Steve's Other Job - Pixar Considers Bringing RenderMan To G5, Asks For Feedback
by , 5:00 PM EDT, July 1st, 2003
Steve Jobs is the CEO of both Apple and Pixar. Pixar is a known Intel/Linux rendering house, which has caused its share of people asking (legitimately) "if Macs are so great, how come Pixar doesn't use them?" With the company's commercial RenderMan Pro Server software running on Intel, RedHat Linux 7.x & up, and Windows XP and Windows 2000, and RenderMan Artist Tools running on Intel, RedHat Linux 6.x & up, Silicon Graphics Iris, IRIX 6.5 & up (mips3), and Windows XP and Windows 2000, many have wondered when and if the company would embrace Apple solutions internally. Starting last year, reports surfaced of the company incorporating Mac OS X into its work flow, but still Pixar actually makes its magical movies with non-Apple hardware.
This may be about to change. Pixar has announced that it may bring RenderMan to Mac OS X and the PowerMac G5, and we would like to thank our friends at Architosh for noticing. Pixar says that it is evaluating bringing the RenderMan to the G5, has s what must be early versions of the software on the G5, and most importantly, that it wants feedback from those who are interested in running RenderMan on the G5. From Pixar:
At WWDC, Apple announced the new Power Mac G5 featuring the world's first 64-bit desktop processor. At Pixar, we have benchmarked RenderMan on the Power Mac G5 and are currently evaluating a full release of RenderMan products for this hardware.
Here are the details at this point:
- We have benchmarked PhotoRealistic RenderMan on Apple's new Power Mac G5 and have found the performance of the G5 to be impressive. We are considering a full release of our software for the G5, depending on customer demand and other issues.
- If the RenderMan products are announced for the G5, the earliest such a statement would come is August, 2003, when the G5 is released.
- The pixlet codec mentioned at WWDC is not a Pixar product. Inquiries should be directed to Apple.
- At this time we are measuring interest in Pixar's RenderMan Products for the Power Mac G5. If you are interested in RenderMan products for Mac, please register your interest by e-mailing email@example.com and make sure the subject line reads: "RenderMan for Mac." Also include your contact information.
- The software would be released after an accompanying beta period, which would most likely begin in August. Our beta program is only available to active Pixar customers with current maintenance agreements. Current customers may indicate interest in participating in the beta testing by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, with contact info and the subject line, "RenderMan for Mac Beta Program."
You can find more information on RenderMan at Pixar's Web site. If you are interested in running RenderMan on a Mac, do take the time to let the company know.
The Mac Observer Spin:What's the phrase about eating your own dog food? Perhaps Steve Jobs should have some of his artists render up a nice bowl of Alpo, because it seems as if Pixar may finally be backing Mac OS X. At least we hope that it happens. The language of this "news release" (it was not an official "press release") makes it very clear that Pixar is only considering this move, but the company has obviously already done some work on porting the code to Mac OS X if was able to benchmark the software. Accordingly, we are hoping that it comes to pass. If it does, this should help Apple in the 3D world, and there is a lot of money in that industry, money that currently goes to x86-based hardware.
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