Which G5 and which software for 3D Motion Rendering ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by matd, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. matd macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2004

    I would like to produce a little 3d scientific explanation documentary. I saw some interesting 3d animations on TV ( like the BBC Dinosaures films) or during the Weather spot ( on RTL Germany) there are showing a 3D rendered town.
    I was asking myself with which kind of software I could realize my 3D film.
    It will be probably been rendered on an Apple.

    I need the following :
    - rendering of animation with complex details ( hairs, feather etc..)
    - producing a kinda realistic background ( trees, forest, farm etc...)
    - a path recording possibility ( for the camera )
    - a quick and easy way to create a 3D model (eg : a horse) and to apply a motion on it ( like a running horse).

    I've tested Bryce and Terragen to generate my landscape/background and I was a little bit disappointed, because the result seems to artificial to me
    I'm not looking for having the best 3D software, because of a financial aspect ( I don't think I can find a Pixar quality similar software for under $3000 ;-) ), but to have a software that could combine background modeling + 3D Modeling + Motion + Camera Motion without having to use several import/export from several softwares.
    I've heard that Lightwave should be very good. Can someone confirm me that ? Where could I get a benchmark of Lightwave on G5 processors ?

    What would be to your opinion the best (price-quality) software I could buy ?
    3DSMax, Vue d'Esprit, Poser (ability to have very complex details for animals ?), Lightwave, Bryce ?

    Could someone give me some pieces of advice to start my 3D animation on a Apple ?
    Which G5 Apple configuration would you recommend to buy (Single or Dual Processor) with what kind of graphic card ?

    Thx a lot in advance !

  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    It's probably best to tell us your entire budget so we can spend your money for you... :)

    It also depends on the timescale. If you need the Mac right now, then get a dual 2.5 with at least 1gb, pref 2-4 of RAM with a good video-card.

    If you can afford to wait for a bit, then there may be new PMs within the next 2-3 months (+ shipping) and you may also be able to catch a tiger.

    Poser has just released some updaters and represents good value although I'm not entirely sure how appropriate it is for you considering it only does human forms.
  3. matd thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2004

    Thx for your answer Blue Velvet !My budget would be between $5000-6500, mostly to pay at least one Apple Dual G5 (perhaps two if network rendering is supported by the softwares so 2x$2100 ) and to buy a 3D Motion Software (e.g. Lightwave : approx $1600 ). I can wait a little bit for the PM and for Tiger (hopefully released this month ;-) ), but I wanted to know all the configuration details and software choices to plan the project correctly.

    But the main choice is to find the right software ! Because it would be dissappointing to see that the 3D Software can't do what I was expecting (details, background and 3D Motion) :)
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    And display(s)?

    Unfortunately, I know very little about 3D animation software so I can't help there. You may also need to consider some specialised data storage solutions or at least an expansion on the standard HDs that come in the G5s... but that's just a wild guess. :)
  5. benwa02 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2004
    It sounds like you got your work cut out for you there.

    Def. get a dual PM & I dont know much about 3d software but i have played around with Maya and made a really cool rocket ship. haha. I am unsure if Maya is out for the Mac though for some reason I dont think it is. That is a very expensive program to purchase.

    Good luck in your expedition, it sure sounds like your going to need it.
  6. G5Unit macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    Well I use a PM G5 1.8Ghz with 1.25gigs of ram, and I run after effects like a breeze. Not completely 3D though.
  7. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    Just a note Maya is out for the Mac (you could e-mail them to make sure) and I think there was a reveiw in MacWorld but the price (not sure if it's the Pro version of Maya) is up there around $899 but thats based on an EDU site I go to. G5 2.5 and around 4gigs ram but if you can wait like others have said that could be your best bet.
    Did you try Carrara? Just thought I would ask :)
  8. Hoef macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2004
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    I am a great Maya fan which allow you to add realism when you need it (gradually) .... If you are a student, the discount is pretty good.
  9. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    Maya Unlimited is way, way more than that. US$7,000 actually. The "lite" version (called "Maya Complete" which sounds more heavyweight than "Maya Lite", even though that's what it is) is less, something like $3,000 I believe. There is a demo you can download to see what it's like, but at 157MB that's too much for my poor lil' modem.

    Anyway, the task is not going to be trivial no matter what software you get. You'll notice that 3D computer rendered films have rather long credits, lot of artists and animators to get those effects. I use Blender, which has the benefit of being free, but I wouldn't attempt to make a realistic running horse with it. Not that it couldn't be done with a lot of patience.

  10. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    For 3D rendering you want the fastest computer you can get, and then some. This means right now the only real choice is the dual 2.5GHz G5. The graphics card doesn't matter so much. The stock Radeon 9600 would be fine for this sort of thing...99% of the time you'll probably be looking at wireframe previews or plain-shaded OpenGL previews. When you render at full quality it won't be anywhere near real-time anyway. I upgraded to an X800 and it make no difference whatsoever for 3D rendering, using Blender anyway, nor did I expect it to...it was for gaming....

  11. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Eric5h5 is exactly right, what you describe is a very complex task and you simply cannot learn how to do this sort of thing and a short amount of time if you have no experience in it -- people spend their careers learning to to a few aspects of a complex animation well. The software is one problem (for the Mac I'd say the best choices are Cinema4D, Maya, Lightwave...and possibly Blender which I have no experience with yet), but it's the artistry and technical expertise that's going to be the hard part. Creating a running horse with realistic fur could take even an experienced animator with the right tools weeks or months to complete (modeling with environment/background, texturing, lighting, character rigging, animating, and rendering).

    I don't mean to discourage you (and you never said exactly what your level of experience is in 3D modeling and animation), but what you describe is non-trivial and you need to be prepared to put in a lot of time to realize your vision. No current 3D app is going to completely automate all that for you with satisfactory results.
  12. etoiles macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2002
    Where the air is crisp
    Hi MatD,
    sounds like you want to jump in the deep end... I don't want to crush your dreams, but you should take it one step at the time. Look at it like learning a musical instrument: it takes years to learn and master the skills, you can't just buy an expensive Piano and play like that guy you saw in concert.

    For the tools, you are limiting yourself if you go strictly mac. Why not buy a PC for the 3D work and a mac for film editing... ? Best of both worlds. If you are a student, you can get the full version of Softimage for $295 instead of $6995 !!! That software includes hair, fur, cloth simulation, dynamics...the whole deal. But again, it is PC only. So is 3DStudioMax.

    There are a few high end solutions for mac out there, but to start off I'd highly recommend an all in one package. If you are going to stick to mac (which I understand btw), don't forget to look at Cinema4D, too.

    Programs like Poser, Bryce and Vue d'Esprit can give you immediate results (one click- one environment, two clicks- a hot babe in an environment :) but everything will look pre-cooked... don't expect much recognition from the CG community.

    Whatever you do, don't buy everything at the same time. Get a computer/good display, download some demo/trial versions of the software you think you'd like (maya, lightwave, cinema4D etc), buy some books, check out forums online (cgtalk.com)... and buy the tools you need when you are ready to use them. Take your time.

    Hope this helps
  13. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Get Dual 2 GHz G5 with 2 GB of RAM + a display. Note that if you want more than 20 inch in your display, upgrade video card to 128 MB or more :)

    How about Cinema 4D?
  14. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
  15. fedora macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2004
    Well i wouldn't reccomend cinema 4D (or lightwave really) for this task, maya would be much more suited to a task like this. As for hardware for a task like this you need a powermac G5. I render in C4D on my Dual 2.5 with 6800 ultra and 6 Gigs of RAM and that would still take ages to render what you want to, so i would reccomend paying someone to render it for you.
  16. neut macrumors 68000


    Nov 27, 2001
    here (for now)
    sounds like you may be getting a little too excited about the purchases and none too concerned about the amount of time this type of animation requires. sure ... you could pull this stuff off on a dual 2.5 + 30" running MODO (def. check this out), Maya, (insert you favorite 3-D programs here) software, but it will take you a few weeks, months to gather all you equipment (hardware, software,?), set it up, let alone get comfortable with it. this doesn't take into the fact that you have to learn this software at some point. sure Maya has a demo ... ever try to use it?

    no matter what you do ... it will look fake. ****, parts of the Matrix look fake and look at there budget! :eek:

    it takes time. and lots of it. if you got it ... have fun! :) wish i had enough time to dive into 3-D. i may do some simple renders at some point, but to get good requires too much of my time.

    be prepared to not sleep and have no life.

    peace | neut

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