The Foundry has released Mari 1.6: the first version of the 3D texture-painting tool to support AMD GPUs.
GPU acceleration has been a core part of Mari – which is designed to deal with heavy real-world production assets – since it was first released in 2010, but was previously restricted to Nvidia cards.
According to The Foundry website, only high-end current-generation AMD pro and gaming cards have been officially tested (the FirePro W7000, W8000 and W9000, and the Radeon HD 7850 and 7950).
However, you should be fine with any card with 1GB of RAM and OpenGL 3.2 support, which would include older mid-range GPUs like the FirePro V5800 and V3900.
Not just AMD support
Mari 1.6 also includes a lot of new vector options, including a Vector Paint tool for creating flow maps and normal maps to specify the direction of paint flow on a model; and an associated Vector Inspector.
The tools come with different paint blending modes, while vector shading models “[set] the vector field information, displaying flow visualisation”.
There are also a number of smaller tweaks and updates listed on The Foundry’s website.
Mari 1.6 is shipping now, price $1,980. The software is available for 64-bit Windows 7 or Linux. So now that AMD support is out of the way, will Mac support be the next item to get checked off users’ wish lists?*
*For more on Mac support, check out these threads on the Luxology forums where Mari product manager Jack Greasley comments that Mac support was originally shelved when the version of OpenGL available on Mac “wasn’t cutting it any more“, but that the new iMacs “look interesting“.