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Old Mar 15, 2009, 05:58 PM   #1
Maccho
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3D Modeling and Animation, Mac or PC?

Hi all,

I've been doing intense 3D modeling and animation. I own a PC at the moment, but its getting kind of old and slow.

I'm thinking a buying a new computer, but not sure to choose a Mac or PC. I do love Macs, but practically speaking, in terms of performance, which is more suitable for 3D rendering and the lot?
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 06:41 PM   #2
LeviG
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doesn't this depend more on the software
If the software is something like 3ds max or solidworks then its best just to get a windows pc as you would need to run boot camp which kind of defeats the point in my view.

If its something like cinema 4d then you can run it on a mac so you get a mac.

Also another thing to consider is that all new mac's don't currently have any form of workstation gpu (ie quadro/fire pro)suited to 3d work so you would be stuck with a gamer's card.
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 07:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Maccho View Post
Hi all,

I've been doing intense 3D modeling and animation. I own a PC at the moment, but its getting kind of old and slow.

I'm thinking a buying a new computer, but not sure to choose a Mac or PC. I do love Macs, but practically speaking, in terms of performance, which is more suitable for 3D rendering and the lot?
http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...54&postcount=5

I work in the 3D CG industry and it's currently about a 64/40 split PC/Mac. A few things like eyeon's Fusion5 and XSI are still not on the Mac. LightWave is looking very good! Maya has been there for awhile now! Houdini just came over, FCP with motion is a good substitute (even though the learning curve is steeper than Fusion), Vue xStream is good on Mac, Blender is there, C4D is there and good!, 3DS Max is missing but really - who cares - it's Max UG!, Poser is there for Mac, Ummm...

So really just XSI and Fusion are missing. And there's a linux version of Fusion that works great in virtual Linux! Oh also MotionBuilder is missing from Mac too! It's the best animation editor there is - hands down so that's a consideration. It's also more expensive than the most expensive Mac too tho. 3rd party plug-ins are a split ordeal as well. While some are available for Mac, others are not.

As far as for rendering speed Mac and PC with the same processors render at about the same speed. Not enough difference to really consider.

2009 Mac Pro's are no longer "a good deal" IMO like 2006 ~ 2008 models were. This is something to consider for sure: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...&postcount=179


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Last edited by Tesselator; Mar 15, 2009 at 07:20 PM.
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 08:32 PM   #4
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thanx for the info

yeah, well at Uni we're using aluminium iMacs which seem quite good, though really i need a good computer at home to do the course work.

I use quite a variety of programs, from Bryce to C4D and LightWave. Thanks for ur reply.

Btw, to Tesselator, do u know any good site for 3D tutorials on modeling (its kind of my weak point). Especially modeling sculptures, carved ornaments that sort of thing.

Thanks for all ur good advice
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 02:48 AM   #5
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I go to an art school that requires each student to have a laptop. The school recommends Apple, so 95% of the students have Macs (by my estimation). However, I've noticed that the ones who have Windows machines tend to be 3D Animation majors. So maybe there's something to be said for that.

*shrugs*
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 02:56 AM   #6
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yeah, well at Uni we're using aluminium iMacs which seem quite good, though really i need a good computer at home to do the course work.

I use quite a variety of programs, from Bryce to C4D and LightWave. Thanks for ur reply.

Btw, to Tesselator, do u know any good site for 3D tutorials on modeling (its kind of my weak point). Especially modeling sculptures, carved ornaments that sort of thing.

Thanks for all ur good advice
Thousands of them. A few by me even.

For LW Tuts pretty much every search starts at www.flay.com
That or http://www.members.shaw.ca/lightwave.../Main_Menu.htm


EDIT:
LOL!!! Here's an oldy from me: http://www.lightwiki.com/StreetWise_...t_for_the_road

.

Last edited by Tesselator; Mar 16, 2009 at 03:10 AM.
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 06:21 PM   #7
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to Tesselator

Thanx for the sites on LW, but how about C4D, coz Uni right now requires us to use C4D at school, so i should really be practicing with C4D.

But, ur previous reply is much appreciated.
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 07:30 PM   #8
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The software doesnt really matter as much anymore unless youre actually doing professional work and need every tool at your disposal.

But you still need to consider the hardware, a PC will let you get really high end without breaking the bank while a Mac will let you get really high end but youll have to break the bank. The obvious choice for 3d unless you have a ton of money is a PC (especially one you build yourself).
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 04:43 AM   #9
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I would certainly go for a PC.

Maya for mac is not 64 bit. For windows this is, you will notice a considerable performance improvement with a 64 bit app.

I'd also strongly consider what area you're looking to enter? If you're looking at Games, Visualisation or Architecture go with 3DS Max, if you want to pursue a career in advertising, broadcast and film learn Maya.

If you're a hobbyist download Blender.

Either way though i'd go for a PC, maya for mac sucks (buggy; sliders don't slide, particles don't render and fCheck is unusable)
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 12:23 PM   #10
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I would certainly go for a PC.

Maya for mac is not 64 bit. For windows this is, you will notice a considerable performance improvement with a 64 bit app.

I'd also strongly consider what area you're looking to enter? If you're looking at Games, Visualisation or Architecture go with 3DS Max, if you want to pursue a career in advertising, broadcast and film learn Maya.

If you're a hobbyist download Blender.

Either way though i'd go for a PC, maya for mac sucks (buggy; sliders don't slide, particles don't render and fCheck is unusable)
Great advice imo. I would also echo disappointment in the lack of pro gpu's in the new Mac Pro machines...and echo that Maya sucks on Macs.

I would build my own pc **just** for the 3d work...and have a mac for everything else. It's too bad Apple doesn't seem to care about this segment of the market.
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 01:22 PM   #11
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why would they when they can put their budgets into selling iPods. Sod the creative pros who stuck with Apple through thick and thin

lack of graphics cards is disapointing, quite why they thought dropping the Quadro would be a good idea god knows. I suspect nVidia have got the huff after Ati became the main card and they dropped support.

Here's hoping for a FireGL card
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 02:18 PM   #12
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A Mac. You can start by using something like Cheetah3D and keep up with a high-end program like Cinema 4D or Houdini. And if you want to run some Windows-only program, you can on your Mac.

There's simply no reason why to use Windows except if you want a "cheapest-possible-gaming-only-machine".
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 02:32 PM   #13
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There's simply no reason why to use Windows except if you want a "cheapest-possible-gaming-only-machine".
Long time 3D Artist started with Swivel3D > Infini-D > Strata 3D > formZ > Electric Image on Mac. Moved to Unix SGI using Softimage > Power Animator > Maya. Then Windows Lightwave > 3DSR4 > 3DMAX > Maya.
Yes nothing really beats the Windows box for 3D. Im on a BOXX 8400 and Dell D380 for Maya (2 Unlimited seats). We got to test it on the Mac a few years ago. I think if your a student and needs to learn all this overall then stay with that the school offers you. The Mac is fine for now. Its not like your working with huge data-sets or creating crazy dynamic solutions
I also teach at local college and have always been honest to students that if your learning, use whats available to you at all times. If the school is on a Mac then use the Mac. If you have a PC at home then use the PC at home. Its the cost issue of being a student that should help you determine. Most cases if you do get a job you might have to be ready to use both platforms.
I know its a confusing answer but Ive seen way too many upcoming artist hit this wall where cost and cool factor gets in they way.
Crap I was working in 3DMax v.1 to 3 on a Pentium with 256mg RAM for 2 years but to top that, I also started doing 3D on a Macintosh LCIII with 4mgs of RAM :P
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 01:45 PM   #14
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AutoCAD 2008 is suprisingly good for 3D modelling and rendering, fast to learn, fast to use. I created a whole building and surrounding landscape from it. What is a pain however, is more complex shapes, especially one that curves or folds on more than one axes. So what I then do is import that to 3dsMax for more complex editing.

I want to start using Cinema4D because it looks a lot better, been playing around with the demo versions on PC and Mac, and some of the bigger architecture studios use it. So I'll recommend Cinema4D. The only problem is, there seems to be fewer resources on it, unless someone can correct me on that and I've been looking in the wrong places.
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 12:22 AM   #15
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Depending on what kind of 3d you plan on doing will dictate what platform to use. If you are a hobbyist, serious amateur, small media studio, indie artist, then you can do okay with Mac Pro and any one of the programs mentioned. However, if you plan to ever work for a high-end studio like Dreamworks or Pixar, then you need to learn Maya on a PC. Most of the big 3d studios run their own proprietary software that is part of a pipeline that usually includes Maya on Linux. If you plan to learn one of the low or medium tier software programs (C4d or Lightwave), then you better have a sick demo reel to offset your 3d software shortcomings.
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 08:05 AM   #16
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..However, if you plan to ever work for a high-end studio like Dreamworks or Pixar, then you need to learn Maya on a PC. Most of the big 3d studios run their own proprietary software that is part of a pipeline that usually includes Maya on Linux...
not entirely true. its a mix bag. in the end the high-end places such as Pixar require art before mouse and ILM a PHD in Quantum Physics (im kidding but close) and yes you need a decent to awesome demo reel, but from my experience story telling over technical ability always catches the big fish in this industry
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 10:42 AM   #17
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AutoCAD 2008 is suprisingly good for 3D modelling and rendering, fast to learn, fast to use. I created a whole building and surrounding landscape from it. What is a pain however, is more complex shapes, especially one that curves or folds on more than one axes. So what I then do is import that to 3dsMax for more complex editing.

I want to start using Cinema4D because it looks a lot better, been playing around with the demo versions on PC and Mac, and some of the bigger architecture studios use it. So I'll recommend Cinema4D. The only problem is, there seems to be fewer resources on it, unless someone can correct me on that and I've been looking in the wrong places.
As a starter I would not suggest AutoCAD. Unless of course your taking a class on it. Most of the apps these days have great resources online. Its tough learning 3D when you dont have a good working environment like school. I know the topic seems to pit platforms against each other, but Im a firm believer that there is no better or worse at a learning stage. The only thing worse is that you dont get the help and resource needed to get going and what makes it better is if you keep an open mind and not get into the circus of whether to use a pencil or paint brush. Ive been in the trenches during the days of Max vs Maya, Softimage vs PowerAnimator and Coke vs Pepsi. Keep a clear mind and just learn
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 10:50 AM   #18
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to Tesselator

Thanx for the sites on LW, but how about C4D, coz Uni right now requires us to use C4D at school, so i should really be practicing with C4D.

But, ur previous reply is much appreciated.
NP.

C4D I studied on my own. I can use it well and know about it's abilities and limits but it's of no actual use to me. It would be like using Mac Paint when you have access to and know well PS, Painter, ArtRage, and Project Dogwafflel.

It's great if you don't have those others but if you do then there's no need. Anyway, I dunno where the C4D community hangs out without doing the searches. Three years ago there were plenty of "resources" available though - I assume that hasn't changed.

Last edited by Tesselator; Mar 19, 2009 at 11:06 AM.
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 10:57 AM   #19
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As a starter I would not suggest AutoCAD.
Yup! And even industry professionals can skip it all together. It pretty much sucks as any savvy computer punk will quickly point out. MS Cad is the tool of choice in that field of interest. http://www.bentley.com/en-US/Product...+product+line/ There's some debate about this assertion but the "power generation" always comes up on the MS side. Having used the two I know exactly why too!
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 11:01 AM   #20
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As a starter I would not suggest AutoCAD. Unless of course your taking a class on it. Most of the apps these days have great resources online. Its tough learning 3D when you dont have a good working environment like school. I know the topic seems to pit platforms against each other, but Im a firm believer that there is no better or worse at a learning stage. The only thing worse is that you dont get the help and resource needed to get going and what makes it better is if you keep an open mind and not get into the circus of whether to use a pencil or paint brush. Ive been in the trenches during the days of Max vs Maya, Softimage vs PowerAnimator and Coke vs Pepsi. Keep a clear mind and just learn
Yeah, that's very true. Sorry I always forget everyone's situation is different, though he is at university, depends how good it is lol.

I learnt AutoCAD 2D drawing in one day and mastered it by the 4th weekly session then extruded the 2D into 3D and now I'm a pro (sort of). Thats with thanks to my tutors in university. However, beforehand I tried to teach myself and failed miserably.

The starting point for 3D modelling is not very easily described, and teaching yourself is not good at all, you'll always need someone else with first hand knowledge of whatever it is you're learning... of course that costs money.

To the OP, if you can find a friend or a tutor within your university that already knows how to use Cinema4D well, and maybe they can help you, even if you have to pay for it, which would work out cheaper than hiring private tuition and more productive than learning it yourself. Also this book was highly recommended by another MR poster for Cinema4D
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 11:06 AM   #21
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Yup! And even industry professionals can skip it all together. It pretty much sucks as any savvy computer punk will quickly point out. MS Cad is the tool of choice in that field of interest. http://www.bentley.com/en-US/Product...+product+line/ There's some debate about this assertion but the "power generation" always comes up on the MS side. Having used the two I know exactly why too!
Ah yes, Microstation. Recommended by some of my uni tutors that hate AutoCAD. You can do 3D modelling with that? Damn I didn't know that. Too bad my uni doesn't have it.
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 11:12 AM   #22
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if you plan to ever work for a high-end studio like Dreamworks or Pixar, then you need to learn Maya on a PC.
This is a misconception, and false assumption. The bigger the studio the less they care about what software you use and the more they care about the result you're capable of. Pixar is one of the biggest and indeed they care the least about your preferred package or platform! This has played out repeatedly over hundreds of examples (many I personally know of) and is their official stated policy.

So if you want in at Pixar pick the most comfortable tools and get really good with them.
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 11:23 AM   #23
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This is a misconception, and false assumption. The bigger the studio the less they care about what software you use and the more they care about the result you're capable of. Pixar is one of the biggest and indeed they care the least about your preferred package or platform! This has played out repeatedly over hundreds of examples (many I personally know of) and is their official stated policy.

So if you want in at Pixar pick the most comfortable tools and get really good with them.
eventually when you do work at any of these places, you have to shed the war mentality. Ive visited EA Vancouver (both sites) a few times and they have all types of computers. each platforms have their own misgivings so really the question should be, which kind of setup works best for Mac or PC. Unless your doing massive dynamic solutions any decent mac or pc will work. Ive ran Maya on both and they all have their quirks. currently Im running Maya on a Boxx 8400s with a Quardro FX5600. do I crash...but of course :P I use a Dell to render most of my heavy stuff. A few years ago I had 4 Powermacs (older Mac) working as overnight renderers. It was awesome cause no one was using them. We had to donate them to a school so Im back to piece mealing my renders. even though I have access to 12 MacPros, current work load and computers dont take longer than a week-end to render things lately
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Old Jun 13, 2009, 10:45 PM   #24
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As a Mac user, I'm dying to learn 3-D animation (oxymoronic statement? sorry). I recently purchased Autodesk Maya complete 2009. The bonus-bundle programs that came with it like Toxik, Cleaner, Motionbuilder are all PC based. If I don't run a "virtual" PC on my Mac the only bonus program I can run on Mac is Mudbox, but I want them all.
On my Mac, if I install VMWare Fusion 2, install Windows, and install Maya complete and bonus programs into my "virtual" PC, will I be putting my G5 at risk performance-wise? Should I choose XP, XP Pro, Vista, or Vista Business as my "virtual" PC operating system of choice given Maya is such an intensely demanding program?
My second largest concern: Will I be able to open a "virtual" Windows Maya project into my After Effects program which is currently installed on Leopard? Will the applications on different operating systems be segregated or is that not even an issue?
Maybe I should bite the bullet and not go "virtual" PC on my Mac, install Maya complete and Mudbox on Leopard and start my journey but Motionbuilder and Toxik seem too good to pass up. Your take, please! Thanks in advance.
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Old Jun 14, 2009, 01:50 AM   #25
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As a Mac user, I'm dying to learn 3-D animation (oxymoronic statement? sorry). I recently purchased Autodesk Maya complete 2009. The bonus-bundle programs that came with it like Toxik, Cleaner, Motionbuilder are all PC based. If I don't run a "virtual" PC on my Mac the only bonus program I can run on Mac is Mudbox, but I want them all.
On my Mac, if I install VMWare Fusion 2, install Windows, and install Maya complete and bonus programs into my "virtual" PC, will I be putting my G5 at risk performance-wise? Should I choose XP, XP Pro, Vista, or Vista Business as my "virtual" PC operating system of choice given Maya is such an intensely demanding program?
My second largest concern: Will I be able to open a "virtual" Windows Maya project into my After Effects program which is currently installed on Leopard? Will the applications on different operating systems be segregated or is that not even an issue?
Maybe I should bite the bullet and not go "virtual" PC on my Mac, install Maya complete and Mudbox on Leopard and start my journey but Motionbuilder and Toxik seem too good to pass up. Your take, please! Thanks in advance.
I think that Cleaner is Mac-compatible too:

http://usa.autodesk.com/products/mac...tible-products
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