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Thursday, December 13th, 2007...8:28 pm

How Does a Teenageer Get Into Visual Effects for Film and Video?

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Here’s an article that answers the question of which platform is better suited for visual effects. -ed

Windows Vista vs. Mac OS X
Cartoon courtesy of

Well, I definitely think that the Macintosh operating system (Mac OS) is the right platform for “special effects and stuff like that.” People are pretty divided and emotional about Macintoshes (Macs) and Windows, but I have intellectual motives for being a Macintosh advocate. Some are esoteric – and have to do with how I think and work with software tools, and how Apple Computer (who makes Macintoshes and the Mac OS) has always approached software and hardware design and implementation a bit differently. I’m not just a “Mac guy” because I want to be part of that cult – it just makes sense to me.

It’s an important factor for you, being interested in media production, that the Mac OS is firmly established in the media community as the platform of choice. Though Macintoshes are a small minority of all the computers sold (around 7 per cent now), they represent the majority of people who manipulate still images, moving images and sound for a living. There is Windows software, and more of it, for doing pretty much anything you can do on a Mac. But if I have the choice, I’ll still do all my production on a Mac. Part of the reason is kind of deep down in the Mac OS – a really slick kind of integration of a lot of things that mean, for instance, that you can just expect to be able to drag a video file on your Mac’s “desktop” into an open window of a program you’ve never used, and expect that program to try to do the most logical thing with that piece of video. This isn’t just the program, or just the Mac OS, but decades of a way of thinking, and people who program for Macs tend to consistently subscribe to these ideas. The Windows landscape is a bit more chaotic – no two programs behave, look, work, or “feel” the same, and you have no expectations about how you might accomplish a task.

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