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bjornnilsson
08-23-2005, 09:26 AM
Hi out there.

First of all, I don't want to start a war here,
I just need some advice.

I have been working in LW on mac for several years now, mostly with
illustrations, but the last 6 months
my clients has began to ask for more animations.

I feel it's time for me to buy another computer for rendering, or
maybe it's
a better idea to move my 3d work to a windows machine and use my G5
when I need the more rendering capacity?

I'll be glad to hear all your ideas about this! (I think, at least :) )

I hope you understand my swenglish!

Thanks
Björn

toby
08-23-2005, 06:09 PM
What machine do you have and how much animation do you plan on rendering? Will you be using radiosity? How many jobs to you typically work on at any one time?

Meshbuilder
08-24-2005, 04:45 AM
Hej Björn.

For "rendering" you should buy a cheap PC. You could buy 2-3 PC and set up a renderfarm for the price of a new PowerMac dual G5.

If you really want a new Mac, and who doesn´t :)
You should at least wait for Apple Expo the 20th September. IBM has multicore G5 processors in the pipline and if we are lucky Apple have manage to put them in some new Power Macs..

/ Pär

Darth Mole
08-24-2005, 05:57 AM
Please please please dual-core dual-processor G5s please please please...

etobiason
08-25-2005, 07:59 AM
I spoke to Joe Zeff about a similar issue, get the Mac or get the PC as a dedicated render station, and while he uses both platforms he suggested a new Mac for print renders. That's for print, because, even though it costs more, you tend to get larger renders out of it especially with FPrime.

For animation, I think it's better to go with the cheapest option.

But, I would also consider ease of use. If you're familiar with the Mac OS but not Windows, then that should be a consideration. You could end up spending more in upkeep for a PC if you don't know how to troubleshoot it yourself.

And, if you only intend to render animation, there are other options besides a new tower. You could get a few Mac Minis. Get just one keyboard and a monitor, and you can use a DVM switch to connect them all to the same keyboard and monitor. You may have already decided you want your own render farm, but there is also www.respower.com, which allows you to upload your files to a renderfarm of hundreds of machines, day or night, and have them render out. Invest a few thousand payable upfront and get the hourly charge down to something like 35¢ a gHz/hour, discounted from the advertised rate of 50¢, and like any good vendor markup the charge to your client by charging them 50¢ a gHz/hour for rendering, covering not only your cost of rendering but your time uploading and downloading the files and so on.

-e

IgnusFast
08-25-2005, 12:46 PM
I absolutely love my G5 and wouldn't trade it for the world, but honestly, Lightwave is crap on it, and it's going to get worse (missing realtime improvements due to OS X's OpenGL implementation) before it gets better. I'd go Windows and just use the Mac for other, more relaxing tasks. :)

Don't worry about starting a war here- there seem to be a surprising number of dual-platform users here, due to Newtek being so generously platform agnostic with the Lightwave license.

vee
08-27-2005, 01:28 AM
I've been a mac user for years, bought my first pc 1 month ago (boxx).
To my surprise, contrary to popular opinion, windows xp and OSX are basically twins seperated at birth. I can barley tell the difference, and when I am actually using the programs there's virtually no difference at all. Granted I can't go under the windows hood, but since 0S 9 I can't go under the OSX hood either. I just keep my install disk handy. I only use the pc for 3d, and the 3d apps that I use seem to run smoother on the pc. I am also eXtremly Surprised and Intriged by other 3d programs and plugins that aren't available for the mac.

Note: KVM switches will be your living **** if you own a mac LCD, stay away from the belkin!

Ozzie
08-31-2005, 07:39 PM
I find LW8 on the Mac to be VERY reliable under OSX, compared to the OS8? (can't remember) and LW4.5 days. Back then things were a complete joke.

It also depends on which other software you use.

We also use FCP, DVDSP, After Effects, Motion etc so staying with Macs is an easy decision. If on the other hand you mainly use PC software for everything other than 3D, then go with a PC.

A computer is just a toolbox and the software the tools, use whichever works best for your job.

CHEERS.

Mark

toby
08-31-2005, 09:55 PM
To my surprise, contrary to popular opinion, windows xp and OSX are basically twins seperated at birth.

When you can do this and still listen to iTunes and navigate the system with no stalls or hangs on XP, I'll agree with you! :rock:

vee
09-01-2005, 11:21 AM
When you can do this and still listen to iTunes and navigate the system with no stalls or hangs on XP, I'll agree with you! :rock:


Not that I would ever need to do this, but just in case. Here's 10 copies of LW (modeler/layout), 5 of XSI, and 5 copies of modo. Each very responsive. :)

unc1e meat
09-01-2005, 07:11 PM
A friend has a high end pc workstation. He got it last month and is worth around $5,000. It has dual 3.2 ghz Xeon processors, 2 gb of RAM, and a VERY expensive video card.

I have had my dual 2.7 ghz G5 for several months. It has 2 gb of RAM and the X800 card. My G5 with these features cost under $4,000.

I think his computer can definitely outdo mine when it comes to opengl performance. However when we both tried rendering the raytracing benchmark scene on our computers, my G5 beat his by a slight margin. We haven't tried any other benchmarks yet however.

You know what though, this is type of thing really doesn't even matter that much. What matters to me is that OS X is a pleasure to use while Win XP to me is annoying and clunky. I use both os's on a daily basis. My home computer is running Win XP while my computers at work run OS X. Someday I hope to ditch my home computer for a better one running OS X.

Ignus Fast, glad to see another Nebraskan here!

toby
09-01-2005, 09:56 PM
Not that I would ever need to do this, but just in case. Here's 10 copies of LW (modeler/layout), 5 of XSI, and 5 copies of modo. Each very responsive. :)
I use a dual 2.4 win2k at work, and it can't even render with 2 threads without suffering system lag - I have no doubt that your machine is much faster/stronger, but can you try rendering 3 things at once? And listen to music? Also keep in mind that I used to do this on a dual 450 with 1gb ram - it's the operating system that kicks ***!

Ozzie
09-01-2005, 11:13 PM
Windows is just plain UGLY to look at. I never hear anyone defending the look of Windows. I guess that's one thing we all agree on.:)

CHEERS.

Mark

vee
09-01-2005, 11:22 PM
I use a dual 2.4 win2k at work, and it can't even render with 2 threads without suffering system lag - I have no doubt that your machine is much faster/stronger, but can you try rendering 3 things at once? And listen to music? Also keep in mind that I used to do this on a dual 450 with 1gb ram - it's the operating system that kicks ***!

I have to be honest, I would never do what you suggest. I bought the pc for one thing only, 3d. I would never do anything else while my machine is rendering, that's on a PC or a Mac. bjornnilsson asked for opinions regarding mac or pc for his work, I was in the same situation a few months back, I can relate. I have a few macs, the top being a g5 2k. I needed another machine, it was going to be either a 2.7G5 or a dual amd opteron ( they cost the same). I thought after all these years of pc bashing it was time to actually do some reseach, I bought the boxx. In my opinion, the pc performs better with the 3d apps, the mac performs better with all around computing and desktop publishing type apps.

Really in both instances the perfomance is not so much due to the computers or OS. I think it has more to do with the apps that are available for the mac that make such things as desktop publishing and video editing (maybe maybe not) much more effcient. The same can be said for the 3d apps that are available for the pc that aren't on the mac, the pc also has much stronger openGl performance and video card availabilty. Both platforms just happen to be mature in different industries, that goes for the software thats designed to run on them also.

rpsolo
09-02-2005, 08:48 AM
I asked a similar question on another forum last week. I enjoy my G5. It runs circles around my G4 and G3. But rendering becomes a big dissapointment on any of them. I think we'd all like to get optimum results without waiting several hours to get it. It seems that as much as the Mac (or PC) has advanced, rendering is still slow when you need a hi res image or animation. I'm very tempted to save my pennies and invest in a render farm myself but I'm just afraid I won't see a big savings on time. I just wonder if I bought 2 PCs or 5 mini-macs, could I count on cutting 5 hours off my rendering time per image? (11x17 @ 300 dpi for example).

I'm still searching for a great PC, I'd like to have one for 3d.

Powersolo

toby
09-02-2005, 11:39 AM
I have to be honest, I would never do what you suggest.
I do it all the time. During test renders as short as 10 seconds, I try and do other things in another application, like a second copy of LW or After Effects, anything that's not currently rendering. If a test render takes a minute, there's no way I'm going to just sit there. Sometimes I have 2 things rendering for an extended period of time (it ends up being faster), and I don't want to be locked out of my machine when I feel like browsing the forums here and listening to the music on my hard drive.

I can't work on a PC without a lot waiting, which I can't stand, I guess since I'm used to OSX. The fact that the multi-tasking worked 10 times better on a dual 450mhz than on a dual 2.4ghz with a Quadro and twice the ram speaks volumes.

But if you don't work like this and it's no different to work on PC's for you, then yes they are a better choice for 3D applications.

vee
09-02-2005, 11:43 AM
It seems that as much as the Mac (or PC) has advanced, rendering is still slow...
Powersolo

I don't know if this violates my license or not but what the heck I'll say it anyway. I only do high-res images for print and when I need a render in a hurry, I'll crank up LW in every machine I got, mac/pc even my ibook. Load the scene up and split the render in various regions, paste it together in PS. I don't use crack copies or anything like that, I just start up LW then unplug the dongle then go to the next machine and do the same. I would use screamer-net but, I am a one man shop and we don't have an it guy on staff :) Besides IT probably goes faster this way than with screamer anyway.

Scazzino
09-02-2005, 03:05 PM
There's an interesting article about how Luma Pictures recently completed over 200 CG shots, including photo-realistic character animation shots for "The Cave", on Mac OS X... (though they didn't mention what 3D software was used)


Another aspect of the production worthy of note is that it was primarily accomplished on the Apple Macintosh platform. Although, in the past, visual effects houses have shied away from the Mac for large scale film work, the stability of the OS X operating environment and the emergence of Mac versions of high end tools such as Shake are beginning to change minds, according to Shohadai. “Many people have not viewed the Mac as a viable platform for ‘serious’ effects; but photo-real creatures interacting with actors is about as serious as visual effects get—and the shots look incredible.”

Luma Pictures collaborated with senior technologists from Apple and from several leading software vendors in setting up a production environment capable of handling large scale film projects. The results include some 60 G5 workstations, a large G5 Xserve render farm, G5 Xserve servers and approximately 17 terabytes of storage. After a good deal of advance research, Shohadai noted, “We concluded that Mac OS X was best suited to the way our artists work, and it has turned out great."

Read the full article on CG Channel (http://www.cgchannel.com/news/viewfeature.jsp?newsid=4386&pageid=0)

Scazzino
09-02-2005, 03:15 PM
I do it all the time. During test renders as short as 10 seconds, I try and do other things in another application, like a second copy of LW or After Effects, anything that's not currently rendering. If a test render takes a minute, there's no way I'm going to just sit there. Sometimes I have 2 things rendering for an extended period of time (it ends up being faster), and I don't want to be locked out of my machine when I feel like browsing the forums here and listening to the music on my hard drive.

I have to agree on this one... Mac OS X raises multitasking to new heights... This G5 running Mac OS X is so rock solid that I'll typically have no less than eight programs all running simultaneously. I'll be working in LightWave layout, modeler and modo, I'll kick off an FPrime test render then continue refining textures in Photoshop while I'm also checking email, surfing the web, using iTunes, programming in Director, processing video in After Effects and Cleaner, building web sites in DreamWeaver or doing whatever... Mac OS X's multiprocessing on a dual G5 is so seamless and stable that I never even hesitate to run ANY program at ANY time no matter what the machine may already be doing... it's phenomenal...

-MikeS

toby
09-02-2005, 08:23 PM
There's an interesting article about how Luma Pictures recently completed over 200 CG shots, including photo-realistic character animation shots for "The Cave", on Mac OS X... (though they didn't mention what 3D software was used)

Whoa! They're about 2 miles from my house! I'm gonna go apply! :hat: