few parts and have multiple computers render out the scene and then recombine the frames afterwards.

I just found this group thanks to facebook video toaster group. I was informed of Muadib3D via Douglas in the facebook group.


Thanks!
Caleb

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muadib
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Re: Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

Post by muadib »

Hi Caleb,

Welcome to the forum!
This sounds like a bold project, since a non-FPU Amiga can only run LightWave 3.5 since this is the only version that also has non-FPU executable. It may suit your needs or it may not.

On the other side, if you can install a Linux flavour with Xwindows on your G4-G5 machine then you are eligible for FS-UAE emulator. I am not familiar with installing Linux on sucha machine but I think a quick search should get you some results and ways on how to do that.

After that, we 'd be more than happy to help with installing FS-UAE!

Let us know how it goes!

P.S.: Please thank and give my regards to Douglas! :)
- muadib

part12studios
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2021 4:03 pm

Re: Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

Post by part12studios »

Hi there, thanks for the warm welcome!

Good to know about 3.5 limit with non FPU systems.. I'm hoping some day some reasonable 040 or 060 accelerator options become available (IE under $300) but I'm not holding my breath.

Do you know what version of Lightwave came with the final NewTek release? I think it's 4.2 for Toaster, but not sure if that = Lightwave 4.2

Regardless I will see if I can find 3.5 somewhere. I have a real toaster so I hope that helps, but IIRC 3.x is when NewTek decoupled toaster and lightwave.

So to be clear there are no PPC based emulators for amiga that run under OSX? I figured there might be something out there, but if not that explains the Linux suggestion.. I'd rather stay in OSX if possible (I have leopard installed) as I use the Mac for music as well

https://fs-uae.net/docs/macos makes it sound like OSX can run it? I've not had much linux experience over the years so I'm just trying to not get in over my head moving to a new OS if I can avoid it :)

Thanks!
Caleb

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Silverstreak
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Re: Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

Post by Silverstreak »

Hey, and welcome!

It looks like you can run FS-UAE in 10.8. I've found this thread that me be of interest.

https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=81150

It's possible to run Samba on your Amiga to remotely process scenes from your machine, or if you're like me, just copy the scenes across and render them.

I really want to get Samba working though, as I love the idea of my A2000 telling other machines what to do! :D

Good luck in your adventure!

Ant

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muadib
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Re: Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

Post by muadib »

@Part12Studios As Silverstreak said. Also the latest Lightwave version for the Amiga is the 5.0r

Some 040 accelerators might emerge, I hope.
The 3.5 version of LW for the Amiga can be found at the EAB FTP server.

@Silverstreak To my knowledge, the 'latest' Samba version that works with the Amiga's Samba is 4.9.5 ! I have tried and tried to make more updated versions(i.e. 4.11.6) to work with my Amiga but to no avail. So you might want to downgrade for it to work...
- muadib

part12studios
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Re: Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

Post by part12studios »

awesome to know final amiga version. I'm cool with 3.5 honestly. I wouldn't know what was improved and frankly I'm interested in learning the early stuff because that's the stuff I'm looking to create.. stuff like what you'd see in the "change myself" video and such.. working with the tools and design limitations of the time.. stuff from Toaster 1.0 and 2.0..

That said, I got lightwave installed on an WinUAE emulator and I likely could figure out how to set it to "fastest possible" and I imagine that will render much faster than even an 040.. the accelerator would really be just to make working in the amiga environment more snappy and responsive. The 40mhz 030 I have in the A2000 should make modeling / animating decent.

I'll keep my eyes out, but yea it's sad that there are SOOO many 030 accelerators made but so few 040s.. i guess there were just a lot more 030s made back in the day.. I guess the 040 and later chips introduced some compatibility / optimizations needed to get the most out of them, but still I'd be willing to trade some compatibility for FPU boost.. and sadly so many 030 cards lack FPU option.. which is a real shame.. i get it.. "most people never need it.." but those of us that do.. do.. I wish they'd have at least kept the socket to make it an option..

I know very little about Samba except we use it at work to grab the image files

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to manage a sneakernet approach.. I'm waiting for an SD card reader for my A2000 to come from Turkey. Along with the 2mb agnus upgrade.. eager to get them because I really don't want to close up my A2000 till i have everything installed and can close it up FOREVER! =D

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muadib
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Re: Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

Post by muadib »

Good work upgrading your A2000, as well as the WinUAE installation!

Regarding WinUAE,
The 'Fastest possible' option coupled with the JIT optimization gives the best speed results possible for your machine. Try also activating the 'Immediate Blitter' option for an amazing Lightwave UI experience, since especially Layout is kind of slow even on real 060 Amigas. Especially if you do character animation or Object Displacements. Check my tutorial here for more info.

Regarding real Amigas with 040 or 060,
you might want to try installing the MMUlib library collection. Once installed, there is a small utility called 'MuRedox' that speeds up your system's FPU by emulating unimplemented FPU instructions.
I run it before running FPU intensive programs, such as Lightwave, Imagine, VistaPro etc. It could get your system to be unstable, I havent however had any problem all these years.

Try them out, let us know if you need any help! :D
- muadib

part12studios
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Re: Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

Post by part12studios »

awesome thanks for those tips! That's great. Yea anything to just help the composition environment to be snappy is welcome. Rendering is a whole other thing.

Good to know about the JIT stuff. I'm not familiar with it but thanks to you I have the info available now!

I'm stoked that I have a PAR coming soon and a AD516.. finally the Amiga I've wanted since 1991 in high school! :) Hopefully it all works when I put this pimped out baby together.

I'll definitely check in as I know once everything is together and working I'll have more info to share and likely new questions to ask! I'm grateful for lightwave instructional videos on youtube!

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muadib
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Re: Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

Post by muadib »

You're very welcome, mate. It is my pleasure!

And... a PAR??? Man, we must have had the same dream computer in mind back then!

Having all this in mind, we should all get together and start a project someday...
- muadib

part12studios
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Re: Looking to make these G4/G5 Macs do something useful for Rendering Amiga stuff! (Possible?)

Post by part12studios »

Yes PAR! I found someone who mentioned they had a couple of them and he agreed to part with one. Wasn't cheap but worth it.

Absolutely. I'm still learning what's possible. I'm really interested in making music videos.. I have a lot of music ideas and songs that I want to visualize..

Also I've been interested in some "found footage" ideas though they need a lot of work.. I have an assortment of Super 8, VHS, S VHS and Hi8 camcorders that I want to use..

Also I have some video game ideas where I want to create games that feel like PS1/3DO era where there are FMV cutscenes in them.. made on original systems.. lots of ideas.. but lots to learn too..

Also learning how to program intellivision video games.. most of my time has been on that until i have my completed amiga assembled and working which I hope is online by December.

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