Richard Kerris, former director of Maya Technology at Alias|Wavefront, has spoken exclusively to Macworld about the future of 3D on the Mac platform.

“I think that Apple, Mac OS X and OpenGL is set to be the platform of choice for professional 3D animation,” said Kerris, who was laid-off last month as Alias’ parent-company SGI faced economic difficulties.

Mac now best for 3D He also explained that, through input from 3D companies such as Alias|Wavefront, Apple has designed Mac OS X with professional 3D in mind. The result, according to Kerris, is an operating system that is more suited to 3D than any other, including other Unix-based systems or Windows 2000. This is helped greatly by the fact that Apple has control over both the hardware and operating system, something no other company can do.

Apple already has a healthy 3D background, but products like Maya and LightWave are beginning to break Apple into the highest end of broadcast animation. If Kerris is correct, it will be a valuable jewel in Apple’s crown.

Secret projects Kerris was also positive about the forthcoming release of Maya for Mac. Although no longer a member of the Maya team, the project remains a passion for him. He continues to promote the product, and advises Alias|Wavefront on its development - though now only as part of his career outside the company.

“Although I am still doing some work for Alias|Wavefront, I am now technically a customer - which gives me an interesting perspective.”

“A number of companies have been asking me for my opinion on new 3D products that are in development. This is something that would never have happened while I was at Alias|Wavefront.”

Richard was reluctant to say too much about the nature of the 3D projects he has up his sleeve.

However, it seems that the Macintosh market hasn’t seen the last of him, and we will continue to see him being a strong advocate for 3D on the Mac.