Thursday, May 16th, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

See 3ds Max ‘running’ on a MacBook Pro

Cloud services specialist Otoy has unveiled ORBX.js: a JavaScript library that enables tools like 3ds Max and Photoshop to be virtualised in the cloud and streamed to any HTML5-enabled browser*.

The system works on all HTML5 browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari and IE10, including those running on tablets – and yep, on Macs and Linux machines.


Watch 3ds Max running faster on a Mac than a PC – kinda
The demo above shows a test scene running locally in 3ds Max 2014 on a $5,000 Alienware portable and being streamed from Otoy’s cloud service to the browser of an (unspecified, but presumably cheaper) MacBook Pro.

Performance is slightly, but noticeably better, in the streamed version, with viewport previews resolving faster.

According to the news release, Otoy has also demonstrated the system in use to stream Valve’s Steam client and Photoshop CS6, although we haven’t been able to locate a video of the latter.

How the system works
Otoy’s HTML5 client is powered by ORBX, a new “high-performance media codec built from scratch to decode 1080p video entirely in JavaScript”.

The company’s cloud application hosting system then enables CPU and GPU draw commands to be virtualised on a cloud server and rendered inside a standard HTML5 webpage using the ORBX.js library.

How long will it be before you can try this?
So far, there’s no indication of when the new streaming system will be made available in a commercial service.

However, Otoy entered a development partnership with Autodesk in 2011. The original announcement focused on cloud rendering, but noted that the partnership “will enable continuous integration of Otoy’s technology across Autodesk’s portfolio of software and services”.

If Autodesk were to make its DCC software available as a cloud service – as it has begun to do with its engineering tools – it would resolve the longstanding user plea for Mac and Linux editions of tools like 3ds Max.

However, as the controversy over Adobe’s decision to move to a cloud-only licensing model for its own creative tools indicates, that would be a move best handled with care.

Read Otoy’s press release on ORBX and ORBX.js

Read the thread about the news on Otoy’s forum (Not much more information)

*Actually, the announcement was made last week. Hat tip to MAX Underground for spotting this.