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Old 04-04-2013, 11:25 PM   #1
Pixanaut
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3D on a Mac

I'm not looking to launch a flame war between apps or computers.

What I am interested in, is this:

I have used Lightwave, Max and Maya professionally. I use a Mac laptop at home (currently running boot camp). I would like to order my next licenses for OSX and run native, rather than use Windows on the Mac (primarily because the laptop keyboard is missing a few keys, such as Insert and the Mac 'delete' key isn't the same as the 'delete' key in the Windows environment... both of which keys are somewhat important in 3D modeling! And no, so far I haven't been able to remap the keys.)

I'm wondering, for those who do 3D on a Mac, what has your experience been using these apps in the OSX environment? How is the workflow compared to the Windows version of these apps?

Thanks for the input.
 
Old 04-05-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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I move back and forth between platforms, but I'm primarily a Mac user and my experience with most 3D apps on the Mac have been pretty good. I primarily use Maya, modo, MotionBuilder, NUKE and ZBrush (PC.) I have experimented with Houdini and Cinema 4D and a little bit of Lightwave. As far as general snappiness and use I've found parity between the Mac and PC versions in most cases I've found the Mac versions of the software to be a little less prone to small glitches and some bugginess. My concern is not actual functionality issues now, it's more about accessibility to "Pro" software a couple of years from now. Apple has pretty consistently moved further and further from heeding suggestion from the Pro creative community, or at least it seems that way in spite of there being more creative DCC apps on the Mac platform than ever before. Apple's non-position on the "Pro" industry leaves me wondering whether that's eventually going to effect whether software development happens on the Mac (Again, like it was in the 90's.) I would say you're safe for the next 3-4 years on the Mac with Apple maintaining the position they have today. If you are feeling unsure it may make a lot of sense to wait until NAB, when Apple "may" announce the next MacPro, and see what response is among pro friends and on various forums. Like I, said even without Apple making any changes the platform is good for most CG needs for the next 3-4 years. Since the industry has been shifting to more laptops than desktops for the last several years and Apple isn't getting out of the laptop business for the foreseeable future software developers aren't going turn anyone's money down.
 
Old 04-05-2013, 01:30 AM   #3
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Delete for mac is fn backspace.

I used my first 3d apps on a mac. I think it one was animation master. Worked well. In general I got tired of the lack of software and community support. For main software like Maya a mac should be no problem. There are a lot of smaller applications that are really helpful that are not mac compatible. That was my pet peeve but for normal people that isn't an issue.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:55 AM   #4
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Maya is mostly the same really, a notch slower videocard wise, a bit better off memory and paging wise due to a superior unix rooted environment.
2014 with the new DX shaders though is, for obvious reasons, windows only, and that's a pretty nifty feature to give up if it's of interest to you.

Max doesn't exist native for mac and it's a dog virtualized (allegedly, no first hand experience) with some of the more windows specific things (again, dx takes a punch in the kidneys when virtualized).

Lightwave I honestly have no idea, you're better off asking in a lightwave specific forum.

For casual or non specific use it's perfectly fine. For some specific things you will occasionally feel a stab of angst at missing or mis-implemented features (usually due to constraints of the platform).

Do you have any softwares that force you into one platform or another? Such as having bought single platform versions of ZB or others? If not just try it, if you do try what you can first, just to make sure you don't fall in that user pool that will feel the lack of certain features.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:20 AM   #5
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Perfect. Good advice all around.

@Philip - Waiting for NAB, and see what shakes out, seems to be a good idea. I'm really looking to upgrade within the next few months, so I've got time to wait.

@Kanga - thanks for the fn tip, I wasn't aware of that (does that work if you're running Windows in Boot Camp though? I suspect not, I'll check when I reboot next time.)

@ThE_JacO - I'll look into DX shaders and see if it's going to be a problem for me. I'm really just using it for modeling at the moment, so I'm not using any shaders/textures at all.


I know Lightwave has been cross platform for eons so it is probably pretty polished for OSX, but I really like how Max handles spline-based modeling. I may end up getting the latest Lightwave for the Mac laptop and Max for a new desktop... seems like a pain in the ass if I want to take my work on the road though. :/
 
Old 04-05-2013, 05:18 AM   #6
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I use Maya daily on the Mac, though primarily just for character animation, and I promise it's just as buggy and crashy on the Mac as it is on the PC so you won't be disappointed

Seriously, other than different paths for scripts/plugins the differences are pretty minor, it's pretty stable and I don't run into anything other than typical 3d package issues.

As you're a LightWave user you might also give Modo a serious look, they do a lot of Mac development and the newest version has full animation tools as well. Also a big plus in your particular situation, you can use your Modo license on either Mac or PC (it isn't platform specific).

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:10 AM   #7
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Haha... thanks for the laugh fig.

Yes, I've played with modo a little bit, but to me it didn't feel as intuitive as the others... Im my history, I've dabbled with Softimage but like modo, the UI really didn't connect with me.

I will look into it again (it's been a while since I explored it). It may be the option that I'm looking for. Thanks for the reminder.
 
Old 04-05-2013, 07:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixanaut
@Kanga - thanks for the fn tip, I wasn't aware of that (does that work if you're running Windows in Boot Camp though? I suspect not, I'll check when I reboot next time.)

Yup that is for 3dsmax running on a mac (bootcamp).
I also was very impressed with Modo when I tried it out. It has probably the most robust and flexible uv tools out there.

Cheers
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #9
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Maya, zbrush works good for me on mac, and yep, bugs are bugs regardless of any OS.
I worry more about the future of the Mac pro line.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:24 AM   #10
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As far as I am able to divine from forums, iCreate, etc, Apple is going to do a little refurbishing on the Pro line in the immediate fututre, but (my humble opinion) its future as a firm is more bound to the mobile products and the iMac line (I own a 27" myself, btw, and it is a very good piece of hw, though rather expensive).
Maya, C4D and modo work fine, in my experience. Modo, as well as LW, needs a bit of remapping, and this goes too far in LW, barring me to use it confortable with a mac kb.

As an aside, I definitely cannot share the opinion expressed about the stability of Modo (OS irrespective), and the 701 has so changed its layout to make me drop it as a 3D sw of choice. About this you may look at the Luxology forum.

So, in the end, my 2 cents are: if you want buy an high line iMac (not the 21", definitely) for its screen (definition, color management, etc) and OS. You'll be happy with the Adobe line and Maya/C4D/Zb (Zb is now even a little better on Mac than Windows, IMO).
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:40 AM   #11
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Great. Thanks for the rundown ebasta.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanga
Yup that is for 3dsmax running on a mac (bootcamp).
I also was very impressed with Modo when I tried it out. It has probably the most robust and flexible uv tools out there.

Cheers


Cool! While you're dispensing tips, any idea where the 'insert' key went?

Last edited by Pixanaut : 04-05-2013 at 09:43 AM.
 
Old 04-05-2013, 09:56 AM   #12
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If you have a very strict pipeline mac shouldn't be a problem, as long as there are support. I'm not sure how long that will last though, the gl issues for ex, make some developers abandon mac and software like modo is hurting from it. There are also software like foundrys mari that can't support it, Apple really need to start supporting the graphic user base a lot more.

I've been playing around with modo on both osx and win. A bit on win7 and now with win8 and I'm in love with it, win, not modo. Win is faster and more open and even have tablet support, that is not a direction that makes the os worse, it's actually a really powerful feature. osx on the other hand is taking the tablet route without even supporting it, and somehow I'm just bored with everything looking the same nowadays.

//Everyone speaks about how good modo look, no one seems to be speaking about how good it is to use. Modos demo's has always "looked good" but when users tried those features they've mostly been let down. But don't take my word for it, read about it yourself.
http://forums.luxology.com/topic.aspx?f=32&t=75177

Also, here is a "wishlist" which is a great way to see what basic features modo is missing. Some of this is a mac/win issue so it is actually related to this thread.
http://forums.luxology.com/topic.aspx?f=4&t=74802
)

Last edited by Sthu : 04-05-2013 at 10:34 AM.
 
Old 04-05-2013, 02:25 PM   #13
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Most apps I have used on both platforms are the same. I have never had the experience of some amazing difference between the two. As far as the pro market is concerned, I know a few people who have the latest 27" iMac who seem to be elated about it. That might just be my next system if I decide to get out of the laptop game. I have never been attracted to the Pro. In the future, I think such models of computers will be become largely unnecessary.


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Old 04-05-2013, 02:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sthu
//Everyone speaks about how good modo look, no one seems to be speaking about how good it is to use. Modos demo's has always "looked good" but when users tried those features they've mostly been let down. But don't take my word for it, read about it yourself.
http://forums.luxology.com/topic.aspx?f=32&t=75177


Just an observation as I haven't used the newest version yet, but you are talking about a product that's like a week old so some bugs are to be expected. To be fair there are both positive and negative comments in there as well.

I do think it's in a bit of an inbetween state right now though, it's not quite a complete 3d package so there's some things missing here and there.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:56 PM   #15
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I'm really not trying to crap on mac, I maya on mac at work everyday. But if your buying a new system for me at least mac just dosent seem the way to go. While there is very little difference in maya (aside from not being able to benefit from nvidia cards) I find it's all the peripherals that slow me down in the end. As stated above many little programs and plugins are often not avaiable for mac. For me, my maya pipeline is just that, a network of scrips, plugins, external programs ect. and I find the mac environment quite limiting.

Also my station at work cost something crazy like 15K, my station at home I built off of new egg for right around 2k and to tell you the truth I dont see that much of a performance difference between the 2.

Lastly as far as your keyboard issue goes, you can try using AutoHotKey. It basically lets you script key functions. I use it for working on my PC station through logmein from my mac station because for some reason or another ctr+MMB dosent work across logmein. Anyway I suspect you could install it on your virtual windows machine and map your keys properly
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