View Full Version : Platform numbers?

06-18-2006, 02:47 AM
I post this with some trepidation as I know there is a good chance that it will degenerate into a flamewar so I apologise in advance! :(

The thing is I've never seen this question asked anywhere and this seems like the safest and most knowledgeable site to post on! (Hey a little flattery can't hurt to get us off on the right foot can it?)

I was answering a query on another forum about the platforms a new software would be available on, Mudbox as it happens. As usual it will be developed for Windows and Linux, OSX may be added later, they're not sure at the moment. Of course it will be developed for Windows, it's the commonest platform but I don't get the bias towards Linux! It seems that all developers accept Windows and Linux as the main 3d platforms and OSX is a niche market that they may develop for if there's a demand.

Well in every user survey I've seen Windows is the commonest platform then OSX usually between 20 and 40% and then Linux as a tiny minority! I know that Linux is common in big studios but big studios are few and far between and there's a heck of a lot of amateurs, small studios and single artists/freelancers using Macs.

So what gives? Please try and keep this civil! I'm not asking for your opinion on the relative merits of the different platforms but on the numbers of users.

Cheers Baz

Captain Obvious
06-18-2006, 06:06 AM
Currently, about 30-40% or so of all the Lightwave users out there run Macs. For Maya, this is about 30%, I think. About 40% of the modo and Cinema 4D users run it on Macs. I really doubt that the percentage of professionals is higher on Windows. Chances are it's about the same. There are very few Linux users, that's true. But in the markets where a highly specific tool like Mudbox fits in, chances are Linux has a much higher share. Larger studios, with several artists working on the same stuff, for example. I do not doubt that Linux is much more common there than in the freelance/small studio market, although probably not as common as Mac OS X.

06-18-2006, 06:44 AM
Thanks for the response! I understand that if you're targetting the big studios (with a tool like Massive for instance) then an OSX version would probably be pointless but tools that are accessible to the small user would make a lot more sense and I would think would outsell Linux versions? XSI, and Messiah are two more that I would expect to sell well on Mac but aren't available.

What makes it more puzzling to me is that, from what I understand, once you have a Linux version OSX doesn't require much more than a recompile!

Captain Obvious
06-18-2006, 07:33 AM
XSI, and Messiah are two more that I would expect to sell well on Mac but aren't available.
I really don't understand why the Mac version of XSI is nowhere to be seen. Yes, I understand the huge amount of work involved in porting it, but I'm willing to be a lot of money that there are a LOT of potential XSI users in the Mac segment. Cinema 4D and Lightwave are both lacking in the character animation department, and not everyone likes Maya. Especially since I'm told the Maya-to-mental ray connection is somewhat lacking, which is the opposite of XSI. If they did port XSI to Mac, even I would consider buying it. The basic package is a bargain.

06-18-2006, 08:59 AM
I live and work in the Los Angeles area. Most of the studios are windows based for workstations and many use linux for render farms. The biggest reason is that PC hardware is dirt cheap these days. Linux is a very cheap alternative to windows for hundreds of renderfarm boxes. I dont know if the percentage of people using LW on the Mac is quite that high. Ive heard somewhere around 20-25%. Ive yet to see a large or small facility that uses Macs sin significant #s for 3D workstations or rrenderfarms, again due to the cost. I do know some artists who use Macs for 3D work individually or even in some studios but usually for print work. Even when it comes to Maya I find that in my personal day to day dealings with people here that very few use Macs to run it. That may be different elsewhere. Cost vs performance seems to always be the biggest reason cited. Anothe issue is that many studios just dont run LW or Maya but other applications that do distributed rendering. Some render controllers support multiple 2D and 3D apps and those run on Windows or Linux. When I was at Warner Bros they ran a custom render controller using linux boxes under WINE. It support Maya and LW. Even the LW scenes that used any Worley plugins ran fine. :)