Autodesk® Alias 2014 for Apple® Mac OS® X Hardware Qualification
Last Updated: March 2013





Software Date

Build Number

  • Autodesk Alias Automotive
  • Autodesk Alias Surface
  • Autodesk Alias Design


2014 (20.0)

March 5, 2013


General Hardware and Software Requirements

  • Apple® Mac OS® X 10.7.x or 10.8
  • 2 GB RAM (4G or more recommended)
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • A three-button mouse (or a mouse that can emulate three-buttons, such as a Mighty Mouse)
  • Supported OpenGL-capable graphics card with 256 MB (full OpenGL 2.0 support is required).
  • 1280x1024 screen resolution. Set your display to show millions of colors.
  • Disk space requirements
    • 4GB free hard disk space for Alias Automotive 2013
    • 2GB free hard disk space for Alias Surface 2013
    • 3GB free hard disk space for Alias Design 2013
  • Apple QuickTime® and Preview (to view the PDF documentation).
  • QuickTime and Preview are provided with the Mac operating system. You can also download Adobe® Acrobat® Reader version 6 or higher, from to view the PDF documentation.
  • Apple® Safari™ Web browser is required to view the online help.
  • QuickTime player (version 7) to create and view QTVR files. The QuickTime 7 software is available at
  • Flash plug-in to view animated tutorial sequences in your browser. Free plug-ins are available from
  • Set the mouse buttons as follows:
    • Left mouse button: click
    • Middle mouse button: middle mouse button
    • Right mouse button: contextual menu/right mouse button

Use standard mouse driver option settings. Do not, for example, set the middle mouse button to work as a double-click of the left button. A wheel mouse (such as Apple Mighty Mouse) should operate as a 3-button mouse. If not, reconfigure it in your System Preferences.

  • Wacom tablet is strongly recommended for any 2D paint workflows (refer to Tablet Support section in this document).

Please Read

  • It may be possible to successfully use Alias for Mac OS X with a non-qualified configuration, however, Support and Maintenance programs will be subject to the Autodesk Support services guidelines.
  • The configurations shown are subject to change, and additional qualified configurations may be added after qualification testing has been carried out.
  • All systems were tested with the latest available version of Mac OS X. We encourage customers to remain current with updates from Apple.
  • Autodesk will continue to explore new candidates for Alias for Windows qualification and will monitor the current configurations.

Qualified Hardware Configurations

Color coding legend

Graphics card and driver combination meet all requirements for stable and acceptable performance in all functional areas of the software.


Graphics card and driver combination meet some but not all requirements. Limitations exist.

Graphics card vendor has not provided a suitable driver for qualification. It is expected that a suitable driver will be released for use with Alias in the future.


Configuration not tested by Autodesk.  Untested cards are likely to work without issue with Alias.


Certification of this card is pending or underway

Systems consisting of any combination of the workstations and graphics drivers listed below have been certified for use by Autodesk and are fully supported for use with Alias. Please review all documented limitations for a given configuration, in some cases not all functionality is supported.

System Vendor Graphics Card Supported
MacBook Pro AMD
Radeon HD 6490M

Radeon HD 6750M

Radeon HD 6770M

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M

GeForce 9600M GT

GeForce GT 330M

GeForce GT 650M

MacPro AMD Radeon HD 2600


Radeon HD 4870


Radeon HD 5770

Radeon HD 5870

Radeon X1900 XT


NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT


GeForce 8800 GT


GeForce GT 120


Quadro FX 4500

Quadro FX 4800

Quadro FX 5600

Advanced Hardware Rendering Features in Alias

Using the advanced capabilities of modern graphics hardware it is possible to produce higher levels of realism when using the Hardware Shade functionality within Alias. These features enable more accurate reflection mapping and other effects in hardware. In order to achieve these results in hardware your graphics card and driver combination must fully support the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL) which is part of the OpenGL2.0 specification. The following table lists features that require GLSL support. In most cases Alias detects incompatible hardware and will not expose these advanced features.

Per-Pixel Shading Mode must be selected inside the Hardware Shade options in order to see the advanced shading capabilities.

Alias 2013 Hardware Shade Functionality

OpenGL 2.0/GLSL Driver Support Required

Self Shadows


Shader Glow


Displacement Mapping


Planar/Camera Projection Mapping (Color, Transparency)


Depth of Field


Ambient Occlusion Calculation and Display


Cube Map Reflections


Image Based Lighting


Blinn Shading


Bump/Specular Mapping


All Projection Types (Color, Bump, Transparency, Specular)


Linear/Spot Lights


Advanced Virtual Ground Plane Reflection Control


Advanced Virtual Ground Plane Shadow Control


Shading Maps


Environment Reflections


Wirefile Compatibility Chart


Supported File Formats (not all formats available on Mac OS X)






As of version 10.0 of Alias (formerly known as StudioTools) wirefiles are backward and forward compatible with newer versions of Alias. StudioTools 10.0 and later will read wirefiles written by prior versions, however, prior versions will not be able to read v10.0 or later wirefiles. We have provided the from100to97.exe translator that will convert 10.0 and later wirefiles to v9.7.x wirefiles.

Autodesk Inventor


Open Inventor
















Siemens NX3- NX8


PTC Granite


















ProE Render



Binary and ASCII formats supported.


New support starting in Automotive 2013


Anti-Aliased display in Alias can be achieved using one of the following methods:

Anti-Aliasing Controls and Settings

Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA), Driver Controlled

Graphics driver Anti-Aliasing control is set to override any application settings. The entire Alias window is anti-aliased. There is no distinction between a OpenGL viewport and rest of the application.

Benefit: Amount of oversampling only limited by card resources and graphics memory resulting in extremely smooth shading. Anti-aliased display is persistent

Drawback: It is not possible to toggle anti-aliased display. Can cause noticeable degradation in interactive performance.

Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA), Application Controlled

This allows for Alias to use a 4x Full Scene Anti-Aliasing from the graphics card. Only modeling windows receive the Anti-Aliasing visual and can be toggled ON and OFF. This is enabled inside of Alias: Window Display->Shaded Anti-Alias.... 'Allocate Hardware Anti-Alias Resources on Startup'.

Benefit: Only modeling windows receive the Anti-Aliased display resulting in less visual artifacting. Can be toggled ON and OFF. Anti-aliased display is persistent

Drawback: Can cause mild degradation in interactive performance.

Camera based Anti-Aliasing

Anti-Aliasing is controlled entirely from within the Window Display->Shaded Anti-Alias.... Software Anti-Alias options and is only applied when Hardware Shade or Diagnostic Shade is enabled. The results are additive to any existing FSAA if enabled in graphics driver.

Benefit: Not dependent on graphics card and can easily be controlled within Alias without restarting. Various quality settings can easily be specified for very high quality smoothing.

Drawback: Anti-Aliasing is only active during idle camera positions. It is disabled during camera moves and animation (playblasts do receive Anti-Aliasing). Expect delays when used in conjunction with other Hardware Shade effects.


Tablet Support

Alias has been tested and confirmed to work with the Wacom Intuos series of tablets (see driver level below)

Active Tablet Displays: Alias has been tested and confirmed to work with the Wacom Cintiq 18SX and Cintiq 21UX Active tablets. A DVI compatible graphics card is required to use the Cintiq series of tablets.

Tablet Driver Notes/Limitations

Wacom Driver: 6.1.2-5


Intermittent problems with cursor offset after changing Wacom tablet properties


Solved by minimizing and restoring the Alias main window.


5 button mouse cursor not in sync with paint stroke after initial driver installation with Intuos2


Reinstall tablet driver.