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Pre-Requisites and system requirements for PD Pro

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What's New?
Howler 2024 (v17)
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Where do you want to run Dogwaffle?        On Windows  |  on Linux?  |  on Mac?

Reminder: while we strive for supporting new technologies, we also try to accomodate some of the older PCs. If you have an old PC that doesn't support AVX, but still has support for SSE2, you can try the Legacy SSE2 build. Both are offered with the downloads. Try the 'normal' latest one first, but if you have trouble with some of the newest, advanced 3-D graphics tools, consider the age of your PC and try the Legacy build.

Project Dogwaffle is made for PC with Microsoft Windows:

This is general information for PD Howler, PD Artist, PD Particles
know your doat

New with version 11: Your GPU (if you want to use it in Puppy Ray, and who doesn't?) needs to support Shader level 6.
If you run Direct X 11 you're probably fine, but it is best to check it. If you have doubts or run on an old PC, with old graphics card, try the demo version first.

Note: we also have occasionally made changes to support new features such as GDI++ or AVX and the older PCs might no longer work with the newest versions. Be sure to try the free demo versions first prior to purchasing a new version or upgrade to a new version.

Look for the details in each respective release.

Operating system:

We recommend running on 64-bit versions of Windows. We recommend Windows 10. Or Windows 7, or 8.

Project Dogwaffle is essentially a Windows app. It is a 32-bit application, but runs well on and possibly even better on 64-bit versions of Windows because there's more memory, and better graphics drivers. The new versions of Dogwaffle use the GPU too. For proper support of the GPU, you'll need DirectX 11.

It may still run on Windows XP and Vista but the latest versions of Dogwaffle are not tested on those old Windows platforms. Also, some tools such as Puppy Ray needs the ray-tracing library, dr_raytrace or similar made for XP. If you are on Windows XP or Vista, and want to run PuppyRay (CPU version - the GPU version won't run on XP anyway and very doubtful it will run well on Vista) -  see the Download section for details.

A CPU with many cores is better than with just one core or a few. Core 2 or Duo is just so pre-Y2K... Your computer's CPU chip should have 4 or more cores if you want to have a really pleasant experience with anything, including Dogwaffle. Some modules are multi-threaded. So it runs faster. If you're a professional, you'll want a Xeon with 12 cores, even 16. Or two Xeons, or AMD Opterons. Even the latest (June 2016) generation of Intel i7 can go as high as 10 cores, and with HT (Hyperthreading), that's 20 very hungry logical cores. Dogwaffle can feed that hunger. We can currently multithread up to 64 cores!

But it's also possible to run it on a Mac within the right VM or Bootcamp, or perhaps some day in a Linux box with emulation, and some other Virtual Machines. It's not all smooth sailing yet for those other operating systems though, so stick with the Windows platform for now if you can.
  We have in fact seen some users on Linux lately, with PlayOnLinux/WineHQ. It may well be possible that it also has the ability to run on a Mac under MacOS. We just don't know. And being the starving artists that we are, we're not going to be able to justify and buy a Mac for a while, so please tell us your findings if you manage to run it on your Mac. Or if you want to donate a Mac to us, even just for a few weeks/months testing, let's talk!

DirectX 11 and GPU Support

Note: this was for v8.2

Some Filters not working correctly?

Prerequisite #1: the .NET Framework 4

You may need the Microsoft .Net Framework 4

If you have a very new Windows 7 or 8 PC, then there is a good chance that you already have this version of the .Net framework, but don't just assume it, verify it and/or reinstall it, in case of doubt. Especially if you upgraded from an earlier version of Windows.

you may need this for PD Pro versions 6, 7 and 8 and beyond

if you have the .Net framework 4.5.1 or similar, you may still need also 4.0 for a few filters that were built on that.

Some text missing in dialog panels? Font problem?

Possible Prerequisite #2: the Arial Narrow font

See details in the F.A.Q.:

Note: this was for PD Pro 6 only ..... this issue was fixed in PD Pro 7


  If on 64-bit versions of Windows 7/Vista :

Set Properties of the program to run in
Compatibility mode for Windows XP with SP2!
(right-click the executable or menu entry or desktop shortcut, and select Properties, then Compatibility...)
Note: this was necessary in older version around v6/v7, but should no longer be needed. In fact, for proper support of the GPU-based features, you will NOT want to set it in Windows XP compatibility mode.

You may in some cases need to:

Run PD Pro as Administrator. At least once.
 (to register some components that are shared with an other/older version, for example.)

Or Install as Administrator.

Or do both.

Or disable UAC. (not recommended)

Or adjust the settings of your antivirus
(so as to not prevent registration of OCX or other VB runtime
components... or change your antivirus altogether)

You'll want to use Windows 7, 8.1 or 10.... now 11

Tablet Driver

We use VBtablet, which uses the Wintab interface for detecting tablet pressure. You will thus want to make sure that your system has that library, or that your tablet driver installs it. Most installers for tablet drivers will include one or possibly several versions of the WinTab DLL. There may be a different version for 64-bit versions of Windows, even if the filename may be the same. (WinTab32.dll).

Not all tablets use WinTab, though. For example, if you are on an MS Surface Pro 4, chances are that you won't initially have the wintab library installed, because it uses a different technique for pressure detection. You could find a driver from Wacom to install and see if the WinTab32.dll library gets added.

Some info about tablets here too.

Display Driver

If you haven't checked in a long time, this would be a good time to check what the brand of your display graphics card or chip is (Nvidia, AMD/ATI, Intel...), as well as which version your display driver is at. Chances are very(!) good that yours is outdated and that there is a free updated driver available for downloading from the manufacturer's website. If your PC is a Dell or other special brand, check their website first, for drivers that they have validated.

Screen Resolution

For many years, we've developed Dogwaffle on a Netbook. We've learned to make it fit onto low resolution screens.

To be comfortable, you'll need about 768 pixels vertically, give or take a few, to see everything. It may vary with your font size settings in Windows. It may also vary with whether you enable or disable extra display items such as a border around the icons. Or if you use a non-standard dpi setting on the Windows desktop settings. If you have higher resolution, all should work better. A good starting point is around 900 pixels vertical clearance. Professionals will of course be at 1920x1280 and even higher.

The toolbar can be in single-column or dual-column mode. Use the mode that fits for your config.

If you have a very low resolution, some items in the top permanent bar might not be visible. However, there are other ways to access those features. The mini icons in the right part of the permanent top bar are merely shortcuts: You can access their functions elsewhere. For example, to store an image, look for the same feature from the Image menu. Or to store a selection, or a brush, look for the corresponding item in the Selection menu and Brush menu, respectively.

Disk Space

You'll need some initial space on the hard drive, probably around 60 -100 MB (who's counting?). But as soon as you use the installed program, additional space will be needed for caching temporary files, undo memory and more. So we recommend that you have a few hundred MB free.

RAM RAM RAM - We recommend a lot of RAM!

The bigger your images, or the longer your animations,
the more you need RAM.

Project Dogwaffle is a 32-bit application. It can use as much as 4 GB of RAM. In theory.

System Processor

The system processor needs to support MMX, SSE2, and GDI+. Most of the recent processors do support GDI+. If you're not sure if yours will run it, try the free demo. If it doesn't work, you'll need a different computer, a newer or better chip. It's not a matter of which version of Windows you use. It's whether the chip as the guts and glory needed to run it properly.

A word about Virtual Memory (aka Swap Space)

You should also make sure that you don't limit your virtual memory to just 1.5 times the physical RAM amount, especially if you're low on RAM. You can still allocate 4 GB of Virtual memory even if you only have 1 GB of RAM. At least, it'll continue to work, rather than die a horrible death of "Out of memory" syndrome. It may be a bit on the slow side, seeing that it needs to swap the data in and out of the virtual swap space to physical memory all day long, but it'll get there eventually. Better than not.

Waffling or Howling on a Mac?

Do some testing with the demos if you plan on running it on Windows within a virtual environment (such as Parallels Desktop for Mac or VmWare Fusion, of VirtualBox, the free Virtual Machine), since some older versions of these VMs didn't support such accelerations as MMX, SSE or SSE2 even when the host processor did - just try the demo to find out if your VM support PD Howler (don't forget to install the .Net Framework 4!

If you don't have a Windows installation CD, you could also try the emulator, such as Wine or CrossOver for Mac - did it work for you? Please tell us.

Here is information (July 2016)  for Dogwaffle onCrossOver for Mac:

Read also below for how to run it on Linux with Play on Linux and WineHQ. Perhaps the same is available for MacOS?

UPDATE 2024!

Apple is enhancing its ability to run Windows games including some using GPU and thus Direct X or OpenGL and similar things that may just run now. If you have an older Mac with Intel processor then this may not apply to you but if you have a new Mac with M1/M2 or soon M3 processor you'll want to use Apple's code translation tool, Rosetta, and see how much of it already can run on their new arm64 architecture.

Waffling or Howling on Linux?

We're just starting to learn and find out if it runs, under Wine or CrossOver. See this page for more details. As of this writing, it's still not sure, as we use some very Window-specific features. (OLE, ActiveX server...)

We recently heard of Play on Linux - also based on Wine(?) and have heard that Dogwaffle may run in Linux that way. (to be verified)

If you successfully (or not) installed and/or managed to run any prior versions too, including the free version 1.2, please contact  us  and let us know the details: which Wine/CrossOver version? Which Linux distro? Which processor hardware? etc etc... the good stuff we nerds understand :-) Screenshots are especially prized!