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Pixar Incorporates Mac OS X Into Workflow

Pixar Incorporates Mac OS X Into Workflow

by , 1:30 PM EDT, May 10th, 2002

Apple's WWDC site has published an article that answers a question many curious Mac users have long asked: Does Pixar use Macs? Pixar is headed by a CEO named Steve Jobs, the same Steve Jobs that runs Apple. According to the WWDC site, the answer is yes, Pixar is in fact using Mac OS X in its work flow, and has even developed new apps for internal use using Mac OS X's Cocoa development environment. From the WWDC article at Apple's site:

Johnson was not an expected attendee that year, but he came to see what was going on with Mac OS X. And it sounds like he's glad he did. Two years later, Pixar Animation Studios, makers of Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc. and other top-selling animated films, has been finding more and more ways to replace their existing Linux, Sun and Windows-based computer systems with Macintosh computers running Mac OS X. The studio's entire team uses Mac OS X not only for creative work, but for workflow and custom application development. The animators, writers, editors, production staff and administrators cite the benefits offered by the UNIX platform, Cocoa, QuickTime, and the powerful graphics technologies that come with Mac OS X.

"We are looking to OS X for the future," Johnson told a full house in a fascinating lunchtime talk on Wednesday at the WWDC.

In order to explain how and why Pixar is using Mac OS X, Johnson guided the audience through an insider's look at the creative and production processes that Pixar Animation Studios uses to create its award-winning films. After setting the stage by explaining many of the time-intensive, often hand-generated work that goes into creating an animation, Johnson then shared a Cocoa "success story." He explained how he built a powerful storyboarding tool in just a few evenings at home using the Cocoa development environment.

There is more information in the full story, and we recommend it as a very good read.

The Mac Observer Spin:

It's good to know that Mr. Jobs' other company has begun embracing the technology of Apple. Pixar doesn't use Mac OS X for its rendering and other animation duties, at least not yet, but it seems clear that Mr. Jobs is determined to make Mac OS X right for his movie company, and other Hollywood studios as well.

Will we see RenderMan ported to Mac OS X? Renderman is Pixar's home-built animation tool that was used to develop all of the company's animated movies? From the Renderman Tech Specs page: "The RenderMan® Artist Tools™ and RenderMan Toolkit™ are available on three popular platforms - IRIX, Linux, and Windows."

We would love to see the company add Mac OS X to that list.

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