Anyone that has attended or watched the QuickTime stream of a Macworld keynote can attest to the excitement generated when
takes the stage to demonstrate
Maya. The decision to bring Maya to Mac OS X is not something the company entered into lightly and Alias|Wavefront is committed to the Mac.
“We’re fully committed to the Mac platform and we’re equally committed to making Maya customers successful regardless of their platform of choice,” Andrew Pearce, Director of Maya Technologies, told MacCentral. “We see the Mac as a growing and viable choice for those customers.”
Pearce explained that a lot of market research went into the decision to bring Maya to the platform and that “it’s not something we casually went after.” Mac users did their part to convince Alias|Wavefront to bring Maya to the Mac, too. “We had users come together on their own and put together petitions with 10,000 names of people that wanted Maya on this platform,” said Pearce.
Maya is far from dead on the Mac. The launch of the application is evidence of the commitment Mac users have for the product. “Maya for OS X is the most successful product launch we’ve ever had,” said Pearce. “We had more pre-orders for this product than any other product in Alias|Wavefront’s history — the response has been phenomenal.”
Maya is a high-end 3D program and the price reflects that fact. But the application is no more expensive on the Mac platform than it is for any other supported operating system. “For the feature set that you get, it stacks up very well dollar for dollar against any other product out there,” said Pearce. “Our pricing policy is consistent, regardless of platform.”
While Maya is new to the Mac platform, the application has supported SGI IRIX, Red Hat Linux and Windows-based platforms for some time. Maya has been used by CNN, Disney’s The Secret Lab, Electronic Arts, Industrial Light & Magic, Nintendo, Pixar, Sega and Sony Pictures Imageworks, among others.
Maya can also be found in some of your favorite movies including Shrek, Star Wars, The Perfect Storm, Jurassic Park and Enemy at the Gate, as well as in games like Gran Turismo 3 and Tomb Raider.
The acceptance of Maya by these companies makes the application a must have for Mac OS X. While these companies may not move to Mac OS X right away, it does place Apple in an industry that it previously didn’t have a place. Much the same way that Office v. X will bring Mac OS X validity in the business market, Maya validates Mac OS X in the high-end 3D market.
With the power of the G4 and the Unix underpinnings of Mac OS X, Apple feels it has the best hardware and operating system for the 3D platform, including applications like Maya, Lightwave 3D and others.
“One of the big reasons I came to Apple is because I firmly believe we are building the best platform for 3D,” Richard Kerris, Director of Developer Technologies at Apple, told MacCentral. “For the first time ever we’ve been able to take 3D products like Maya — a high-end application that pushes the envelope of technology — and not only run it on a G4 desktop, but also run it on a Titanium.”
Kerris knows a thing or two about Maya on Mac OS X. Until last summer, Kerris was the Director of Maya Technologies at Alias|Wavefront. Now working at Apple, he has a unique view of the 3D world from the side of the developer and from Apple’s perspective.
Kerris said the experience of Maya on the Mac is the best of any platform the application currently supports. Why? Because of Maya’s built-in support for Apple technologies like QuickTime.
“The reason [Maya is better on the Mac] is quite simply the integration of the Apple technologies,” said Kerris. “Maya on Mac OS X incorporates things like QuickTime throughout the entire application, so at any given time you can take what you’re testing or rendering and blast it out to QuickTime.”
Kerris also pointed to the HotBox in Maya for Mac OS X as an example of how the application is ahead of competing platforms. In Mac OS X you can tear off a menu, creating a HotBox and start working on a project — none of the other platforms support that at this point. “The integration of technology is better on the Mac,” said Kerris.