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Mac or PC for digital art/animation

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Mac or PC for digital art/animation

I may be going to university...*thats college for you u.s. folks* to study animation....my dad wants to get me a laptop.

I don't know which would suit better,because i've heard allot people actually use macs in the digital art/animation industry.

which should i go for?

I may be going to university...*thats college for you u.s. folks* to study animation....my dad wants to get me a laptop.

I don't know which would suit better,because i've heard allot people actually use macs in the digital art/animation industry.

which should i go for?

It's a bit of mute point now a days since PC's can do anything a Mac can do (the Mac's are better at photoshop argument isn't valid for the majority of users anymore).

I'd say PC. If you decide you want to do 3D you'll have much better luck with a PC.

The two reasons I'd suggest getting a Mac over a PC:
1. You, you're friends or relatives all have Macs and you're more comfortable with a Mac (vice versa for getting a PC for that matter). Get what you know how to fix when it breaks.
2. You want to do a lot of video editing because Final Cut Pro is absolutely fantastic (My qualifications: I've used Avid, Media 100, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere professionally and amatuerly over the past 10 years). Adobe Premiere Pro is vast improvement over v.5 and even 6 but it still isn't quite as good as Final Cut. Premiere is fine, but Final Cut is even finer.

Aside from Final Cut, there isn't a whole lot out there that a Mac can do that a PC can't. But 3D on a Mac is horrendous compared to doing it on a PC ("Hey did you hear? Mac has a 2 button mouse! One button more and 3d will work fine!" Joke. I know there are 3rd party multi button mice). They just aren't built for doing 3D, they're significantly slower compared to a similarly priced PC.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

well i figured i'd go with what i'm more comfortable with,and thats PC.

because i've used a mac,and the first thing i said,and i quote

WTF?!?!? NO RIGHT CLICK!!

Its just i heard that macs are quite popular for digital imaging aswell as animation,but as u've said PC has evolved past that,why waste the money.

thanks.

Its just i heard that macs are quite popular for digital imaging aswell as animation,but as u've said PC has evolved past that,why waste the money.

thanks.

They are to an extent amongst designers and pure graphic artists, but that's more of a legacy thing in many ways. It isn't necessarily true in the animation industry, especially not true for the film/SFX industry. If you're comfortable using a PC, by all means go with that. Make sure you can use a Mac before you graduate as there's a chance that the company you go to may be using them, but that's not a big deal.

Personally, if the software I used was available I'd switch to Linux instantly. I've used it pretty extensively over the last three years and I had forgotten how much quicker I could get around at the command line than I could by double clicking (I used to use DOS quite a bit and was quite upset at being forced into using Windows 98 at the time). And I really like the openness and non-business structure of it.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

"wtf no right click" is the common ignorant response. I dont get why apple sucks so bad at making mice though... I use the basic logitech optical 2 button mouse with scroll wheel when i use a mouse. (since i do have a powerbook) It works perfectly. Plus CTRL click is the second button. Too complicated for some i spose ;)

I got a mac and i am NEVER switching back to windows as my main computer. I got a powerbook and it completely replaces a desktop computer. I run Flash, Photoshop, and Illustrator just fine. I have my powerbook for everything from school to personal stuff, and a PC for my 3d work. Never hurts to have 2 computers anyway.

As for macs are not better for photoshop argument isnt valid? Ever heard of Core Image? Either way macs UI in the program is 10 times more appealing. When i open photoshop on a PC i almost gag. but this isnt really about Mac VS PC. cus the winner is obvious...*cough* *cough* mac *cough* i kid. i kid.

To simply answer your question:
If you want a laptop i highly suggest looking at powerbooks. Best notebooks out there.

If you want to do 3D stuff? PC. 3d max is PC only...although with them recently purchasing Alias or whatever will we see max come to macs? maya is Mac app. Or even with Macs switching to Intel chips we may see 3dmax on macs.

But basically anything other than 3d i suggest looking into a mac. unless you are some hardcore windows guy and lurv it for some reason.

But if it is a laptop anyway, i do not suggest in the slightest doing 3d on a laptop.

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

Plus CTRL click is the second button. Too complicated for some i spose ;)

Complicated or just plain awful if you use an application like Maya that uses a combination of CTRL ALT SHIFT and various mouse buttons (inclucing both right, left and middle). The mouse thing is a bit odd (we have five fingers, two of which are extremely useful for simple tasks...) but most of the time, like any interface, you just get used to it.

As for macs are not better for photoshop argument isnt valid? Ever heard of Core Image? Either way macs UI in the program is 10 times more appealing. When i open photoshop on a PC i almost gag.

Yeah, because the average processor and memory on any modern computer is just too slow to handle the average photoshop user's file.... I stand by my statement that Photoshop for the majority of users works just fine on both platforms. As far as the aethetics, kind of a silly reason to drop an extra grand on a computer.

If you want to do 3D stuff? PC. 3d max is PC only...although with them recently purchasing Alias or whatever will we see max come to macs? maya is Mac app. Or even with Macs switching to Intel chips we may see 3dmax on macs.

Or Alias being bought by Autodesk, you may see Maya moving away from the Mac. After using a top of the line G5, I was amazed at how poorly Maya ran on it. It was slow, it was clunky, and prone to crashing. For the same $3k I could practically buy 2 PC's that would work circles around the same Mac in 3D. I would mark down Maya as being PC/Linux only for practical reasons as well.

But all of these points are negligible

The bottom line is buy a computer that you know how to fix. It doesn't matter what OS, brand, or hardware you get, it will always break down when you need it the most. Buy the one you or your friends or your family know how to fix and the rest is gravy...lumpy gravy, but gravy.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

Complicated or just plain awful if you use an application like Maya that uses a combination of CTRL ALT SHIFT

Yay 3rd party mice. (or new mighty mouse if you do want some mac brand...which still sucks compared to the simplest 2 button)

Photoshop for the majority of users works just fine on both platforms. As far as the aethetics, kind of a silly reason to drop an extra grand on a computer.

Yah itl work fine. But you wont have core image on a pc. unless windows copies apple yet again on another feature. Plus the looks are just one of the 10,000 overall pluses ;)

After using a top of the line G5, I was amazed at how poorly Maya ran on it.

Ive only used the Free maya version very briefly...so i cannot say my 3d experiences with it...worked fine for my short short time.

The more important thing though is get something with POWER that will last. When it comes to 3d especially you want POWER. lotsa ram. fastness....boost em up! Everything will work good, regardless of PC or Mac.

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

When it comes to 3d especially you want POWER. lotsa ram. fastness....boost em up! Everything will work good, regardless of PC or Mac.

Again, I'll emphasize, no it won't. In a production environment where speed was essential, the Mac slowed our work down to a crawl (and yes, I'm proficient in using a Mac), even if you didn't factor in the number of restarts in Maya from crashing. Switching to a more inexpensive PC increased my output dramatically. Hardware rendering, lighting previews, playblasts, and partical simulations (we were working previs) all worked nearly real time on a battle scene, while the Mac could barely play it back at half speed in simple shaded mode.

And yeah, the virus thing on the PC sucks. But I imagine that if you were running a Mac connected to the internet without a firewall and virus software, you'd probably be asking for trouble eventually. I hate having ANY resources dedicated to virus protection, but I also hate the fading on and off of menus with fancy animations (PC has copied Mac unfortunately in this). For those reasons and more, I would switch to Linux in a heartbeat if the multimedia software was there.

And yeah, typically the PC also doesn't come with any useful software like the ones mentioned already, although you can download many similar products for free if you don't mind missing out on the fancy chrome parts.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

:eek: whoa,this thread gone a long way hehe.

I'll think i'll find a store to try em out in..

But if it is a laptop anyway, i do not suggest in the slightest doing 3d on a laptop.

Agreed. I've done it before and it's a colossal pain in the butt. The screens (even the best of them) are too small. The graphics cards generally aren't fast enough to really take advantage of it. And you don't have a numeric keypad typically, and 3d takes a lot of numbers.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

I use both, and I'd have to say it really depends. Photoshop (IMO) works marginally better on the Mac. And the Mac has some great media apps built-in, like iDVD and Garageband.

But Flash works better on the PC, hands down. I can play back my timeline better on my 1.8 Ghz PC laptop than my brother can on his dual 2.0 Ghz G5. In fact, he has both and uses his PC for Flash.

And 3D, as mentioned before, is better on a PC. My $500 PC desktop runs Maya better than my $500 Mac.

PC. I have yet to work at a studio that ANIMATES on Macs.

The two reasons to buy a Mac over a PC is:
1) you want to spend a third more money for the same thing.
2) you want your computer to look pretty. :P

Get a PC with an Apple monitor. Those things kick so much butt! Of course the monitor will cost a gand more than your computer.

Aloha,
the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Pixar uses Macs. That's good enough for me :P

lol just kidding.

I think either would get the job done. It really depends on how much memory you have ect.

James :cool:

It all comes down to preference. If you have the opportunity, go to the stores and play around.
I personally like macs better. I used to own a pc, but it gave me alot of trouble. I have a G5 with added memory that has given me no problems. I also have a G4 ibook that can run several programs at once ( Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop...) without slowing up.
I recommend spending some time in the stores and testing them out, and see what feels more natural.Yours is the only opinion that counts.

-S

id says PC's coz a real souped up PC will run u less than a similarly souped up Mac.

PC's are the sporn of Satan.

With my G5 I could, dare I say it, rule the world!

The Brothers McLeod
[SIZE=2]brothersmcleod.co.uk[/SIZE]

PC's are the sporn of Satan.

With my G5 I could, dare I say it, rule the world!

u couldnt even rule overall computer sales ;)

popularity doesnt mean something is good.

As for all this maya slow on macs. it sounds like a programming kinda thing and how they made the program...not the computer itself.

plus he has never said if he was doing 3d anyway.

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

Maya was never really optimized for running on a G5. I wouldn't really suggest running it on a mac. Especially if you are just running the mac using the stock video cards since they are usually not very high end and only have 64 megs of Vram. OSX also uses the GPU to run the OS graphics, so the card will have a bit of it's resorces being used up at all times as well. Don't think that this is an advantage over windows, becuase windows is going to be doing the same thing in Vista once it's released. Typicly, Macs are also more expensive because of the quality of the parts that go into them. They are much more realiable then a standard PC. I have had bad experiences my self with using Maya on a PC due to this fact. For example, the school where I took animation used PC's that were built specificly for the school. They were pretty high end with some good hardware in them... but... I noticed my computer started to crash maya all the time. Shortly after some of my classmates started to discover the same problem. It had actually gotten so bad that You coun't do any work because Maya would crash 5 to 8 minutes after being opened. I notified our IT person and she looked at the computer only to discover that some of the capacitors on the motherboard had managed to melt right off. She opened some of the others and low and behold every computer in the room had the same problem.

This my friends is one advantage apple has over the PC. The fact that it's a platform computer, and that there isn't millions upon millions of cheap parts available for it. Everything in it has been tested together, and you know that you will have a quality product. I have seen some macs have problems, but it's usually pretty menial and easy to fix, or it was just DOA which is easy enough to get replaced anyway. That's why they are so much more expensive. It's really a 'you get what you pay for' kind of thing.

Lindsey Keess
Animator

I notified our IT person and she looked at the computer only to discover that some of the capacitors on the motherboard had managed to melt right off. She opened some of the others and low and behold every computer in the room had the same problem.

I wonder what kind of motherboards they used. Sounds like they didn't use the good ones. Just an fyi. Asus makes pc motherboards and some of the boards used in the ibooks I believe. I think if you go with a good brand motherboard you shouldnt have any problems. I use Asus and love their motherboards. I also use Nvidia video cards. Oh yeah, I build my own pcs and would never purchase a Dell desktop/tower or laptop.

Asus and ibooks.

http://www.pocketfactory.com/archives/2005/06/asus_building_1.php

"ASUS Building 14" Widescreen iBooks for Apple
According to everyone's favorite technology tabloid, The Register, asian contract manufacturer Asustek recently won a contract bid for a mysterious new iBook to be produced for Apple; a 14" Widescreen model. Apple computing products with Widescreens go together like tall women in short mini skirts. I like the sound of this..err, the iBook I mean."

If you want to make yourself employable to the widest group of employers. I say be familiar with working on both. If you can only afford one, go with a PC, you get more bang for your buck.

I have both. My Macs are older units, but I've learned the key combination shortcuts and how to get around in the guis of most standard programs. The one button mouse is an adjustment for PC users that have become comfortable with the multi button PC mice.

I personally prefer the PC for geeky reasons. They allow me more control over my files and how the files are organized on my computer. Apple takes all that control away from the PC operator. And when something goes wrong, you have to rely on fixit programs to try and straighten things out. You can't just delve into the registry to clean and repair.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

I wonder what kind of motherboards they used. Sounds like they didn't use the good ones. Just an fyi. Asus makes pc motherboards and some of the boards used in the ibooks I believe. I think if you go with a good brand motherboard you shouldnt have any problems. I use Asus and love their motherboards. I also use Nvidia video cards. Oh yeah, I build my own pcs and would never purchase a Dell desktop/tower or laptop.

The capacitor problem was pretty widespread a couple of years ago and crops up a little even now with units that weren't used much but built 4 to 6 years ago. And it effected almost every big box brand computer and most motherboards, some modem cards and graphics cards. It was the result of faulty capacitor manufacture, and another factor is that some of the big companies build their machines with no buffer stablizing voltage to some of the peripheral cards.

There were capacitor failures on almost every brand and model of
motherboard manufactured between 1998 to around 2001.

The most common symptoms of capacitor failure are:
[list=1]
[*]Failure to boot;
[*]Must attempt booting several times before machine will
start;
[*]Instability , especially when graphics are complex;
[*]Machine boots with a pre-Coppermine Celeron but will not boot with a
PIII Coppermine;
[*]Bad odor wafts about the room and this time it wasn't you or the dog;
[*]BIOS health alarm (hi-low siren) at boot but PC health screen shows no reason for the alarm; 7. Fans spin up, power indicator lights up and nothing else happens..."
[/list]Thought you'd like a little more information on the problem.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

All of the past companies (4 total) I've worked at have used Dell's with Linux (1 with Windows) running on them without any problems. Of course, being a company, if they did have a problem, they could afford to fix it. Building your own is great if you can, but there is a higher risk of hardware conflicting and zero tech support, a friend of mine has a nightmare story of building his own monster machine, and he is a very competant, knowledgable computer user.

Mac truly shines for tech support and there was a good point made that, with the exception of some 3rd party vendors, all of the parts should play very nicely together. But along with that psuedo-monopoly comes monopoly (or no-competition) prices. More bang for your buck with a PC is a convincing argument for many.

And just to clarify, the Mac I was using with Maya was a top of the line G5 with supped up graphics card, 2 gigs of memory, etc. (sorry, I don't remember the specifics other than they were far from stock), and it still was horrible to work with compared to a lesser priced PC. I will do whatever I can to avoid working on a Mac for 3d again. They aren't built for it. Someday they may be but it's fairly clear that they were focused on 2d/video/audio and not 3d.

Bottom line: Get what you can work quickest in, but be familiar with both (or all three, including Linux if you can manage it) for when you leave school.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

The capacitor problem was pretty widespread a couple of years ago and crops up a little even now with units that weren't used much but built 4 to 6 years ago. And it effected almost every big box brand computer and most motherboards, some modem cards and graphics cards. It was the result of faulty capacitor manufacture, and another factor is that some of the big companies build their machines with no buffer stablizing voltage to some of the peripheral cards.

There were capacitor failures on almost every brand and model of
motherboard manufactured between 1998 to around 2001.

The most common symptoms of capacitor failure are:
[list=1]
[*]Failure to boot;
[*]Must attempt booting several times before machine will
start;
[*]Instability , especially when graphics are complex;
[*]Machine boots with a pre-Coppermine Celeron but will not boot with a
PIII Coppermine;
[*]Bad odor wafts about the room and this time it wasn't you or the dog;
[*]BIOS health alarm (hi-low siren) at boot but PC health screen shows no reason for the alarm; 7. Fans spin up, power indicator lights up and nothing else happens..."
[/list]Thought you'd like a little more information on the problem.

I guess where I worked 6 years ago it didn't affect us and I've been a lan admin/computer tech for a very long time. (since college) I wont say how old I am. Also, where I work they use Dells and Apples. The hard drives develop bad sectors or the and power supplies die the majority of the times in old Dells that we have.

I guess where I worked 6 years ago it didn't affect us and I've been a lan admin/computer tech for a very long time. (since college) I wont say how old I am. Also, where I work they use Dells and Apples. The hard drives develop bad sectors or the and power supplies die the majority of the times in old Dells that we have.

Bet if you really check those old Dells you'll spot that yellow or brown ooze comimg from the capacitors, or maybe just bulged tops, but it was extremely widespread.

People are still posting here. And I've become the recipient of some pretty good peripheral cards and ram, because of the problem. None of the repair people in my neck of the woods are willing to just replace the capacitors. And I don't solder that well. My soldering skills are like my welding skills pretty sloppy at best.

http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2003Feb/bch20030207018535.htm

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

I am not a major animator, and I know my computer is out of date...waiting for a windfall or someone to realize my talent and pay me what I am worth to buy a new one. I am still on an ancient PIII/500, but she's reliable and I've definitely put her through her paces.

I use Flash MX, the majority of the time, but for print work I have to be able to export and verify and sometimes adjust work in AI 9, Photop 6 (is high as I've gone so far), Corel (and that includes their entire graphics suite) up to version 11, Quark, Framemaker, Pagemaker (but everyone has kind of jumped ship on it), I have an old version of 3d Studio Max (but I haven't opened it in a long time. (I really have an adversion to 3d. Was forced to learn it back in the early days. Back when the designer had to model, texture and light. It gave me headaches.) I tried Flash MX 2004 but it locked my computer up, and there wasn't anything new in it that I absolutely needed. I even had to learn the Metacreations suite (including RayDream and Painter). Haven't worked with that stuff for at least four years.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

There were capacitor failures on almost every brand and model of
motherboard manufactured between 1998 to around 2001.

The most common symptoms of capacitor failure are:
[list=1]
[*]Failure to boot;
[*]Must attempt booting several times before machine will
start;
[*]Instability , especially when graphics are complex;
[*]Machine boots with a pre-Coppermine Celeron but will not boot with a
PIII Coppermine;
[*]Bad odor wafts about the room and this time it wasn't you or the dog;
[*]BIOS health alarm (hi-low siren) at boot but PC health screen shows no reason for the alarm; 7. Fans spin up, power indicator lights up and nothing else happens..."
[/list]Thought you'd like a little more information on the problem.

I've been using a gateway that dates back to 2001. It's had it's share of problems, but most were attributable to spyware, windows and my own initial ignorance about maintanance. So the last few years it's been fairly smooth going. Last week it's been having big trouble with booting, like today it took me 5 attempts(that is about as bad as it gets). Once it's up it runs smooth, and there is no bad smell. Do you reckon it could have the capacitor problem, or could there be some other cause?

Sorry to use this for cheap technical support, but Gateway were always useless with any problems I had in the past(I was repeatedly told to wipe the hard drive and reinstall Windows, which never made any difference).

Pop the side off your box and take a look at the capacitors they are those little can shaped things soldered to the board. If the tops are rounded up or you see brown or yellow ooze under the base of them, that's the problem. My friend's Gateway didn't experience problems until a year after warranty, because she would turn it off when it wasn't in use. There were never any bad smells or pops with hers either, but upon inspection the capacitors were definitely bulged. Especially the ones that sit closest to the copper coils.

Her computer got to the point where it would only boot in safe mode. After a complete restore it would be fine until she turned it off and tried to start it the next day cold. Then the problems cropped up all over again. We couldn't find anyone around here that was willing to just replace the capacitors, so she bought a new unit, and I got the parts from her old one. Saved my niece's old Compaq with the help of her ram and harddrive.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Yep, looks like I got some bad capacitors. None are leaking, but 3 have bulging tops. Like in your friend's case, they are next to a copper coil. I guess I'll look into getting a new motherboard.

I did a little googling, and it turns out this is a problem that has affected many, including Apple. In fact it seems the problem has not totally gone away, even in new products.

Okay, this is literally Toxic

Okay, this is literally Toxic.

After working on several films in the industry.  I will tell you 100% without a doubt, that all professional studios use mac.  Not one person I have ever worked with ever touches a PC, because PC integration and specs can't complete with decked out Mac systems.

HOWEVER - Sculpting and envrionemntal work sometimes can be done remotely, which some professionals use some PC systems for that.  Those are usually the hardcore PC fans that also use their PC's for gaming etc.  While all professionals who just animate and don't waste time playing video games, even the professionals who create games but never play them.  All use MAC.

MAC is by far superior to PC in every way, hands down.  Macs are always using old hardware, yet are able to out benchmark PC's with the same specs and hardware at any time, because of the way they are built.  ALSO.  PC warranties are SHIT.  When you are a professional in Any field.  Warranty and insruance coverages are what separate pros and fakes.   If anything and I SERIOUSLY mean anything happens with any mac system I own.  Apple ships me over a box, I send it in, they fix or replace any issues 100% free Over night.   PC will never do that, let alone the better PC's are customized, so each part has seaprate warranties and they always find loop holes to make sure you don't get to cash in on the warranty, if the parts were to fail..  

Get a fully Decked out imac 27inch.   All the works.  Animation is a investment into a career field.  If you are lazy and think going cheaper is something you do.  Please chose another field, we don't want you here.  You are only setting yourself up for Failure.  AND if a school is trying to give you a "mobile render" or a mac book pro for school, don't even apply or go there.  Real animation schools will make you get an Imac.  It doesn't over heat and it renders faster and the specs are better for the price.

No Fullsail bullshit.  They are literally the worse animation school out there.  I know from experience.  We don't hire anyone who went to that school.   They literally use Youtube tutorials that are remade for walkthroughs and lecutres.