View Full Version : A modest question. Why a Mac?

03-04-2003, 12:06 AM
I'd just like to hear everybody's explanation. Mine is easy, Mac's are common in a production environment(but not as common as I thought at the time I bought mine), Superdrive(although I still have not burned 1 DVD), Final Cut Pro. Feel free to chime in. I'm curious about everyone's stories. I see some talk about some people contemplating going over to the Dark Side.

03-04-2003, 03:28 AM
I'm coming from the pc platform like 6 month's ago...

I cannot tell you why, all i can say is that the 2pc's i have only will be used for rendering.
Osx is just better to work with i guess.

03-04-2003, 03:43 AM
I used Macs for about seven years (At home, and during prep year to year six at school), then I used Windows PCs for three years, (the school I then moved to made us get Windows laptops..), then went straight back to Macintosh in year ten, when I ditched the NEC Versa 2400 and got an iBook! After two years of using the iBook, my sis needed a computer for school, so she got the iBook and I got a 2nd hand PowerBook G4!
I should always have used Macs, because the three years I used Windows I really regretted, the OS was really not what I wanted to use.. (>Cough< >Cough<, no comment needed) And I was so happy going back to Mac OS 9, and that's saying something. That same year OS 10.1 came out!
Macs are generally better equipped for graphics. I've heard it from so many professional practitioners in the graphics industry, and every graphic design studio with the exception of one that I have been to used macs. (I've been through six studios). Though there has been a little debate over the performance of Lightwave in OS X compared to all those Windows PC's, I wouldn't use them at home unless I was getting payed a good fee. (My uni uses them, and we're doing a graphics/multimedia course. Even the teachers there say that the uni should replace them with Macs..)

Anyway, after this long drone, you'll finally know why I choose Macs over PC's.
Nice topic, and see you soon,

03-04-2003, 03:59 AM
The Mac OS is much a much more advanced OS than Windows, in fact Windows is rather primative in comparison.

Windows boxes are getting higher megahertz ratings, though the PowerPC processor does more calculations per clock cycle than a Pentium.

It's funny... Windows users will always go on about megahertz, but then complain how Windows keeps crashing on them.

It is predicted that mid-year Macs will exceed the speeds of Windows boxes. If this does occur, will all those megahertz obsessed Windows users switch? I think they just like using Microsoft software.

03-04-2003, 06:37 AM
I started working with Macs & 3D in 1993 on a PowerMac 7100/66 with Strata Vision 3D, an entry level 3D app that didn't even have IK. I was working at the time in a pre-press bureau as a production artist and digital layout artist, after having started as a film stripper and proofer. In 1996 I started spending about 50% of my time working in Windows (95, 98, NT 4.0) with Visual Basic and Director/Lingo. I have always found (personally) that I am more productive on a Mac. It has nothing to do with stability or GUI, but about comfort. I find the cursor tracks smoother on a Mac, which (as an artist) I enjoy more than the tracking on the PC, I also find the overall "feel" of the workflow on my mac is easier for me than on the PC. I have a friend who purchased a PC solely for Lightwave and Messiah back in 2000, and it SMOKED any mac we had (DP/800 Pentium - Elsa Gloria vid). But, all that machine does in his studio is LW. He takes his output to his (now almost ancient) 8500/G3-400 and does all his compositing and editing on the Mac, for the same reason. Workflow.

Even today, I know that real world performance, from OGL to rendering is faster on a PC, but the workflow isn't smooth enough for me to "counter-switch"

Darth Mole
03-04-2003, 06:41 AM
I work in print publishing so have been using Macs on and off for about a decade. I simply prefer them, in the same way that I prefer Jaguars to Mercs, or strawberries to blueberries. Good ol' personal taste.

I prefer their ease of use. I much prefer the way the OS works to Windows. And every time I think about swithing over, I end up using an PC for some mundane task and it always - always - turns out to be a painful task, whether it's just trying to locate a file in the endless morass of seemingly random data on a PC HD, or trying to forward an email to someone.

PCs look funny (WinXP is a three-legged dog of a Fisher-Price interface), they work funny (I don't even like the way the mouse moves!), and there's always a lurking feeling that the whole thing is about to fall over. I also dislike the ad-hoc way they're built. Unless you get a bespoke system, they always feel like a disparate collection of bits. They're look nasty and feel cheap.

So I'm a Mac fan, always will be. I envy PC's power and affordability, and have no real desire to bemoan happy PC users, but I know that if I switched, I'd be making minor gains and major losses.

03-04-2003, 07:51 AM
in grade school my family had a pc and a BW classic. my father and I used the mac.
later my father and i went shopping for a new computer... Macs had just started shipping with 16.7 million colors, we were in awe. with a 21 inch monitor, a radius pivot display , and photoshop... PCs were ashamed to be in the same room.
when win95 was released, my father thought for sure apple was done, he turned to the dark side, he tried to convince me that PCs are the way to go. It was the elegant mouse driver that apple wrote that kept me on the platform. PCs Have Never even come close, not even to this day.
In college, I found Irix, my god the power! Alias powerAnimator was only availible on Irix... sure its ugly, kludgey, and not very innovative... but this was the key to untold geekiness. I had dreams of an Apple developed Unix based os... it was wishful thinking at the time.

funny. If you told me i would be using Maya on my desktop mac 6 years ago, i would have laughed, if you told me i would be using the terminal on the same mac, i would have called you a blasphemer. But thats what has happened. And it all seems so "natural".
And now, my dad is buying a new mac. why? DVD-r. He was reading PC Mag, or something like it, and They rated Apple's Idvd as the Best DVD burning software bar none.

I've had 7 macs, 2 68k, a 601, 603e, 2 g3s and a g4. everyone of them is still working, some of them making a lot of money. my parent's 486, is in a landfill somewhere, along with 2 late model gateways, and 1 late model Dell.

i use macs bc they are built to a level of quality that PCs cannot match (period).

03-04-2003, 07:58 AM
Windows represents all that is evil and wrong in the world....

Mac OS X is just works better in everyway, PC's are fast for rendering, but I'd never do any acuall work on one.

03-04-2003, 05:03 PM
I agree with most of you, you have to feel that level of comfort. Lateley I've been thinking of getting a PC (yuk, bad after taste) just because Apple keeps turning their head the other way when it gets down to video cards. Why on Earth is Apple writting video card drivers? They are not matching their PC counterparts by far. The rumors are that 10.3 will support Quadro cards, lets hope is not the same "support" as the GF4Ti still using GF3 drivers.

Apple, keep a loyal customer, fix your video card woes.

03-04-2003, 07:34 PM
I work in radio and use computers extensively for digital audio production. Currently, the apps out there for Windows-based rigs are far superior to those offered for Mac. Don't know why, it's just a fact of life. I haven't checked lately, but the last time I did, Pro Tools and Cool Edit Pro (both industry standards) were not offered for Mac.

On the personal side, the game selection on Mac is very, very, very slim.


I just so happen to be working on a game that will be offered in Windows, Mac, and Linux. And, currently, we're looking for Lightwave character animators for our player models.

Scott McGlasson is my name. I run a budding game studio known as Codex Studios. CS is a combination of smaller gaming studios from around the country and even a couple overseas. We are currently working on a vehicle-centric, first-person-shooter entitled, "C3" and you can check us out at http://www.c3command.com .

We currently have four Lightwave modelers working for us, but are looking for a dedicated player modeler. Someone who can take our exceedingly detailed concept pieces and breath life into them. We are using Garage Game's Torque Gaming Engine and the exporter we are using functions flawlessly.

If you can construct and animate human-style player models with a 3000 poly cap, we need you. This is a virtual team and the pay is bound by contract. The team we have has been together for a full year now and very solid. If you currently have your own established studio, logos and credit will be included in our final packaging as well as links from our website.

If interested, please get a hold of me at [email protected] or ICQ 31755478.

No inquiries under age 18 please.

03-04-2003, 07:42 PM
Revenloff, Pro Tools has been on the mac forever! I know that the Mac OSX version is either (a) just released in the last couple of weeks or (b) about to be released soon, but the package has been around forever.

03-04-2003, 07:53 PM

I had never seen it and friend a while back was looking for it and couldn't come up with it.

He must have operating on low batteries.

03-04-2003, 07:55 PM
FWIW: http://www.protools.com/compato/osx/mix/

03-04-2003, 09:37 PM
Yes, there are tons of PC only apps. However, keep in mind that most apps in the world are crap anyway. And keep in mind that there are some incredible Mac only apps. In certain fields, you have to have a PC, but Macs can do more than most people think.

As far as games, yes, there are far fewer on the Mac. I would personaly be a much happier person in life if I could play counter strike. But I would gladly give up all those games to play Escape Velocity :) (Ambrosia Software) (http://www.ambrosiasw.com)

03-04-2003, 09:38 PM
Oh, and watch the Star Wars bonus material, looks like they use protools mostly on Macs as far as I can see. :)

03-04-2003, 11:49 PM
Too bad we can't watch any of the DVD bonus materials on are Mac's. Are you listening George? Faster and more intense!

03-05-2003, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by Ravenloff
I work in radio and use computers extensively for digital audio production. Currently, the apps out there for Windows-based rigs are far superior to those offered for Mac. Don't know why, it's just a fact of life. I haven't checked lately, but the last time I did, Pro Tools and Cool Edit Pro (both industry standards) were not offered for Mac.

That's so funny. Protools is mainly used on the Mac, and always has been. In fact, it began on the Mac. If you work with digital audio as your profession, you should get to know what's out there a bit better. Digidesign belatedly created a Windows version of Protools, but according to the many audio professionals I've talked to from the film & TV business, the Windows Protools is problematic and doesn't work as well as the Mac version. Most pro audio people use Macs.

The Mac is reigns supreme in professional digital audio, video and DVD production. On the video side, the best video capture cards are available for the Macintosh but not Windows.

The thing is, if at some stage in the future you want to output an animation for broadcast TV, you may need add-ons like these.

I also believe that Lightwave is far more stable on OS X than it is on Microsoft Windows. It's also much more stable than it was on Mac OS9. The stability gained from OS X is a time saver. There are more issues than just megahertz!

Julian Johnson
03-05-2003, 02:39 AM
1983 Apple IIe for Teletext screen editing for Prestel on Oxford Street; 5 years in the wilderness with DOS IBM AT things that made no sense then BANG a 1988 Mac Plus and Laserwriter followed by 2cx, 2ci, LCIII, 8100AV, 8500/120, 8500/180, 9600/350, G3/300, DP800. In all of that time the point and click simplicity of MacOS's has been the key (except with the IIe). It helps you rather than hinders you. I often feel that PC interfaces are designed to constrain you and to benefit the network or technical administrator rather than the person working on the machine. Everything seems so complex with layer upon layer of dialogues and overly stratified workflows. With the Mac, even with OSX, it seems like I'm in charge, I can do pretty much what I want and that the interface is there to help me rather than to lock me into someone else's idea of how I should use a computer. Coupled with ultra smooth multitasking (swapping between Explorer, Mail, iTunes, After Effects, Combustion and Lightwave is painless and responsive); massive stability and applications that are all finely integrated, usable and good to look at. A purely emotional response, I know, and I'm sure PC users have similar fondness for their chosen OS but it's the feeling that counts...:-)


03-05-2003, 07:13 AM
As far as I know the Mac has always been the platform of choice for pro audio. In fact many studios are eagerly awaiting OSX Protools to make the switch from OS9 (just ask Crystal Method;)) that's one of the reasons it was presented in the last MacWorld Keynote by Jobs.

I belive that the only things keeping the Mac behind PC's are 1-Graphic Cards support (always been a problem) 2- The Megahertz war, the average consumer couldn't care less about clock speeds, they only care about that Megahertz number after all, the bigger the better, right?

Now a hypotetical question:

What would happen if Apple shocked the world by announcing OSX for PC's? Would that be the end of PC's as we know them?

03-05-2003, 07:32 AM
Originally posted by aloysius1001
Too bad we can't watch any of the DVD bonus materials on are Mac's. Are you listening George? Faster and more intense!

What do you mean? I had no problems watching bonus materials, I even got to the hidden outakes that are on the episode 2 DVD.

03-05-2003, 09:12 AM
A lot of DVD movies come with sections that are only viewable on PC DVD-ROMS...we Mac users are always excluded!

03-05-2003, 09:18 AM
I'm a graphic designer and have been working on Macs since '89. My first $4000 machine was an SE30 with 1M Ram and a 20 Meg hard drive. More power than anyone could ever use. I'm using LW on Mac because I can't justify to myself using two computers and two operating systems. It's hard enough for me to keep up with the Mac stuff. Just me, I guess.

03-05-2003, 10:29 AM
I'm a 2D Animator, Illustrator and a Graphic Designer. When I got out of the University I used watercolour as a "fast media". I just HATE windows and hope never to be forced to lay hands on it again.
Every one knows pcs are faster, but you can't use Photoshop, FCP, Lightwave, and Combustion at the same time on a pc. It will crash (and don't have FCP!!!)!
I do this all the time. Jaguar is very stable.
Fast rendering is not so important as workflow. I'm just a beginer in 3D and have chosen LW for its easy of use compared to Maya and C4D. But I don't earn my living with 3D YET. I need several others apps working together to put food on the table, and Os X is robust enough for these tasks.
I can always render while I go to sleep, baby sit my daughter, play with my Bull Terrier, or read about LW on the web as I'm doing right now.

Life is easy...

03-05-2003, 10:37 AM
Yes, OS X is the best at multitasking, I just got done rendering a short animation of my iMac, it took a week on my G4 400. It was rendering the entire time, and I was using the computer like normal the whole week, I could hardly tell any slow down at all. The dual G4s do even better.

Lightwave is Extremely stable for me, never crashes. I have listened to iTunes, used Safari, rendered in LightWave AND FCP, burned CD's and more ALL at the same time without the computer having any trouble. This has got to make up some for the slower processors.

The workflow is simply the best on Macs, and there are other atvantages too, like no viruses.

03-05-2003, 05:50 PM
Interesting thread, figured I'd throw in my two pennies as well. I started out in computers on a Performa 550, and I've stuck with Mac's ever since. It's really hard to explain why they are so great, since they are lacking in the most visible areas (hardware speed, sheer amount of apps available) but it is just something that has to be experienced. Usability isn't something that's easily explained to someone who has never spent time on a Mac. I still have the G4 400 I got years ago... I have often thought of upgrading, but I can do everything I need to do... After Effects, Final Cut, Lightwave, Photoshop, etc... granted, it's not blazing fast... but man, how many PC users hang on to a machine that's as old as a 400?? It's just different. Most of my friends use PC's, I have to use PC's at school (because our university is Dell's biatch...) and my parents have a PC. So, I know how to use them, and use them on a regular basis. And hate them on a regular basis. Actually... it's just Windows that sucks. So... blame it all on Microsoft!

The few windows-using friends that I have who still think Macs suck usually cite the same ol' rhetoric-- mine renders faster, I can play more games. I just smile and nod :)

03-05-2003, 10:16 PM
There may well be more apps available for Windows, but I always find that there are more apps that I want to use available on Mac OS X:

Lightwave (of course), Final Cut Pro (Mac only), DVD studio pro (Mac Only), After Effects (began on the Mac), Shake (Mac only) etc, etc...

03-05-2003, 10:26 PM
Beam--- I totally agree. I enjoy the quality of apps that we as Mac users enjoy. It's all about the quality over quantity.

The only area where this is not true is in games. Hard to chill at the dorm LAN parties when you have to say... "Well, I'm sure they'll release that game on Mac next year..."

But this is a professional 3D discussion board! Who has time to play games anyway, right?? :)

03-05-2003, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by marble_sheep
But this is a professional 3D discussion board! Who has time to play games anyway, right?? :)


After all I am a student, It's not like I have homework or anything. :eek:

03-06-2003, 06:53 AM
I use a Powermac G4 933. I just bought a Xeon workstation just for Lightwave. When it will come to 3D work I will use the PC cause of the render times (hopefully that will change for the better for macs). But for everything else my shop is Apple. FCP 3, DVD Studio Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator and and After Effects evven FilmGimp is all Mac. The work flow with these apps on Apple is so sweet!! Even using the built in iDVD, iMovie with the Pro apps works. Plus outputting to miniDV is a breeze and DVD burning.

I think if I'm going to tie up a box with days of render time let it not be my Mac since it has so much more Apps that are needed to finish work.

Its hard for me to have a one box shop. For long Povray renders and Blender 3D I use two SGI boxes. Now for LW I will use a PC and everything else is Finished on Mac.

03-07-2003, 12:36 AM
To me it's interface plain and simple. Windows is very ugly. The logo, the icons, the little characters that want so much to help you with the letter they think you're writing.

Windows works. I own a few old boxes only for use driving CNC machines. They don't crash much, but they are only running a few minutes a week at most.

The mouse motion isn't as directly connected to the curser. It feels like there's a lot of junk between "you and the road". A friend says Microsoft software is like driving a big old Plymouth, all four tires could be flat and you'd never feel the difference.

It's just ugly. Artists like beauty.

03-07-2003, 01:56 AM
Well, with Windows, you have granted Microsoft Permission to not only enter and read data stored on YOUR computer, but you also give them the right to make changes to your system.

I think that alone is reason enough to 'switch'.

As for my story, I grew up passionately hating macs, and I still hate the classic OS's. But OS X was so amazing, that when I saw it for the first time, i knew I had to get it.

So two weeks ago, (after waiting 2 years) i purchased a shiny new G4 Tower.

I can say quite comfortably that I haven't looked back to wincrap and the evil empire.

Windows is so overrated.

03-07-2003, 07:10 AM
I have been a long time pc user. When I bought my G4 MDD I felt like I had been brainwashed by the Apple marketing hype. Unusable monitor driver software, very noisy machine, no broadband support in the UK, three crashes and a whole new interface to learn. Apart from Lightwave and its DUO dongle all my software was PC based. Then I updated to os10.2.4 only to find further problems with the system clock.

I know windows pretty much inside out and am quite happy to meddle in the registry.

Now this machine I have next to me with has started to overpowerer me with its humming drone. I find myself spending less and less time on my PCs and looking forward to waking up my Mac. The software is the same (bar a few plugin insufficiencies) but I love working on my mac now.

Apple has even offered an exchange program to all mirrored drive users for quieter fans.... but I dont know, I am now quite reassured by the friendly hum.:D

03-07-2003, 09:16 AM
It's really nice to hear so much positive feedback from Lightwave, Mac users. Especially since there have been so many problems with Lightwave on the Mac in the past. I've personally never felt the need to jump into the Mac versus PC debate. It's so personal and I all I can say is that my thoughts on the subject would echo most of what I hear in this thread. It's beautiful it make sense, It's smooth, it's reliable, it's easy to use. And all the "iapps". Absolutely brilliant!

Just bought my first laptop, a beautiful new 15" powerbook. I've never been so pleased to put myself in debt. I am VERY happy with this new tool and forsee a happy future together.

03-07-2003, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by Trinity
It's really nice to hear so much positive feedback from Lightwave, Mac users. Especially since there have been so many problems with Lightwave on the Mac in the past.

Very true. Even when an app like lightwave causes problems for our platform (just look at the boards to see the disparity between the two), it's amazing how that doesn't keep people from wanting to use Mac. The entire user experience, then, must be that much better if we are willing to put up with a few shortcomings in certain apps. PC users think we're crazy for sticking with this "dying" platform, but hey... it works for us, those that use it more often than not stick with it, so on it goes. It is nice to have a community like this to share experiences and opinions with!