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ESCOM has already announced one such licensing deal with VisCorp in the United States. While I will not go into the entire interview, I will tell you that Mr. Schmitt is still considering his options in the North American market and he has not yet announced what ESCOM's plans are for the future Amigas. However, he was very emphatic that there would be future Amigas. Current Amiga models should be available by September-October and ESCOM has already made commitments to deliver quite a few units. Out Of Sight, Out of Mind While 1 appreciate ESCOM's reluctance to make announcements concerning the Amiga before they had purchased the rights, the lack of information concerning ESCOM once they had won the Auction has left many Amiga users and vendors up in the air. Many people have continued a wait-and-see attitude, Some have even suspended activities or sea led back their efforts until they have something definitive. Unfortunately as each vendor pulls back a little, each Amiga user and Amiga vendor becomes- .iore skeptical of the market and also pulls back. This condition has confronted the Amiga market for ewer a year
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JL. COMPUTING Tojw Original AMIGA Monthly Resource June.1995 $ 4.95 Creating Nebulas with Lightwave 3D
• DPaint V
• VLab Motion: Tips and Tricks Game Reviews:
• All Terrain Racing and more!
Program your own X-Specs 3D Stereoscopic lasses SOFTWARE...S0 TWME..SOFTWARE...SOFTWARE...SOFTWARE...SOFTWA1E...SOFTW GURll-ROM V6 TurboCalc V2.0 is the unique software solution that defines a new standard for spread sheet applications on the Commodore Amiga. Experience its nearly unlimited capabilities in all relevant categories: Stefan Ossowski's Schatzfruhe and Ralph Babel, author of the well-known »Amiga Guru Book« and long-standing former system software developer for GVP, the American company known for its high-quality hardware products, present: Guru-ROM Version 6 The final update
for all GVP SCSI host adapters!
- extensive formatting options
* all supported font formats allowed, including new vector fonts
• no color restrictions
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* more than 40 different number, time, end date formats Functions
• more than 100 functions covenng mathemeticol ond financial
- intuitive input via mouse Diagrams
• all common cherf types supported (bar, histogram, line, pie]
• footer and header in any admitted character set
- various filling patterns and colors ¦ optional display of
legend and axis labeling
* output as IFF file or graphic printout Macros ARexx
- macro language with more than 120 instructions including
conditional branching, loop constructions, user requests and
embedding of external routines
- Arexx port with mutual Arexx and macro instructions
* automatic macro recording and tracing mode for easier routine
• free menu definition Printout
• output in built-in printer font (draft mode) or as freely
scotoble graphic with all enhancod formattings like font style,
frames, cell grid etc. (requires OS2.0 or higher) Years af
experience, technical know-how, and competence from the world’s
best Amiga software and hardware engineers are condensed in
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performance, risk of incompatibility, or waste of resources.
Together with exhaustive documentation, the »Guru- ROM« enhances each Series-ll host adapter in many decisive and for the serious user essential features: Database
- integrated database with numerous date definition and retrieval
options: search, copy and delete operations according to user
defined criteria Control Options
- full mouse or keyboard control
- toolbar with icon shortcuts
- completely enghsh version including 200 page manuol Universal;
a SCSI driver without compromise for all Series-ll host
adapters and all »Combo« and »G-Force« accelerator cards for
the Amiga 4000, 3000, 2000, 1200, and 500. This ROM module,
which has been considerably extended in its code and feature
set, replaces all previously distributed driver ROMs.
Fast: unparalleled transferrates of up to 3.5 MB s raw [Zorro-ll limit), 3.1 MB s measured with »SCSISpeed«, Technical Characteristics
- sheet size limited only by available memory
- no restrictions in sheet or window quontity
• import of foreign formats supported (MS Excel, Professional
Calc, CSV ASCII format) ¦ OS2.0 user interface took and feel
• freely adjustable screen mode ond font selection
- all new screen modes of OS2.0 supported
- fast, due to being written 100% in assembler code
2. 4 MB s measured with »DiskSpeed« - even on a stock 7-MHz
68000-based Amiga! All the while, the CPU typically retains
80% free processing time. Always maximum performance through
the automatic selection of the currently optimal transfer mode
(DMA, buffered DMA, PIO).
Multifaceted:.'supports all device types defined in the SCSI standard, such as hard disks, CD-ROM drives, streamers, scanners, and magnetooptical devices.
Compatiblejfeomplete support for the RDB standard resulting in trouble-free autoboot, automount, and the exchange of devices and media between two computers from Amiga OS 1.3 through 3.1, Flexible; disconnect reselect, synchronous transfers, and parity checking can be enabled separately for each device (even for devices without an RDB]. Also complete write-protection (useful For kiosk applications and for virus protection) is possible.
Intelligent: maximum compatibility with nearly all hardware and software through special handling of ail known Firmware bugs of the most popular SCSI devices and DMA hardware bugs in the A3000 and A4000, workarounds for internal errors in the WD SCSI chip, as well as special modifications to account for defective application software.
Upward-compatiblerlcompletely compatible both to the SCSI-2 as well as to the SCSI-1 standard, thereby providing the broadest support for ail devices on the market including those still to come.
CD-ROM.. CD-ROM... o CD-ROM.. , CD-ROM...C .I!
Raytracmg it a fascinating area d( computer graphics Pictures ham
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Freihfonts volume 2 contains 632 megabytes of fonts far almost any computer system Most of the fonti are freely distributable, except for the Thicnen forts, which ore exclusive on this CD. Each of these fonts is included in lour differert formats Dmf Agfa InteHfont. Adobe and TrueType. There are 231 font families on ton CO leoeh containing of up to 6 different styles] They are claivrfsed In seven categories D*cq 163 FamUei). Non Latin 33 fonnI.es), P cfurei (16 lam* k*t|. Sons Serif (29 fonvln)], Script |36 fom liesj, Serif |36 fom-lies), and Thienen (19 fomdiev| freshfonts Vol 2: $ 29 9$
Aminet Aminti ¦! To -orfcTi largest ccdection of freely distributable Anwgo vjfrwow Up to 10.000 uwi octets the vow every day and couniUii programmers pub nh directly -o Arrnr+t A wide vcrnety J programs it inch dad opp*«ccr« n _ gomes, demos, p V'pi mods onunqfcan*. Du.xiopw mater .d. networking Wtvnn programming language i and more Unbf recendy. Octets to Aminet was rpjr ted lo mOernBkcnol n**won uun Only 3 yeara oher « «*pK«i. Am.
Ne* now holds thf equivalent aI mare mar 4.500 Roppy disks of toh ««• User friendy occeu vofrwore r-citi me atmnel CD1! O pf P i-j't lO IM Aminet Set I, the first ‘complete* Amirs*! Crcbve on CD. Conustt of approximately 4 g-gabytes of software n 12.500 otchnes Thei 4 CD set. Which it doled January 1995, ofVs or olmost iinhauv Side ivmtvoi of »op value shareware There or* olio quarterly releo mi of selected portions of rhe amines hei Atn-net Volume ft. Dotec Jung 1993. Consists of approximately I g-gobytei of software ir
3. 600 me hive* Volume ft hat a spoon focus on demo*. More Aar
1600 demos from Amine! Were included One year vjbvcnptitsnj tc
the Amine' ter.es are available There are expected lo be lour
re lea mi per year, to the subscription rt actually For 4
00*1. Regard*** of when ih*y end up shipping.
Aminet Set 343.95 Aminet Quarterly: 519.95 Aminet Quarterly. J year subicripticn: 559 95 eioeeoeeoeeoeeo* Meeting Pearls Meeirij Peorts volume 1 contain 5bo«4 150 high quokfy ond lugh retoluton frortali. A reedy to run *en*on of PmTeX which mpudes ford far FAX and 600 dpi printers a rertay to mitaS version of the Aeuga NrtSO porr. And many other ready to nm oppl-caeons mdu- ding UM5 DaggeX. A lo* of lAtaev, gomes. E«c Meebng Pearls volume 2 contains 450 Mb of toe fmes: freely iita butoble seftware and has a speool user interfoce which bos been Created lo allow you to find the prog ram of your
choice wta eose.
The contents include 35 Mo erf selected HTMi pages: 50 Mb grcpfvts programs and data, 15 Mb games: !0 Mb from 'The Party “94’ 13 Mb disk, hod diik. CD*OM ard SCSI tods. 19 Mb various other tools. It Mb educsfeonol software; 25 Mb terminal programt. 25 Mb animationi. Manly from Enc Schworc. 4C Mb developer tools fe g premstaHed DICE. Oberon, & Modulo compilers. Commodore Includes, GDI- Tods), 9 Mb nuuc program. 10 Mb eta. Programs. 27 Mb pictures, 60 Mb texts. FAQs. CD cortentt hies, etc. 40 Mb Lnu* for Am-go, 100 Mb TeX iruto ohon (PosTeX ind 600 dp ond fox fonJs}. 38 Mb movie tia'a base.
50 Mb ordu vei for Psion, 16 Mb modules; 50 Mb NeJ SD for Amiga Because rhe version of NetBSD included on Meeting Ptodi CO’l includes encryption code that is restricted for U.S. export, eR imported CD's wJl only be avotaWe for resole within the U,5 Meeting PeoHsVof. 1: $ 13 95 Meeting Peorlt Vot 2: $ 13.95 e e 0 eeoeeceeceeoe All products ore available in your local Amiga shop or through national mail-order companies e e O e e 'O • e O • e C e e O e North American distributor: Gateway!
Magic Illusions This CO brings a new interesting form of entertainment ta your screen
* 30 5tereogromtt Without special aids a colorful, fantastic,
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network ng tools Other suppt-ed poehoges mcfude o bmory raleaM
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AnuTCP ond Erwoy Gatewrajr!: 522 95 Gamers' Delight Gamers' De
ight contains more (non 40 games m various categories,
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10 Creating Nebulas With Lightwave 3D AC Exclusive ESCOM Interview 48 Manfred Shmitt of ESCOM AG speaks directly on the future of the Amiga, ESCOM's plans and more.
By William Frawley Unlock some of the greatness of Lightwave by recreating those aweinspiring background nebulas often seen surrounding Babylon 5.
20 Dpaint V by R. Shamms Mortier Is this much awaited upgrade to Electronic Arts’ major contribution to the Amiga for everyone?
24 Connect with ENLAN-DFS 2.0 GAMES 42 Blood Net By Rob Hays The Night is special, don't be caught just hanging around.
Journey through the streets of Manhatten and Cyberspace in 2094 44 ATR All Terrain Racing By Jason D’Aprile Team 17’s ATR is an overhead, small sprite racer with a sci-fi bent.
Reviewed by Shamms Mortier Network your Amigas for maximum performance and full Amiga productivity.
26 Vlab Motion: Tips and Tricks By Douglas J. Nakakihara Use Vlab Motion's editing software package, MovieShop,and Arexx to ease your animation tasks and more.
34 Revitalizing the X-Specs 3D Stereoscopic Glasses By Randy Finch Program your software to use the Xspecs.library and create 3D viewing on your Amiga.
Departments Editorial 4 List of Advertisers 40 TO ORDER Call 800-544-6599 MON.-FRI. 9-6, SAT. 9-5 CST Customer Service 414-548-8125 -Fax 414-548-8130 ft] Supra Corporation SupraExpress 144 FAX Ext ....95.00 SupraFAX Modem 14.4LC .135.00 SupraFAX 28.8 V.34 Ext 210.00 Noah Ji’s Mobotics Sportster 14.4 Ext FAX....125.00 Sportster 28.8 V.FC Ext FAX.210.00 Sportster 28.8 V.34 Ext FAX .245.00 CD ROM Know The Internet 23.99 Connect Your Amiga ....21.00 Internet. Modems, Comms.31.99 Mastering AMOS ..29.00 lirae Pcs accepted from schools and government agencies • Personal checks require 7
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Vol 1 2 120.00 1 (For more, see Micro R&D Box) DRIVES & TITLES
ENMIAL (MI ESCOM Speaks, We Listen _ JAMIGA ADMINISTRATION
Publisher: Joyce Hicks Assistant Publisher: Robert J. Hicks
Circulation Manager: Doris Gamble Traffic Manager: Robert
Gamble Production Manager: Ernest P. Viveiros ESCOM AG Takes
Charge On page 48 of this issue, Manfred Schmitt, founder and
principal shareholder in ESCOM AG, is interviewed. As far as
I know, this is the first North American interview that has
seen print from Mr. Schmitt and it is extremely important. Up
until now, ESCOM had kept their thoughts and plans to
themselves. As Mr. Schmitt puts it in his interview, "We have
never talked in tire past without knowing things, so if I tell
you something then we will do it. We did not talk in the past
until everything was done..." In short, while we have not heard
from ESCOM, what we have heard has been greatly under
Prior to the Auction in April, we were told by several sources that ESCOM's initial and only interest was in iho Commodore trademark. This appears to be true. However, while pursuing the one goal, ESCOM apparently saw the potential of the Amiga. Mr. Schmitt discusses TV set-top boxes as well as other markets for Amiga technology.
ESCOM has already announced one such licensing deal with VisCorp in the United States.
While I will not go into the entire interview, I will tell you that Mr. Schmitt is still considering his options in the North American market and he has not yet announced what ESCOM's plans are for the future Amigas. However, he was very emphatic that there would be future Amigas, Current Amiga models should be available by September-October and ESCOM has already made commitments to deliver quite a few units.
Out Of Sight, Out of Mind While 1 appreciate ESCOM's reluctance to make announcements concerning the Amiga before they had purchased the rights, the lack of information concerning ESCOM once they had won the Auction has left many Amiga users and vendors up in the air. Many people have continued a wait-and-see attitude. Some have even suspended activities or scaled back their efforts until they have something definitive.
Unfortunately as each vendor pulls back a little, each Amiga user and Amiga vendor becomes ".lore skeptical of the market and also pulls back. This condition has confronted the Amiga market for over a year (many people believe that the condition started long before Commodore's liquidation announcement) and, I hope has hit its lowest point.
Don Hicks Managing Editor The effect of this scale back can be seen in the issue you arc reading. The combined forces of suspected slower Summer sales and the lack of definitive announced plans, produced less advertising for this issue.
This forced us to provide a smaller, 48-page issue. We compensated by dropping several in-house ads and by combining or condensing our own material (1 am sharing space with the masthead, while the table of contents was moved from two pages to one). In addition, several of the articles for this month are longer than usual. All of this means we have a tighter issue than we had planned.
May 30th Announcement However, all of this should be over shortly. ESCOM has called a press conference for May 30th in Germany. The results of this meeting will be published in the July issue of Amazing Computing. I have been invited and I will attend. No, this isn't a great way to see Europe. Unfortunately, 1 will only be there for two days and then 1 return.
However, it is a great opportunity for the Amiga. ESCOM has invited journalists from around the world to hear their plans and strategies. There will be a German conference in the morning and an English conference in the afternoon. ESCOM is taking no chances. They are covering the entire market.
What will this mean? It means that ESCOM understands that their investment needs to be nurtured with information. It means that they have decided to make as big a splash as they can in the marketplace and promote the Amiga.
What does this mean for the Amiga in North America. 1 don't know yet. But, the reason 1 am going is to lobby for as much product, research and development, and marketing support as we can get for the North American market. We cannot allow the poor decisions of the previous Commodore management to influence the new owners. ESCOM knows and understands the Amiga market in Europe. Now it is important to show them the potential on this side of the Atlantic EDITORIAL Managing Editor: Don Hicks Hardware Editor: Ernest P. Viveiros illustrator: Brian Fox Contributing Editor: Merrill Callaway
Contributing Editor: Shamms Mortier AMAZING AUTHORS Keith Cameron Randy Finch William Frawiey Rob Hays Jeff James John Steiner Henning Vahlenkamp Dan Weiss Doug Nakakihara 1-508-678-4200, 1-800-345-3360, FAX 1-508-675-6002 Amazing Computing For The Commodore AMIGA'" (ISSN 1053-4547) is published monthly by PIMPublications,Inc .Currant Road.P.O. Box2140, Fall River, MA 02722-2140, Phone 1-508-678-4200,1- 800-345-3360, and FAX 1-508 675-6002.
U. S. subscription rale is S2995 for 12 issues. Subscriptions
outside the U.S. are os folfows: Canada & Mexico $ 38.95 (U-S
funds) one year only; Foreign Surface S49.97, All payments
must be In U.S. funds on a U.S. bank. Due to erratic postal
changes, all foreign rates are one-year only, Second-Class
Postage paid at Fall River. MA 02722 and additional mailing
POSTMASTER: Send address chdnges to PiM Publications Inc., P O. Box 2140, Fall River. MA 02722-
2140. Printed In the U.S.A. Entire contents copyright© 1995 by
PiM Publications. Inc. All rights reserved. No part of
this publication may be reproduced without written
permission tromPiM Publications, Inc, Additional First
Class or Air Moll rotes availabieupon request. PiM
Publications, Inc. maintains the right to refuse any
PiM Publications Inc. is not obligated to return unsolicited materials. Ail requested returns must be received with a self-addressed stamped mailer, Send article submissions In both manuscript and disk format with your name, address, telephone, and Social Security Number on each to the Associate Editor, Requests for Author’s Guides should be drected to the address fisted above, AMIGA™ is a registered trademark of Commodore-Amiga, Inc., Commodore Business Machines, International CBM is currently owned by ESCOM AG Germany Distributed in the U.S. & Canada by interrvalionct Periodical
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Beginning Astembl 10 Amazing Computing If you're an Amiga user and you haven't yet witnessed the glorious LightWave-created special effects of Babylon 5 (those living in Antarctica are excused), please, sell or give your venerable machine to some other space sci-fi freak less fortunate than thou and buy a PC.
You see, I've always assumed, quite precociously I may add, that Amigas and science fiction were as inseparable as wine and cheese, Siamese twins, and Beavis and Butthead. From the early beginnings of the desktop computer revolution, the Amiga exemplified the means to affordable graphics and animation creation the tool with which to realize all those Treknicolor dreams roaming about our cerebral cortexes.
Enter Babylon 5, respectable science fiction television programming with special effects we've all dreamed about, and created primarily with Amigas. Because of this show, I now keep a small rag constantly at my side to sponge off the drool anytime 1 watch the LightWave 3D-generated effects. Therefore, as a LightWave user, it is my duty to unlock some of the greatness of this powerful software by recreating those awe-inspiring background nebulas often seen surrounding Babylon 5.
Now I realize that some of you may not own LightWave or the Video Toaster, although the two have recently been unbundled so you no longer have to buy the Toaster to get LightWave, finally. However, for those genuinely interested, the techniques presented here will undoubtedly aid in your understanding of some of the concepts inherent in 3D animation. The process described below for creating professional-looking nebulas should serve to thoroughly acquaint you with some of the more often-used aspects and features of surfacing objects such as color, luminosity and especially transparency
Figure 1: Use the Ball tool to create a Tesselated sphere. The nebula will eventually be mapped on the inside once the polygons are Flipped to face inwardly.
Figure 2: Positioning the camera within the nebula sphere.
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Before vve begin, let me take this moment to apologize to
those readers who were looking forward to a tutorial on
Aladdin4D gases. In all honesty, after using LightWave for
quite some time now, I find it painstakingly difficult to use
any other program.
Granted, the gases in Aladdin4D are indeed unique and powerful; however, rendering times for this feature are extremely s-l-o-w, even on an 040.
Therefore, watch for other AC authors who may wish to tackle subjects dealing with this worthy program.
Nebulas by Lightwave If all your animation requires is a simple, single color nebula to be used as a backdrop for silhouetting objects in the harsh lighting conditions of space, look no further than LightWave's own procedural surfacing capabilities. Using Fractal Noise luminosity and transparency textures mapped onto the inside of a sphere, your entire scene contained within this sphere then becomes surrounded by patches of nebulas good enough for a subtle background effect. Add a spherical collection of single-point polygons (particles) for stars, and you're ready to roll.
Begin in Modeler by creating a two-level (2) tessellated sphere with an XYZ radius of 1km (an even unit of 10 helps later when working with texture value percentages). You'll need to access the Ball tool's control panel by selecting Ball in the Objects menu, then Numeric ('n') to manually alter the parameters. Enter the above figures leaving everything else at default, then press 'Enter' to accept the requester then 'Enter' again to make the sphere (Figure 1). Press 'a' to fit the entire globe within view. Although not Figure 4: The key ingredient for creating t the surface of a jJ j nebula is
the Fractal Noise pattern for both j; the Luminosity and ! Transparency ¦j procedural textures, j The transparency i texture should be at least twice as large as t the luminosity texture 11 so that patches of U nebula appear
- instead of one solid wall of gas when no I transparency map
Paramount in this case but more for planet and moon creation, using Tessellation produces a smoother outline to the ball, especially when seen close up.
Currently, the polygons making up the sphere all face outwardly, which is not what we want. We need to have them face in the opposite direction so that they will be seen from inside the sphere. To rectify, use the Flip tool ('f') in the Polygon menu being sure that none (or all) of the polygons making up the sphere are selected to reverse the direction in which they face. Remember, if none are selected, they're all selected. Lastly, rename the surface ('q') to "Nebula" and Export this object to Layout, naming the object "Nebula.sphere." Just Scratching the Surface Back in Layout, move the
Camera along the Z axis to either the origin (0,0,0) or as far back on the Z axis (negative direction) before it leaves the inside of the sphere just created (Figure 2). Use the XZ view to visually aid with the camera placement. By placing the camera as close to the inside wall of the sphere, the maximum amount of the nebula's real estate can be seen when feedback for adjusting the surface parameters is required (Figure 3). Make sure now to create a keyframe ('Enter' twice) at zero for both the camera and Nebula.sphere object. Now for the surfacing.
In the Surface menu (Figure 4), select a color for the nebula. I chose a blue with RGB values of (70,0,170), respectively. Now leaving the Luminosity value at 0%, press'Tbeside it to access the Luminosity Texture panel. Enter the following values, leaving all others at their default: Texture Tvpe: Fractal Noise Texture Size: 250 50 250 Texture Value: 100% Frequencies: 6 Figure 5: The final nebula created entirely with Fractal Noise procedurals. Three lens flares, the Star Destroyer included with Lightwave 3.1 and a custom made starfield round out the nebula scene.
In essence, the fractal noise generates a pattern of luminosity roughly 25% of the width and depth and 5% of the height of the object. Depending how bright you want the nebula, fee! Free to adjust the Texture Value to anything between 75-200%. Anything higher tends to wash out the detail of the fractal pattern. At this point, turn on Smoothing and do a test render to check your results.
As you can see, the nebula fills the entire interior of the sphere. Not exactly what we're shooting for. What is necessary are large patches where the nebula is invisible or, you guessed it, transparent. Leave the Transparency value at 0% and then create a transparency texture map with the following values: Texture Type: Fractal Noise Texture Size: 500 500 500 Texture Value: 200% Frequencies: 6 Check your results again. Better? This is the basic idea, where there are large patches of nebula containing relatively smaller patterns of detail. For a bit more variety however, try varying the
Transparency texture values for the size, especially increasing the X and Z values by a factor of three. Also, try rotating the nebula sphere using the Bank axis so it appears to be tilted diagonally. Alternatively, you could set the Luminosity to a constant value of say 100% and use the Surface Color texture to modulate the color between black and whatever color you want the nebula to be. Remember to add some stars and your foray into basic nebulas is complete. Now for those with plenty of patience... Rolling Your Own Nebulas In order to get those, top-quality nebulas similar to those seen on
Babylon 5, we must go beyond Lightwave's procedural surface texturing and actually paint our own nebulas. Then we can map the image onto a plane object and have the negative version of the image control the transparency as a texture map. As we shall see, it is both the increased variety of colors in the image and the related transparency map for proper fall off that is the key to enhanced realism of this effect when compared to the simple nebula created above.
Figures 6a-6c (top to bottom): The various stages of creating a hand- painted nebula in OpalPaint. The final panel shows the results of Smearing the different colors into each other with additional swirling wisps.
In order to get those, top-quolity nebulas similar to those seen on Babylon 5, we must go beyond Lightwave's procedural surface texturing and actually paint our own nebulas.
To begin, you'll need to paint yourself a nebula. Load your favorite 24-bit paint program, t chose to use OpalPaint, but you could also try ImageFX, Brilliance, or if you have it, PhotoShop (you'll need a Mac or an Emplant board though). Of course, if you're already an artist by trade, feel free to skip this sophomore painting tutorial and proceed to the next paragraph.
Arrange a palette of intense blues, reds, whites any colors you think your nebula should have. I began in OpalPaint by setting up a horizontal transparency gradient that was fully opaque on one end and fell off to total transparency on the other. That way, when any of the fill tools were used, the paint would dissipate on one end into the background color, which should be black.
Generally, the easiest way to start would be to add the main nebula first (Figure 6a) using a line fill tool, then add the different colored highlights as before or try using a freehand tool with an airbrush nozzle (Figure 6b).
Put the finishing touches on by smearing the different colors into each other. At this stage, it helps to have, if the program is capable, some transparency (50%) on and a reduced smear value (25%) so that the smearing process is subtle. This is where the patience comes in, working the different colors into each other and creating the gentle wisps in parts where the nebula expands into space.
Once complete, save this image as a 24-bit IFF (Figure 6c).
Creating the Transparency Map The last step before we proceed with LightWave is the creation of the transparency image map for our hand- painted nebula. Why do we need a transparency map in the first place?
Well, with this method of mapping the full-color nebula image onto a plane object as a surface color texture, if there are any other objects in the scene behind this plane, they will not be visible because there hasn't been any areas within this object's surface designated as transparent. Thus, applying an image map as opposed to a procedural texture allows exact control over which regions are or aren't transparent And since we wish the nebula to gradually become more transparent near its edges, it would seem that the actual nebula image itself inherently contains the required data, with only
minor modifications necessary.
Recall that when applying images as any other texture map except surface color, only the luminance values (brightness) of the image are used, with white representing full intensity and black zero intensity for that particular texture type. Any values between the extremes are varying degrees of intensity. In the case of our transparency map then, simply convert the full-color nebula image into a greyscale negative so that any black in the original becomes white (transparent) and vice-versa (Figure 7). This is easily done in any image processing program such as The Art Department Professional
(ADPro) or ImageFX.
When using these Color To Grey operators, be sure to adjust the relative weights of the RGB components in order to compensate or boost the opacity of certain portions of your nebula. For example, after applying the Negative operator, if the Color To Grey default values for the Luma weighting favoring the green compo Figure 7: The nebula image after it has been converted to greyscale and processed through the Negetive operator in ADPro. This image will serve as a transparency map for the plane object containing Ihe full-color surface mapped nebula. The white areas represent full transparency,
the dark opacity.
I rsww riff nwrHiiHHfHWTiKTnnnnM "ZZZZZZZZZ tcwrjCbjrctt [ Surf it*» [ iBign Jlifhtji ft«itri}ord[Opl lpn»j IXM ttrrtch] Rfivt jj Ctntcr ft; Ira* , . P x: ~J8€M9 Figure 9: The final layout in LightWave of all the elements in the nebula scene as shown in Figure 10. The two angled, rectangular planes contain the hand- painted nebulas.
% Figure 10 The final localized-nebuia scene was rendered in Medium resolution (752x480) with medium anti-aliasing and motion-blur added for the moving ship. Total time: approximately 25 minutes.
Nents are used for the transparency map, much of the blue in the nebula image will be too transparent and hence won't be visible. Compensate for this with larger values (relative to the others) for the blue component.
Range operator to reduce values for the upper limit or increase the minimum values. Alternatively, if available, you could use OpalPaint's ChromaCtrl mode to boost just the color components necessary. Modify the Slope curve by increasing Shear to boost the upper limit while using Gain to flatten the lower values so the black remains black. Then create a Notice the blue areas are then darker in the greyscale transparency map. If, however, this results in areas of intense hotspots, use the Dynamic negative of this image.
If all this sounds a little abstract at this time, that's okay. Once you've rendered the nebula scene, you can return to this point and adjust the values for tire transparency map accordingly. For now', save the image as "Nebula.trans." With tiie nebula pic and its related transparency map completed, enter LightWave and load these images from the Images menu. Proceed into Modeler and access the BG Image requester in the Display menu. This will allow us to see the nebula image in the background of Modeler's Face view' so that we may create a plane object matching the image's dimensions.
Select the nebula image from the list and choose the Z axis on which to display the image. If the image was created in video resolution, enter an X size of 1.3 to stretch the image horizontally to match television's aspect ratio of 4:3 (the aspect in which it was created). If the image was originally scanned or uses square pixels, leave the size at 1. With the nebula image now showing in the Face view background, use the box tool in the Objects menu to create a plane outlining the perimeter of the image (Figure 8). Press 'Enter' to Make the polygon and then 'q' to rename the surface to
"Nebula.plane." Export this object to Layout.
Back in Layout, enter the Surfaces menu and select the "Nebula.plane” surface for editing. Enter the Surface Color Texture panel (T) and apply the should have been put into creating the nebula image.
Finally, arrange the nebula object in your scene accordingly (Figure 9).
Throw in some stars and render away.
For added realism, it helps to increase the scale and distance so some of the stars (particles) will appear in front of the nebula. Also, because this object is panning of the camera within the scene all the while keeping the nebula in the background for silhouetting purposes (Figures 11 and 12).
As I'm now out of space, I'll leave it up to you to figure out at least two more ways of creating nebulas for your all-important space scenes. Further- Furthermore, as particle system capabilities evolve for Lightwave and similar programs, creating actual gaseous nebulas will be only a couple of upgrade versions away from reality.
Nebula image as a Planar Image Map on the Z axis. Select Automatic Sizing for a perfect fit. Next, enter a Luminosity' value of 300% and change the Diffusion to 0% as we do not want the scene's lighting conditions to affect this surface. Proceed to enter a Transparency texture in the same manner as the Surface Color image map, but use the "Nebula.trans” image map instead. That's all there is to surfacing this object. Most of the effort self-luminous, you can turn off any lights if not required to save some rendering time.
The Final Frontier So how does the team at Foundation Imaging actually do it? According to Mojo, they hand-paint the nebulas in Adobe Photoshop in extremely large resolutions and then map the images onto a curved planar object lying behind the star field, thus allowing for more, as particle system capabilities evolve for LightWave and similar programs, creating actual gaseous nebulas will be only a couple of upgrade versions away from reality.
Can't wait till then, so,... Engage!
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ECwyngtil 199S, iHiUmtdt 1F1.AI Right! Reserved Dpaint V by R. Shawms Mortier Is this much awaited upgrade to Electronic Arts' major contribution to the Amiga for everyone?
The Grandfather Clause Anyone over forty knows well that no matter what you do, if you do it long enough, your place in history (or at least in your community) will be safe and secure. If you're publicly crazy for a long time without flinching or giving in to the socializing efforts of your neighbors, your craziness will eventually be accepted and even emulated (and folks will even pay money to see what you do). Artists Reportedly, a good handful of software engineers from Digital Creations (now Play, Inc.) emigrated to Electronic Arts some months ago to work on this Dpaint release.
Have known this for a long time. The same is true for products in the marketplace, especially those that develop a rabid following over time.
In this land where anything resembling a "tradition" is so rare that it is ferociously lusted after, persistence and presence often substitute for a needed critical objectivity. For that reason, especially given the chaotic state of affairs in the Amiga community lately, established Amiga software developers that continue to put out product for our platform of choice are held up as gurus, faithful savants who haven't abandoned the ship. It's almost treasonous, or so one would think when hearing the loud cacophony of irritated Amiga cultists, to attempt to look objectively at a serious
Amiga software release.
That narrow attitude, however, will do all of us great harm in the long run, so it's best to look carefully at all software packages that purport to be doing things in our best interest, especially those wares established deeply in the Amiga psyche (of which Dpaint is probably the best, most long- lived, and respected example).
So What’s New?
I am going to suppose that you have some knowledge of and acquaintance with Dpaint, so I'll skip over subjects that deal with an introductory definition of how the basic tools in Dpaint work. Instead I'm going to concentrate on how various tools and processes have changed in this touted "major" upgrade.
Reportedly, a good handful of software engineers from Digital Creations (now Play, Inc.) emigrated to Electronic Arts some months ago to work on this Dpaint release. That was seen as significant because Play is the developer of Dpaint's main competitive products. Brilliance and TrueBrilliance. This news was seen as very interesting for Amiga Dpaint artists, because we might then expect that some or most of the superlative features of Brilliance would wind up somehow integrated into Dpaint. Is that the case? Read on.
If you don't have an AGA Amiga (an A4000 or an A1200), I don't think you should bother upgrading. Dpaint V is suited best to AGA Amigas because of both speed and options. I worked with it on an Amiga 4000 with 32MB of RAM and lots of hard drive space. Many of the best new features, like painting media and textured surfaces, have no visual meaning on non-AGA platforms.
As the screen opens up to resolution choices, Dpaint V looks like the same Dpaint that we've become used to since Dpaint IV with one exception.
There is now a toggle for a 24-bit buffer that allows Dpaint to keep track of painting so that 24-bit depth is saved when the art is finished. Dpaint still recognizes only IFF files (not even JPEG's), though it is accompanied by the competition's failure to go beyond this limitation as well.
Loading in a 24-bit image does not seem to be much faster than before, though it is now accompanied bv animated on-screen "completion gauges" to attempt to ease the painful wait. 24-bit work does come in nicely, and reformatting the screen size takes place quicker than it used to with high resolution color pictures, For some reason, however, the screen refuses to scroll when used with multiscan monitors that have the MultiScan option turned on in preferences (1 use a SONY 17” multiscan). Competitive programs (and even Workbench) have no problem with this, except that even The addition of
"Natural Media" is a first for Dpaint, and also a first serious attempt to include this feature on an Amiga platform.
Workbench refuses to scroll when Dpaint is running. The more negative side of this is that in some higher resolutions, the right half of the toolbar is not accessible, and in some overscan cases disappears altogether.
One new feature is an added requester that pops up when you hit the FI key after bringing up the Save menu. It allows you to add your name and other data to the picture file, and also gives you the storage capacity left on the drive to which you are saving.
One caveat, if you try to change the drive path to another volume while this requester is up, be prepared for a hard crash.
Natural Media The addition of "Natural Media" is a first for Dpaint, and also a first serious attempt to include this feature on an Amiga platform. Painting software on other platforms has sported enhanced ways of adding background "textures" and emulated media tools for quite a while. In Dpaint this takes two related paths.
The "textures" are background brushes that paint in any selected translucency or color. The media consists of four separate items at this point: Chalk, Felt Tip Pen, Oil Brush, and Watercolor Brush. Each of these emulates the traditional mediums fairly well, though more work needs to be done at the programming level here to bring these tools up to the par of painting software on non-Amiga platforms. The Textures option can be toggled on off at will, so that actually painting with textures is possible, as well as filling with them and airbrushing.
Speaking of an airbrush... Airbrushing in Dpaint has finally become more like the real thing. You 22 A MA ZING COMP UTING can still spatter color pixels as in the past, but now you can also get a true airbrush feel as a fine mist of sprav is digitally deposited on the screen. You can adjust both the intensity and the spread of the spray. This finally gives AGA users tools formerly reserved for 24-bit airbrushing software.
Animations with multiple palettes are no longer a problem Animation On the animation side of things, Dpaint emulates TrueBrilliance by allowing more exact keyframe animation tools, as well as the ability to manually control where a selected brush starts and ends in an animation.
Animations can also freeze on-screen at any selected frame before moving on. T wish that splined controls were a part of this feature, but one can't get everything at once I guess.
Another animation feature is the enhancement of the "LightBox" tools, so that various levels of translucency can aid you while drawing animated frames. The addition of "camera moves" in the animation controls will be of benefit to animators who wish to add more variability to their Dpaint 2D animations. There is now an option to print a selected range of AnimBoards (storyboard frames) in the Print Requester, and the long awaited ability to edit larger than screen animations (Hooray!). Animations with multiple palettes are no longer a problem (another Hooray!). From the Animation Control
Panel it is now possible to control the translucency of a brush or animbrush as it moves through the sequence.
Vvhile there are other new and enhanced features in addition to those I've mentioned, i think I've covered the bases well enough to give you a feel for the difference that this upgrade holds over previous versions.
In Conclusion Firstly, thanks to Electronic Arts for still being there. Electronic Arts was there for the Amiga when very few other developers had even heard of it or cared, and has remained as a player ail these years. Now to some more critical remarks.
Dpaint is still slower than I would like to see, even though the manual insists that it has been speeded up.
Placing a brush while in the 24-bit mode is a painstaking and often frustrating process, as it moves by jumps and jerks. On the very positive side, the Print requester has finally been upgraded to one with more variability and options. The texture media brush additions are features that will probably be the talk of most Dpaint obsessives for awhile, though I think work still needs to be done here.
There should be a way to get the media to take more notice of a texture other than adjusting the translucency of the paintbrush. The addition of Arexx support is appreciated.
In a way, Dpaint is a paradigm, a projection, of the Amiga itself. By looking at how Dpaint has changed over time, we can glimpse the Amiga.
This edition of Dpaint does not have the sparkle previous Dpaint upgrades have had, but the Amiga situation up until now has also been less than sparkling. Most of this is due to lack of market excitement, and not the result of the software.
There is much that ESCOM will have to do in order to regain the rabid enthusiasm of the Amiga community that was, as there is much for Electronic Arts to do in order to recapture its once held lead as the leading painting program. Brilliance and AlphaPaint outstrip Dpaint in speed and painting options, TrueBrilliance on AGA machines and AlphaPaint for Toaster users. Newcomers to the fray include Personal Paint and PhotoGenics, both from Europe, and both with much more power and new feature potentials than grand-daddy Dpaint. When compared to painting wares on other platforms, Dpaint and all
the rest of the Amiga paint programs have a long way to go. One question remains unanswered, if our fantasies of an Amiga resurgence comes to pass, will there be a Dpaint VI that will shine as a future star in the digital sky? The Amiga market and how it does or does not maintain or grow will no doubt provide the definitive answer.
• AC* Connect with ENLAN-DFS 2.0 by R. Shamms Mortier Network
your Amigas for maximum performance and full Amiga
At the start of my etectronic design life, I was doing OK with my two Amiga 1000s. Then I got the idea that I could connect them together, so I purchased a CVA2B-4 video amplifier from Radio Shack, which allowed me to connect two Amigas, albeit in a rather primitive fashion. After ail, those were the days before the fancier hardware and software we now take for granted was even a dream.
Eventually, after the funeral rites were offered for my Amiga 1000s, I got two A2000s, an A3000 tower, and (finally) an A4000. Tire work I began to do for clients in my graphic design business called for more and more processing power, and I couldn't afford to be in a waiting mode while a needed system was rendering. About the time that all of these systems went online, I realized that each had its own hard drives and other peripherals, and that there would be times when one of the systems would need the stored data that another possessed. I opted for ParNet, but that had some serious flaws.
I could only connect two systems at a time for instance, and some attributes of data transfer (like read writing another system's RAM) was impossible. I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.
My first major step in this direction was to purchase four ASDG (now "Elastic Reality") RoverNet boards, one for each system. Though these come with basic software, it was nothing dose to what I needed, so 1 began looking around for the software component, I chanced upon Allan Brooks of InterWorks, and he lauded the potential of his software: ENLAN- DFS. I took the plunge, and 1 haven't looked back since. Networking, especially "Local Area Networking", has been around for a while. It started with the need to crunch numbers faster, and has now grown to the point where digital video and
computer graphics rendering tasks are hard pressed to continue without one, since these tasks are commonly accomplished by addressing more than one system at a time (known as "render farming"). Since the Amiga was built specifically for videographic applications, it's only natural that networking Amigas together is a desirable way to get the job (especially the big jobs) done. Networking allows you to use storage devices and other peripherals much more efficiently, since any computer linked to the network with the right software can tap into any other links hard drive, printer, or other
connected external devices. A whole office networked together represents a pretty big savings over a collection of scattered systems.
1 have seen ads for ingenious networking solutions that don't take up any precious card slots, hut I know that the software that drives these alternate solutions is nothing like ENLAN-DFS. In my business, I can't afford to save pennies at the expense of less than the best solution. The EB920 LAN Rover hardware from ASDG (Elastic Reality) are high quality boards, tested over time by hundreds of satisfied users. These boards have DMA circuitry, and allow data to be passed from one to the other at speeds up to lOMbits per second. The boards are equipped to handle what is called "thin ethernet" or
"cheapemet" transfers. There is a BNC connector on the end of the hoard, and it snaps easily into an empty slot (ZI1 or Zill). A BNC "T" cable is connected, and the boards are attached together with 50 Ohm or twisted pair cabling (available at Radio Shack), while one end of the T-bars connected to the systems at either end of the network have to be capped with 50 Ohm terminators.
That's all there is to the hardware part of it.
24 A MA ZING CuMPUTl V G Quality, Quality, Quality To make a network operation satisfactory, you need a software manual that will guide you through the installation process as clearly and kindly as possible, and service from the developer for those questions that your techno-brain can't yet grasp the answer to. This is where InterWorks comes in.
Interworks now markets the 2.0 version of ENLAN-DFS. The first version was easy to understand, the 2.0 version is ten times as easy. A classic point-and-click graphic interface makes the learning curve a breeze.
A standard installation script takes you through the first step, including the selection of various hardware options (the Elastic Reality boards are listed as one of those options). Next, it is important to run the ENLAN "IConfig" program. There are three main aspects to Iconfig: naming the present "Node" (the code name of the system you are presently using, so it will be recognized by other nodes on the network), selecting which "resources" (hard drives, printers, etc.) will be exported for use by other nodes, and choosing which resources on the other nodes to import. Your first system, as an
example might have a hard drive and your second system might be connected to a laser printer. The first system would export the hard drive and import use of the laser, while the second system would lie configured to do the opposite.
"Naming" the node allows you to select which one is the local system. Naming conventions are up to you, though we use a simple numbering system at our facilities, if any changes occur down the line, it's easy to go in and modify tire node list again, deleting, adding, and renaming specific units. A "server" is a system on the network that acts as the central provider for other nodes. On our network, all systems act as servers for all the others, though your needs might determine that only one system acts in this roie. There are several levels of file protection possible as well. You can select
a resource (a hard drive, for instance) to be a "read only" target, thereby making it impossible for another node to write data to it.
By selecting a "Wait" state when importing other nodes, the targeted node will wait until other nodes are running in order to connect to them. This might mean that in a twelve node network, only five of your nodes might he up. When another one is turned on, the whole network is automatically updated. If one is shut down, the network compensates instead of crashing, though you are presented with a warning flag on the other nodes that must be responded to.
EID E1D (Export, Import, Deport) is a special optional program that allows you to modify the network in real time. We keep it handy on the main WorkBench screen. "Deport" means to remove a selected resource from the network. Unless "Script Modification" is turned off when using EID, the ENLAN script will be modified, so using EID has to he done with care. There is a "NetCLI" command that allows you to actually execute commands on another remote node. You could, for instance, read another system's directory in this manner, or even make a new directory. A separate "NetRexx" module allows you to
execute Arexx commands on remote nodes, opening up all kinds of possibilities. There's even a special "SendNote" function that will send a note of up to 200 characters to selected nodes inter office memos). A "ShowSANA" program allows you to see all of the technical specs that reference your SANA-II device (hardware).
One of the things we have become quite used to with our ENLAN-DFS network is the exporting importing of every system's RAM drives. This means that at any time we can save something to RAM on one node and have access to it on all the others. What this saves in time and aggravation is inestimable.
Quite often, rendering tasks are greatly enhanced through the use of this system. We can render and save out a LightWave scene as an RGB file and preview it in OpalVision on another node. A large part of a hard drive on a non-LightWave node is devoted to textures, while another node contains hundreds of original 3D models. All of this data is easily accessible to LightWave. This means that Toaster 4000 owners are not limited by the two IDE drive limit, even though the local Toaster system may not have its own SCSI drives, it can make use of storage devices on other nodes.
Just as a person can be judged by the company that they keep, so a product can be assessed by the companies that it serves. A selection of sites that use ENLAN-DFS includes NewTek, the U.S. Army, NASA, a long list of schools and libraries, SCALA International, Innovatronics, the RoboCop TV series, Innovision, Blackbelt, LightWave animators Lee Stranahan and John Gross, CEI in Florida, IBM in Rochester N.Y., the National Geographic Society., and many more well known sites.
InterWorks also purchased the license for development and distribution of TCP1P (Transport Control Protocol Network Protocol) from Commodore, meaning that ENLAN based networking can address and incorporate most other platforms in addition to the Amiga, all on one network.
Other Considerations An Interworks site license is available from InterWorks for ENLAN-DFS that allows you to connect up to five nodes on one network with one software package. Additional site licences are required if your network needs to expand beyond that limit.
How many nodes is the upper limit? Would you believe over 63,000 (how would that be for a rendering farm?). Because it addresses all of the accepted networking standards (SANA II compliant), ENLAN-DFS also allows you to connect diverse platforms, as long as they address the SANA standard. ENLAN- DFS is my networking software of choice. Interworks is busy at work developing a whole line of new products, including a Toaster solution called ToastcrNet.
Oh, in case you want a rundown on what my networked systems are capable of, here's a brief description of what the ENLAN network connects: an Amiga 2000 '030 that has OpalVision, a Polaroid FreezeFrame, and my B&W HP LaserJet IV; an Amiga 2000 '030 that is used as a MIDI music station, and which contains the LIVE board, the One-Stop-Music-Shop, the Triple Play-Plus connector from Blue Ribbon, and a huge database of Amiga music software and samples; an Amiga 3000T with the Toccata, MovieMaker, a Toaster, a Picasso, DCTV, a CD- Rom drive, a 14.4 modem, and is loaded with 44 megs of RAM; and my
trusty A4000 with an Emplant Mac PC emulator, a Primera-Pro color printer, and the Retina board. Each of these systems has at least one fat hard drive, and each system can read any other system's drives (including a Bernoulli removable drive and the CD-Rom). Each system's RAM disk is also available to any other for quick data transfer. The printers are both available to all systems. Because of the ENLAN software, there is no task that a client requires that is too big or too deadlined. 1 wouldn't dream of operating without the quality help of ENLAN-DFS and my sweet Amiga network.
ENLAN-DFS 2.0 MSLP: $ 349.00 per five-node license InterWorks 43191 Camino Casillas Temecula. CA 92592
(909) 699-8279 FAX
• AC* Vlab Motion: Tips and Tricks By Douglas . Nakakihara Use
Vlab Motion's editing software package, MovieShop,and Arexx to
ease your animation tasks and more.
Vlab Motion distributed by Noahji's is one of the most exciting products to ever come out for the Amiga. Primarily a non-linear digital editing product, it is also fantastic for playing back 3D animations full-frame at 30 frames (or 60 fields) per second with 16-bit stereo sound. Furthermore, without the added cost of a TBC, you can capture video in real-time, save the frames as IFF images, and use moving video as surface maps in your animations! (Is this a dream for 3D animators or what?)
Vlab Motion's editing software package, MovieShop, initially received some harsh reviews, but things have changed. It's got a brand new manual (which I authored) and many new features. So if you were turned off by early reviews and such, Vlab Motion is worthy of a second look. (Note: If
- 3x3.jpg Example video frame from the nine PIP Time Line.
You are considering buying Vlab Motion, be sure to call Noahji's first and get information on optimum system configurations.)
Invaluable Tool I use Vlab Motion more often for LightWave animation playback than anything else. Most of the time this is for previewing and checking animations. All of my projects so far have required video quality better than Vlab Motion's composite or S-Video outputs can deliver. As such, the original rendered frames have been single-framed to the format-of-choice at a post-production facility via Exabyte tape. However, since 99 percent of the my work usually occurs before "clicking the render button" for the final time, Vlab Motion has been an invaluable tool.
OK, enough with the sales-pitch, on with the show.
How Much Time?
The first question out of most people's mouth is how big of a hard drive is required. Well, Vlab Motion is a Zorro II card, and since the Zorro II bus is limited to about 2.5MB sec. of sustained data transfer, a one gigabyte drive should be able to hold over six minutes of video. However, the reality is that for various reasons you will probably average something less than that transfer rate. Therefore, you should be able to record at least seven minutes per gig, and maybe more. (Of course, you can always increase your recording time capacity by lowering the JPEG quality setting.) By the way,
the impact of storing the video's audio, which must be on a separate partition, is virtually negliable.
On a related note, you have probably heard about MacroSystem's DrnCo computer. Well, the geniuses at MacroSystems have figured out a way to triple and maybe even quadruple DraCo's Zorro II bus transfer rate using the existing Vlab Motion card.
This should satisfy even the most demanding users. The limiting factor will then be the optional component YUV output adapter, which is due out soon. They still plan to build a DraCo- specific Vlab Motion that will handle uncompressed video that's about 27MB sec!
Nine Simultaneous Picture-in- Pictures While watching the demo tape that comes with WaveMaker 2.0 Screenshot of the Time Line created with (Radiosity), I thought it would have been nice if they also showed the effects in a three-by-three matrix. With nine effects visible at a time, it would be quicker to pick out the one you want. This looked like a job for...VLab Motion.
Novicsiiop. I a I T in* t. In* V ft 806 .
886,81:28 886.83:1ft 806.65:88 886.86:20 886.88:18 886.18:0ft 88*.11:2 8 1 enp 1 enp T*np 1 QuIckScal flulckScal* QulckScaI* 2 Tinp T*np T enp 3 QulekSc a I* QuIckScal* QuIckScal* 4 T*np Tenp T enp 3 j QuIckScal* QuIckScal* QuIckScal* 6 : Tenp T enp T enp 7 QuIckScal* QuIckScal* QuIckScal* 8 T thp Tenp T enp 9 j QuIckScal* QuUkftcale Qu IckScal* ia ; Tenp tenp T *np 11 QuIckScal* QulckSta1* Qu1ckScal* 1 2 T*np T enp Tenp 1 3 QuIckScal* QuIckScal* QuIckScal* 14 Tenp T enp Imp 13 flui ckScaIt QuIckScal* QuIckScal* 16 Tenp T *np I tnp 17 j QuIckScal* QuIckScal* QuIckScal* 18 j Background
Background Background 1 9 Conpeit Congo** 2* Conpoia Conpoa* Conpoit a 21 ; Congo** Congo** Conpoir 22 : Conpqt* C on post Conpose 23 Conpost Congo** Conpos* i J4 Congo** Conpoa* Conpose n V £ First I digitized at least five seconds of each prefabricated effect from the demo tape. Then 1 trimmed them down to exactly five seconds and pasted them together forming a single MovieShop scene. I knew manually creating a time line for nine picture-in- pictures would get tedious, so I turned to Arexx.
NoahJi's is about to distribute several Arexx scripts that more or less automatically import frames as Lightwave renders them.
My Arexx script took five-second segments of this scene and placed them on the Time Line. All of the necessary Quickscale and Compose operators are added automatically.
Unfortunately, there is no way to change an operator's settings using Arexx. As such, I had to manually adjust them. Still, at least 1 didn't have to drag all of the scenes and the operator onto the Time Line.
The script only handles nine segments at a time. So after adjusting the Time Line elements. I'd manually increment the script's input variables and do the next nine until the entire scene was used up. (Obviously, I could have built this into the script if 1 wanted to.)
The MS_9PlP.rexx script.
I ended up with a scene with several sets of nine beautifully scaled picture-in-pictures running simultaneously. Alternately, T could have done this using, say, LightWave or ImageFX as a compositing tool, but it would have taken a lot longer to set the whole thing up and process.
Slow Motion Sometimes you might want a scene to run in slow-motion. The Delay operator provides a similar feel with its "strobing" video look, but it is not slow-motion. To get slow-motion you need to play every frame in a scene more than once. You could take a scene and manually copy each frame twice to a new scene, but besides taking a long time, Vlab Motion would probably balk upon playback the demand on a hard drive to do this would be too severe.
The solution is to create a new scene where each frame, including the doubled one, is actually stored sequentially on the hard drive. This way the slow-motion video is in one contiguous area on the hard drive. The Arexx script I wrote for this operation starts at the beginning of the current scene and exports a frame as fields.
Each video field is saved in a separate file in RAM:. The fields are then imported twice to a new scene called "SloMo".
Note that the raw JPEG file format is used to export and import the field files. This method side-steps the JPEG conversion process which would occur if you, for example, saved using the IFF format and then imported, in that case, the image would go from JPEG to IFF and then back to JPEG again. These conversions would probably visually degrade picture quality. The import export process would also be slower because of the format conversions.
Note the "GoToFrame next" line that follows "GoToFrame last". Frames are always pasted in front of the current frame. This is why there is a "dummyr" frame at the end of a scene in five Scene Control window. If not for this imaginary frame, it would be impossible to add frames to the end of a scene. So when pasting frames to the end of a scene, the current frame must be one frame farther than the last frame.
Also observe that the Safetyleve!
Is set to medium. If you have it set at high, requestors may pop up as the script executes.
If you want the scene to play even slower, just duplicate the ImportFrame line in the script.
SitleL ir ™ Shift gears into the lucrative field of Legal Videography SidcBar is a high quality barcode gun scanner and matching Amiga software When a barcode is scanned, an A Re xx file of that name is tun The use of Arcxx files allow s almost any response from the Amiga Some possibilities include play a sound, picture, or animation file, run a Toaster frame, effect or clip. IR commands: control any Arexx device The SideBar barcode scanner is a state of the art unit with EEPROM 10 hold its configuration It w ill decode CoJ; 39 . II.-19.93. J6K. L'PC.
EAN,JAN. Codabar. Imerleaxed, Industrial. Maxtnx. And Pioneer l-aser Disk barcode formats li comes with a custom 14 foot cable that plugs into the Arnica serial port for both communication and power. Also included is its optional PC keyboard wedge cable and separate manual A'h;ii is SidcHar? IiS u slick presvnlalitin toy for Lawyers !
Imagine you're a lawyer representing an injured person, You have an Amiga hidden under the table, and its video output is connected to the court room v. idescreen (in ihe (able, you have your papers, including one * uh barcodes with j label next to each barcode. You also have the SitlcBar scanner on the table OK. You want to show the jury a picture of your client s bruises alter the accident, so you place the scanner on ;i barcode and press the button on the scanner. Up pops a picture of your client's bruised shoulder Utter sou scan another barcode and it plays a computer reenactment of the
iccideni YOU'RE LOOKING GOOD, and you owe it all lo your legal ¦ ideographs' consultant.
As soon as you get the SjrlrlLir package you can stait calling local attorneys to set up presentations of your videographic services Wc include an example similar to the one above The SideBar scanner is the clement which no one else has and it gives you the advantage Also included is a How-To Guide from Tom Aims, legal videography consultant for over 15 vears.Tom pioneered barcodes in court using the Pioneer Laser Disk Players w ith built-in barcode interface. The problem with the laser disk is the cost of making a new one each time it needs updating Tom originated the StdeRar idea and is
working with us to bring you this excellent opportunity The AirLink III IK controller is used by Music. Video, and Home Automation users around the w orld Macro Systems bought 500 of them for control of VCRs and DATs with their products in Germany Net up hotkeys and control IK equipment w ithout ever taking your hands off the Amiga keyboard, csen while in the Toaster Switcher and Editor screens.
I'rodiH'ts from Geodesic Designs, Inc. Ami|'ti SidcHar (scanner, software, and manual.) $ 495.00 Arnica Scanner (additional barcode scanner.) S 395.00 AirLink 111 |IK up lo 15 meters.) $ 75.00 VISA, Mastercard, and picpaiJed orders Ask about our others fine products Touch Link and VidmNlivrr GGOClG iC P.O. Box 955068 Tel. (404)822-0566 , Duluth, GA 30136 Fax (404)339-7051 Dajigns, Inc. usa bbs (4041339-9995 Circle 109 on Render Service card.
The cooi thing about the latter script is it doesn't matter where LightWave saves the frames or what they are called, the script will always find them.
Automatically Importing Animation Frames Currently there is no way to write frames directly into the MovieShop video partitions. So normally you must- first render your frames to an AmigaDOS partition and then import the frames into the proprietary MovieShop partition. This can tax your storage resources since the frames are effectively stored in two places at once.
Noahji's is about to distribute several Arexx scripts that more or less automatically import frames as LightWave renders them. I wrote two of them. One requires you to manually provide the information so that the script can find the rendered frames and process them. The other uses Eddy Carroll's SnoopDos program (available on most BBSs).
SnoopDos monitors various system calls including the writing of files. The list that SnoopDos creates can be saved to an ASCII file. My script essentially scans this file until it sees LightWave writing to a file presumably a rendered image. It then imports the file into MovieShop, deletes the original file, and then resets the SnoopDos file. The script continues in an endless loop until vou tell it to stop.
The cool thing about the latter script is it doesn't matter where LightWave saves the frames or what they are called, the script will always find them. Plus I don't have to give it any information.
This allows me to run it directly from the MovieShop macros list.
The only real tricky thing about my scripts is that they require MovieShop to run at a task priority higher than LightWave, which runs at 0. MovieShop has no built-in provision to do this, but it's fairly easy to accomplish this by running MovieShop from the Cl .I and using the AmigaDOS ChangeTaskPri command.
Another script comes from the MacroSystem people in Germany (the Vlab Motion manufacturer). This one takes a little different approach. To get around the task priority problem, it renders a single frame, stops, and then imports it. This way LightWave is never rendering at the same time you are trying to import a frame. You have to manually provide ail of the pertinent information.
If you are mildly skilled at writing Arexx scripts, you should be able to write one based on what i've told you.
However, if you are interested in obtaining any of the scripts I've described, contact Noahji's. ! Don't know what the cost will be, but I'm sure it will be reasonable and most likely include many other things like new effects operators.
RAM Requirements It is very important to note that although the above scripts drastically reduce your hard disk storage requirements, it requires at lot of RAM to run MovieShop and LightWave simultaneously. Minimizing your MovieShop buffer settings can help lessen RAM usage. You could then save the scene as a file and load it back into a project with your buffer settings restored.
If you don't have the RAM to spare, you won't be able to take advantage of these scripts. However, using something like PEGGER (DKB) to automatically compress the rendered frames will minimize the storage requirements. You could also render "fields" from LightWave, automatically JPEG them with PEGGER in the background, and later import these directly into MovieShop. Another option is to break the process up into segments, so you render some frames, import them, and then delete the original files.
Wrap Up Well, needless to say, I am having a blast playing with Vlab Motion.
There are other Amiga products out there with higher quality output, but they also carry a higher price tag and aren't as versatile. Think about it: a non-linear digital video editing system, animation recorder, built-in TBC, real-time video digitizer, and 16- bit audio for under $ 1,900 (street). Do the math you just can't do it for less.
P. O. Box 4398, Carmel, CA 93921, C.S.A firstname.lastname@example.org
800-735-2633 800-735-2633 Upgrades & Custom Chips Memory
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19 5719 Gary 19 Fat Gary 49 Western Digital SCSI Chip Rev 8A
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High Density FI Dr 139 A4000 1.76 mb High Density Fi Dr 139
A500 Keyboard 49 A2000 Keyboard 79 A3000 Keyboard 79 DataFlyer
500 169 DataFlyer Ram Card 98 DataFlyer SCSI Card 98 Math Co
Processor MC 68010 CPU 15 68882 PLCC 25mhz FPU 45 68882 PLCC
33mhz FPU 89 68882 PLCC 40mhz FPU 119 68882 PGA 40mhz FPU 89
68882 PGA 50mhz FPU 99 68030-50mhz tv MMU 139 68040-25mhz w
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& FPU 439 Crystal Oscillators 9 Visa, Master and Discover Card
orders are accepted with no surcharge. Wo also ship COD only
in pay mem of Cash.
Cashier’s Check or Money Order. All returns musl be relumed and accompanied with a RMA within 15 days. Defective proJucin will be replaced with the same item only. Olher returns subject to 255 restocking fee. Shipping A Handling charges one non-refundable. Price & availability ore subject to change without notice. Wo do not guarantee hardware and software compatibility. We are not responsible for any typographical errors.
Info : (408J 626-2633 Fax : (408) 625-6588 BBS: (408) 625-6580 Circle 120 on Reader Service card.
• * HS_9PIP.rexx
• * SVER: MS_9PIP.rexx 1.0.0 (04.20.95)
* * Thia script takes a single scene and divides it
• • into pieces of a specified length. Use it to build
* • a 3 x 3 PIP.
* * The QuickScale operators should be set to 33*&.
* * Set the Compose operators to Top-Left and
* * Start=Er.d. Adjust the Horizontal, Vertical sliders
* * for the 9 Compose operators as follows:
* * 66,66
* * 33,66
* * 0,66
* * 66,33
- * 33.33
* * 0,33
* * 66, 0
• • 33. 0
* * 0. 0
* * Turn 'Operator Window' mode off in Time Line menu.
* * Written by Douglas J. Nakakihara ***********.*****IHPUT
VARIABLES BEGIN* * Scene name • Sceneis ~ 'MicroTimes' *
Time Line start time • StartTime = '006.00:00' • First frame
in scene to use • FrameFirst = 1 • Length of scene to add to
Time Line * SceneLen = 150 * Number of PIPs. Must be • 9 V
Tines = S .....I...,,,...,«:K?UT VARIABLES end***** Address
MOVIESHOP Options Results Options failat 21 Safetylevel medium
GoToS cene 'Temp' If RC = 0 then do DeleteScene 'Temp' End
Trackis = -1 NumberToTime SceneLen SceneLen2 = result Counter *
1 Do while Counter = Times GcToScene Sceneis GoToFrame number
FrameFirst Block mark A - FrameFirst * SceneLen - 1 GoToFrame
number A Block copy NawScene 'Temp' Block Paste Trackis =
Trackis + 1 SceneToTimeLine 'Temp' time StartTime track Trackis
Trackis = Trackis + 1 EffectToTimeLine ’OuickScale' time
StartTime track Trackis length SceneLen2 DeleteScene 'Temp'
FrameFirst * FrameFirst + SceneLen Counter ¦ Counter ? 1 End
Trackis = Trackis + 1 EffectToTimeLine 'Background' time
StartTime track Trackis length SceneLen2 Counter * 1 Do while
Counter s Tines Trackis = Trackis - 1 EffectToTimeLine
'Compose' time StartTime track Trackis length Great Magazines
Don’t Just Happen, They Are Built One Issue At A Time.
RAMIGA REPAIRS A500 $ 49 A1000 $ 39 j mazingfl mtga A2000 $ 69 A3000 599 A600 A1200 A4000 CALL A1080 4 4S 569 MulliScmi 5109 90 Day Warranty _parts additional_ AMIGA PRODUCTS A500 SI 69 A4000 SI 699 A600 S219 A4000T S2599 A1000 S69 A1080 SI 79 A1200 S3 19 A1084 SI 99 A2000 S349 A1084S S229 A3000 S599 MultiSync S279 90 Day Parts & Labor Depot Warranty Amazing Computing is always searching for contributing authors. If you want to share your experience, your knowledge, or your insight in the many different areas of the Amiga, write us today: AC Writer’s Guideline PiM Publications, Inc.
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JOYSTICK PR 515 SQUARE DIN 54 RGB 1080 4 525 AUDIO Y 53 AUDIOS
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Suite A1 Roselle, NJ 07203 Fax 908 245-9409 Voice 908 245-1313
* * MS_SIowtiction. Rexx
* * $ VER: MS_SlowMotion.rexx 1,0.0 104.28.95)
* * This script creates a slcw-motion version of the
• • defined scene by playing each frame twice. The new
* * scene is called "SloMo".
* * The script will ask you what the name of the scene
* * to slow down is.
* * Set Import 4 Export options
* * Written by Douglas J. Nakakihara WE BUY HARDWARE DEALER
10. 000 SO FT AMIGA PRODUCTS Circle 122 on Reader Service card.
Address HOVIESHOP Options Results Options FailAt 11 ExportPicType fields ExportExtension default ExportMethod rawjpeg ImportPicType fieldB importMethod rawjpeg Safetylevel medium Say 'What is the scene name to slow down?'
Pull Scene_orig Create the new SloMo scene. Terminate if it already exists.
GetSceneNumber 'SloMo' If RC ~= 0 then do NewScene 'SloMo' End Else do Say 'A scene named SloMo already exists.'
DisplayBeep Exit End
* * Get the length of the original scene.
* * Paste each frame to SloMo scene twice.
* do N 1 to Scene_len GoToScene Scene orig GoToFrame number N
Block mark Block copy Exportblock 'ramiMSFrame' GoToScene
'SloMo* GoToFrame last GoToFrame next ImportFrame
'ramiMSFrame.0001 upto ram:MSFraae.0002' ImportFrame
'ramiMSFrame.0001 upto ram:MSPrame.0Q02' Address command
'delete nil: ramrMSFrame.0001' Address command 'delete nil:
ram;MSFrame.0002' GetFrameNumber Scene_orig Scene_ien = Result
• AO BETTER CONCEPTS INC. 10 Mandon Terrace New City, NY 10956
X-800-ZSZ-fe442 SALES • 1-914-639-S09S INFO • 1-914-634-7097
Fax MIGA HARDWARE [YftTHE ULTIMATE GAME MACHINE Brand new US
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O EXPANSION UNIT FOR CD32
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FOR MORE HARDWARE SUPER DEALS, SEE PAGE 3 OF OUR AD» MIGA SOFTWARE SpCll-A-Fflri:Havc your child experience the thrill of tracking through the jungle with Mike the Monkey in search of big game. Elly the elephant helps your child remember the hard to spell words by using word pattern recognition. Other friendly animals also help your child to become an expert in HO time. Digitized spccch sound, print spelling lists, quizzes, puzzles & more!!! $ 12.00 Crossword Construction Srt;Nowyou can build the perfect puzzks and slump your friends by creating your ow n crossw ord puzzles. Contains built in
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Print word search puzzles as backdrops. Also installs on hard drive with click of an icon!! 512,00 1 alking Storybook SoneSiThc wonder and excitement of the Talking Storybook is now yours to explore. Magical w orlds will open in spoken word as well as graphics Sc animations, digitized sounds Sc a full music score. Turn the pages forward, backward or in any order you choose.
An excellent reading aid, the speed in adjustable, adapting to the user. Select individual wards to be spokerv'spelled, thus improving spelling and phonetic skills and vocabulary. Choose fromiThe Red lien, Nursery Rhymes, The Three Bear*. All about Whales, ABCs and Solar System. 512 EACH Math Doctor;The nc»»i »*y of kamint the ’Old Math*. It uses the computer to add another dimension to the math that wc learn in school. The functional steps are the same, including carrying, borrowing and moving decimals. Digitized speech, interactive responses, colorful graphics and more makes this math
experience fun!!! 3 levels of difficulty. SHOO POCO MrO:A refreshing new concept in gaming. Poco Man is a strategy-logic game that is extremely challenging! 50 levels, high quality digitized sound effects, smooth colorful graphics and animations, saves high scores Sc names, multitasking Sc more!!! Uses joystick, mouse or keyboard. 59.95 World teaching Contains average maps, dij prints aw Russia.
1 OUT StnCSiA series of programs which provide hours of fun white acts about each of the geographic areas. Suggested for ages 9 through adult, information on capitals, currency, government, languages, religion, Ibgs, a in fall, population. Topography and much more. Features beautifully colored ,‘iltzed sounds, music, timed quizes, complete tutorials, maps, high score list, ard certificates Sc more!! Choose (YomtUSA, Africa, Central America, V«! Asia, South America, Europe, Australia, India, Canada or Middle
514. 95 Each SOFTWARE® ON FLOPPY5?
ALLAMIGAS g bETOR CONCEPTS INC PRESENTS HUIi CP'S DESKTOP PUBUSHING CUP ART & FONTS CD $ 16.95
• Specially Geared Towards Amiga Owners
• clip Art Directory contains Over 2500 B&w EPS STRUCTURED
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_ SHEER DELIGHT CD32 CD $ 22 Adults only please! This CD is
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All complete with viewers! _ BC1-NET CD $ 14.95 MARCH 95 This CD contains over 1 GIG of the latest, greatest, most USEFUL PROGRAMS OFF OF THE INTERNET. UTILITIES, GAMES, GRAPHICS, MUSIC, ENTERTAINMENT PLUS TONS MORE! ALL COMPLETE WITH A CUSTOM BUILT INTERFACE WRITTEN JUST FOR THIS CD THAT WILL LET YOU SMOOTH THROUGH THE ARCHIVED FILES a ALLOW YOU TO LAUNCH ANY PROGRAM, WITHOUT EVER LEAVING THE INTERFACE!
PLANNED TO BE RELEASED QUARTERLY, THE LATEST VERSION AVAILABLE IS MARCH 95. _ MUSIC MOD a SOUND EFFECT CD $ 19.95
• specially Geared Towards Amiga owners
• Over 2800 Music MODS (Classical, Pop, Rock, techno, acid, Rave,
• Over 6300 Sound Samples ranging from Sound Effects, Digitized
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PLAIN BROWN WRAPPER CD $ 25 ” Adults only please! This CD contains over 1600 images of HOT XXX ACTION. COMPLETE WITH VIEWERS, THIS CD HAS SET UPS a RUNS ON BOTH PCS AND AMIGAs! _ MORE HO MEMADE CD’S ON THE WAY!
CD3Z DEMO CD VOLUME 2 Thii CD wai to be bundled with the CD31 when CBM released It to the U.S.A.! ContainsiSeveral minute movie intro and playable demo of MICROCOSM, preview of RISE OF THE ROBOTS, Video presentaion of CD32 capabilities, CDXL 0 2 complete FMV videos!
Only $ 10!* FUTURE SHOCK 2 AUDIO CD By Sidewinder This Audio CD was completely made on an Amiga using Protracker and MED. I* butt kicking Techno tunes by one of todays hottest writers! Plays on any audio CD player!
On Sale This Month For Only SIS _ CHECK OUT PAGE 2 OF OUR AD» .MIGA SOFTWARE CONTINUED... 100 PD GAMES I* 100 PD GAMES If $ 18 $ 18 CD32 TITLES SUBWAR 2050 SKELETON KREW” $ 30 $ 32 TOWER ASSAULT’ $ 30 DENNIS THE MENACE $ 12 JUNGLE STRIKE- $ 34 SUMMER OLYMPIX $ 15 AKIRA $ 32 DIGGERS $ 10 KID CHAOS* $ 12 SUPERFROG $ 18 ALIEN BREED S.EJQWAK” $ 27 DiZZY 517 LABYRINTH OF TIME $ 25 SUPER METHANE BRO’S $ 12 ARCADE POOL" $ 18 D GENERATION $ 10 LAST NINJA III S12 SUPER STARDUST” $ 30 BANSHEE* $ 27 DISPOSABLE HERO' $ 15 LEGACY OF SORASIL $ 32 THEME PARK- $ 32 8ATTLECHESS $ 30 DRAGON STONE” $ 34 LIBERATION $ 28 TOTAL CARNAGE”
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$ 10 BUMP & BURN” $ 12 GLOBAL EFFECT $ 18 MYTH $ 13 ZOOL II* $ 12 CANNON FODDER $ 30 GROLIERS ENC. II $ 25 OUT TO LUNCH” $ 12 CASTLES II $ 12 GUARDIAN $ 25 OVERKILL 1LUNARC $ 12 ADULTS ONI Y CHAOS ENGINE $ 19 GUINESS CD OF RECORDS* $ 15 NICK FALDO GOLF $ 10 COVERGIRL STRIPPOKER $ 17 CHUCK ROCK t $ 10 GUNSHIP 2000 $ 28 NIGEL MANSELL $ 12 SEXUAL FANTASIES $ 18 CHUCK ROCK II* $ 12 HEIMDALL II $ 20 PINBALL FAN SLEEPWLKR $ 15 SHEER DELIGHT $ 22 THE CLUE $ 32 INSIGHTiTECHNOLOGY $ 15 PREMIER” 512 DARKSEED $ 15 IMPOSSIBLE MISSION 2025” $ 32 RISE OF THE ROBOTS $ 32
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DANGEROUS STREETS $ 10 JAMES POND II $ 10 ROADKILL” $ 32 DEATH MASQUE $ 32 JAMES POND III $ 15 SIMON THE SORCEROR $ 32 IF YCU DON T SEE WHAT YCU WANT, DEFENDER OF THE CROWN II $ 15 JFTSTRIKF $ 12 SOCCER KID £20 YrLLYaANUVVtWILLYtl II1 $ 8 $ 10 $ 8 $ 8 $ 8 $ 8 $ 15 $ 8 $ 8 $ 8 $ 8 $ 8 $ 8 $ 25 $ 15 $ 8 $ 8 $ 8 $ 15 $ 8 e game, d ig ' "J Over 11 megs of hard hitting all video action! $ 19 can play this thrilling arcad 14 fighter game.
$ 8 $ 8 $ 10 $ 8 $ 10 $ 8 ADI LT SENSATIONS BA NX OK BABES BODY LANGUAGE CHEEKY CHICS CLIMAX ERUPTION EXOTIC EXT A S Y GIRLS OF PARADISE HOT PIX5 HO T PICS:VOL, SEX LUSCIOUS LIPS MOODY NIGHTS PARTY TIME “Ok "7 oo (S * a « o g 5 ADVANCED MILITARY SYSTEMS- ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN- AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY- BARNEY BEAR GOES TO SCHOOL- CINDERELLA- CLASSIC BOARD GAMES CURSE OF RA DEFENDER OF THE CROWN II- ELECTRONIC COOKBOOK- EYES OF THE EAGLE FUN SCHOOL 3- GARDEN FRUITS- GARDEN PLANTS- GARDEN TREES- GROLIERS ENCYCLOPEDIA II- GUINESS DISC OF RECORDS- HOLY BIBLE- HOUNDS OF THE BASKERVILLE- INDOOR
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* =''N0lV.S on CD32 a SO ADULTS ONLY COVER GIRL STRIP POKER-
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CDTV TITLES $ 17 $ 18 AMIGA CD ROMS I00PD GAMES 1 $ 18 100 PD GAMES 11 $ 18 17 BIT 2 CD COLLECTION $ 34,95 17 BIT CONTINUATION $ 17.95 17 BIT PHASE IV SI 7,95 AMIGA TOOLS $ 19.95 AMINET III (JULY94) $ 13.95 AMINET IV (NOV 94) $ 13.95 AMINET V (MARCH 95) $ 14.95 AMINET SET (4 Cds) $ 29.95 AMOS PD CD $ 19.95 ANIMATIONS 2CD SET $ 24.95 ASSASSIN GAMES CD $ 19.95 BCI-NETI CD (DECEMBER 94) $ 13.95 BCLNET11 CD iMARCI! 95) $ 14.95 CD PD I, II, HI, or IV $ 19.95 DEMO CD lor 11 SI 9.95 DEMO MANIA 1 $ 19.95 DTP CUP ART 4 FONTS CD $ 16.95 EUROSCENEt $ 14.95 FRESH FISH (LATEST)
519. 95 FRESH FONTS
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N GOOD TEA $ 18 GIF'S GALORE
519. 95, GOLDFISH II $ 19.95 HOTTEST 4 $ 24.95 LIGHT ROM I $ 34.95
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519. 95 READY TO RUN:GAMI$ S (Coming Soon) $ 19.95 READY TO
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$ 13.95 ADULTS ONLY PLAIN BROWN WRAPPER $ 25 SEXUAL FANTASIES
$ 18 SHEER DELIGHT $ 22 mm m The following is a lisl of NEW
Adult XXX CD ROM lilies that are made to work with your
Amiga and or anv PC Compatible!
PSYCHO SQUARES DELUXE
- By Shane R. Monroe. So easy, you'll learn it in 5 minutes; so
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LICENSEWARE ON FLOPPIES IT’S THE PITS! A BOLD MINER’S SLAUGHTER By Kit Felice. Amazing multilevel AMOS arcade game. REQ:Hard drive, 2 MB RAM, ECS or AGA, LHA decompressor, any Amiga OS. 3D tunnel scenes are featured in this excellent arcade adventure game. Hours of fun! $ 12 TOMCAT
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drive de F-1 PUSSY GALORE RED HOT SEX & GAMES I SEX 4 GAMES 2
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iaLi, ne%v: AGA Entertainment Pack 25 disks filled wilh the
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ARCADE GAMES PACK 25 disks filled with the NEWEST games that run on All Amigas. All new titles! All the fun of an arcade in the comfort of your own home! Game types included are platform, adventure, puzzle, shoot cm up, beat cm up plus much more! Only S3) !_ !aD. NUWt- STEAMY WINDOWS PACKS Each pack contains 25 disks of the most beautiful women posing in bathing suits 4 lingerie, working out & other erotic shots. Over 10,000 copies sold in Europe! Choose from 10 different puckage*!Spceify Pack . Specify AGA or Reguhr Amiga. Ontv S2Q..I !ALL NEW!
MUSIC MOD PACKS Each pack contains 25 disks of owe some music! Choose from TECHNO. POP, MELLOW of ASSORTED. All players are also included! Each Pack is only S20!!!_ PUBLIC DOMAIN SOFTWARE All our PD disks are now only 99 EACH! That Includes all disks from our library. Assassin Game disks (200+), LSI) Utility Disks (150+), 17 Bit Software disks (3400+), Amos PD disks (600+), Fred Fish Disks (1-1000) plus more! Thais about 10,000 PD disks available In you for only 99C each! Why bother paying more when you can gel It here for less? Send XI for our paper catalog, 4 disks of disk catalogs & a
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LATEST UTILITY DISKS Virus Workshop 4.7-La test version of the most wanted virus hunter killer disk.
Imagestudlo 1.21-Ulility that will let you convert 4 manipulate almost any image!
Internet Illlltln-A whole disk of some very useful utilities for the internet.
LION KING CLIPAKT-Somc nice clipart for ux in Wpor DTP! 3 disks ($ 2.97) Star Wars Imagine OhJects-3 disks ($ 2.97) of Star Wars objects for use in Imagine.
El1 Pi G ulde 2 J-Newest version of Dummies Guide to the Inicrrct.
M. U.1.23-Cteatcs nice front end interface for almost any
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CHECK OUT PAGE 3 OF OUR AD» Circle 104 on Render Service card.
MIGA SOFTWARE & HARDWARE CONTINUED ... AMIGA REPLACEMENT & UPGRADE CHIPS 8362 RR Denise $ 15 8373 R4 Super Denise $ 30 8520A CIA 2mhz $ 20 8375B 2MB Fattest Agnus $ 50 8375 2MB Fattest Agnus $ 50 5721 A2000 Buster $ 25
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1. 3 ROM Chip $ 19 8721 R3 PLA $ 10 8564 R6 $ 10 OTHER HARDWARE A500
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SALES * 1-914-639-5095 INFO • 1-914-6: Revitalizing the X-Specs
3D Stereoscopic Glasses by Randy Finch The dark glasses
consisted of LCD lenses that could be darkened and lightened
very quickly via software and looked like a low-tech version of
the virtual reality glasses that are in vogue today.
Many years ago a very interesting, very powerful, yet very inexpensive (about SI00) piece of hardware became available for the Amiga computer. It consisted of a small black box that plugged into the second mouse port and had two small holes that allowed two sets of dark space age-like glasses to be plugged in. One set of glasses was included in the package. The glasses attached via a headband (see Figure 1). This made it very nice for eyeglass wearers like me because they fit comfortably over eyeglasses. The dark glasses consisted of LCD lenses that could be darkened and lightened very quickly
via software and looked like a low-tech version of the virtual reality glasses that are in vogue today.
By allowing tire left eye to see only a left-eye perspective of a scene and the right to see only a right-eye perspective via fast image switching, an illusion of 3D could be had from a single Amiga display. This piece of hardware was distributed by Haitex Resources, Inc. and was known as the X-Specs 3D Stereoscopic Glasses.
I first saw this amazing piece of hardware at the 1988 AmiExpo in Chicago. I sat down, placed the glasses over my head, and proceeded to view three-dimensional molecules and play a quick game of Space Spuds. Both of these programs were included with the glasses along with some demonstration and utility programs, it was a great bargain. Being a programmer, 1 was also interested to hear that a shared library was being written so that any programmer could easily tap into the power of the X-Specs glasses. I purchased the glasses shortly after the show and never regretted it.
Although quite a number of software producers began to support the X-Specs glasses, they never seemed to gain the popularity I thought they deserved. For some time the glasses have been hard to find, but now 1 cannot find any dealer that carries them or even knows of anyone who does. However, I would guess that a reasonably priced set of used glasses can still be found. (For your information, I am not selling mine.) To illustrate just how little software has been written for the glasses, I searched the Gold Fish CD-ROM, which contains the first 1000 Fred Fish disks, for the word X-Specs and
only turned up two references: LanderGame and RaiderGame. These are 3D games for the X-Specs glasses. Both are on Fish Disk 544.
Like the X-Specs glasses, it seems that the interest in 3D technology has always been an up and down phenomenon. In the early part of the century, the old wooden stereoscopes that consisted of two lenses that allowed each eye to see only one of two images on a black & white postcard became popular. Their popularity faded only to be revived years later when the ViewMaster became available.
Although the ViewMaster is still available, it does not seem to be as popular as it was when I was a kid. Of course, 3D movies were the craze back in the 50's. Now, 3D movies are rarely, if ever, made. I believe that it has something to do with having to wear funny glasses or look through some kind of binocular device. When 3D imaging becomes available for direct viewing just as we currently view a movie or a TV or a computer monitor, it may become popular and stay popular. Perhaps a more advanced kind of holography will provide the technology.
Programming the X-Specs 3D Glasses As I was told at AmiExpo, a shared library was soon released so that even I could write programs for the X-Specs glasses. At the time, I was working on a 3D function plotting program that was a perfect candidate for adding X-Specs support. The library is named xspejcs.library. Version 1.2 of this library consists of 36 functions. Although I program in C, the library can be used by anv language that supports the standard Amiga shared libraries. Table 1 shows the names and brief descriptions of the functions available in the library.
Several are available for allocating and deallocating Rastport and Viewport data structures for regular views, double-buffered views, and overscan views. Pen colors, the pen number, and the drawing mode can all be set.
Lines, polygons, text, and even sprites can be drawn in three dimensional space.
Unfortunately, the compressed files that I downloaded containing the library did not have a C header file containing the pragma statements and function prototypes needed bv my program. However, the documentation had enough information in it for me to create a file definition (.fd) file (Listing
1) . I used the fd2pragma program that was included with my SAS C
compiler to convert this id file to a C header file
containing the pragma statements. I then appended function
prototypes. This file is shown in Listing 2. With this
completed, I was ready to add X-Specs support to my program.
Listing 3 shows excerpts from my three dimensional function plotting program. An earlier version of this program that does not have X-Specs support can be found on Fish Disk 440.
It is named 3DPlot. The excerpts contain some code that I will not discuss since it is not relevant to the current discussion. T only left this code in the listing to provide a context for the X-Specs function calls.
Notice first that the header file XspecsLib.h is ffincluded near the beginning to make the pragmas and function prototypes available. Also, an external Library structure pointer (it is opened in a different file) named XspecsBase is declared.
When the user requests that an X- Specs plot be rendered, the DrawGraph function is called with a global variable, plot type, set equal to PLOTXSPECS, which is ffdefined in Like the X-Specs glasses, it seems that the interest in 3D technology has always been an up and down phenomenon.
Another header file. A message port is declared along with an array containing the 32 colors for the X-Specs screen. The RastPort and ViewPort structures for the X-Specs display are allocated with the XspecsAUocView function. The NULL parameter indicates that a 32-color 320x200 screen should be created. Other screen resolutions can be allocated by passing a different parameter. The screen is displayed on the monitor with the XspecsOn function, which returns the message port of the display. The MOUSEBUTTONS parameters indicates that oniy mouse button messages should be sent to this port.
Next, the palette is filled by calling the XspecsLoadRGB4 function.
Following the code further down, you will find a lot of calculations being made to set up for the actual plot.
Eventually, another program function, Calc And Plot3, is called. This function is shown near the beginning of Listing
3. It does the grunt work of calculating the three dimensional
coordinates for the plot on the X-Specs display. The plot
consists of a patchwork of foursided polygons. After
calculating the coordinates of the four corners of a polygon
and calculating the color to use for it, three xspecs.library
functions are called to accomplish the task.
First, XspecsSetAPen is called to set the appropriate color, XspecsMove is called to move the pen to the appropriate starting point in three dimensional space, and XspecsDraw is called three times to draw three sides of the foursided polygon. Tire fourth side is drawn when an adjoining four- sided polygon is drawn. This saves a bit of plot time because the adjoining sides do not have to be drawn twice.
Near the end of the DrawGraph function is a WaitPort system function call. This call waits for a message to be received at win's message port before closing the X-Spccs display. The Window pointer named win points to a window created by the 3DPlot program. Why am I waiting for a message at this port rather than the one for the X-Specs display? I don't know. It turns out if you use the following statement, WaitPort(uport); where uport is the message port returned by the XspecsOn function, a message will be received properly for a press of the right mouse button, but the program will essentially
freeze when the left mouse button is pressed. By using the statement, Available Functions in Xspecs.library Version 1.2. WaitPort(win- UserPort); where win- UserPort is the message port of another window in the 3DPlot program not related to the X-Specs display, the left mouse button can be pressed without freezing the program. However, it takes a right button press after the left button press to cause a message to be received at win- UserPort. 1 have not yet determined why this works this way. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
Finally, the XspecsOff function is called to close the X- Specs display, and XspecsFreeView is called to deallocate the RastPort and ViewPort structures for the display.
In Closing Tire X-Specs 3D glasses can be programmed easily using xspecs.library. The latest version of this library of which I am aware is 1.2.1 have tried contacting Richard Horne, who was one of the people responsible for creating the library, to no avail. If anyone out there in reader-land knows of a later version, please write me care of this magazine or send me Email at RandyWrite@aol.com, Also, if you would like to have a copy of my 3DPlot program with X-Specs support along with the ,fd and C header files discussed in this article, please let me know. I'll get a disk out to you. If
anyone has written X-Specs applications and is willing to share them, please send me a disk, 1 would be interested in seeing them. In the mean time, all you Amiga programmers should pull out that compiler and get to work.
(Listings are continued on page 38) Please Write to: Randy Finch clo Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Function Name Xspecs
Alloc View Xspecs A11 oc V i evvDB Xspecs A1 loc Vi ewOS
XspecsAllocViewOSDB XspecsChangeSprite XspecsDraw
XspecsErrorCheckOff XspecsErrorCheckOn XspecsFreeSprite
XspecsFreeView XspecsGetSprite Xspecs LeftRastPort Xspecs
LeftViewPort Xspecs LeftXY Xspecs LoadRGB4 XspecsMove
XspecsMoveSprite XspecsOff XspecsOn XspecsOpA XspecsOpB
XspecsPolyDraw XspecsRightRastPort XspecsRightViewPort
XspecsRightXY XspecsSetAPen XspecsSetD XspecsSetE
XspecsSetDrMd XspecsSetRGB4 XspecsSetTime XspecsShovvA
XspecsShowB XspecsText XspecsTime XspecsWritePixel Description
Allocate Xspecs memory and initialize Rastport and Viewport
Allocate Xspecs memory and initialize Rastport and Viewport data structures for a double buffered Xspecs display.
Allocate Xspecs memory and initialize Rastport and Viewport data structures with overscan.
Allocate Xspecs memory and initialize Rastport and Viewport data structures for a double buffered Xspecs display with overscan.
Assign Xspecs simple sprite to left and right viewport. Change pixel definition of Xspecs simple sprite.
Draw a line in Xspecs three dimensional coordinates.
Cancel error checking for screen boundaries.
Turn on error checking for drawing outside screen boundaries.
Fiee simpte sprite from Xspecs use.
Free memory associated with Xspecs View.
Assign a simple sprite for Xspecs use.
Return Xspecs left Rastport address.
Return Xspecs left Viewport address.
Convert Xspecs three dimensional coordinates to left rastport coordinates.
Load color data into Xspecs left and right Viewports.
Move graphics pen in the Xspecs three dimensional coordinate system.
Move sprite in the Xspecs three dimensional coordinate system.
Turn off Xspecs lens switching.
Turnon Xspecs lens switching.
Specify that Xspecs functions should operate on Rastport A of a double buffered Xspecs display.
Specify that Xspecs functions should operate on Rastport B of a double buffered Xspecs display.
Draw a sequence of lines in the Xspecs three dimensional coordinate system.
Find Xspecs right Rastport address.
Find Xspecs right Viewport address.
Convert Xspecs three dimensional coordinates to right rastport coordinates.
Set the color register for Apen in Xspecs left and right rastports.
Set distance from eye to screen.
Set eye separation.
Set the draw mode for Xspecs left and right rastports.
Set RGB values for a color register in Xspecs left and right viewports.
Set time to a certain value.
Show rastport A of a double buffered Xspecs display.
Show rastport B of a double buffered Xspecs display.
Write text at Xspecs coordinates (x, y, z).
Get time in 1 60th of second intervals.
Draw a pixel in Xspecs three dimensional coordinates.
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C* A The Game, better than average SEUCK game based on the AMIGA shooting Macs, etc GAM 328 - BANSHEE Demo - AGA only! Playable demo of this excellent arcade 7942* done. PAL works NTSC 3397ABCD - Klondike AGA III New 4 Disk update to this incredible game. WE HAVE OVER 20 CARDSET5 FOR THIS GAME. CALL AND ASK!
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Northwest Public Domain - P.O. Box 1617 - Auburn, WA 98071-1617 - (206)351-9502 ?•base _XSpecsBase ??bias 30 Itpublic X£pecsAllocView(ViewModes)CdO) XspecsFreeView()() XspecsOn (IDCMPFlags I ( 30) XspecsOff()() XspecsSetAPen(PenNumber) (d0) XspecsSetRGB4(PenNumber,R,G,B)Id0 dl d2 d3J XspecsLoadRGB4(ColorData,Count)(aO,dO) XspecsText(Text,x,y,z,Count)Ia0,d0 dl d2 d3) XspeesWritePixeUx,y, z) (d0 dl d2) XspecsDraw(x,y,z) (d0 dl d2) XspecsChangeSprite(Spriteimage,SpriteNumber) aO,dO) XspecBMoveSprite(x,y,z.xoffset,yoffset,SpriNum)(d0 dl d2 d3 d4 d5 XspecsLeftXY(x,y,z)(d0 dl d2)
XspecsRlghtXY(x,y,z)(d0 dl d2) XspecsLeftRastPort0 0 XspecsRightRastPort C)C) XspecsLeftviewPort ( ( XspecsRightViewPort()() XspecsSetDrMd(DrawMode)(dO) XspeesPolyDraw(Points.Count)(aQ,dO) XspecsHove(x,y.z (d0 dl d2I XspecsGetSprite(SimpleSpri,Sprilxage,SpriNum)(aO al.dO) XspecsFreeSpriteISpriteNumber)(dO) XspecsTimeO () XspecsAllocViewOS(ViewModes)(dO) XspecaErrorCheckOff()() XspecsErrorCheckOn()() XspecsSetTime(DesiredTime) (dO) XspecsopAO () XspecsOpB()() XspecaAllocViewDB(ViewModes)(do) XspecaAllocViewOSDB(ViewModes)(dO) XspeesShcwAI)() XspecBShowBl11) XspecsSetD(EyeDist)(dO)
• ?end ?pragma libcall XspecsBase XspeesSetD EA 001
• pragma libcall XspecBBase XspecaSetE F0 001 * Prototypes *
extern LONG XspecsAllocView (ULONG); extern LONG XspecaAl
locViewDB (ULONG),* extern LONG XspecaAllocViewOS (ULONG);
extern LONG XspecaAllocViewOSDB (ULONG); extern LONG
XspecsChangeSprite (struct Image *, LONG); extern LONG
XspecsDraw (WORD, WORD. WORD); extern VOID XspecsErrorCheckOff
(VOID); extern VOID XspecsErrorCheckOn (VOID); extern VOID
XspecsFreeSprite (LONG3; extern VOID XspecsFreeView(VOID);
extern LONG XspecsGetSprite (struct SimpleSprite *, struct
Image *, LONG); extern struct Rastport •XSpecsLeftRastPort
(VOID); extern struct viewport 'XSpecsLeftVievPort (VOID);
extern LONG XspecsLeftXY (WORD, WORD, WORD); extern VOID
XspecaLoadRGB4 (APTR, LONG); extern LONG XspecsHove (WORD,
WORD. WORD); extern LONG XspecsHoveSprlte (WORD, WORD, WORD,
LONG, LONG, LONG); extern VOID XspecsOff (VOID); extern struct
MsgPort ‘XSpecsOn (ULONG); extern VOID XspecsopA (VOID); extern
VOID XspecHOpB (VOID); extern LONG XspecsPolyDraw (WORD •,
LONG); extern struct Rastport *XSpecsRightRastPort (VOID);
extern struct Viewport *XSpecsRightViewPort (VOID); extern LONG
XspecsRightXY (WORD, WORD, WORD); extern VOID XspecBSetAPen
(LONG); extern VOID XspeesSetD (WORD); extern VOID XspecsSetE
(WORD); extern VOID XspecsSetDrNd (LONG); extern VOID
XspecsSetRGB4 (LONG, LONG, LONG, I 5NG); extern VOID
XspecsSetTime (LONG); extern VOID XspecsShowA (VOID); extern
VOID XspecsShowB (VOID); extern LONG XspecsText (STRPTR, WORD,
WORD, WORD, LONG); extern LONG XspecsTime (VOID); extern LONG
XspecsWritePixel (WORD, WORD, WORD); Listing 2. Xsp©cslsb.h •-
INCLUDE FILES *
• include '' hdr comaon.h''
• include " hdr XSpecsLib.h" * XspecsLib.h * • Include file
for xapecs.library *i * Pragmas ¦ ?pragma libcall XspecsBase
XspecsAllocView IE 001 pragma libcall XspecsBase
XspecsFreeView 24 0 ?pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecsOn 2A 001
((pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecsOff 30 0
• pragma libcall XspecsBase xspecaSetAPen 36 001
• pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecaSetRGB4 3C 321004
• pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecsLoadRGB4 42 0802 (?pragma
libcall XspecsBase XspecsText 48 3210805 ((pragma libcall
XspecsBase XspecaWritePixel 4E 21003 (?pragma libcall
XspecsBase XspecsDraw 54 21C03 ((pragma libcall XspecsBase
XspecsChangeSprite 5A 0802 ((pragma libcall XspecsBase
xSpecaHoveSprite 60 54321006 ?pragma libcall XspecsBase
XspecsLeftXY 66 21003 ?pragma libcall XspecsBase xspeesRightXY
6C 21003 ?pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecsLeftRastPort 72 0
?pragma libcall XspecBBase XspecsRlghtRastPcrt 7B 0 ?pragma
libcall XspecsBase XspecsLeftviewPort 7E 0 ?pragma libcall
XspecsBase XspecsRightViewPcrt 84 0 ?pragma libcall XspecsBase
XspecsSetDrMd 8A 001 ?pragma libcall XspecBBase XspecsPolyDraw
90 0802 ?pragma libcall XspecsBase XspeceMove 96 21QQ3 ?pragma
libcall XspecsBase XspecsGetSprite 9C 09803 ?pragma libcall
XspecsBase XspecsFreeSprite A2 001 ?pragma libcall XspecsBase
XspecsTime A6 0 ?pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecaAllocViewOS AE
001 ?pragma libcall XspecBBase XspecaErrorCheckOff B4 0 ?pragma
libcall XspecsBase XspecsErrorCheckOn BA 0 ?pragma libcall
XspecsBase XspecsSetTime CO 001 ?pragma libcall XspecsBase
XspecsOpA C6 0
• pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecsOpB CC 0
• pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecsAllocVievDS D2 001
• pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecsAllocVievOSDB D8 001
• pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecsShowA DE 0
• pragma libcall XspecsBase XspecsSkowB E4 0 •- External
Variables -* extern struct GfxBase *GfxBase; extern struct
Library ‘XSpecsBase extem struct Window 'win; extern struct
RaBtPort *rastport; extern struct Viewport 'viewport; extern
AllPlotData *apd; extern DOUBLE Evaluate(DOUBLE, DOUBLE); *-
CalcAndPlot3 Function -* static VOID CalcAndPlot3(DOUBLE Xl,
DOUBLE yl, BOOL flag) ( static LONG pennum; static DOUBLE x2,
y2, zl; * Assign last 2 points to first 2 points * xpl = xp4
,* xp2 = xp3; ypl = yp4; yp2 * yp3; zpl n zp4; zp2 = zp3; x2 *
xl + xspc; • used if flag = FALSE, plot along Y-axis * y2 =
yl + yspc; • used if flag ° TRUE , plot along X-axis *
if(flag) Calculate2(xl, y2, calc(xl« y2)); else Calculates(x2,
yl, calc(x2, yl)); Portable Amiga Workstation PAWS 3000 and
4000 ( * block begin * struct MsgPort 'uport; * user port
of Xspecs windows • tJWORD colorarray32[1 ¦ ( 0x000, OxFQQ,
OxDOO, OxBOO, 0x007, 0x008, 0x009, OxOOA, OxOOB, OxOOC, OxOOD,
OxOOE, OxOOF, OxllF, 0x22F, 0x33P, 0x44F, 0x55F, Qx66F, 0x77F,
OxBflF, 0x99P, OxAAF, OxBBF, OxCCF, OxDDF, OxEEF, OxFFF, 0x006,
0x005, 0x004, 0x002 }; if (XSpec s AllocView(NULL) 1= 0) goto
EndDravGraph; if !(uport * (struct HegPort •) XspecsOn
(HOUSEBUTTONS)} XspecsFreeView(); • Free up view * goto
EndDravGraph; ) * if • XspecsLoadRGB4(colorarray3 2,32)j
if(alongxflag) ( * Plot along X-axis V yminend =
apd- dd*PlotYmin; ymaxend = apd- dd.PlotYmax; * Prevent going
one yspc to far at end of plot *1 if(ybegin yend) ymaxend *
apd- dd.PlotYmax - yspc; else yminend * apd- dd.PlotYmin -
yspc; for(ty s ybegia ; (ty ymaxend) && (ty = yminend) ; ty +*
yspc) * Check for Stop Plot from user * if(message ¦
(struct IntuiKessage *) GetMsg(win- UserPort)) ( goto
EndXSpecaPlot; ) * if * • Initialize starting plot points *
ybeginspc = ty ? Yspc; Calculate2(xfcegin, ty, calc(xbegin,
ty))j xp4 = xp; yp4 = ypj zp4 a zp; Calculate2(xbegin,
ybeginspc, calc(xbegin, ybeginspc))?
Xp3 = xp; yp3 - yp; zp3 = zp; * Plot along X-axis • for(tx = xbegin ? Xspc ; (tx * apd- dd.PlotXmax) tt (tx * apd- dd.PlotXmin) ; tx + * Xbpc) CalcAndPlot3(tx, ty, alongxflag); ) * for * ) * if * else • Plot along Y-axiB * xminend = apd- dd.PlotXmin; xmaxend = apd- dd.PlotXmax; xp3 » xp; yp3 * ypj zp3 = zp; zl = calcfxl, yl); Calculate2(xl, yl, zl); xp4 * xp; ypi = yp; Zp4 = zp; dtoplane = zcalclxl, yl, zl); pennum = (LONG) (dtoplane - dmin) colorspreadj + pennumbase; if (pennum pennummax) pennum = pennummax; if (pennum pennumbase) pennum = pennumbase; XspecsSetAPen(pennum);
XspecsMove(xpl, ypl, zpl); XspecsDraw(xp2, yp2, zp2); XspecsDraw(xp3, yp3, zp3); XspecsDraw(xp4, yp4, zp4); ) * CalcAndPlot3 * '*- DrawGraph Function V void DrawGraph(VOID) ( struct IntuiKessage 'message; DOUBLE calcspacex, calcspacey, calcincx, calcincy, tx, ty, tzf yminend, ymaxend, yboginopc, xminend, xmaxend, xbeginspc, zradiana, yradiana, xradians; BOOL alongxflag, alongyflag; * Set-up code is here; not shown *[ * PLOT THE GRAPH * switch(plottype) Circle 115 on Reader Service card.
* Prevent going ona xspc to far at end of plot * if(xbegin xend) xmaxend ¦ apd- dd.PlotXmax - xspc; else xminend = apd- dd.PlotXmin - xspc; forttx ¦ xbegin ; (tx ¦ xmaxend) 4b (tx » xminend) ; tx xspc) * Check for Stop Plot from user * If(message ¦ (struct IntuiMessage *) GatMsg(win- UserPort)) goto EndXSpecsPlot; } * if * * Initialize Btarting plot points * xbeginspc = tx + xspc; Calculate2(tx, ybegin, calcttx, ybegin)); xp4 ** xp; yp4 - yp; zp4 - zp; Calculates(xbeginspc, ybegin, calc(xbeginspc, ybegin)); xp3 ¦ xp; yp3 = yp; zp3 » zp; * Plot along X-axis • for(ty * ybegin +
yspc t (ty = apd- dd.PlotYmax) 64 (ty ¦
- dd.PlotYmin) ; ty += yspc) CalcAndPlot3(tx, ty, alongxflag); }
• for * ) * else • WaitPort|win- UserPort)j ¦ Wait for
user mouse click * ) * Block end * EndXSpecaPlot:
XspecaOffO; * Turn 'urn off * XspecsPreeVievO f • Free up
view * break; default: break; } * switch * PAWS Kit
Includes: Laptop Case, Trackball Color Display, Power Supply
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Combat sequences can be handled two different ways, depending on your personal preference. If yon are more interested in the problem-solving aspects of the game, a quick combat mode lets the computer handle all combat duties. On the other hand, the descriptive combat mode allows you to position and move your group's characters. You are given complete details on combat activities as they happen, and you can give your fighters combat directions.
The game graphics consist of static backgrounds that are nicely drawn, with muted colors and lots of detail. Overlaid on these backgrounds, the characters and the objects available for them to manipulate, appear almost garish and out of place. In many instances characters even appear to be sized incorrectly for their environment.
Musical themes change with the scenes, and are typical British techno-pop style. They can be toggled off any time you decide you have had enough.
I ran into a couple of problems with BloodNet, one of which relates to saving games. If you select the save game function while Stark is holding an object, everything will appear to proceed normally. If you later try to load a game saved under these conditions, an error message about a missing graphics file is displayed, and the game aborts, Any games saved without Stark holding an object will load and run properly.
My other problem relates to screen modes.
Since the game requires an AGA system, you would think the programmers would take into account not everyone would be running the original 640 by 200 screen resolution. If you start the game and find it squashed into the top third of your monitor, try the following. Using the
- ScreenMode editor within Prefs, use the Save As choice under
the Project menu to save an icon with your usual ScreenMode in
your BloodNet drawer. Give it a name like "End" or "Regular."
Now select a ScreenMode like NTSC:High Res, and this time Save As "Game," again in the BloodNet drawer. Now you can double click these icons to change your ScreenMode to one the game likes, and back to one you like.
BloodNet is a huge game, coming on 12 floppies, and while you can play it without a hard drive, only a masochist would call it enjoyable.
Simply starting the game requires almost endless shuffling between nearly all 12 disks. However, if you have 9 megabytes of space on your hard drive, the Installer script will set things up flawlessly on the partition of your choice. Other hardware requirements include 1.5 megabytes of free RAM.
BloodNet multitasks, is not copy protected, and carries a rating of 18. This means it contains June 1995 43 Ransom Stark Hey, calm down, all right. Can't you keep it luiet?
InueMory New York Map Search Examine use Location BloodNet mixes standard interfaces with very dynamic graphics.
Mature themes and language, and is not intended for children under the age of 18.
If the thought of duking it out with vampires, punks, and evil monopolies causes your breath to quicken, log onto BloodNet.
In what is essentially a follow-up to their previously released overhead, small sprite racing game, Overdrive, Team 17 has brought out ATR. ATR, or All Terrain Racing, is an overhead, small sprite racer with a sci-fi bent to it. Unlike Overdrive, which was a strictly top down, overhead perspective, ATR's viewpoint is more isometric, giving it a 3 dimensional look.
Like others of this genre, ATR feels much more like you are playing with radio controlled cars than actual, realistic racers. The small sprite, 32 color graphics and varied scenery give everything a miniature, model toy-like look and feel. The graphics are done very well, although I found Overdrive to have a smoother, more polished look to it overall. Appropriate sound effects and music accompany everything and while the game sounds good, neither the effects nor the music particularly stand out.
There are three different course settings at the beginning of the game including, Sports, Canyon, and Alpine Forests. Each setting has many different tracks to race through, giving the game plenty of diversity. There is also a two player option, where you and a friend can go one-on-one for points. On the tracks, you'll find several different kinds of icons that can power-up your car or give you bonus items. Off the track, you'll have the option to upgrade your vehicle with new and better equipment, ATR also offers three different vehicles to choose from: the 4x4 jeep, the Hydra Buggy, and the
Formula Special. Each car has different handling characteristics and responds differently to each track, so choose carefully. The Jeep and buggy are better for beginners, for instance, and the formula racer is for those who really have a feel for the road.
Despite the sci-fi atmosphere and the appearance of missiles and landmines in the 2 player mode, ATR is not a combat orientated racing game. You really can't destroy the other vehicles and missiles and mines only appear in 2 player mode-which is extremely unfortunate. Still, the action is pretty constant in ATR and you can bump and crash yourself and your opponents into the scenery, even if it doesn't do all that much good.
Control takes some getting used to. The unusual overhead perspective makes this style of racer different, so ADVANCED AMIGA ANALYZER AN INEXPENSIVE DIAGNOSTIC ANALYZES THAT WORKS ON ALL AMIGAS FACTORY NEW Amiga Shopper magazine (UK) says ‘without doubt this is the finest diagnostic equipment I have ever seen, and I assess all Amiga Repairers and practical minded users when I say this is realty something worth having' A complete diagnostic hardware and software analyzer (uses point and dick software interlace). The analyzer plugs into all Amiga pans simultaneously and through sophisticated
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A500 A1200 Big Fool .584 50 8520
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Don't expect to master the game in one sitting. Tough CPU competition, and wild twists and turns are rampant in the game, making the learning curve a little steep. Control is good, however, even though it will require a lot of skill to drive your way to first place.
On the downside, it is a shame that the 2 player options (like speed, weapons, and obstacle cones selec- ATR feels much more like you are playing with radio contrciled cars than actual, realistic racers.
Tion) are not available in the standard one player mode. And, even on the fast speed in 2 player mode, ATR is still no speed demon. ATR's less than frantic pace certainly gives you more time to react, but it could do with an overall turbo boost just the same, if only as an option. You will also find that once you are behind, it can be extremely difficult to gain ground again and you will really have to rely on the power-up icons scattered about the road to do it.
All Terrain means ALL TERRAIN as you race through a variety of obstacles.
Overall, ATR is a solid example of the genre. It is a lot of fun to play and bears the usual Team 17 trademarks of quality for graphics, sounds, and control. Also, like virtually all Teaml7 releases, it is in PAL mode and for some reason It will not utilize my second drive. There is also no option for hard drive installation. The control layout is rather inconvenient as well in that pressing the red (gas) and blue (brake) buttons at the same time automatically quits the game.
ATR will run on any Amiga, AGA or not, and there is a CD-32 version out, as well. However, the CD-32 version has virtually no enhancements at all.
• AC* (continued from page 48) C64 which is very old. The C64 is
a product which we want to produce for the Russian market and
the Eastern market, India and other places with a low income,
where people want a low cost machine to start in the computer
field. We don't consider the C64 an old machine, it is a
machine to make computer technology popular in those areas. We
want to sell those in those areas through companies who would
license it and manufacture it themselves. This would be a
starting point for us to get into those marketplaces where we
are not represented with a potential to build up a trademark
and brand name.
AC: Yes, but even the C64 would need to be upgraded to current standards, such as the 3.5" disk drives as 5.25" disks are impossible to find.
Escom: I think it would be a C64 as is because these are markets where no one can afford to buy some of these things but can only afford to buy something to connect to the television. We have a huge demand from these markets, especially from the Russian marketplace. But it is not the key and we will not "We are looking at our production of the A4000 for this year to be around 25,000, about 150,000 A 1200s and 50-60,000 CD32s by the end of the year..." overestimate this from a strategic point of view but it would be a nice thing to have.
As far as Commodore itself, we will establish a Commodore International in The Netherlands which will be doing more or less Pcs. We want to go with the Commodore name only on the PC side not on the Amiga side. We want to separate Commodore and Amiga because we want to push the Amiga very strong because of its technology and keep Commodore as a separate brand name.
Commodore itself we want to use to make multimedia machines and accessories under the Commodore brand name which will go to the mass merchandiser, department stores maybe with a similar philosophy as Packard Bell which is typically not technology oriented but based on inter-technology- We want to generate turnover and we have manufacturing in place so we've come out with a new design and we will come out later on this year with only one PC with the Commodore brand name integrated to television, the PC, the telephone answering machine, loudspeaker, and remote control. It will be a multimedia
machine with the Commodore name. We expect to begin shipment around the first of August.
AC: Is that worldwide shipment?
Escom: At this time, we are talking with some potential people in die US as well as potential companies who want to go into the Far East. These discussions are ongoing discussions.
The Amiga is our heart, it is what we like, here is a potential technology which in our point of view was greatly underestimated. So we will invest and we will do a lot to make new Amiga technolog}' for the future. We will start with existing machines when we start this thing running with the A1200, A4000, and with the CD32. These three items we will produce as fast as possible.
For the first step, we don't think we will have to modify it, otherwise it takes too long to get the machine back to the market if we start to modify it. Then it could be another year gone and still no product in the market. The key is to start shipments within the next three months to four months so that we have sometlring in the marketplace by September. We are under a very tight time frame. We have a lot to do in order to locate everything that is located worldwide, what does exist and find out who is producing what and when and how. We will use all of our power and we have a lot of power
at Escom to do tills.
Everybody is highly motivated to begin to get this thing running. We have formed Amiga Technologies GmbH which is located in Bensheim which is the headquarters. This will be our technology center for the future for Commodore Amiga. Here we want to get engineering people established, production people established, the purchasing people established, the marketing people established, the press people established, the support people established and the service people established but not the sales or distribution people yet. We want to get these employees ready within the next six weeks.
There will be 40-50 people working on the Amiga only and nothing else. Here we are talking with a lot of people who we want to hire right away. Also we want to talk to potential people who used to work for Commodore. We also would like to potentially hire and get back people to have a location in the US. We have signed a contract with Jeff Rank and George Robbins who are now working for us in Philadelphia. They can secure for us some existing technology because they know what is where. Ed Goff is our consultant who has been contracted by us to document all these things. He and the others are
working in the US on this inventory thing and doing all the documentation.
Meanwhile we are building up our own operation. We have already hired some people and are talking with anyone who is interested and I think we will be able to get a wonderful team together very soon. There are already 3 or 4 people working on manufacturing and purchasing. So we have already started working so we can make the A1200, A4000 and CD32 ready as soon as possible.
We are looking at our production of the A4000 for this year to be around 25,000, about 150,000 A1200s and 50-60,000 CD32s by the end of the year beginning by Scptember-October time frame. That is the first step.
The next step is to look for developments for the next generation Amiga 1200 and 4000s. This is in discussion today with some potential people concerning the best configuration for the Amiga technology. We ore also talking with people concerning the manufacture of the set top boxes with Amiga technology. We will soon have television set top boxes under the Amiga brand name based on the technology of the CD32.
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Circle 102 on Reader Service card.
We will also be having a press conference on May 30 which we would like to have you attend. At that time we will have a much more detailed discussion with the various Amiga magazines concerning the things we have discussed today and also how we can upgrade the magazines to the next generation of Amigas.
I would like to convince the magazines to write more about online services because I think that a lot of Amiga users are potential online users. Maybe we can have here a new philosophy on how we can position the Amiga in the marketplace as a leading edge in the market. We have here customers with a lot of knowledge from the Amiga side of the market which typically does not exist in the PC market.
AC: It sounds as if you have a lot of different things covered.
When you look at the US market are you looking to have a separate development center here?
Escom: if there are some people in the US who used to work for Commodore and do not want to come to Germany, although I don't know why not it is very nice here, but if they would like to stay in the US we would like to find a solution as to how we could work with them whether it be on a contract base, or a home office base etc. My intention is to get all the best people for the Commodore Amiga back as we do have a very exciting future and I am convinced that this technology will go forward. We have to get to the next generation of technology'. The quantum leap is to the 64 bit technology and
the RISC technology so we need this team as otherwise vve will have no future. Once I have these people in place I have a time frame of 2 or 3 years where we can maybe survive with existing technology but we must within a 15 month time frame bring new technology to the market.
AC: What is your view of the US market?
Escom: From my point of view of the US market, I want to talk with more people and get more of an overview before 1 make any comments about how we should proceed and with whom we should proceed in the US. We have never talked in the past without knowing things, so if I tell you something then we will do it. We did not talk in the past until everything was done and at this time I am not in a position to comment on how we will handle the US market. As I get more of an overview then I will decide.
AC: Our aim is to keep information flowing and you have been very gracious by saying that you would do an interview with us every month. We appreciate that as we know that you are very busy. We want to help you get information out.
Escom: We want to stay in contact and we can talk every four to five weeks, that is no problem for me.
• AC* On the morning of May 19,1995, Amazing Computing wa s able
to interview Mtmfred Schmitt by telephone. Mr. Schmitt is the
founder and 51% shareholder ofESCOM AG of Germany. ESCOM has
retail stores in 10 European countries, the owner of the
biggest mail order house in Europe (Quelle), several
manufacturing facilities, and, oh yes, the Amiga.
Nc exclusive CSCOM Speaks!
AC: Good Morning Mr. Schmitt. I know you are extremely busy trving not only to coordinate your normal business but also this new business with the acquisition of the Commodore Amiga. However, there are many things Amiga users in North America would like to know.
Escom: As I'm sure you know the auction is done and I'm sure you know the history of that. So I assume that you would like to hear what we are doing now and what we plan to do.
I will give you as much information as I can and I apologize that I am short on time as we are very busy here preparing for the market. We are trying to do a lot of things and everybody has been contacting us. I do not yet have the staff to take care of the Amiga things as they are mainly busy on production and retailing of Pcs. So first I would like to explain something about Escom.
"The company (ESCOM) has an expected turnover for 1995 of about 2.7 billion Deutschemarks or 1.8 billion US dollars."
Escom is a company which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. I founded the company about 1985-86, The company has an expected turnover for 1995 of about 2.7 billion Deutschemarks or 1.8 billion US dollars. Escom employs about 2,500 employees in the European marketplace. We are located in about 11 European countries with their own organizations but our headquarters of the AG or corporation are in Bochum, Germany.
Here in Frankfurt we have our logistics center, our marketing operation and typically our business operations.
Here we have all the people working now on the Commodore project and also new things.
In the Escom operation itself we have some people from the former Commodore operation. I have a former Commodore General Manager who is now my General Manager in the Escom Holland operation. He has several sales people from Finland and Norway which are also former Commodore people. In Switzerland my subsidiary has a gentleman who was the General Manager of the Swiss operation of Commodore and he is now responsible for Italy, Switzerland and France area. In Germany one of my board members is the former General Manager of the Commodore Germany operation. So we have quite a few key people who
understand the Commodore Distribution in the European marketplace. Right now the most important thing is to get the whole thing running so I need more logistics and sales people.
Escom is a holding (company), under the holding we have a few different operations. One is our retail operation. We have to date between 400 and 500 stores in Europe. We are perhaps the biggest PC retailer in Europe selling roughly 650,00 Pcs per year in our stores under the Escom brand name. We also have 5 manufacturing places in the European marketplace, 2 in Germany, one each in France, Netherlands and Czechoslovakia with a combine capacity to manufacture 1.2 million Pcs per year. We have our own case manufacturing so we can make all of our own cases for the machines. Our third operation
focuses on CP distribution that has to do with online services or mail orders. Then we have Escom Business which is a sister company which does network installation for on-site service of corporate accounts Germamvide with their own technicians.
Then we also have a trading company which distributes components, CPUs, hard disks and other products. We also have purchasing operations in the Far East, and we have a 10% share in IPC Peripherals in Fremont which is looking for CD titles and everything that is new in the American marketplace.
In the European marketplace we are the biggest Pentium reseller, last year we had roughly 50% of the Pentium market in Europe.
Now in the future of Commodore and the Amiga, the technology* has a very big potential, and Commodore and Amiga are big potential trademarks. From my point of view.
Commodore is only a trademark. Commodore is a trademark which does not own (intellectual property) because they did not own an operating system or technology. They only had a (continued on page 46) USED AMIGA HARDWARE COPPERHEAD TECHNOLOGIES: The dealer in quality pre-owned AMIGA hardwarel Looking for a fast easy way to sell your Amiga computer or accessories? Give us a call... BEST PRICES PAIDI Want to buy quality computers & hardware with out paying 'NEW prices? Give us a call... WE CAN'T BE BEAT!
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