Wednesday, 23 April 2014

What is the best platform for animation in Maya - a Mac or a PC?


One question we get asked a lot at Bucks is this: "What should I use for animation - a PC or a Mac?" The good news is - you can use either one. The bad news is - you should really use a PC. Here at Bucks our classrooms have both PCs and Macs, but in general we recommend our students use a PC for several reasons.

Firstly and most importantly, the vast majority of animation and visual effects houses work on PCs. Secondly, a number of free (and very useful) Maya plug-ins will only work on a PC. In particular, the Parent Master plugin, which is seriously useful for attaching and un-attaching objects in Maya, does not work on the Mac. Finally, audio playback in Maya can be troublesome on a Mac. All in all, the PC wins because it is a broad-backed platform that will help prepare you for a successful career in the animation and visual effects industry.

The ZV Parent Master Plugin
None of these reasons mean that you can't run Maya on a Mac. Maya works fine on a Mac and you can certainly aquire the skills you need to become a first-rate animator.  But, personally, I use the ZV Parent Master plugin a lot for attaching and un-attaching objects in Maya, and I find that, without this tool, the process of attaches can be fiddly and annoying.

Still, as any techhead will tell you, Macs can be run on special dual-boot software, so you can boot it up in Windows if you prefer. And, hey presto - you have an instant PC. And Macs are lovely. I am writing this on my MacBook Pro - a beautiful machine, and I would not be without it.

Personally, I have both a Mac and a PC. For animation, I use my PC. For everything else, I use my Mac.

(Editor's note: for more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days,  take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK.)

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