The pandemic has made clear to many people the inverse relationship between time and productivity. All that free time and yet I now realize it has been a year since I wrote my last blog post. Sigh. But there is a lot going on at Linea Forma and it’s time for an update!
The time allotted by the pandemic allowed me to pursue my passion: learning. One can’t work in a tech field without constantly updating one’s knowledge base, but I took the opportunity to really dig in to expand my capabilities. And began a massive technology change.
Thirty-five years ago, I bought my first personal computer. As both a product designer and a graphic designer, I saw the new Apple Mac Plus computer as potentially a good move for my graphic design side, so I jumped into “desktop publishing” and got successful at doing brochures and product catalogs, originally just for the typesetting component and page layout, but soon including illustration, photo manipulation and pre-press services in-house. For twenty years, my Macs did everything I needed in graphic design, almost perfectly. But as time went on, it started to become clear that as brilliant an innovator as Steve Jobs could be, he also had some serious blind spots too. His original attraction to calligraphy and type took him down his road of making the Mac a graphic designer’s dream computer.
But Steve Jobs never saw the Mac as a tool for engineering, product design, 3D or animation, all the directions I was moving toward. What a disappointment! So all of those industries ignored Apple right back! Finally, as Apple unveiled its new modern operating system OS X in the early 2000’s, Alias Software agreed to port a version of their very successful 3D and animation software, Maya, to work on OS X, so Apple was finally in the game, just barely. But in 2005, so was I. Unfortunately, as the years went on, Apple never built a substantial base of 3D users because the PC world had conquered all those markets. So most of the time, outside plug-ins and extra components I needed to complete my creations were only available to the PC markets. Mac users always got screwed. From software, to plug-ins to the whole 3D community, the Mac/Maya end user is an afterthought, or just plain ignored. I have struggled with it, bitching and moaning to anyone who would listen (sorry, dearest Maren) about how much it pissed me off.
Finally, last year I discovered Epic Games’ amazing 3D/gaming renderer, aptly named Unreal Engine. It’s so fast, it can create animated movie clips over 100 times faster than my Maya renderer can. What had taken me a day or more to animate now takes minutes. Unreal Engine is available for the Mac, but of course, with very limited capabilities, and availability of plug-ins and third party goodies. That was the final straw for limping along with Mac in 3D.
So, now I am now the proud owner of a new custom PC workstation, hand built to order, made to handle ANY product design, 3D or animation project that would have overwhelmed or been impossible to complete on my Mac. Truly the envy of any 15 year old gamer, and who wouldn’t want that? So the Mac is still my graphics workstation and always will be, but the PC tower is the powerful beast for my other side, and it sure doesn’t look like an iMac for a change. I’m really enjoying the look of the two of them living together! Each one gets its own time, sometimes both at once. But, for the first time ever, I’m using an operating system that has access and availability, to any piece of 3D software or utility needed to do my work.
The next few years of my creative endeavors might just turn out to be the very best. I’m gonna let ‘er rip! Come back very soon for the Epic Games part of my decision to add another platform, and direction to my life experience. Maybe life begins at 70, and I’m just getting started! Stay tuned.Share this: