We have seen all kinds of opinions and benchmarks about the new Mac Pro and the XDR Pro Display in their early days, but there's one thing we haven't seen yet: the considerations of a group of professionals who actually had a good time using Apple's new equipment, analyzing their strengths and their possible shortcomings.
Now, Lunar Animation has come to offer just that. The London-based film studio obtained prior access to the new computer and Apple's professional monitor, and used the equipment to work on one of his projects: the final credits of the movie "Jumanji: Next Stage", which will premiere in Brazilian theaters on the 16th next.
Lunar, as its name implies, is an animation-focused studio – one of the most demanding (in terms of processing power) tasks a computer can handle. In the post about the experience, the company's professionals say they have spent the last few years using iMacs Pro as their flagship machines, but have been excited by the power of Apple's new professional computer.
They received from Apple a mid-level Mac Pro with 3.2GHz Intel Xeon W processor with 16 cores, 192GB of RAM, two 32GB Radeon Pro Vega II cards, 4TB SSD storage and accelerator card Afterburner The computer was then used to create the fully animated credits of the film, which feature 28 ultra-high resolution photorealistic objects – a heavy task for any machine.
Production of the scene started on one of the studio's iMacs Pro, but the computer struggled: it was difficult to render all high-resolution objects in one scene without depleting the machine's graphics memory. Moving the task to Mac Pro, the change went from water to wine:
With the texture issues we were having on iMac Pro, we opened the same scene on Mac Pro and all the textures loaded perfectly. It makes sense, considering we have twice the graphics memory here (32GB versus 16GB). We were then surprised to realize that all of this was being reproduced in real time, without pre-caching, because even with the damaged textures in iMac Pro, we were not getting a consistent 24 frames per second reproduction.
We then unlocked the 24 FPS limit on playback and achieved a rate of up to 134 frames per second. This allowed us to analyze, change, and preview everything at an impressive speed, without the need to create textures and proxy templates – it was possible to work with the content directly.
The pros detail in the article the tasks they were able to accomplish on Mac Pro much more efficiently and quickly. A steam rendering on Houdini, for example, took 21 minutes on the iMac Pro and 12 minutes on the new computer – and look that's just CPU work: with GPU action together, Mac Pro performed the same task. in just 5 minutes.
The biggest revolution within Lunar Animation, however, has another name: Pro Display XDR.
As a smaller studio with no £ 30,000 to spend on a monitor, it (the Pro Display XDR) allowed us to see exactly what the final files would look like as they would be sent to the customer. Since our final files were in EXR format, we had the range to see beyond the maximum brightness of a standard iMac screen.
Knowing our final files were correct saved us the money of renting a facility to check these files – which, honestly, we didn't have time to do due to tight deadlines.
Now, Lunar says it is looking forward to using the duo in its upcoming projects – and will continue to test the power of the new Mac Pro in programs like Maya. Not cool?