Studio Artist runs on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7-8-10 as well as Intel and PPC macs. Windows users will notice that most of the online documentation presented here is using Apple Macintosh screenshots and hot key conventions. However, if you ignore the cosmetic differences between the various controls on the different platforms, the interface and how you use it are essentially the same on the 2 platforms.
There are some differences in standard command keys between the Macs and Windows. The equivalent of the Apple command key is the control key on Windows. And the Apple option key is the Alt key on Windows. On Macs clicking with the control key down brings up contextual menus for the object clicked. On windows you would do this by right clicking the object. The tips articles presented here will typically be using Mac key conventions so Window users need to be aware of these differences and substitute the appropriate key presses i just mentioned.
Personally i find Studio Artist 4 running on Vista or Windows 7 to be much more aesthetically appealing than XP, so from my personal experience i would recommend using Vista or Windows 7 if you are a Windows users and have a computer powerful enough to support running these more modern operating system versions.
You will need to install Apple’s Quicktime for Windows on your Windows computer if it is not already there. Studio Artist makes extensive use of Quicktime apis for working with movie files as well as some 2D image import/export. You can download the latest Quicktime for Windows from Apple’s web site at www.apple.com/quicktime. The Quicktime for Windows users install also includes the Quicktime Player application which you might find useful for viewing Quicktime movie files.
Your Studio Artist folder download will be a zip compressed folder file. After downloading this zip compressed folder file you will need to decompress it. You can do this by right clicking the studioartist4 zip compressed folder in the Windows File Explorer, and then choosing the extract option. You need to extract the entire folder. This will take a few minutes to complete.
After you complete the extraction you will have a decompressed Studio Artist folder and your original zip compressed studio artist folder file. You should then remove the original zip compressed folder file you downloaded from your computer to avoid confusion between the 2.
Windows unfortunately allows you to open a zip compressed folder in the windows explorer and try to run an application in the zip compressed folder. Do not try to do this. The entire folder needs to be decompressed or extracted prior to running the application. If you try to do this you will get an error message stating that a .dll file is missing.
The zip decompression functionality built into Windows and acessable via the Extract command in the Windows File Explorer is all you need to decompress the zip compressed Studio Artist folder.
Moving Mac Presets to Windows
Studio Artist was designed to be compatible with older existing presets from previous Studio Artist versions. At the same time we needed to make sure preset files would work on intel and PPC computer architectures and on Mac and Windows computers. There are a few things to be aware of when moving Studio Artist preset files between the 2 different computer platforms.
Mac computer files support the concept of a file having a data fork and a resource fork. Windows computers do not support this concept, so a Mac file that has a data and a resource fork will appear as 2 different files if it is moved from a Mac to a Windows computer. Studio Artist presets created on the Mac use both the resource fork and the data fork. Presets are redundant in that all the information in the resource fork is also contained in the data fork so that they an be cross platform. However, this would not be the case with older Studio Artist presets created in earlier versions (before version 4) of Studio Artist.
Studio Artist has a menu command that can be used to scan all of the Presets in the Preset folder and convert them to be cross platform compatible. You can update the entire factory preset collection or just a specific folder. These 2 menu commands are in the main File : Export menu and are called Update Old Preset Factory Library and Update Old Preset Folder respectively. These menu commands will only appear in Mac builds of Studio Artist since they are designed to convert old presets to a form suitable for transfer to Windows computers.
If you moved presets from a Mac to a Windows machine and they show up in the Preset Browser with solid blue icons as opposed to their usual preview icons that would be a symptom that they are older preset files that were not converted as described above to be cross platform. Synthetik has converted all of the existing factory presets so you don’t need to worry about them. However, if you have custom preset you built in the past and want to use them on Windows computers you will need to do the conversion yourself.
The other thing to be aware of is that any Brush files you use in your presets have been converted to be Windows compatible. Some older image or movie files may be stored in Mac only formats. Like Pict images, or files that are using the Mac resource forks i described above as a part of their format. Converting these older image and movie files to be cross platform can usually be done as simply as opening the individual image or movie files in Preview or Quicktime Player and then saving them.