Running 3ds with Virtual PC on G5

I work as an exhibit designer for a company that uses Mac’s. We’ve outgrown our current rendering program and we’re looking to change softwares. There are obviously fewer choices of 3D software on a mac platform, and 3ds has the animation capabilities that we desire. So my main question is … has anyone used 3ds on a Mac using Virtual PC? Is it noticably slower? My boss is a die hard Mac man but I’m hoping I can convince him that VPC will work for us if… it actually will work for us. Otherwise we have to try Cinema 4D which I’ve demoed and didn’t like. Maya’s great but it has a steap learning curve and it has few file import options. (we build our designs in Vectorworks)

Any comments would be much appreciated. Thanks!

I’ve used other programs with vpc but I think a really good renderer like that might kill it. Rhino works pretty well, but isn’t very memory intensive. SW is okay, but if you try to do just surfacing with SW it’ll grind down very quickly. I assume a full renderer with raytracing, etc might be a little too much. It tops out at 512mb of the mac’s memory it’ll use. Not sure how compatible or accurate it’s virtual graphics card matchup is for photo rendering. Never done any flamingo rendering or anything like that on it, not very knowledgable with photo renders.
If the specs say 3ds can work well with only 512 mb of available memory, then it may not be a problem. I think the newest vpc takes advantage of dual processors on osx. Never used that platform, not sure of the performance there. Good luck.

“Maya’s great but it has a steap learning curve and it has few file import options. (we build our designs in Vectorworks)”

did a quick check. i don’t see the issue. happy to confirm i can load a Vectorworks export. post a dummy iges or dxf. running Maya 5 so no support for stl here. sorry.

i did see on VW forum issue of Mac Maya import/export different than PC Maya. if running VPC, that issue is gone. and recent upgrade to Mac Maya might eliminate. call reseller. dont depend on AW website. this is weeks old news.

also believe Maya PC might run before Max on VPC. a MaxHead told me Max’s code rewrite not expected til 2005-06. so still bloated. unsure if true. but if it does run, probably your best bet. lots of support for Max in exhibit design obviously. just still expensive.

Rhino will soon have Brazil rendering available. that would be my recommendation. depends on your timeline tho.

animation wise depends on what you want. Rhino now has i think. basic stuff that might be okay for you. Max is okay. now integrated the CS module (finally). Maya probably best but overkill for exhibit.

my 2 cents.

[edit: you can get time-limited demos of software. why not do that? buy VPC and just test for yourself.]

Why aren’t you considering FormZ?

This is pretty much the standard for your industry from what I have seen so far in dealing with outside exhibit/retail firms.

Thanks for all the input! Agreed that Maya is overkill for us so that’s out of the question. Form Z is somewhat the standard for Mac platforms - but it doesn’t have animation capabilities other than fly thru’s. It turns out Cinema 4D might be the way to go. I took their demo for a test drive today and was surprised. Awesome animation options - check out this one -

Click on In Action, then Architcture, then World Cup 2006 Arena - there’s a quicktime movie showing the stadium with a retractable roof. Notice the end of the movie with the concert demo - moving spotlights, laser lights, and video screens - exactly the kind of stuff i want to add to my animations. I’m sure it will be awhile before I learn how to do that, but I’m damn anxious to learn.

C4D seems to be gaining ground. seeing lots of tuts online. just read through one yesterday.

overkill doesnt equal higher cost. Maya Complete at $1999 is cheaper than Max at over $3000.

Might also check SoftImage’s new release. historically good file support. probably DXF. maybe iges. but outstanding value at $500. PC-based also but might see Mac OSX in future.

you can d/l demos of Maya and SoftImage to test. unsure about Max. probably.

I use 3DS at work.
I have both Mac and PC. I won’t ever buy a Mac again. They aren’t worth it for ID. I wouldn’t even waste time or money with Virtual PC on your Mac.
3DS will slow the Mac down so bad, you will give up.
You’re better off buying a PC with at least 1 Gig of RAM and getting 3DS.
My Dell workstation slows down with 3DS on it when you have a large model.
Also, you need a good Nvidia card with it.
3DS is awesome software that is worth the money.
I’ve used FormZ and it doesn’t compare to 3DS.

I would bump those specs up to 2Gb of RAM and a dual processor system if you plan to use any of the GI capabilities in the newer versions of MAX/Viz (Skylight light, Radiosity or MentalRay). If you’re looking to do animations, I would suggest setting up a render farm with its Network rendering capabilities.

I rendered a 400 frame animation at NTSC resolution (720x486) which made use of the Skylight light available in Viz 2005 for a presentation last weekend and it took approximately 20 hours to render. My system specs are a Dell P4-2.6Ghz system with 1Gb of RAM and an nVidia Quadro 980 card. This scene did not make use of any Raytraced materials either.

Well there’s no chance of us getting PC’s - they just bought us all (8) new G5’s, so that’s out of the question. I don’t disagree with any of 3ds capabilities and I feel dumb for asking the VPC question in the first place - it obviously needs more RAM than that can handle. But after playing around with Cinema 4D I think it’s pretty damn good. And at $695 you can’t beat it. I also tested Maya’s demo and found that (at first glance) the 2 programs are similar. And you can set up a network to renderfarm as well, so it’s looking like we’re heading in that direction.
Thanks for everybody’s input - someday I’ll post my work for you all to chew apart!

kinetik - sucks your company dumped money into G5’s like that. Big waste for any ID work. Maybe they’ll learn next time.

If Cinima 4D works for you, then get it. All the software is a tool. It’s how good the user is. You can have the best software, and still spit out garbage.

I want to know how 3DS will run on a notebook, with a single 3.4Gig P4 with 1Gig of ram? Or an Athlon 64 processor.