Mac vs. Blender

I am using a PC as of now but plan to replace it soon whenever the new macbooks are released. And my question is are there any major interface/hotkey differences i should know about before hand?


just noticed i wrote Mac vs. Blender instead of Mac vs. PC. sorry about that.

Their is a difference, I made the switch myself, but you’ll relearn in no time.


well are there any major ones i should know? or ill just figure it out fast =P

  1. get a macbook pro. you’ll need the dedicated graphics card.
  2. no right-mouse-button on trackpad. but you can use the 2-finger-tapping. or external mouse, of course.
  3. no numpad.

i switched about two months ago, and so far it’s great. especially with the new versions (2.48) of blender, where there is no node-/background-image-trouble (for reference, have a look here:

yes i plan on getting a pro for the graphics

ahh no numpad didnt think about that.


On a Mac, you can only run one instance of Blender at a time. This is different than windows where you can launch multiple copies of Blender and keep working.

I am not a Mac person, but I was shocked at this limitation.

I didn’t know that. I have multiple instances running all the time on Windows. It’s very useful when testing and studying different techniques.

The one thing I have tried on a Mac Mini was a test to run a BGE game and the game sound effects didn’t play on the Intel Mac. I was told that’s a known issue.

Sorry, but that’s wrong, Atom, I’m on a Mac and I may have 6 different Blender versions that I can run in the same time, which is really great by the way.

Ok, so how do you do it?
My neighbor in the office has an Intel Mac running OSX. Version 2.47 Blender.
We launch Blender and and start rendering a blender scene.
Then we click the Blender icon again and nothing happens. It is not a system lockup or anything, the second instance of Blender just does not launch. Kind of like After Effects.

I don’t mean to spread false rumors. but this is my personal experience.

The same icon? I’ve never tried that.
Just duplicate the blender application file in your directory, so you can open two files with two blender, one to render and one to keep working for instance.

I don’t mean to spread false rumors. but this is my personal experience.
It’s not false, it’s a fact, and it’s stupid. There are ways around it. You could, as bupla suggests, duplicate Blender a bunch of times. You can run six “instances” of Blender if you’ve got Blender installed six different places on your machine. Which is one reason why on Mac I usually keep several different versions at least accessible, even if I only really want to use one. However, clicking on a .blend will still try to open the default installation, which cannot be opened if another .blend is already open.

You can also write a script that runs Blender from the command line, where it’s possible to run multiple instances (that means, don’t blame FreeBSD for this dumb limitation… it’s entirely OS X’s fault). However, although I managed to get a script that could execute by double clicking on my desktop, I was not able to figure out how to make this work with double clicking on a .blend file, which defeats the whole point.

Basically, there’s no way I know of to set up a Mac so that a .blend file always opens when you click or download it. If you learn from .blend files, or if you often try to help people by opening up their .blend files while doing your own work, this is a pain in the neck. I almost always have multiple instances going, so Mac really cramps my style.

Kind of like After Effects.

Actually, it’s a Mac thing. OS X won’t open up multiple instances of any program, but most programs (like Firefox, MS Word, etc) can open up multiple documents within themselves. There’s been some talk about making Blender able to handle multiple docs, and this might, might come as a result of the changes in 2.5. Although I don’t think it’s considered to be a priority.


As I mentioned, I am not a Mac person. I may try to duplicate the program as suggested, just to see if it works. Should I just duplicate the program or the entire folder?

Just the program.

Call me a numb skull but, I just installed Blender with Python on my Intel Mac, OS 10.4.11, 2 x 2.66 dual core, 4 GB ram, 512 Vram. When I click to open Blender, there is a quick logo flash on screen and nothing loads. OS X sees that the application is open, as it’s listed under the “Window” pulldown menu, but where?

NEVER MIND. It works!