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Blender on Mac OS X Leopard


leopard.jpgNow that the latest Mac OS X version is available, the question is if you should rush into upgrading or not. Will your system and applications continue to work? And, more importantly, will Blender continue to work?

There's a thread on BlenderArtists where users report their experiences with the new operating system. So far, the verdict seems to be that Blender works just fine. With the upgraded OpenGL system the interaction is reported to be slightly faster.

Me? I still have some work to finish before I'll try the upgrade.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Blender works just fine for me on my Leopard Mac Pro, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what it can do with the full on 64 bit goodness... I haven't seen any 64 bit builds available for Mac yet, but I'm sure something will turn up soon.

  2. This is slightly off topic, but I figured this would yield the right crowed for this question. I work on a MacBook Pro (Santa Rosa 2.2) with OS X 10.4.10 and have noticed that the "previews" in the node editor have weird lines and visual glitches. See . Note the static in the viewer and comp nodes. This occurs with both 2.44 and 2.45. This occurs with ANY node setup I try and even after reseting user defaults in blender. Has anyone else noticed this and should we report it as a bug?

  3. I just found a really bad Blender 2.45 (PPC) Leopard bug:

    • delete the default cube
    • try to undo: "No redo available"

    This seems to be true for any kind of undo.

  4. Still running 10.4.10 here on an 1.5Ghz PowerBook 17", Blender 2.45.

    indiworks: No problem with undo on a PPC here, I can't reproduce your bug. Sorry.

    Entplex: Haven't played too much with nodes (more focused in realtime GameEngine stuff), but I just tried the node set-up from your screen shot. All worked fine here on my old PPC, no garbage in the previews, so maybe a GFX card or Intel related bug. I did notice another bug though with the nodes 'Backdrop' feature. With a non-square shaped view, the backdrop almost disappears off the top of the view with no way to seemingly re-centre it. Resizing the view so it's close to square proportions pulls it back to where it should be again. Looks like someone got some basic maths wrong trying to place the backdrop in the view centre :-)

    To keep this vaguely on topic, I'll be holding off Leopard just for now to give Apple and the 3rd party developers a little time to tune their code. Tiger's been running real well for me for such a looooong time. Interesting, the more stable and reliable Apple makes their OS, the harder it seems to persuade me to be an early adopter :-) I guess for me, with my 'user' hat on, I'm seeing no real killer feature that I just have to have/try... But with my 'developer' hat on I can see there is a huge amount of exciting work that's gone on under Leopards surface.

  5. I upgraded to Leopard the night it came out.
    While I did have a few small issues with the installation of Leopard itself, I was excited to discover that Leopard comes bundled with python 2.5 by default, so I was able to access to some of the python scripts requiring that right away when I downloaded and installed the python 2.5 version of blender 2.45. Blender functions just as stable in 10.5 as it did in 10.4, and I dare say even performs a little more smoothly.

  6. I am really glad that when I upgrade I'll probably have no problems, but my plan was always to hold off on the upgrade until Apple have had time to fix some of the bugs that didn't show in beta testing. Sure enough the firewall has some serious problems, and that makes me glad I waited.

    I'll be a lot keener to upgrade when Blender 64-bit is available for OS X Leopard.

  7. For anyone out there running Blender on MacBooks and Mac Mini's, don't upgrade to Leopard if you wish to keep using Blender. The interface gets really slow every time you press a button. It's just not usable this way. Makes me sad :(

  8. Like Oli4k, I got some problem with my macbook and blender... it take 4-5 seconde when i change a material, when i create a simple cube and if i try to resize the splitted windows... i hope there will be some update :(

  9. This seems to be a recurring problem among macbooks and mac minis upgrading to leopard. very frustrating blender performance on my macbook. it's almost certainly an incompatability between the graphics cards used by macbooks and minis: their drivers aren;t fully supported in blender. performance is worse when resizing objects and just generally rolling over or clicking menu items. i think it is something to do with the cursor interacting with the blender window, but I can;t say for sure. fingers crossed for a macosx update or a blender update which solves this, because leopard has so many other good features, it would be a shame to have to revert.

  10. ...I'm also using the Blender 2.46 on a mac mini with Leopard, small drawings with video settings of thousands of colors instead of millions are giving some improvements, as well as setting the background of the screen to white and no active programs in the back ground, and moving the dock to the hide mode, so that OpenGL get most of the resources. But when hitting some bigger things, not even that big, gives a dramatic performance.

  11. Does anyone suffer from distorted background pictures (View -> Backgound Image ...) on Leopard? With blender 2.4.5 the problem doesn't appear, all Versions >2.4.5 have that bug. My machine: MacBook Pro (3,1) with 256 MB GeForce 8600 running Leopard 10.5.4

  12. I have the same issue with distorted background images in Leopard 10.5.5 on a MacBook Pro with Blender 2.46 and 2.47. Hopefully 2.48 will fix this.

  13. Just installed 2.48 after a long Blender hiatus. It's still very slow on my MacBook.
    This might not be an issue on the new aluminum MacBooks with their new NVIDIA cards.

    I have a black MacBook 2.4 GHz 4GB RAM so it shouldn't be slow at all.
    And I mean even during basic operations like selecting a vert or subdividing an edge. The interface itself seems to be sluggish. There's a second of delay after every key command, it seems.

  14. I've found the solution:

    A kind person named David Landwehr has made a special build of 2.45
    He advises not using it in full-screen mode (although I am going to anyway until I experience problems) and he says something about not redrawing if the dock is overlapping with Blender's window (doesn't seem to affect me since my dock auto-hides). Now I'm going to thank Mr. Landwehr and get some sleep...

  15. Update: I jumped the gun. Blender and a plastic MacBook just won't be friends no matter what.

    The custom build appears fine at first glance but it crashes the whole OS after a few minutes of normal Blender use. I tried another custom build (2.47.7) but had the same results. I gather it's the GMA X3100 graphics card's fault, so probably not even installing Linux would help. Very sad.

    descvert said 2.48RC is working. I just installed 2.48a and there's still the slowness so I don't know how he/she got it to work. Must not have a GMA X3100 I guess.

  16. [quote]indiworks :
    • delete the default cube
    • try to undo: "No redo available"

    I have the undo problem too, on ubuntu

  17. well, i have a mac too, with blender, and it runs VERY slow...
    I read on some forums that with ATI radeon vid cards there are some problems... guess what vidcard i have?


  18. The import function is broken and I can't import anything! The Python scripts are all full of syntax errors and importing ANYTHIG doesn't work. I'm wondering if you could even save and load anything!!!!!!!!

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