Alias studio tools (newby)

hello, I just begun learning AST and have been getting some strange behavior from the program–For example, if I try to select either the shelf or palette option from the windows menu, the progam says “error” and shuts off. Also, after about 5 minutes or so of using the program, I eventually lose all the information in my prompt boxes such as the one under edit> duplicate (only one I can recall), but it’s several prompt boxes in addition to that one.
Should I reinstall it or is there something wrong with my computer hardware such as memory?
thanks for the wisdom.

provide some info. what version? 9? 10? 11? PLE? what hardware? what OS? have you posted this on Alias’s community? what about reseller?

no mindreaders here.

Same problems are evident on the ripped version of AST and Maya that was available from various websites on the net about 2 years ago. Also contained nasty little virus that destroys all the videocard drivers, over about 2 months time. The grad student who taught our CAID class downloaded it and installed it in the lab…spread through all of the comps. Once the tech department was able to trck the problem he was fired and expelled.

i remember when that warez Studio got passed around. intern told me. didnt know about the virus with it. funny.

sorry to leave out the details: It’s AST version 11, which I purchased from some reseller named JourneyEd, (so NO, it’s not stolen)–
My PC system is a Dell P4, 2.0GHz, 256MB memory, Windows XP, and I checked my “available space” and it is 24GB so I guess that’s not it.
And I suppose that’s it’s worth mentioning that I do not have any other programs running concurrently.
thank you.
Mike T

256meg of RAM. you kidding! WinXP will eat that. get a gig. shouldn’t even be running XP without 512.

that 24Gb is harddisk space. you can only run so much swapping out to the harddrive.

from the tidbits posted above my guess is foobar’d graphics driver/card. as always, studio can be very mean to unqualified graphics cards. if trying to get the palette or shelf to appear, as in trying to open a secondary window, crashes the app then i’d blame graphics.

back to basics: try using an approved card and driver from the alias hardware qualification charts in the studio support section. also try setting the mouse shadow and fade effect off as per the teensy little notes hidden in the qual chart. sometimes that helps.

otherwise perhaps you just need 11.0.2. go to help > about alias to see if you’re on 11.0.0, 11.0.1, or 11.0.2. i don’t think student editions qualify with alias to download the .0.2 patch, so hopefully you can find someone who is allowed to get it to give it to you.

try creating another user fresh on your box and using studio logged in as them. maybe something in your user settings is messed.

or, as the ever sensible ykh points out, you could just spring for another 256 mb of ram…

thought about this too. doesnt Dell bundle XP Pro systems automatically with more RAM? so is your XP version Home or Pro? i dont know but believe AST wont run well on XP Home version.

There is absolutely no difference between XP Home and Pro when it comes to something like AST. The only differences between the two is that Pro supports multiprocessor systems and adds additional networking and file security functionality (VPN support, Remote Desktop server, file level security).

Other than that, they are the exact same OS.

think i’ve heard or read this. sounds really familiar. and of course XP Home is now 32-bit just like XP Pro which was big difference between NT’s 32-bit and Win98’s 16-bit. but not sure why - even tho i’m hearing this again - i’m unsure how well Home runs highend apps. thinking maybe its that Home is now usually on low memory systems.

anyways. for this situation i’m betting its memory.

Hello folks. Well, I tried the memory upgrade from 256MB to a generous 768MB and though the performance did improve, I still have trouble with Alias Studio tools.
Now, I am 100% sure it lies in the quality of the graphics card, but I am in need of some more current suggestions because the ones given on the Alias website are ancient and cannot find them by those model numbers. Since I don’t really know a graphics card from my elbow I really need some help as to what I need to get AST running the way it should. I am running a PC, 2Mhz (Pentium 4), 768 RAM, Display 32 bit, resolution 800x600.
If possible please suggest a manufacturer, model #, etc. I research it, but was still in doubt as to what is the minimum I need to get by, (I am poor).
Note: I also plan to run AutoCAD in the future if that may change your suggestion.
Sincerely, thanx for your help.
Student guy.


the extra ram will definitely help. sam’s right, I had a similar problem with alias at first, running win2k, and then got a geforce mx440 ($50 today). worth every penny. Just about any recent nvidia card available locally should work much better for you, assuming from your post that you are running built in mobo video.

make sure you have an open slot in your pc, probably AGP4x, and verify with your manual or the dell website. there should also be instructions on how to disable your built in video and remove the driver- it might be a setting you change in the bios, or a jumper near the slot somewhere- most likely the bios.

You can buy local, comp usa, staples, etc. or check, but watch who you buy from if you go the pricewatch route.

if you need more help with installation, say the word.

if you bought the PC through Dell, my experience is that you select the video card or they auto select it for you. check your paperwork. id what you have. at 800x600 you seem low rez to me. i’m using an ancient card to run a 21" at 1280x1024 with no problems.

and know that marketing plays games with video card numbers. eg a GeForce 4 card sometimes runs like a GeForce 2. details are in the specs.

Definitely check the specs, google is your friend! If you need to buy, look for nvidia comparison charts and reviews.

YKH, you are absolutley correct about the marketing- there are geforce2s that are as fast as my mx440- I bought based on what was available locally and price at that time. Same holds true with the more recent stuff.

To be sure, $20 and a few tenths of a nanosecond probably won’t matter much one way or the other, just try to get the best bang for your buck.

Dell has been incorporating built in video on the motherboards, especially with the smaller form factor cases, ok for almost anything but AST- I think they’re using an Intel based chip. Seperate Nvidia card if you bought the option, if so then update the drivers.

My previous card, an ATI, would not run Alias, and I had almost the exact same issue as funkee. For some reason, the nvidia drivers and architecture play much nicer with AST.

Ok, so I looked at my computer and it shows that I actaully have an GeForce 4 mx 420, 64MB. I did the homework on the specs, comparing it to the GeForce mx440 and the difference was not much different from what I read (slightly faster).
-“Oh Boy” made the suggestion that I could update the driver. Is that suggesting that doing so will improve the performance? Unsure. And if so, are those drivers typically free from the manufacture (ie on their website?)

To reiterate, for the most part the program is running well, but gets angry with me when I try to double-click the palette open, activate grid snap button (and also trying to turn it off) also, in trying to use any of the brushes and in some views such as ortho views, I cannot see a curve that may exist in perspective view. Upon attempting to use brushes I get “graphics card does not support overlays, unable to view radius cursor”.

They are small quirks, but can really stop my work flow cos I’m having to save my work and restart the program all over again just to get the tool “unstuck”.

So, having said all that, does it still sound like a new card will alleviate the problem or am I barking up the wrong tree.

not sure. thought mx cards were lowest range. really more for games. but with updated drivers might be ok.

get drivers free online. should improve performance. maybe not much. depends. the curve prob maybe indicates poor z-buffer. might be able to toggle hardware overlay. check vidcard settings. but tbh this card may never work like you want. do what can w it.

You have dell’s upgraded card, which should be fine.

It sounds like you don’t have the nvidea drivers running, (which are free off their website), you’re probably just running a windows default right now.

You may have to play with some settings, like the overlay, resolution, etc., as ykh suggested.

Just to ask the question, what kind of mouse are you using? Those drivers can sometimes be a little quirky with AST too, especially the scroll types. Play with some of those settings too.

Your curve problem might just be camera settings in alias.

The only problem I have right now is that the promptline sometimes doesn’t update or refresh- have to minimize and then restore for it to do it’s thing.

that’s me, above, forgot to log in

most or all of the problems described above are due to the graphics cards. all the geforce cards do not have hardware overlay planes - the silicon does not include that capability.

so when you see messages such as “graphics card does not support overlays, unable to view radius cursor” this is why.

in the studio support section on the alias web site check out the qualification page for studio v11 windows. specifically, check the note title “Notes on Overlay Planes”.

regarding the unwillingness of the promptline to refresh, you can also force a refresh by double clicking on the main studio window’s title bar, maximizing studio then restoring back to previous size. i forget whether this particular bug is caused by a driver rev or config or if it is due to the specific hardware.

as always, check your driver rev and config against the alias qual chart for your hardware and version of studio. and read those little notes at the begining, particularly about disabling the pointer shadow and windows fade effect.