View Full Version : The all Mac game art workflow

08-09-2011, 11:47 AM
Hey guys,

Looking for some advice/suggestions on the possibility of making the Mac switch for game art.

I work in Arch-Vis and use Macs for work, I've been a Mac user at home for a few years now too. Currently, I use VectorWorks and Cinema4D for work, both of which are Mac native, but all my game art is done in BootCamp using Maya +ZBrush and UDK (amongst other little tools).

I just picked up a new MacBook Pro, the i7 with the 6750M GPU and it's an awesome little machine, and I'm finding myself really wanting to make the Mac switch for my game art too. I'm just not sure if it's completely possible, or whether I'm going to lose out so much so that I may as well stick with Windows.

So do any of you guys use a complete Mac workflow? What tools are you using?

Obviously Maya/ZBrush isn't an issue, CrazyBump has a Mac beta which appears to work ok, but the bits I'm stuck on are a baking tool, and an engine.

I use xNormal to bake under Windows, is there a quality Mac alternative? I've never learned to bake inside of Maya but I hear it's a capable renderer for baking.

And most importantly, and perhaps the most difficult one, is the engine. What are my options? Nothing as good as UDK I presume? I've tried Unity, and I don't really want to pay for the Pro version just to display my work, and without Pro, I don't get the nice lighting engine right? Also, without a paid plugin, it doesn't appear to offer a shader editor anywhere near as good as UDK's.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

08-09-2011, 01:08 PM
why bother making the switch, most game engines run on windows, so it makes sense to make your content on windows, so you can easily preview stuff.

just boot camp it.

08-09-2011, 01:14 PM
Yeah I think I might have to.

I don't mind Windows, I just much prefer the OS X environment, and if there was a way to get everything done inside of OS X, I would love to do it.

08-09-2011, 01:21 PM
I don't mind Windows, I just much prefer the OS X environment, and if there was a way to get everything done inside of OS X, I would love to do it.

same here, but it's just not very practical to do - unfortunately.

08-09-2011, 01:28 PM
Stick with windows. Its far better supported.

08-09-2011, 06:35 PM
I use a Mac for all my work and it has served me well. It has the essential software like Maya, zBrush, Photoshop, etc. However there are a ton of nice tools I wished I had, xNormal and UDK being two major ones. Also i feel that a lot of software is better optimized for Windows. I get drawing errors in Maya's interface, Mudbox is leaky and buggy as hell, and zBrush crashes whenever I try to use Spotlight. I like my Mac and it has served me well. But my next machine will without a question be a Windows machine simply because of the better software support.

08-09-2011, 06:53 PM
Windows for 3D work + gaming. OS X for the rest. Bootcamp makes it all really easy though - I have it on all my macs.

08-10-2011, 04:53 AM
ya i find it is one of those things, where if you got a good workflow going on windows, why break that just to use a other OS.

when i work with audio it is the same thing, it would be nice to switch to windows since my PC is way better than my mac but a lot of my plug-ins relie on OS X so it just isn't worth th trouble of fucking my work flow just to work on a different platform.