View Full Version : 3D and Apple Computers

12 December 2001, 09:34 AM
Are there any other Mac fans here? What do you think of the current state, using OSX as a 3D platform?

How do you see the future of Mac OS and 3D, will there be more, less, same, amount of 3D software options?

I love doing 2D work on macs but alway do my 3D on a PC. I would love it if Macs were more involved with 3D animation technologies.

12 December 2001, 01:51 PM
Ive been using a Mac since 95. I used to play with Bryce and Strata Studio back then. I dont have OSX yet but im itching to get it. I really hope Maya on Mac OSX grows stronger in the coming year. Like you, I also use my Mac for all my 2D work, everything from web design to compositing in After Effects. I think the future looks bright for OSX and 3D apps. Lets hope Maya isnt the last port. I think Lightwave would be a nice addition.

12 December 2001, 05:11 PM
lightwave is on the mac. ver. 7 is for OSX. There is also a deal on it for December-$995.

12 December 2001, 11:55 PM
i had no clue. thx
now its time for Max and Soft to move to OSX.

12 December 2001, 04:10 PM
no problem; yes Soft on OSX would be awsome, Max would also be cool, but I'm having enough trouble trying to figure out how to scrounge up another thousand bucks....DOH!

12 December 2001, 12:59 AM
mac hardware is too expensive.

12 December 2001, 02:11 AM
There is the myth of Mac is more stable. However, my school uses G3 and G4s, and we saw all sorts of crashing problems that drives people nuts. Granted PC has its share of blue screen death, but you can't argue the cheaper price of PCs and the availablitiy of programs. So, those in my school who got some extra $$$ would buy both Mac and PC, and those of us who are short on buck would just get a PC.

12 December 2001, 02:28 AM
Good discussion.

In my opinion, Macs will make a huge impact over the next two years - especially in the 3D animation industry. This is because of OS X: all the underlying power, stability and security of Unix while maintaining ease of use.

The current problem is that Mac hardware is a bottleneck. Current G4 systems, despite being marketed as "supercomputers" still do not run OS X at a decent speed comparable or faster than the latest round of whiz-bang Wintel workstations. Another issue is the display cards - there are currently no high-end OpenGL accelerators on the Mac. I expect these to be sorted out soon (keeping fingers crossed for announcements at MacWorld in January).

I've been using OS X since beta testing became available in '99 and it absolutely rocks. I have NEVER crashed OS X. OS9, in comparison crashes on me at least once every couple of sessions I use it.

At the moment, there are admittedly issues with OS X. It runs like a pig on my iBook, and Photoshop hasn't been ported yet - so I find myself booting back into OS9 to do any hardcore CG. FYI, a lot of development for the new CG Channel 3.0 (coming in Jan) was on OS X.

The underlying core of OS X is FreeBSD (Apple calls their version "Darwin"), an incredibly good OpenSource Unix OS. What a lot of people that Darwin can be compiled and run on PC x86 platform. Hmmmmmmmmm (scratches chin and thinks of possible conspiracy).


Gabriel Barros
12 December 2001, 01:24 PM
actualy, everything you have can be ported to other plataforms... since you have the source and lots and lots and i mean LOTS of time to rewrite some parts that interact directly to the hardware interupts and stuf.

of course that, in the case of programs like OSes you will have to almost rewrite the kernel... since its the part that interacts with the hardware. But in a good designed UNIX systems (the microkernel stuff, like linux, BSD and now darwin) only the kernel touches the hardware... so after the kernel is ported the rest is just a matter of recompiling...

thats why programs like MAYA are being ported to mac... they already had it to Irix, that is a UNIX flavor as well. so they'r porting it to Darwin and linux.

I've seen maya for linux running, and for my suprise it uses a lot of emulated stuff from windows (wine)... don't really know why, my guess is that its for running plugins and stuff, can't figure out the core runing over emulation. Anyone have more info on that? Does maya for osX also runs Win emulated?

12 December 2001, 04:54 PM
Personaly, I don't believe that the high cost of Apple hardware would be an issue in the indusrty. Although for personal decisions, it would definately be an issue. If the platform is proven to be more stable for complex, high end software, then production costs and maintaining consistancy in the amount of time the work takes would drop, surely saving dollars in the end. I think that perhaps the market will depend on proffessional feedback. Production companies buying more macs for 3D and having positive experiences. I am not sure of any of this but would jump for joy if macs were more involved.

01 January 2002, 12:39 PM
Issues, Issues...

High cost of macs:
Price out a high-end PC workstation 3 to 4K.
So price isn't the real issue. Sure you can run Maya on a 1K box, but move over to a studio and that isn't what you will use.

OSX is based on the BSD UNIX kernel (not FreeBSD, there is a difference).
As such porting existing UNIX apps (Maya and XSI should be easy. There are some interesting rumors regarding Apple and Avid so we shall see what happens with XSI. The current port of Maya while lacking all the features of v.4 on PC/UNIX is still very solid. True there is no dearth of high-end OGL cards, but that is also a driver/software issue, not hardware.

The PPC proc is so far ahead of Intel when it comes to technology that AMD made a deal with MOTO to borrow some of it for the Athlon. If an application is written to take advantage of the Velocity Engine it sees an enormous speed increase.
True the FSB is a little lacking right now, but come Monday I think we are going to see some exciting changes.

The Mac is hands down the most stable platform I have ever worked on (and I started with an Altair). The issue I have seen with stability, especially in school/corporate environments is the support staff on hand. In general I have found that the PC-centric IT departments in said environs tend to F up Macs faster than a chimp with a sledge hammer.

01 January 2002, 10:42 AM
I like the fact that in england when our mac hardware goes
down and is still under waranty we get the option of sending
it to germany to be fixed or err well thats it.

01 January 2002, 04:21 AM
Not so much about price of the system.....but options. Look at it. I'd rather have 10 options than 4, so I choose PC. I mean, it's not like Macs are running dual processor Athlon MPs, are they?....
Development is faster when it's non-proprietary!! Look at Pro Tools...Nuendo runs better and uses the native processsing power to get it's job done, which develops faster than Pro Tools hardware technology....

Anyway....not that I'm anti Mac, I would just hate to be tied down to a system which will not advance as rapidly as another.


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