- Architosh Staff (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 29 August 2001
Mac OS X? A Petition Warranted?
Over the years Architosh has received a notable amount of email
regarding Pixar's RenderMan software
and its conspicuous absence from the Macintosh platform. Why conspicuous,
Because, Pixar is Steve Jobs' other company and that makes Mac
users quite aware of what this other company is, does, and how it
does it. The fact is, while Macs play a pivotal part in the production
of Pixar's famous movies, they do not run Pixar's highly acclaimed
RenderMan softwaredespite the fact that at one time RenderMan
did run on the Mac.
RenderMan for Mac OS X?
Many have asked, speculated and expressed frustration about RenderMan
and the Macintosh. We continue to hear from time to time request
for info on RenderMan on the Mac OS X platform. And with Apple making
a big hoopla
about Maya on the Mac and OS X as a platform for advanced 3D
visualization, one has to seriously wonder. The question still remains,
will Pixar ever port RenderMan back to the Macintosh? We've asked
this question before, last winter, and did not like the answer.
It was very direct and very much a no.
However a recent, new email from a reader suggest that Pixar may
now have an open mind to RenderMan on Mac OS X and may indeed be
watching the new platform's penetration in the high-end 3D market:
I was wondering... Since Apple Computer has released their new
UNIX-based OS X, can we expect a RenderMan/PR-RenderMan anytime
soon? A simple "yes" or "no" in your reply will suffice.
- Ed M.
And here is Pixar's simple and "not so simple" answer:
for a not so "simple" answer. We are obviously aware of OS X,
and are investigating whether or not it makes sense to
bring out a Macintosh product at this time. Our final decision
will be based upon many factors, including customer demand,
performance figures, ease of porting, available resources etc.
At this point in time, we have not made any formal decision regarding
a Macintosh product. - RenderMan
RenderMan currently runs on
a number of Unix's, but not the dominant Unix that will be Apple's
OS X. Apple has made note of the fact that they are now the
biggest supplier of a Unix operating system with OS X.
It stands to reason that the key basis for supporting a particular
platform is all economics, especially for a company that has no
emotional legacy with any particular platform. This must be the
principal reason for Pixar's lack of interest in OS X, and despite
that company's relationship to Apple, via Steve Jobs, emotional
ties are a weak factor at best.
Regardless, most of us know that Steve Jobs would love for Pixar
to produce its movies using Apple gear. That much is obvious. Think
of the marketing opportunities, as you can do with the collaborated
efforts between Apple and Alias/Wavefront.
If Pixar's decision is principally tied to economics, and if Apple
is indeed the largest supplier of a Unix operating system, then
eventually the economic issue could warrant attention: there will
[eventually] be enough potential buyers. After all, isn't
this the same market as Alias/Wavefront's Maya? Surely if Alias
believes the Mac OS X market warrants a port then does this same
crowd not interest the Pixar folks?
We believe it does. And Pixar's RenderMan and Maya are working
more together all the time. So surely it must be just a matter of
time then, no?
RenderMan is a Killer App
RenderMan is a killer app. Besides Pixar many 3D studios use it
for all kinds of 3D purposes. If you want to see and connect up
with some RenderMan users we know of a new
site which features some of the power of RenderMan and many
user gallery/examples images. And the next version of RenderMan,
ironically or not, is going to be called PR
Helping to Determine Interest in RenderMan for OS X
We have run petitions for some time, helping to stir up interest
in various software and to gauge demand. If you would like Architosh
to put together a petition for RenderMan please
send us an email. Hopefully we can help Pixar determine their
course of action. Thanks.
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