What computer for a 3D design?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Willy S, May 21, 2005.

  1. Willy S macrumors 6502

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    May 8, 2005
    #1
    My wife is a visual artist and she would like to try some 3d design program that would allow her to make some virtual reality. She has no experience in 3d design, but she is computer litterate and has done a lot of 2d computer design.

    My questions are, what applications might be interesting for her and how powerful computer do you need for 3D design? Is e.g. the eMac with its CRT screen good buy for this or do you need a better graphics card? We already have an iMac with 64mb graphics card and need a second computer anyway.

    Cheers!
     
  2. iQuit macrumors 6502a

    iQuit

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    May 13, 2005
    #2
    RE:

    The ideal machine for this would be a multiprocessor PowerMac.
     
  3. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    #3
    Can you describe a little bit more in detail what she wants to do and which app she likes to use.

    The emac might be underpowered. But it depends. The current iMac should be fine.

    Cheers
     
  4. MünchMob macrumors newbie

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    Jun 17, 2003
    #4
    get the fastest pc with the best graphics card you can afford and nevertheless it might be too slow.
    if you want to stay with mac i would recommend cinema4d for its ease of use and a great price. if not cinema then maya, starting at 2000$

    good luck
     
  5. Willy S thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 8, 2005
    #5
    Thanks!

    I downloaded Cinema 4d demo and she will take a look at it soon. We have an iMac with 64mb Nvidia and I guess that is not good enough.

    She is a novice in 3d so she doesn't know which apps she would like to use. She want to create some virtual reality where she would have a good control over the colors and so on. It´s really hard for me to explain this.

    We would rather get another Mac if they are not a total no no for 3d design. I don't know how good enough the ATI 9600 128mb would be, but could I buy a powermac and put some nice graphics card into it?
     
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    May 18, 2004
    #6
    there are other programs to look at too.....and since she's just starting to work with 3D she might want to look at some of the less expensive programs too.....I think she should go to apple.com and then click on "made4mac" which will take her to a page where she can search for software......do a search in the 3D modeling section and she'll find a bunch of programs. She can visit the developers' sites and check out the image gallerys that show the kind of things people do with the software. If she's looking to create an environment then she might be better off with different software then if she wants to model characters and objects. She'll certainly find something to play with.

    And they're not all expensive programs either....Cheetah3D is $70, Carrara 3D Basics is $50....... Eovia.com has Bryce and Carrara and some other programs that have been around for awhile......there are some programs that will allow her to paint onto 3D models.......When she starts to really get into it, then you can spring for the more expensive programs...and hardware.

    An emac or an imac will be fine for her to learn on. There will be times when they'll be slower than a powermac, but they'll do the job.

    Speed is also an issue with the video card.....does it matter how long it takes to render an image? Obviously in a video game, or an interactive world, it would....but maybe not so much for an artist just starting to use 3D......with that in mind the new emacs or imacs are probably a good cost effective machine for her to start on.
     
  7. RAS admin macrumors regular

    RAS admin

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    #7
  8. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a

    JasonElise1983

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    #8
    Bryce is a really good starting point. Maya Learning edition is good if she just wants to learn. An emac or an iMac would do her just fine for now as a post above said. It is also true that you can never have enough power and yeah, yeah you should buy the fastest machine you can possibly afford and max out 5 credit cards and take out 2 loans and put a second mortgage on your house to pay for the hardware and software, but for the most part, just buy what you can ACTUALLY afford and it will work. Sorry for rambling

    -jason
     
  9. Willy S thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 8, 2005
    #9
    Thanks guys, you are excellent as always!

    This free learning edition is great and she will try it for sure, as well as looking into other tips.

    My friend suggested since we have a Rev A imac, that we should get an updated eMac since it has a CRT screen that is superior for Photoshop and any design since it has more accurate colors than the LCDs...at least for the price. :)
     
  10. MünchMob macrumors newbie

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    Jun 17, 2003
    #10
    if she wants to learn real 3d, applications like bryce, carrara and so on are just a waste of time. if it is only to try 3d and to get the basic principles of 3d then they are ok. in this case an emac would be enough
    but for real work you need a faster cpu and and a better graphics card.
     
  11. bartelby macrumors Core

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #11
    Cinema 4D XL is a good app to start on as I find it the easiest 3D program to use. You can get some awesome results with it too.
    Maya PLE is good except the 'Watermark' is far too intrusive and very, very annoying.

    A month or so back, someone posted a link to Blender an open source progam.
    I haven't had chance to really use it yet, but it looks very good.
    As it's free you've got nothing to loose.
     
  12. javiercr macrumors 6502

    javiercr

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    London
    #12
    maya

    Maya is supposed to be the best, but it depends what you want to do, Maya may be an overkill, if you only want to do walkthroughs around a building then Sketchup may be the easiest tool to do.
     
  13. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

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    New York
    #13
    PowerMac is the way to go if it's serious intense design work. Make sure you get a fast video card too. and alos lots of ram.
     
  14. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 23, 2002
    #14
    If you really don't want to spend too m uch money, try Blender. It's 100% free.

    www.blender3d.org

    Otherwise, all the above suggestions work, too.
     
  15. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

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    #15
    yeah blender or Swift 3d (especially if you already use Flash) are best to get into first ... most 3d work is boring and tedious. some geeks spend a lifetime perfecting one (or a few) aspect (s) of 3d (modelling, roto, texture, painting, etc.). anything of decent quality usually takes years to make (if you're talking animated sequences).


    peace | neut
     
  16. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    VA
    #16
    not really true in the time frame there. If you're talking decent hollywood quality it might take years - but I do animation on a regular basis and you can do some really nice things with small renders. It all depends on the complexity of the scene, length of the animation and rendering settings. There are a ton of options to tweak, knowing what to do right is the tough part :D

    And I don't really find it boring or tedious - it would be a lot tougher if you had to do each frame one at a time....

    D

    D
     
  17. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

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    #17
    true words from a 3-d man. :)

    it's true ... small projects can take much much less time; usually peoples idea of 3-d is the final renders they see from Hollywood ... but my idea of a 3-d project is like any project; and those should take years if it's the right idea (people used to paint for 10yrs on a single painting so putting a year into a project really isn't all that long ... as long as your doing other things during that time as well <like trying to pay your bills!>).

    alas, i have very little 3-d experience ... though, this is something im slowly getting into. my current project involve me with a highend 3-d industrial artist; so, i'll need to know what im talking about when i work with him. :)

    im thinking of getting started with Swift 3d; looks to be about where i want to go. Mostly Flash work with some video titling and music video sequences.

    Willy S - This program is on MacCentral today: Carrara 3D Basics 2 ... i don't claim to know anything about it, but it's said it's for n00bs and it made me think of you post. :)


    peace | neut
     
  18. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #18
    I have the Swift 3D plugin for Lightwave and its ok - you really don't have that many great tools to work with in Swift3D other than the basics. But you can render it out in flash and make it interactive which is very cool.

    The one big thing, though, is the render quality in swift3D is limited by the medium. Texturing and lighting is limited, so you'll not really get useful photo realistic imagery. But that's not for Flash anyway.

    Good luck,

    D
     
  19. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

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    Feb 25, 2004
    #19
    Who said serious? She just wants to try it out.

    andy.
     
  20. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    #20
    Hi,

    can you talk a little bit more about what kind of apps do you use and so on ?

    Would be great
    Thanks
    LaForge
     

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