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world of the Commodore Amiga. You'll find comprehensive reviews of Amiga products. complete coverage of all the major Amiga trade shows, and hints, tips, and tutorials on a variety of Amiga subjects such as desktop publishing. video, programming. and hardware. You'll also find a listing of the latest Frl.'d Fish disks. monthly columns on using the CU and working with Akexx: and you cm keep up to date with new releases in "New Products and Ocher Neat Stuff." AC's GUDE to the Conuuodoro Amiga is an indispensable catalog of all the hardware, software. public domain collections, services and information available for the Amiga. This amazing book. updated every six months, lists over 3 . .;;oo products! AC' TECH for tbe Commodore Amiga provides the Amiga user with valuable insights into the inner workings of the Amiga. In-depth articles on programming and hardware enhancement are designed to help the user gain the knowledge he needs to gee the most our of his machine. For subscription savings information, call 1-800-345-3360 Sync Tips Hi! I'd like to welcome you to a new column here at AC. It's YOUR column and it's where you can get the answers to your hardware/software questions and problems that arise when creating video graphics with your Amiga.

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Document sans nom OMPUTfNG I Aiuiii M’ Resource hut I AMI Jn 7hl| J55J3; CcJfjDo 'Moiled (nSCoirjpcJrjjdJj Special Offer for AC Readers!
AMOS (US), AMOS Compiler, and AMOS 3D all three for only $ 99.99* Bring your Amiga to Life!
AMOS - The Creator is like nothing you’ve ever seen before on the Amiga. It you want to harness the hidden power of your Amiga, then AMOS is for you!
AMOS Basic is a sophisticated development language with more than 500 different commands to produce the results you want with the minimum of effort. This special version of AMOS has been created to perfectly meet the needs of American Amiga owners, it includes clearer and brighter graphics than ever before, and a specially adapted screen size (NTSC).
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1 Pi'uf •«« i : rfojrt'jtBW)1 Attr:29 M I «•» Cht Itlfrrr. I Chris llobbi vs : Hiis I c , Hunty Py the I1 1 .»v i ii M T **iin i s . Til inn nut.
I »* I file I fltf VIII** !*«*» n.itr . I! «•**•** s r*'**sM»a , O Aria*- ..... n “Whether you are a budding Amiga programmer who wants to create fancy graphics without weeks of typing, or a seasoned veteran who wants to build a graphic user interface with the minimum of fuss and link with C routines, AMOS is ideal for you.” Amazing Computing, June 1992 £ Define and animate hardware and software sprites (bobs) with lightning speed.
Display up to eight screens on your TV at once - each with its own color palette and resolution (including HAM, interlace, half-brite and dual playfield modes).
Scroll a screen with ease. Create multi-level parallax scrolling by overlapping different screens - perfect for scrolling shoot-em-ups.
Use the unique AMOS Animation Language to create complex animation sequences for sprites, bobs or screens which work on interrupt.
Play Soundtracker, Sonix or GMC (Games Music Creator) tunes or IFF samples on interrupt to bring your programs vividly to life.
Use commands like RAINBOW and COPPER MOVE to create fabulous color bars like the very best demos.
Transfer STOS programs to your Amiga and quickly get them working like the original.
Use AMOS on any Amiga irom an A500 with a single drive to the very latest model with hard disk.
0 Q 1 8g 1° “3 CO UJ O x UJ *“ £?
AMOS (US) AMOS BASIC, sprite editor. Magic Forest and Amosteroids arcade games, Castle AMOS graphical adventure, Number Leap educational game, 400-page manual with more than 80 example programs on disk, sample tunes, sprite files, and registration card.
AMOS Compiler AMOS Compiler, AMOS language updater, AMOS Assembler, eight demonstration programs which show off the power of the compiler, and a comprehensive, easy-to-use manual to develop lightning fast software.
AMOS 3D Object Modeler, 30 new AMOS commands, and more. AMOS 3D allows you to create 3D animations as fast as 16 to 25 frames per second. You can display up to 20 objects at once, mix 3D with other AMOS features such as sprites, bobs, plus backgrounds, and more.
Limited Time Offer for AC renders only!
Get all three AMOS packages at one great price. Order today by sending your name, address (physical address please all orders will be shipped by UPS), and $ 99.99 ("plus $ 10.00 for Shipping and handling) to: AMOS Special. PiM Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 2140, Fall River, MA 02722-2140 or use your VISA, MasterCard, or Discover and fax 1 -508-675-6002 or call toll free in the US or Canada: 1 -800-345-3360 Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery AMOS written by Frangois Lionet ©1992 Martdarin Jawx Country of Origin: UK Create breathtaking graphical effects as never before KiroPRESs O t I W A R 1
Strength in Numbers GVP is the best Solution On any Amiga3 Great Valley Products has been the technological leader in Amiga peripheral and enhancement products since 1988. We consistently provide you with the best quality add-ons lor the Amiga computer... bar none!
EGS 28 24 SPECTRUM “ Go Beyond AG A Graphics with this real-time, 24-bit, irue-color graphics cirbancement card. Programmable resolutions up to 1600x1280! 800x600 in 24-bitl We include a custom display pass-through cable for single- monitor use. Many applications are ready-to-mn and we include the acclaimed EGS Paint as a bonus too!
Bring workstation graphic power to your Amiga today and see what you've been missing!
CIRCLE 329 ON HEADER SERVICE CARD TBCPIuS'“ This professional quality, all digital time- base-corrcctot (TBC) uses state-of-the-art 8-hit 4:2:2 video signal processing...Plus it provides a real-time video frame-grabber and 16.7 million color trame-buffcr ...Plus there is a full SMPTE EBU time-codc receiver generator...Plus this incredible product will transcode composite and Y C inputs...Plus a 3 channel video input switcher (in composite and Y C) .. .Plus programmable video special effects!
CIRCLE 330 ON READER SERVICE CARO PhoijePak ¦-5 U J sound sampler yet made. Assembled of high-impact clear polycarbonate, this is the sound sampler to own for the Amiga. The versatile Digital Sound Studio software includes a multifaceted program tor sampling, editing, song composition, stereo sound playback as well as creation of .MOD format songs.
CIRCLE 340 ON READER SERVICE CARD EGS 28 24 Spectrum, Performance Series II. Image FX. G-Lock, iV-24. G-Force '030 Combo. G*Force '040 33 Combo. 4008 SCSI II. IoExtender, PhonePak VFX, and 0SS8* are trademarks ol Great Valley Products, Inc. All other trademarks are tie property ol their respective owners.
Performance Series II™ At 50Mhz, you can own the fastest A1200 in the world! Add up to 32MB of highspeed 32-hit RAM, today! With the added power of a 50Mhz FPU, your floating point operations have never been speedier, A simple connection in the A 1200 s 'trapdoor' never voids a warranty, and with the Series II you have the added versatility of our custom option slot.
Add the fastest SCSI interface on any A1200 with the A129I SCSI Kit. Ft just plugs in from the back. Other expansion products coining soon!
CIRCLE 331 ON READER SERVICE CARD ImageFX ' Totally Integrated Image Processing. This is the only Image Processing package you will ever need.
Period. This is the professional solution that brings you not only interchange between various image formats such as TIF and GIF andTARGA, but also a full-featured 24-bit, real-time paint and touch-up program. See the work you are doing while you tlo it! Edge feathering, Alpha channel, CMY HSV YUV YIQ operations, integrated scanning, regionalized processing.,, it's in there!
CIRCLE 332 ON READER SERVICE CARD G-Lock “ Bring live video, audio and Amiga graphics together and do it an day Amiga! Get connected with the world of video with our built -in transcoder to convert input video to composite, Y C, RGB or YUV outputs! Full support for AC.A systems as well as the 'classic' Amiga 500, 2000 and 3000. Acclaimed interface controls make this easy to use and simple to control. ScaJa™ users even get an EX module to use G-Lock in their multimedia applications, Add G-lock’s included dual-input audio panel and it's simply the best choice for every personal Amiga owner.
CIRCLE 333 ON READER SERVICE CARD IV-24™ 2.0 The Ultimate Genlock This is what you have been searching for in a professional quality genlock for your Amiga 2000,3000 or 4000. This integrated hardware design provides the crispest, cleanest genlockcd video on the Amiga desktop. With options for RGB, composite, SVHS, Bctacam and M-ll compatible inputs S. outputs as well as a 24-bit, 16.7 million color frame-buffcr and real-time framegrabber digitizer, this is the Amiga genlock every professional needs. Powerful included software completes this picture as the Ultimate Genlock.
CIRCLE 334 ON READER SERVICE CARD G-Force‘030 Combo™ GVP's classic Combo card accelerates your Amiga 2000 to new heights! This integrated design slips into the processor option slot in your system and instantly provides dramatic performance improvements. Easily add up to 16MB of fast 32-hit RAM. Gain expansion and versatility with our powerful SCSI !1 interface, allowing you to connect up to 7 devices such as hard drives, SyQuest removables or CD-ROM drives.
Feel the power of G-Forcc today!
CIRCLE 33S ON READER SERVICE CARD G-FORCE G-Force ‘040 33 Combo™ The classic Combo taken to the Ultimate Extreme!
Your applications will blaze with the awesome power of a 33Mhz 68040 processor. Give that muscle some room to flex with room for up to 64MB of fast 32-bit RAM. Of course oui award-winning SCSI li interface is integrated for maximum performance and wc include the bonus of ioExtcndcr capability with an extra parallel port and a buffered high-speed serial port. Hot "toast" served here!
CIRCLE 336 ON READER SERVICE CARO 4003 SCSI II™ Bring the world of SCSI within your teach with this casy-to-install board. Instantly gain access to thousands of peripherals such as hard drives, SyQuest removable media and CD-ROMs. Add up to 7 devices to your Amiga 4000 and smile. As a leader In Amiga peripheral technology since 1988, we still maintain support for A2000 owners too, even providing 8MB of RAM expansion on the card.
Advanced surface-mount technology allows any user to mount a 3.5" drive directly to the card, providing for maximum convenience. Get the GVP SCSI difference!
CIRCLE 337 ON READER SERVICE CARD ioExtenderv Feeling trapped- Let GVP extend your horizons with our easy-to-use ioExtender. Contained on a single card, you will find an additional parallel port, allowing you to connect a printer and a digitizer (such as DSS8+) at the same time. No more messy, unreliable switch boxes’ We include two, that's right, two high-speed, FIFO buffered serial ports. No more dropped data or bogged-down computers when transferring data via modem (at speeds in excess of 57,600!]. Free your ports and regain performance on your Amiga with ioExtender!
Duns IE Dm CIRCLE 330 On READER SERVICE CARO rHDNErflK PhonePak VFX “ 2,0 If you are calling for VoiceMail Press I, If you would like to send a Fax, Press 2, If you would like to have this automated, scheduled, time date stamped and call you when you have new mail, get PhonePak VFX 2,9 today! Fully integrated, allowing unlimited mailboxes and private fax receiving. Send faxes from any program that prints. Call in remotely and retrieve faxes sent earlier. Plain paper or paperless faxing.
Call routing with Ccntrcx PBX support, and more!
CIRCLE 330 ON REAOER SERVICE CARD ;iaiTai_ Volume 9 Number 4 April 1994 In This Issue 31 CanDo by Randy Finch AppEvents and graphics printing create a custom Workbench utility to view pictures as a slide show.
Computer Cafe Serves Up Shasta by Robert Van Buren The design team at California's Computer Cafe create incredible "Can-A-Mation” for a beverage commercial.
Aladdin 4D Review by R. Shamms Mortier Shamms examines the new features of this latest A4D release.
55 Jim Sachs Interview Jim Sachs, creator of the Defender of the Crown games talks with AC about his career as an Amiga artist, animator, and game designer.
Desktop Publishing with Special Papers & Supplies by Dan We 'ss Use papers from Paper Direct, Queblo, and others to enhance your desktop publications.
61 Great Amiga Helpware by R. Shamms Mortier Shamms takes a closer look at Pegger and Magic Lantern.
84 AGA Chip Set and the Amiga: CD32 to the Rescue!
By Jeff James What does the future hold for CD32 & AGA Amigas? Jeff has the inside scoop.
Reviews 14 Montage 24 by R. Shamms Mortier A look at this 24-bit presentation and text rendering program from Innovision.
17 MovieMaker by R. Shamms Mortier Digital non-linear audio and video editing for the Amiga.
18 Primera Dye Sublimation Upgrade by Merrill Callaway This upgrade brings photo-realistic output to your Primera printer.
23 The Imagine Companion by Mark Hoffman A unique tutorial and help book, The Imagine Companion makes a useful addition to any Imagine user's library.
Features 25 Online by Rob Hays On-line jargon and symbols, surge protection, and the Fighter Duel Pro 2 demo top Rob's list.
Digital Image Special F X by William Frawley Using Arexx, ADPro, and PageStream to process images.
And furthermore... April, 2004: Commodore announces the AmigaPAD 2B .80 8 New Products & Other Neat Stuff Arctic Baron, Devpac3, FDP2, Sequencer One. Studio, and multimedia speakers are among this month's new products.
37 cli directory by Keith Cameron Keith introduces a glossary of AmigaDOS commands.
27 Bug Bytes by John Steiner Questions regarding Autoconfig; Tool manager 2.0 and Quarterback incompatibilities; Online Platinum script file workaround; and Workbench 2.1 Gurus are addressed.
43 Arexx by Merrill Callaway Create a Graphical User Interface GUI for your Arexx program.
67 Roomers by The Bandito CD32, CES, Atari, NewTek, and of course, Commodore are under the Bandito's watchful eye this month.
81 CD32 Review Defender of the Crown II, Grolier's Encyclopedia, and Insight: Technology are among the new titles for CD32.
. Diversions Overdrive and Ishar: Legend of the Fortress AGA are on the review list.
66 Sync Tips by Oran Sands AC welcomes Oran Sands to its pages with the introduction of his new column for Amiga video.
Columns An interview with Amiga artist and game designer Jim Sachs, p. 55 Departments Editorial 6 And Furthermore .96 Feedback ...29 List of Advertisers, Aiiuizing Computing For The Cmniiioiloiv AMIGA IM ADMINISTRATION Publisher: Joyce Hicks Assistant Publisher: Administrative Asst.: Circulation Manager: Asst. Circulation: Traffic Manager: Production Manager: Robert J, Hicks Donna Viveiros Doris Gamble Traci Desmarais Robert Gamble Ernest P. Viveiros EDITORIAL Managing Editor: Associate Editor: Hardware Editor: Video
Consultant: Art Consultant: Illustrator: Contributing Editor: Don Hicks Jeffrey Gamble Ernes! P. Viveiros Sr.
Oran Sands Perry Kivolowitz Brian Fox Merrill Callaway ADVERTISING Advertising Coordinator: Traci Desmarais Amazing Computing For the Commodore Amigapt (ISSN 1053-4647) is published monthly by PiM Publications. Inc,. Currant Road. P.O. Box2140, Foil River MA 02722-
2140. Phone 1-508-676-4200, 1-800-345-3360. And FAX 1-508
U. S. subscription rate is 529.95 for one year. 546,00. Rwo
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Second-Class Postage paid at Fall River. MA 02722 and additional moiling offices.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to PiM Publications Inc., P.O. Box 2140, Fall River,MA 02722-2140 Printed in the U.S.A. Entire contents copyright- 1993byPIM Publications. Inc. All lightsreserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from PiM Publications. Inc.. Additional First Class or Air Mail rates ovailable upon request. PiM Publications, Inc. maintains the right to refuse any advertising, PiM Publications Inc. is not obligated to return unsolicited materials. All requested returns must be received with a self-oddressed stamped mailer.
Send article submissions in both manuscript ore disk format with your name, address, telephone, and Social Security Number on each to the Associate Editor.
Requests tor Author's Guides should be directed to the oddress listed obove.
AMIGA1'1 is a registered trademark of Commodore-Amiga. Inc.. Commodore Business Machines, International Dsrrfcutered in tns U.S. 5 Canoda by Intemattoncf Periodcof Distifcutors 674 Vio de la Vale. Ste 204. Solera Beach, CA 67075 & Irgrom Petiodcds be.
1226 HetOudrerBfvd.. la Verne TN 37086 f -508-678-4200, t-300-345-3360, FAX 1-508-675-6002 Printed in U.S.A. THE Amiga Imaging Specialists 35mm Slide & Negative Imaging Color Prints Transparencies and MORE!
ANY Amiga format (incl. JPEG & New AGA modes) Call TODAY and ash about our FREE TRIAL OFFER!
PeeCee's CeeEee's Digital Initr] 94S Walut Street Fall Ritei; Mil 027ZD-S32B FAX 5D8.G7fi.93D8 IIS 5ll.B7fi.S3l8 |9i0fl aN1| T-Rexx Professional is a highly integrated Arexx script generation environment with powerful tools specifically designed for the NewTek Video Toaster. T-Rexx can also automate the functions of 11 other important products, and, because it is completely user configurable, you can add support for the products of your choice.
Benefits Create sophisticated scripts without any knowledge of Arexx.
You simply point and click. T-Rexx even displays your scripts in plain English!
All T-Rexx tools are connected together creating a fully integrated system. You need learn only one user interface to master eveiy aspect of T-Rexx Professional.
You can quickly and easily manage large quantities of Toaster Framestore images. Convert Framestores to and from RGB (in full color and fidelity) without requiring a Toaster.
Accept commands via a serial or parallel port. Your entire studio, not just your Toaster, can be controlled by T-Rexx giving you more time for producing results instead of hunting for solutions.
Includes support for the following products: AmiLink, Art Department Iyofessional, BCD-2000A, DQ-Taco, MediaPhile, MorphPlus, PC-VCR, Personal SFCII, Personal TBC III, Pixel 3D, SunRize Studio 16 and VISCA.
T-Rexx allows you to create interactive or automated multimedia presentations by linking the Video Toaster to other hardware and software products.
T-Rexx's ability to be synchronized to events from the GPI, serial port, parallel port, keyboard, Arexx or timer means you've got the widest array of options available for your creative use. T-Rexx can even automate the recording of your finished presentation (including audio) onto video tape or single frame recorders.
Your script is shown in plain English on T-Rexx Professional's main screen.
F* You can create your own ActionFX and OrganicFX to produce custom results for your demanding clients. Using T-Rexx's special effects processing, dozens of new FX can be created from a single source.
T-Rexx provides powerful batch processing tools which save you time and disk space. Process images as they're produced automatically, without having to store intermediate results.
Framestores can be converted to from RGB, previewed and organized using 1'ramestoreFM j You can create and modify Toaster projects creating exactly die configuration which best meets your needs.
T-Rexx helps you get the most of your system investment because an integrated system is greater than the sum of its parts. T-Rexx Professional is the Toaster System Integrator!
Develop scripts in a fraction of the time it used to take using T-Rexx's unique Real Time Mode. You can test your scripts as you write them, alerting you to any mistakes instantly.
Using one consistent, easy-to- leam user interface, you can control any program that is Arexx compatible or any device that can 925 Stewart Street Madison, W1 53713 608 273-6585 'Die followinK names art trademarks or registered trademarks of the indicator! Companies T-Rexx Professional, Morphl'lus. FrainesloreFM. LightTV, SiiareFX, and Art Department Professional: ASDG Incorporated, Arexx: Wishful Thinking Development Corp., Deluxe Paine Eleelionic .Arts. Brilliance: Digital Creations. Inc.. Amiga: Commodore- Amiga. Inc.. Video Toaster,Toaster. ToasterPainl, and LightWave 3D: NewTek
Incorporated. Other trademarks are the property of their respective holders. The Video Toaster Logo is copyrighted hy NewTek Incorporated and is osed with Itermission. Copyright f; 1993 hy ASDG Incorporated T-Rexx Professional is backed by ASDG, a solid company providing innovative products and quality customer sup|X rt since 1986, EDITORIAL CON1TO Amiga PAD 2B Pure Sci-Fi or Possible Future Fact?
This month we over stepped our bounds slightly and anticipated what new announcements Commodore will be making in the year 2004. If you have not read the AndFurthermore on page 96 of this issue, you should before you read any farther. Go ahead, I'll wait.
OK, so that might not be the Amiga of 2004, but it could be. With the advances we have seen in computer technology over the last 15 years and the support for even more advances in the future, this scenario could happen. It is one of many possible futures.
Normally, as we analyze an industry or a product such as the Amiga, we strive to provide a sketch of the most probable future. In the case of the Amiga PAD 2B, we have strived for one of the most favorable future.
The Amiga PAD 2B is based on technologies available today or products being developed in today’s labs.
The Present Everyone admits that the products and sendees we have today would have been considered science fiction just twentv years ago. Electronics and the computer have dramatically changed the world in which we live. From how we make a living to how we entertain ourselves, little has not been affected by the success of the last twenty years.
The Amiga's abilities have contributed to these changes. It was the Amiga that first gave us a real multimedia platform. The Amiga's video capabilities and multitasking hardware have caused other computer manufacturers to rethink their products. We have witnessed other platforms continually moving to provide more of what the Amiga does naturally.
With the advances we see everyday, the battle for marketshare in the yet undeveloped information superhighway, and with the knowledge that nothing stands still, we must assume there will be a machine in the future with at least some of the capabilities discussed for the Amiga PAD 2B. Why not the Amiga?
The Future The Amiga PAD 2B is based on technologies available today or products being developed in today's labs. Sony has introduced optical disk technology in a portable device with the MiniDisk.
Although it is only capable of holding 140 MB today, Sony officials assured me that current development into "Blue Laser" technology will allow the current media to quadruple in density', if the Sony disk is currently only one sided, experience demonstrates computer media will always become double sided as the cost of manufacture decreases and the needs of the consumer increase. By 2004, consumers will have a need for tremendous storage on removable media and, at that level, the MiniDisk could provide 1,12GB with a data transfer rate of more than 600 kU sec.
Of course, the argument can be made that users will utilize the network and large storage facilities for their work after all thev will be connected to the information superhighway. However, privacy and security have always been a concern of users. 1 am not certain everyone will want their data filed in a common holding area.
People like to be independent and, when it comes to data, they enjoy the security of keeping their data in their own possession.
This independence is why so many Americans continue to use their own cars in areas where public transportation is more cost effective. They want to feel in control.
Devices such as on-board video cameras, cellular phone fax connections, fax video, artificial intelligence interfaces, interactive display advertising, fuzzy logic visual recognition, voice recognition, 3-D television, and solar power recharging are all products either available commercially in some form or are being perfected today.
The memory requirements of the 213 are an extrapolation of the explosion in memory development today and the anticipation of the memory required by such a system.
The social issue concerning environmental standards is also with us today.
The John Huston AI svnth-performer comes directly from current advertising issues. Last year, Diet Coke ran television commercials in which Paula Abdul worked with screen images of Cary Grant, James Cagney, and Groucho Marx. Questions were raised as to who had the right to "lift" the images of these performers to endorse products the performers never knew, if we accept the fact that the estate of the deceased performer could continue to represent the deceased, then it is a small step to assume an artificial intelligence could be created that would mimic the performer in new situations. This
may make it more difficult for new actors to find work, but that has never bothered Hollywood.
The most speculative feature of our April fools article is Commodore's marketing plans. We have shown an expansive program of product give-aways, media blitz advertising, and massive public relation efforts. While these things are an almost everyday occurrence with other companies and at least some measure of these actions have been made by current companies, based on their past and current actions, it is mind boggling to believe Commodore would do this. Or is it?
Commodore’s Future By the time you read this, Commodore will have held its annual meeting. The meeting was announced late and is being held in the Bahamas. However, since Commodore sent their shareholders requests for proxy voting rights for that meeting, we have received calls from shareholders all over the country who want to know more about the shareholder's movement. While we will not endorse any one person over another, we have taken time to at least give the address of the movement and ask the callers to please consider all their choices.
Apparently a large portion of Commodore shareholders are no longer content to rubber stamp the activities of CBM management. Even if the current administration remains, they will be required to deal with the reality of the marketplace more readily than thev have been. This means they will need to change their behavior if not themselves.
With an eye to the future and a need to create devices which will utilize the technology and opportunity of the future, the idea of an Amiga PAD 2B is not so far fetched. With an eye to survival. Commodore marketing efforts will need to resemble more of what we stated for 2004 than what they have demonstrated in 1994.
Don Hicks Managing Editor Retargetable Graphics* have arrived!
24 bit graphics for your Amiga® 1280 x 1024 256 color Workbench screen displayed on an A3000 with the Picasso II.
NEW PRODUCTS and other neat ftadd verse the process but something went seriously wrong; the earth plunged intoa nuclear winterand the sun became permanently eclipsed. Your mission is to free the planet from perpetual winter and economic slavery. You command a giant steam powered train,butasyour journey unfolds, your need for fresh supplies, food and spare parts becomes essentia!. You face a variety of evil- dooers in you path. With constant su rp rise attacks, traitors a nd spies on board, it is all up to you.
You are the glimmer of hope for the future. Arctic baron has a blend of exquisite graphics, excellent sound effects and music with tremendous visual impact for hours of addictive strategy adventure game play.
Arctic Baron Set in the distant future, Arctic Baron (49.95), is the backdrop fro trade, battle, strategy and adventure. The year is 2022 and global warming isposinga serious threat to mankind. Scientists put "Operation Blind" into effect to reReadySoft Incorporated, 30 Werthiem Court, Sic. 2, Richmond Hilt, Ontario, Canada, L4II 1119,
(905) 731-4175, fax (905) 764-8867.
Inquiry 200 Assassin Special Edition The Assassin is back but this time it is different. Complete with a new weapon and revised Bonus Scheme, Assassin Special Edition is a true classic. You are the Assassin highly skilled super athletic man, complete with an arm- mounted pulse laser that has the ability to be improved by the means of power-ups. Your task is to infiltrate the vast subterranean base which the arch villain Mida n has made his own. Do you have what it takes to become the ultimate assassin in this awesome action-packed blaster? The game features brilliant visuals, smooth
scrolling, 200+ frames of animation on the main character, and an amazing array of special weapons. There are lots of power ups and bonuses, over 1300 screens of pure playability and explosive end-of-level action. Some features new to assassin are revised graphics, the new laser weapon, extra hiddenbonuses, and easier more enjoyable game play.
Team 17 Software, Prospect House, Borough Road, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, WF13AB, (44) 924-291-867. Inquiry 201 Devpac 3 Devpac 3 is an assembly language development system for all Amiga computers, Devpac 3 (S109.95) uses an integrated, multi-window environment including a fast and powerful assembler and debugger supporting all 680x0 processors and coprocessors, the compiler is now at least 40% quicker than its predecessor. Devpac 3 is a complete package including library support for Workbench 1,3,2.x and 3.x. Oregon Research, 16200 SW Pacific Highway, Ste. 162, Tigard,
OR 97224, (503 ) 620-4919, Fax
(503) 624-2940. Inquiry 202.
Fighter Duel Pro 2 Fighter Duel Pro 2 (S59.95) sets the standard for realistic flight simulation. From the detailed aerodynamic model to the lightning fast frame rate, FDPro 2 is unparalleled in simulating the fee! Of flying. With a full selection of aircraft and added fea- CanDo Lets you convert your ideas into reality.
CanDo is a software authoring system that gives you the power of a programming language, yet makes creating your program's interface as easy as using a paint program. Because CanDo is tailor-made for the Amiga, all of the exciting Graphics, Sounds, and mouse-driven Objects that are built into your computer are at your fingertips. This gives you everything you need to make your ideas come to life.
CanDo Makes real programs real easy.
Painlessly creating your interface is just the beginning. The key to making real programs is CanDo’s English-like scripting language. Even if you're a beginner, you can still use CanDo’s tools to write programs for you. While easy to learn and use, the commands are so powerful you can create programs which would take 10 times longer to write using a language such as C - even presuming you had years of programming experience.
CanDo Is programming for the rest of us... Ordinary people all over the world are using CanDo to create real applications such as: databases, utilities, animated multimedia presentations, kiosks, training systems, and all sorts of games. CanDo enables you to explore your imagination and make the things you never thought you had the time or experience to do.
You CanDo 11Q VZI TRONICS 1-800-875-8499 interactive media Inovatronics, Inc. 3499 Greenville Avenue Suite 209B Dallas, TX 75231 USA Tel: [214| 340-4991 FAX: (214) 340-85 14 Irovatronies, Ltd. Unit 11, Enterprise Centre Cranborne Road Pollers Bar Hertfordshire EN6 3DG ENGLAND Tel: +44-707-662861 FAX: +44 707-660992 Inovotronics GmbH Im Heidkamp It W-5000 Cologne 91 GERMANY Telephone +49-22 1-875126 FAX +49-22 1 -8704747 Circle 114 on Reader Service card.
NEW PRODUCTS mc(other neat tures, FDPro 2 delivers the flight simulation package for the serious aviator. FDPro 2 has all the features of the best selling WWII fl ight simuI ator, Fighter Due! Pro, and more. FDPro 2 is available to owners of Fighter Duel-Corsair vs Zero, Fighter Duel Pro 1, and FDPro Flight recorder by sending jaeger page one from the software manual and $ 30 in U.S. funds.
Jaeger Software, Inc., Direct Sales Department, 7800 White Cliff Terrace, Rocki'ille, MD 20855, (3011 948-6862. Inquiry 0203 Highspeed Pascal Highspeed Pascal ($ 149.95) is a powerful Pascal development system for the Amiga. The system includ es an integrated, tnul ti- window editor and interactive error detection. Highspeed Pascal also includes a stand-alone compiler, and an integrated make facility for easy project management. Highspeed Pascal is designed to be compatible with Turbo Pascal 5 on the PC, giving the developer easy compatibility between platforms.
Oregon Research, 16200 SIV Pacific Highway, Ste. 162, Tigard, OR 97224, (503) 620-4919, Fax (503) 624-2940. Inquiry 0204 MS 1200 & MS 2400 Flatbed Scanners Migraph announced two new flatbed scanners in their line of Amiga desktop publishing and graphics line. The MS series makes brilliant 24-bit color and true 256 greyscale images available and affordable for the Amiga owner. With two models to choose from, the user can select the scanning resolution and speed tha t best meets his need s. In addition, options like a transparency device and a 50-page document feeder increase the scanners'
versatility'. The MSI200 (S1099) features a maximum scanning resolution of 1200dpi, three passscan- ning and the MS2400 (S1499) a maximumscanning resolution of 2400 dpi, one-pass scanning. Both uni ts feature a n 8.5 x 14-inch scan- ning area, eight levels of brightness and contrast settings plus gamma correction, ColorK.it Pro software forscanning and saving color, greyscale and monochrome images in 24-bit IFF and other file formats, and nSCSi interface. The models include every thing that is needed to begin scanning; no extra cables orsoftware are needed.
Migraph flatbed scanners work on all Amigas (except AlOOO) with 4MB RAM,a hard disk, SCSI port, and a 68020 or higher CPU. The Migraph MS series is available direct from Migraph and selected Amiga dealers.
Migraph, .32700 Pacific Highway S. , Ste. 34, Federal Way, WA 98003,
(206) 838-4677, Fax (206) 838-4702.
Inquiry 0205 MulfiFrame-ADPro With MultiFrame-ADPro (S129.95) from MacroSystemUS you can spend your time creating not controlling. MultiFrame- ADPro is the ideal solution to your multiple image processing problems, capable of controlling ADPro directly with just a few well-placed mouse clicks, you can create real-time animations, digital video effects and custom transitions, digital compositing with software alpha channel, set morphing values on complex operators to create special effects over time, use spline-based path control to modify any operation to create non-linear motion se
quences, and much more.
MultiFrame-ADPro gives you the freedom to easily create variable effects over time by allowing you to enter values for all complex operators and have the changes take effect over the number of frames that you need to generate.
Change the values of any ADPro or Morph Plus operator over time by using the spline-based path control with adjustable knots, tension, continuity, andbias fornon- linear motion control. You can create looping effects as well as effects that accelerate or decelerate towards or away from values.
MultiFrame-ADPro requires no knowledge of Arexx or programming. 11 does requ i re ADPro 2.1.5 or higher or MorphPlus 1.0 or higher, and AmigaDOS 2.0 or later.
MacroSystemUS, 24282 Lynwood, Ste. 101, Novi, MI 48374, (313) 347-6266, Fax (313) 347-6643. Inquiry 11206 Sample Series Sample Series ($ 14.95ea) is a collection of 8-bit digital sound samples for use with Oregon Research sequencers and sample replay devices. There are five CATCH THIS.
Introducing FreshFish™, a unique CD-ROM series that provides the Amiga community with hundreds of megabytes of the very latest in freely redistributable software.
The FreshFish CD-ROM series is produced directly by Fred Fish, who has been working to c. supply Amiga users with high- quality, freely redistributable software since the Amiga’s introduction in
1985. FreshFish Cds, published every 6 to 8 weeks, contain over
100 Mb of newly submitted material in both BBS ready
(archived) and ready-to-run (unarchived) form. Also
included are over 200 Mb of ready-to-run GNU software
(EMACS. C C++ compiler, text processing utilities, etc.)
with full source code included, and up to 300 Mb of other
useful utilities, games, libraries, documentation and
hardware software reviews.
Two compilation Cds will also be available.
The FrozenFish™ series will be published every 4 to 6 months as a compilation of the most recent material from the FreshFish Cds GoldFish™, a two disc CD- ROM set, will be available in April 1994.
This set will contain the entire 1,000 floppy disk “Fred Fish” library in both BBS ready and unarchived form!
FreshFish, FrozenFish, and GoldFish may be purchased by cash, check (US dollars), Visa, or MasterCard, from Amiga Library Services for $ 19.95 each (plus $ 3 shipping & handling in the U.S., Canada or Mexico, $ 5 elsewhere).
Fax or mail orders and inquiries to: Amiga Library Services 610 North Alma School Road, Suite 18 Chandler, AZ 85224-3687 USA FAX: (602) 917-0917 MEW PRODUCTS and other neat volumes in the scries: Percussion and Effects, Guitars & Strings, Brass & Woodwind, Synth &.
Vocals, and Piano & Keyboards.
Each volume contains an average of 45 samples as well as a demo song.
Oregon Research, 16200 SW Pacific Highway, S c. 162, Tigard, OR 97224, (503) 620-4919, Fax (503 624-2940. Inquiry 207 Sequencer One Sequencer One (39.95) is a music recording, editing, and replay program for use with MI EH musical instruments and the internal sound chip of the Amiga. Sequencer One offers 32-track sequencing over 16 MIDI channels, with simultaneous replay of up to four 8-bit samples. Sequencer one can accurately record MIDI instruments in real time, or if you prefer, step time mode lets the user enter music with the mouse or with the keyboard one note at a time. The
piano roll style step editor allows the user to modify', delete, or add notes, without the need to understand music notation.
Oregon Research, 16200SW Pacific Highway, Sle. 162, Tigard, OR 97224, (503J 620-4919, Fax (503) 624-2940. Inquiry 208 Sequencer One Plus Sequencer One Plus (SI 29.95) is a high-quality, 32-track MIDI and sample sequencer for all Amiga computers. In addition to playing MIDI instruments,Sequencer One Plus can, at the same time, play back 8-bit samples using the Amiga's built-in sample replay facility. Sequencer One Plus features the easy-to-use Diamond Drag note editing system, allowing users easy graphical manipulation of notes in tire step editor screen. Other features include a Tempo
Map screen, allowing the user precise control of tempo throughout the song, and the Juke Box screen, allowing users to arrange up to 32 songs for playback.
Oregon Research, 16200 SIV Pacific Highway, S e. 162, Tigard, OR 97224, (503) 620-4919. Fax (503) 624-2940. Inquiry 209 Studio Studio ($ 119.95) is a unique program for controlling printers with the Amiga. Unlike the Amiga printer drivers which only support 12-bit accuracy when printing, Studio is accurate to a full 24 bits.
Studio supports the built-in features of printers that other printing packages do not, including tire latest 600 dpi LaserJets, color DeskJets and Paintjets, Canon Bubblejets and dot matrix printers. The printer drivers supplied with Studio are 100% Amiga compatible and will work with any program that uses the normal Amiga printer drivers, Included with Studio is a printing program that allows you to print pictures directly from disk, so ma ssi ve graphics fi les can even be printed from a 512K Amiga.
Other features include support for highest printer resolutions,
16. 7 million color printing or 256 shades of gray' to produce
beautiful continuous tone pictures, true to screen colors
using color adjustment with 32-bit accuracy, special
feature to minimize horizontal banding on dot-matrix
printers, and poster-sized printout capability. Studio
requires Kickstart 2.0 or greater with at least 512K
RAM.Studio fully supports Workbench 2.0,2.1, and 3.0.
AtiemSj s emL S, 242S2 Lynwood, Ste. 101, Navi. Ml 4S374,
(313) 347-6266, Fax (313) 347-6643, Inquiry 210 SPARKS
Sparks (S 149.95) is the Standard Particle And Real world
Kinematic animation System. This is the first particle
animation system for LightWave 3D. Now animators can
include high-end procedural animation effects to their
work. Particles can bounce with real world behavior and
gravity simulation. Multiple point gravity wells allow
bending and directing the stream, flock, or swarm of
particles. User-definable paths allow particles to fall off
a moving target, allowing for sparklers, fuses, wands,
multiple lilt explosions and more. Fade envelopes can be
built on the fly with fade in and fade out controls.
Displacement mappingsup- port will give motion to all of your
objects at once. Bones and motions can be appended to each
object as well as clip maps. Local gravity wells can be moved
on a path. You have complete control over functions and
effects such as origin, direction, gravity', multiple loca I
gra v i ties, quantity' and more.
MacroSysteinUS, 24282 Lynwood, Sle. 101, Novi, MI 48374, (313) 347-6266, Fax (313) 347-6643. Inquiry 211 The Hit Kit!
The Hit Kit! (39.95) is a music composition system for use with either of Oregon Research's MIDI and sample sequencers, Sequencer One or Sequencer One Plus. The Hit Kit! Can help to create professional sounding drum tracks, bass lines, arpeggio patterns, and even complete pieces of music. Arranged in an intuitive manner on disk, these parts are blocks that can easily be brought into the sequencer in a wide variety of styles, including ballard, blues, house, Latin, reggae, and more.
Oregon Research, I62WISW Pacific Highway, Ste. 162, Tigard, OR 97224, (503) 620-4919, Fax (503) 624-2940. Inquiry 212 Toccata The Toccata (S399.95) is a full 16- bit audio digitizer. Tire Toccata can digitize at up to 48KHz in 16- bit direct to hard disk. Special features include an onborad mixerand ADPCM compression.
The ADPCM compression allows digitizing at 32KJ-iz directly to a floppy disk and playback from a floppy. Playback from a hard disk can bo up to 16 channels in 16-bit.
TheToccata can also be list'd with Vlab IFR to digitize the audio for a video sequence.
The Toccata comes with a special version of SEKD's award-winning a ttd io ed i tingsoftwa re package, Samplitude. The a wa rd - winning Samplitude Editing Software was named best Audio Editing Software in Germany. The Toccata packaged with Samplitude represents a major breakthrough in the price performance of Amiga real-time audio digitizing and editing.
With features like CD compat- ibil it y, three stereo inputs a nd full compatibility with any type of audio device, the Toccata provides the highest quality audio digitizing at an affordable price on the Amiga. Toccata works on all A2000, 3000, and 4000s with Workbench 2,0 or greater.
MncroSystemUS, 24282 Lynwood, Ste. 101, Novi, Ml 48374, (313) 347-6266, Fax (313) 347-6643. Inquiry 213 Warp Engine The Warp Engine series of accelerators; is a breakthrough in Amiga expansion design. The Warp Engine comes in three versions for the Amiga Video Toaster 4000 and three versions for the Amiga 3000.
The4000Series; The28MHz Warp Engine ($ 899.95) comes with an 040 socket, four SIMM sockets and the NCR SCSI-2 controller.
This is a very cost effective entry because the A4000 already had an 040 chip installed and 4 to 16MB of FastRAM on the motherboa rd. You si mply remove the CBM CPU card and then remove the 040chip and install the Warp Engine, You can also remove the memory from the motherboard and install it on the Warp Engine. This produces a 28MHz 040 accelerator with 4 to 16MB of high speed 040 local 32- bit RAM and tire fastest SCSI-2 Controller available for the Amiga. The 33MHz and 40MHz versions include the 040 processors. The 33MHz board requires 70ns ARM to work at its highest speed and the
40MHz board requires 60ns RAM although you can insertwaitstatesto use slower RAM. All of tills ex pansion is done without using a singleZorro slot.
The 3000 Series: There are three versions available for the A3000 which in all aspects are the same as the 4000 except that the RAM expansion is li mi ted to 64M B. The Warp Engine is compatible with the Video Toaster and Opal Vision. Tire boards are designed for use in the A3000 and A4000 series Amigas and require AmigaDOS
2. 1 or higher.
MncroSystemUS, 24282 Lynwood, Ste. 101, Novi, Ml 48374, (313) 347-6266, Fax (3131 347-6643. Inquiry 214 Other Neat Stuff GVP Freebies GVP recently announced that a PD version of the Enhanced Graphics System (F.CS) is available for downloading on CompuServe This demonstration version is designed to run only on Amiga systems using ECS or AGA graphics. This will allow any EGS application to run in resolutions up to 640x400 in 16 colors on any Amiga, without additional graphics hardware.
This demonstration version was designed to allow anyone interested in the EGS environment a chance to experience the look and feel of EGS. Since this version is limited to native Amigas it will not allow resolutions higher than 640x400 or color depths greater than 16 colors.
GVP also announced a free upOmniphones high-tech headphones from Audio- Technica.
Grade to EGS-SpectraPaint vl.2. The free upgrade is available to all owners of the EGS 28 24 Spectrum graphics board, The new version, called EGS SpectraPaint
vl. 2, is available as an upgrade electronically from GVP's BBS
or GVP's CompuServe file section, or may be found freely
circulating on area BBS's and Internet sites.
Great Valley Products, 657 Clarke Avenue, Kingof Prussia, PA 19406,
(215) 337-8770, Fax (215) 337-9222.
Inquiry 215 Sounds Good Audio-technica hasbroughtforth a lineofspeakersand headphones designed specifically for multi- media use. Their Multimedia Speaker System (MMS557S149.95 and MMS337 $ 99.95) are perfect accessories for the multimedia Amiga. These speakers are magnetically shielded, 1 ine-cord powered, and offer outstanding performance and value. The Omniphones a new line of headphones play a special role in multimedia presentations, or even the creation of these presen- NEW PRODUCTS and other neat tations. Omniphones provide crisp, clear, rich sound and offer the convenience of
privacy and personal listening comfort.
Audio-Technica U.S., Inc., 1221 Commerce Drive, Slow, OH 44224,
(216) 686-2600. Inquiry 216
• AC’ REVIEWS LIKE MANY OTHER AMIGA artists. I have used previous
InnoVision products for quite a while. First there was VideoFX.
An innovative text flyer from several years back. Then came Broadcast Titler, introducing raster-interrupt capabilities to Amiga video titling. And now. After many months of development, there is Montage 24 and Montage for the Toaster. In some ways, experienced InnoVision software users will be able to tell immediately from where the Montage package comes. Like its cousinware. Montage does not multitask. None ofthe InnoVision products do. The design of the interface screen also has that InnoVision look: sharply defined buttons and gadgets and a near- intuitive approach.
Montage 24 by R. Shaturns Mortier Montage 24 comes in three flavors, one for owners of OpalVision boards, one for AGA users, and one for owners of GVP's Impact Vision 24. The AGA version allows you to save both 24-bit and HAM8 graphics, while the OpalVision version allows oniy OpalVision-sized screens. No, you don't get to have both options. A f3 selector appears at the start of the program that determines one choice or the other. This is too bad, since there are people who have OpalVision installed on AGA machines. I would have preferred being able to have both choices at the same time,
with perhapsa separate toggle that allowed me to render to either. The quality of the OpalVison Montage seems to be a bit better than that of the HAM8 rend ers, b ut the AGA 24-bit saves offer the same quality. I ran Montage 24 on an A2500 (68030 with SMB RAM) and on an A4000 (68040 with 16M8 RAM).
Left: Figure 1. Literally hundreds of layered transparent looks are possible with the new text operators in Montage 24.
Top: Figure 2. Here is an output screen from Montage for OpalVision. The picture was scanned from a postcard and overlayed with Montage 24 text.
The final composite meets the requirements for a professional slide.
The Montage 24 Interface The first thing you see when the program loads is a blank screen with the Montage 24 menu staring at you. On the screen is a border that helps you to determine the best “live" video area. An L- shaped movable cursor shows you where the text will be placed as you type. The top of the Montage menus shows a color palette area on the left and a seven-unit dlther-options orea where you can determine how any two colors, or just one color, will write to the face of the text. I hope future versions will allow at least three times this many dither designs, or better yet,
allow users to design their own (spirals, circles, diagonals, and three or mo-e color options).
There are eight separate buttonsthat allow you to travel around the Montage 24 environment: Font, Edit, Layout, Background,Transition, File, Render, anda Page indicator.
Traditions Montage 24 is a presentation program as well as a text renderer. Montage 24 renders all screens in either a 24-bit format or a AGA Super Hi Res HAM8 format, All screens have to be stored in one ofthese formats in a directory before they can be made to obey an effect command. There are separate effects that can be targeted to any sequenced Montage 24 page depending on which version of the program is being run: AGA-13 effects, OpalVision-20 effects, IV24-2 effects. I don't have an 1V24 board, but 1he special Cut Video effect allows you to cleanly go from live video to a
24-bit graphic, and looks like it would be great for real-time editing, The OpalVision effects are much more complex than the AGA effects, and they are all different. Be warned: if you don'tsave the backgrounds loaded separately before initiating a transition sequence, they will not appear in Il!l» Images at your fingertips!
R E V I E ft S Scan color images in a snap with the Migraplt ColorBurst™ color hand scanner. This three-in-one scanner scans in 18-bit color (up to 262,144 colors), 64 true greyscales, and monochrome. So whether you need new backgrounds and textures for video animation, greyscale images for DTP work, or want to scan text for OCR (Optical Character Recognition) processing you can do it with the ColorBurst.
Save your images in IFF and 24-bit IFF HAA1-8 formats for exporting to the Toaster or your favourite application.
? 6 scorning resolutions: 50-400 DPI.
? 5 scorning modes: Super Color, Color, Greyscale, Color Dither Halftone and Monochrome tine art.
? Compatible with Workbench versions 1.3,
2. x, and 3. Supports new AGA chipset.
See your local Amiga dealer or call Migraplt direct to order your ColorBurst scanner today.
Call NOW!
800-223-3729 5?HlGR4PH 32700 Pacific Hwy S. 14 Federal Way, WA 98003 Tel: 206 838 4677 Fax: 206 838 4702 Works on all Amigas (excepl A1000] with 2MB RAM; 4MB and hard disk recommended.
Circle 130 on Reader Service card.
The sequence. Through Insert and Append in the edit menu, you can continue to generate new screens in the sequence.
It's not the sequenced transition commands that take room to store; it's the actual 24-bit image files, so make sure you have enough hard drive space. Special note to A4000 users: consider adding another IDE drive to your system.
The adjustments possible for the tran- sltionsof sequences include thefoilowing: Hold Time allows you to specify the time in minutes, seconds, and lOOths of seconds that a frame will remain on-screen (99:99:99 is max); GPI Trigger Wait will wait for a General Purpose Interface trigger activation to go to the next frame In the sequence; Play KeyWait waits for a spacebar or return; Loop Sequence, not available in OpalVision mode. Does what it says until keyed to stop, and is great for Point-of-Purchase displays; Play Page and Play Sequence are the two playback modes. The sequence can then be
Conclusions 1 found one bug in the software that crashed my A4000 when I tried to minimize the sc reen size ofthemenuthatheld the Montage program while Montage was loading, The screen went dark never to appear again. This is no big problem as long as I remember not to do that again.
I found that the OpalVision screens rendered measurably slower on my A2500 (68030) than did the AGA graphics on the A4000. When 1 say "measurably," I mean a difference of about four limes. Since my A400G is Toaster-equipped and unless you use a Video Slot Box from Digital Creations, you can't run an Opal board and a Toaster in the same machine I have no way of knowing whether this difference is caused mainly by the 68030 68040 difference. Or by the fact that Montage 24 renders faster to AGA than to graphics cards.
Montage 24 comes with eight resizable fonts onboard. They also market a special PostScript module (Si99) that should greatly expand the number of font options and the creative use of this package. Never mind trying to incorporate your massive library of BT fonts. 1 tried it with no success. Montage 24 fonts are in a special proprietary format, Serious users can either opt for the PostScript converter, or they may purchase a separate library of Montage fonts (SI49) direct from InnoVision. I am very happy with the way that either a whole line of text or just a single character can be altered
and edited, as well as the ease with which the text can be moved about the screen. I would also like to see a control that allows the rotation of text. The 3-D dithering routines are also quite effective as a way to pop the text out of a backdrop.
The benefit that Montage 24 enjoys over other graphics text sequence players is that It Is truly a 24-bit animator. The negative side of this is that it cannot animate the separate lines of text as they appear on a separate page, as can Scala MM300for instance. On the positive side, when the screens move, you get absolutely no artifacting. This was one of the strengths of InnoVision's Broadcast Tiller software, though quailtativeiy this is a far more fine-tuned package. The inability of the software to allow looping in the OpalVision mode the best mode as far as my use is concerned is
something I hope will be redressed in a future release.
On the plus side of the ledger. I am extremely impressed with the quality of the text that Montage 24 generates, and especially how that text biends into an OpalVision background Image (see Figure 2).
Montage 24 InnoVision Technology 1933 Davis Street, Suite 238 San Leandro, CA 94577 Phone: 510-638-8432 Fax:510-638-6453 inquiry 218 The advent of hard-disk animation playback at 24- and 3Cfps is ushering in a new future for Amiga desktop-video applications. There is now a way to get around the necessity of running to the video editing room to stitch together an animated sequence from a series of smaller animation files, and the somewhat expensive method of single-frame recording of animations may Itself be challenged. The worst feature of single-frame recording, beyond the expense, is
that internal looping and multiple cut paste operations targeted at specific frames is impossible. With hard-disk animation systems, choosing frames from an edit list and manipulating them before setting the final resuit to tape is as easy as using a wordprocessor.
For over o year. Interactive Video Systems of Garden Grove, California, has been showing an animated sequence captured from the film Bock to the Future at Amiga expositions. Attendees thought they were witnessing a video recording routed through an Amiga monitor, and were amazed when told that they were actually witnessing a real-time animation playback from a hard disk. IVS has finally released the software that was abte to accomplish this magic as their MovieMoker package, and this is only the promised start of a moduiar movie maker system.
MovieMaker by R. Shamms Mortier First Considerations Before you rush out and purchase MovieMaker based upon what I'm going to tell you concerning its features, it's best that you know that this software needs a very specific hardware configuration. You can't hope to just pop the software into an Amiga disk drive and start editing animations. The initial consideration here is speed. In order to see animation frames being written to your screen at 24- or 30fps, some itemized hardware needs to be involved, which can be translated into necessary Investments on yourpart. These speed
considerations implicate your SCSI controller, the CPU speed of your system, chip RAM bandwidth. And your hard-drive performance, capacity, and interface.
Don't worry. It's less complicated than it appears. Let's take these one at a time, storting with the hard-drive specs.
MovieMaker stores and edits alt of the sound and imagery in your animation on a dedicated hard drive. Many hard drives can be ruled out as too slow to be of any use here. The speed at which the hard drive must send the data to the screen Is called the "sustained media transfer rate.” given in megabytes per second.
The formula that allows you to determine the sustained rate of your drive is: Sustained Rate=Standard Hedia Transfer Rate 10 The Standard Media Transfer Rate for the drive is In MegaBits per second. A drive with a media transfer rate of 20Mbits sec has a sustained rate of 2Mbytes sec.
M ovie M aker likes a Sta nda rd Transfer Rate no lower then 16Mbits sec, Hard-disk editing demands that the drives access time is also maximized. In MovieMaker, the data isn't moved as cuts and pastes are performed. Instead, the drive Is read in real time to compensate for the new arrangement of data. The heads of the drive have to move very fast to accomplish this, The drive you use has to have an access time below 20ms to be used with MovieMaker. Luckily, most drives that have a standard media transfer rate of 16Mbits sec and higher also have access times below 15ms.
MovieMaker makes great use of the DCTV box from Digital Creations. This box allows you to get hundreds of thousands of colors on-screen from what the computer thinks Is an eight or sixteen color frame. With a suitable 350MB drive, you can get over three minutes of edited animation (with sound!), while a nice fat Gigabyte drive gives you over eight minutes. Depending upon the drive configuration, the frame rate will be 24- to 30 fps.
(The Micropolis 2112 1GB drive gives you (continued on page 22) A. :i=a: P&F 1 r: x -
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_x" ¦ cc_ a | IVS 16 Bit Hud i o Ed i tor 1 rSi P lav
HiLite J Jj _BJ Zoon En I Preii Pos J REC Elav [ £lear [ Zoorl
Qut I 3.
St op I PI ay Hark( Eu 11 Sanpte I 1 1- 8,Bdb ] 1 p| MomeMaker Utilities Part it ions L i nks I n i t Figure 1, MovieMaker’s control requesters: A. The main controller with its cut & paste icons & VCR- like controls.
B. The 16-bit audio card controller. C. The hard disk utility
Irai Link Re-Init Speed Tests c. Quit What is Dye Sublimation?
When heat causes a solid to change state directly to a gas, by-passing the liquid state, it is called sublimation. In the arctic, wet clothes freeze, but nevertheless dry on a clothesline. This is an example of subtimation. It is too cold for the liquid state, but the sun turns the ice directly to water vapor anyway. In thermal transfer dye sublimation printing, a heat element sublimates dye from a plastic film into a gas. The gas is deposited on a special paper coloring a small area adjacent to the heat source, Because a gas is much more finely divided than drops of ink or melted wax, dye
sublimation has the potential for greater resolution, State-of-the- art dye sublimation printers in fact attain almost continuous tone renderings with no patterns discernable unless highly magnified. Then, the only pattern to emerge is a series of fine but fuzzy lines that all but completely blend together.
Primera Color Printer Photo Realistic Dye Sublimation Upgrade by Merrill Callaway IN AC V9.1 JANUARY, 1994 we looked at the revolutionary new color wax thermal transfer printer by FARGO Electronics, Inc.. the Primera Color Printer (list price $ 995), but I had not yet received the promised Dye Sublimation kit still under development at press time. Kit list price is $ 249.95 for the software driver and ten sheets with ribbon, Refills are $ 89.95 per25 sheets w ribbon ($ 3.60 print); $ 279 for 100 sheets w ribbon ($ 2.79 prinf). This is the promised continuation of that review, and there ore some
very exciting developments to report. The software replaces the old driver, allowing either wax or dye sublimation, and you must use special paper and ribbon to print with dye sublimation, changing the “density" inPrefsto "4" to indicate dye sublimation option. All other procedures are as we discussed last time.
In* ' :' H:: l!$
* J-:x Top, left; Figure 1. This image is actually 3x2cm in size.
Left: Figure 2. Part of a picture of an orchid.the actual image area is about 2x2 cm.
Top: Figue 3. The Toucan from the Brilliance poster. The actual size of this area is about the same as that for the Iris: 3x2cm.
Above: Figure 4. The same image area printed with the regular Primera wax thermal transfer (left), and the dye sublimation process (right).
Technical Writers Hardware Technicians Programmers Amiga Enthusiasts Do you work your Amiga to its limits? Do you do create your own programs and utilities? Are you a master of any of the programming languages available for the Amiga? Do you often find yourself reworking a piece of hardware or software to your own specifications?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you belong writing for AC's TECH] AC's TECH for the Commodore Amiga is the only Amiga-based technical magazine available! We are constantly looking for new authors and fresh ideas to complement the magazine as it grows in a rapidly expanding technical market.
Share your ideas, your knowledge, and your creations with the rest of the Amiga technical community become an AC's TECH author.
For more information, call or write: TECH Fall River, MA 02722-2140 1-800-345-3360 it t: v i e iv s Where Does the Primera Fit In?
To get o feel for how the Primera stacks up, I studied actual prints from two state-of-the-art color printers and compared them to the Primera's output, in order for you to picture this comparison, I scanned the output from the various printers ct 600 dpi into 24-bit files. This level of magnification shows the patterns in the output. Keep in mind that these Imoges were further processed by the printers of the magazine into color plates with a pattern of their own. In every case the actual prints look better than a reproduction in a magazine, and of course, full size, non-magnified
Images look best, The illustrations show two high priced color printers' output compared with the output from the modestly priced Primera. These magnified views reveal the differences in detail, but at norma! Scale, the perceived differences are not nearly so evident.
Subjectively, to the unaided eye, the output from the Primera compares very favorably with very expensive printers. Everyone ! Showed actual Primera prints to was astounded at how good they were.
Arguably the best color printers in the worid are the Iris ink jets. They are not dye sublimation, but the SmortJet 40)2 produces ink droplets measuring 15 microns in diameter, approximately the size of a red blood cell. With microscopic accuracy, the printer places from 0 to 31 of these droplets per color - in whatever CMYK combination is called for by the image data - in a given pixel or dot. The Iris precisely varies the size of the individual pixels that together form the printed image. This is equivalent to a printer using a single dot size with a resolution of 1500- 1800 dots per
inch. The Iris is compatible with PostScript and uses PostScript Fonts.
The price? About 339,000. The quality of the output is like a fine photograph to the nakedeye. The example Figure 1,magnified here is about 3x2 cm in actual size, The Seiko Instruments Professional ColorPoint PSH produces dye sublimation thermal transfer prints at 300 pixels per inch which Seiko claims is equivalent to 2400 dpi. The color resolution is 262,000 colors per pixel from a palette of 16.7 million colors. It uses PostScript and PostScript Fonts. Its price is over S 10.000. Figure 2, shows part of a picture of an orchid. Actual size about 2x2 cm. There are only fine lines and no
dots in its dye sublimation process.
Figure 3 shows the Toucan from the Brilliance paint program poster. The actual size of the area is about the same as that for the Iris: 3 x2 cm. The Primera dye sublimation print compares very favorably, especially considering the Iris costs 40 times as much, and the Seiko costs ten times as much!
Figure 4 shows the same Image area printed with the regular Primera wax thermal transfer (left), and the dye sublimation process (right), The Primera Dye Sublimation option certainly adds a dramatic improvement to the picture's color quality. Note the way the dye sublimation handles the uniform sky blue color as opposed to the dithering of the wax. The area from each print is about 1 x 1 cm actual size.
Resolution and Color Palette The Primera prints with a resolution of 203 dpi. This is a lot less than the resolution of the expensive printers and if shows in the magnified view. The Primera continues to produce "dots" rather than fine lines in the dye sublimation mode. These dots are not discern able until you magnify the output or attempt to use ft with a halftone screen. Those who plan to reproduce color output the old fashioned way with screens will find that they produce moire patterns. Any screening should be done with a random screen to avoid moire patterns. Those who plan to simply
frame the output will have no problem presenting the dye sublimation output as a finished product. Photographic enlargements of the finished prints would be very presentable as well, provided the magnification is not extreme.
Good News Bad News It E VI I W S Primera does not yet reproduce true 24-bit color, 4096 is the best palette obtainable so far, due to the way Commodore wrote the "printer.device" which controls preference printers.! Predict that a printer this good and this affordable will enjoy all sorts of custom drivers from developers (ASDG has one on the way), so it's a safe bet that its overall utility and acceptance will only improve. There is nothing inherent in the printer that prohibits printing 24-bit color, so if Commodore improves the printer.device, then the Primera will keep pace.
What’s the Catch?
Everyone wants to know what's the catch? Whydoesthisprintercostsomuch less than the expensive competition? As far as I can tell, there is nocatch, There are several shortcomings to this printer but only if you must have PostScript font support would it be necessary for a S9.000 upgrade to buy a different dye sublimation printer. Here's a list of the things I don't like about the Primera printer. All but one are mere snivels compared to how much ! Respect this printer's quality output. The lack of font support may be overcome by using FinaiWriter graphic fonts.
There is an occosional, undocumented problem with the friction of the dye sublimation ribbon supply roller as it turns against two piastic omega-shaped clips on the ribbon cassette that hold the roller in place. If seems that the roller on the dye sublimation ribbon is piastic, but the roller for a regular wax ribbon is cardboard. The friction created by a plastic roller bearing against plastic clips, being higher than cardboard against plastic, is enough to abort dye sublimation prints unless you physically spring these clips apart a few times, to relax their friction. I was mystified as
to why wax prints worked fine, and dye sublimation prints sometimes would not work until FARGO technical support informed me of this simple if inelegant fix. After performing this "clip break In" the printer worked flawlessly.
A rapidly flashing "On-Line" button indicates a mechanical problem. Pressing itwill "retry". Ifthelightflashesandyet there is no paper jam, try springing the cassette clips. The friction should be just enough to keep the ribbon taut, but not enough to strain the ribbon winding, Slow flashing indicates software or cable troubles.
The second thing ! Don't like is the lack of controls and feedback. There is no way to know if the ribbon is out except to look, or count your prints (a wide silver band across the yellow ribbon section indicates the end of the roll, even though there appearto be more prints left). Could the driver be written to keep count?
The printer does not produce the same results with all programs. Dye Sublimation doesn't yet work correctly from ADPro. You must experiments see good results from different programs. Much of this reflects the limits of Amiga Preferences, and or developers' differences. I like to printpicturesfromFinalCopy or FinaiWriter by Softwood. Set every margin and edit space to 0, and the graphics will print WYSIWYG. Don't forget to set your Prefs PostScript to "pass thru" if you have been using PostScript.
Paper ribbon loading is kind ofclunky.
You must insert ten sheets at least and it's tedious to shove them in neatly, especially since you cannot touch the surface of the expensive dye sublimation paper.
There is no reset mechanism, Should your print fail, you must manually rewind the color ribbon to the cyan color of the next print or the printer will not work. Ribbons come in a cellophane wrapper with an iil thought out gummed flap which, once opened, immediately sticks to the ribbon when you are trying to extract it without touching it. If you cut oft the wrapper, you risk hurting the ribbon, There is neither outline font nor PostScript support. This limits printing of true EPS and clip art, and it limits Primera's DTP functionality to graphic word processors such as FinalCopy which
support graphics printer bit mapped fonts and graphics, Primera will not work with PageStream until SoftLoglk writes a driver.
The lack of PostScript and outline font support is the single most serious shortcoming to the Primera, and undoubtedly the largest cost saver, since PostScript requiresan expensive license from Adobe Systems, an on-board processor, and memory, Finally, neither the printer nor the cassette is sealed against a dirty environment. Dust, hair or dirt can get between the exposed ribbon and the paper causing white spots. A fairly clean operating environment seems to be necessary.
Conclusions Notwithstanding all of the abovesniv- els, for the money, no other color printer even comes close to printing photo-real color graphics on the Amiga. Even though the relative specifications don't reflect th is. To the naked eye, output se ems to be above 60% as good as the state-of-the- art $ 39,000 Iris printer, but Primera's cost is an incredible 3% of the cost of an Iris! I know of no other printer that lets you switch between inexpensive wax and costly dye sublimation, Proofing prints in wax before the final dye sublimation print will save you hundreds of dollars in materials.
The Primera offers outstanding quality and astounding value.
Primera Photo-realistic Dye Sublimation Upgrade Fargo Electronics 7901 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prarie, MN 55344
(612) 941-9470 Fax: (612) 941-7636 Inquiry 221 a 30fps rate,
white the Seagate 2383N 350MB drive the one I used to test
this package gets 24fps.) MovieMaker likes SCSI drives more
than IDE drives, The recent problems that have surfaced
regarding the installation of the new Commodore 4091
SCSI controllers in the A400Q have caused IVS to suggest
that the older A3000 models with a built in fast SCSI
controller offer the best platform at the momentfor
MovieMaker. Besides, you can run up to seven SCSI drives on
a system controller, whereas the IDE drives, which the
A4000 addresses internally, are limited to two. IVS is also
constantly researching what drives work best, so you may
cail them for updated details.
MovieMaker continued from page 17 II E V I E S As for accelerated machines, vanilla 68000s are too slow to process th e data for full-screen animation and sound running from the hard drive. They have discovered that a 68030 or 68040 does it faster and better by a factor of from 9 to 15! I use MovieMaker on a 25MHz A3000 tower (68030 based) with 16MB of RAM and the Seagate~2383N 350MB drive. The A3000 and A4OO0 also offer the needed 32-bit access to Chip RAM The Perisound Card Along with the MovieMakersoftware, IVS has added the Perisound 16-bit audio card. It installs in one of the
internal 100- pin slots. Add-ons to this card are in the works, including afull SMPTE coder reader.
The Perisound card gives you full 16-bit stereo sound in your movies, which Is first captured, and then stored to hard disk. It can be edited before being played back.
Audio files, like the MovieMaker video files, are compressed in an IVS proprietary format. When the audio is being edited, its timeline can be synced with the on-screen video timeline, so that targeted sounds appear at the correct visual moments.
The audio can be cut and pasted to the video timeline. At the moment, MovieMaker's audio enhancement and editing features are limited to correlation with the video timeline, but a stand-alone audio editing feature is being devised for later release. A great way to add audio is to score it using Bars&Pipes Professional from Biue Ribbon Soundworks. This software addresses a 16-bitaudio synthesizer called the One-Stop Music Shop. This card has stereo audio outs that address the Perisound input card very nicely. I havean A2000 with this setup that is used strictly to generate soundtracks and
sound effects.
A nd it Is dose to the A3000Tthat is outfitted with the MovieMoker Perisound package, making the connection ecsy.
Since the Perisound board also has its own stereo audio outs, the AES editing software that addresses it can be used separately from MovieMaker to assemble audio tracks for non-MovieMaker-specific video applications. This is useful when it comes to adding scores to any video. The software has PLAY controls for selected highlighted audio segments as well as for entire tracks. Before being tagged to MovieMaker video timelines, the audio files are stored in standard Amiga DOS partitions as AIFF16 files. Full cut, copy, paste, and replace functions are supported. Five options are presented for
selecting SMPTE and othertimelines: SMPTE 30 (video). SMPTE 24 and 25 (film), and two general purpose rates (In Samples and Seconds). Samples is very useful when the track being considered has a lot of sound effects that need to be targeted to specific video frames. Attentuation can be set to Mute or to a Gain range of 46.5 decibels in 1.5 decibel increments, though the Perisound card itself has a dynamic range of some 85 decibels.
When recording an audio file.
Perisound allowsyou to choose the sample rate (from a DAT quality of 48KHz, CD quality of 44.10KHZ, down to 17.64KhZ). and to allocate specified space on the hard disk before the recording acfualiy begins. When the file is f ul!, record ing stops.
A MovieMaker Tour There are four modules that make up MovieMaker; Audio only Editing Playback only, Multimedia Editing (adding audio segments to the video timeline). Media Conversion (converting files to the MovieMaker format), and I O (inputting various Image characteristicsand getting the movie out to o recorder after editing and composition), We've already covered the audio sections, so let's move on to the video-specific features.
It’s best to dedicate a whole hard drive, or as much as possible, to MovieMaker files. MovieMaker is aiso open-ended, inviting other future programs to integrate into its environment.
There ore common VCR-iike controls used to play the movie so it can be recorded.
Using the DCTV box with its dedicated composite out makes VCR connections a snap. Audio connections are output from the Perisound board, A Scene module is first accessed to allow the conversion of rendered and saved frames into the MovieMaker format. Real-time playback of standard Amiga format frames is not supported, though you can play them back at a decelerated rate, The great news is that an ANIM5 animation file can be converted as well as single frames, meaning that compressed AN1M5 sequences can be saved to disk with great space-saving results. A Frame Conversion window addresses
all the needed parameters, including; number of frames in the animation, their size, the rate in FPS, storage space, and the display info (DCTV 3 or 4 in interlace no interlace are supported).
Another data area analyzes your hard drive specs and determines what the maximum FPS playback rate will be. Audiosampling parameters are entered here as well.
When a new movie Is loaded into MovieMaker, it appears first in abstract form os a timeline. Editing (cut and paste operations) areperformedonthe timeline, and this is then reflected in the sequence of Images. Several movies can be loaded at the same time, so that cut paste operations can take place among them producing o final composited result. There isa frameviewerthat canbe moved along a selected timeline for seeing the visual data on selected frames. Single-frame accuracy of images is supported. Playback can be accomplished with the VCR- iike controls as Play Forward. Single Step
Forward Backward. 4X Forward Backward. And Stop. You can also go to the beginning or end of the scene or the entire movie and constrain the play to the scene. Zooming in and out of the timeline is supported for accurate editing purposes.
An audio dubbing button accesses edited and saved audio files for inclusion.
A separate MovieMaker Preferences screen includes its own options, From here, the control panel can be Interlaced, giving you more space to view the actual image display. You can aiso edit selected scenes using only the scene markers, and “lock mouse to current movie" attaches the mouse to the selected sequence so that the frame-viewer is locked, A special DCTV auto-pass-thru mode allows you to connect a second monitor to the DCTV output so that the RGB display is used for the data screen only. Obviously, DCTV owners will want to attach the unit to the system's RGB out connector beforehand.
Normally, you would choose an NTSC 30f ps frame rate output for both the video and audio, though PAL(25fps) and film (24fps) is also supported.
Animation Considerations The Imagine Companion v2.0 by Marc Hoffman It E V I E ft S Though you can reconvert a MovieMakerformatted movie back to an IFF file, it's probably not advisable. Better to store to a tape backup system, so that loading it again takes less time. On average, it takes the conversion utility about a second to convert 30fps lo-res frames, while an IFF24 frame takes about 20 seconds per frame. That's a big difference, and one v hich you might like to consider when generating the animation in the first place. New footage is appended fo the end of the footage already
stored in the MovieMaker partition until you fill up the partition. At that point, you may have to get another hard drive or enlarge the partition using special functions of the system. Converting a directory of files converts all files, so be sure to remove the icon files (.info) beforehand.
Conclusion Be ready to invest in more then the MovieMaker hardware software (S895) in order to be up and running, unless you already have the needed extras. You may want to consider the purchase of an A3000, DCTV, a composite monitor, a hard disk that can handle the MovieMaker requirements, and other paraphernalia as necessary. What you will get in return, however, is a bargain. You'll be able to finally produce animations minutes in length as opposed to seconds from your Amiga workstation, and record them to video or film with soundtracks attached.
This software is at the forefront of a new age in desktop video, and the enhancements coming will sureiy push it far ahead of what is even now possible.
MovieMaker Perisound combo Interactive Video Systems 7245 Garden Grove Blvd. Suite E Garden Grove, CA 92641 BBS: 714-890-2822 FAX: 714-898-0858 Phone: 714-228-2040 Inquiry 219 IMAGINE BY IMPULSE, INC., has long had the infamous reputation for rather incomplete manuals. Although version2.0 came much closer to covering the program more completely, some still crave more. The Imagine Companion. By David Duberman, should help satisfy the imagine user who needs more Information.
Through very methodical and logical organization, The Imagine Companion is divided into three sections: the introduction, a tutorials section, and a general notes section on the various editors in the Imagine program. It is on these three sections that this review is based.
Computer 3-D graphics is a rather challenging art medium with which to work, and can be especially intimidating to the beginner. Probably the largest fear in the beginning 3-D artist's mind is not knowing just what computer 3-D is. The Imagine Companion tries to alleviate this fear by giving some general background knowledge on Imagine, including its history and how it evolved into the program that is used today. The introduction also suggests ways to approach Imagine, with emphasis on experimentation and sources of inspiration.
Before I get into the summary of the different tutorials in The Imagine Companion. Some general statements are in order. One of the best ways to learn to do something is by trial and error, and this is the philosophy this book pursues in its tutorial section. Sometimes the tutorials will intentionally lead the reader to perform an incorrect action, and then explain why the action was wrong. In trying and failing and trying again, the beginner, as well as the experienced user, learns howto use a program like Imagine. Anotherpoint about the tutorials section is its habit of actually
explaining why a certain action is taken, or how Imagine performs certain functions. If a book just tells the reader to do something without telling why this action was taken, then it becomes difficult to apply the techniques, if the book describes the processes so that the reader understands how things work, then it becomes much easier to experiment and apply the techniques in new and interesting ways, The tutorials in this book range from the very basic to the very complex and interesting: using thespin function in Imagine to createacup, applying bumpmaps, learning the differences
among the various light source types, extruding a fluted column, making an animated clown face, simulating depth of field, and animating fog spilling from a box are just some of the examples. I rendered a sample scene from the supplied disk for the depth of field tutorial, as shown in Figure 1. 1 must say that I found this one very clever.
The last part, the general notes section, assumes the task of doing "cleanup" work on what might have been missed in the introduction or the tutorials. The topics range from the simple to the complex, as is the same philosophy in the tutorial section. Some of the topics include: general brush texture mapping, creation of beveled edges on extruded objects, the little known functions of Fracture and Taut in the Detail Editor, general tips for animation setup, and an extensive seven-page chapter on the Cycle Editor. This last chapter elaborates on the general workings of the Cycle
Editor; how the Detail. Cycle, and Action Editors can be used in cooperation; and general creation of objects within the Detail Editorforthe Cycle Editor.
After reading this book cover to cover, I found the material very interesting and very helpful. Clearly, the author knows his subject. But this review wouldn't be complete without a few problems that turned up.
Actually, I encountered only three minor problems. The first one is due to the mechanical structure of the book's writing . For the most part, I found its construction very well done, with the exception of a few typing errors and one or two sentence run-ons. To be sure, though, these errors were few and far between. Generally, the book was very well written.
The second problem was due, ironically, to theexplanation of Imagine'sCon- formationsfunctions; specifically Conform to Sphere. As the author explains everything else in excellent and easy-to-under- stand wording, I would have liked to see a more thorough explanation of the Conformations functions. The point could be made in the book's defense, however.
The Imagine Companion is not meant as a replacement for Imagine 2.0's original manual, but instead it is meant to complement and enhance it.
The third problem concerned the depth-of-field tutorial. In the text, thebook states that a finished picture, called "Blurry," is included on the accompanying disk. But when I looked for "Blurry," I couldn't find if anywhere on the disk. A quick call to Motion Blur Publishing answered the question. Due to an oversight, the image was left off the disk, but I was assured that the problem would be corrected.
In conclusion, 1 would recommend The Imagine Companion to anyone using the program beginners to hard-core professionols. With its clear organization and explanation, very clevertuforials, and included companion disk, this book would make an excellent addition to any imagine enthusiast's arsenal of fools.
The Imagine Companion Support for both Amiga and MS-DOS Motion Blur Publishing 9ISA Stambaugh Street Redwood City, CA 94063
(415) 364 - 2009 Inquiry 220 Questions or comments about a
Write to the author: c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, I 02722 Ah, April. The month of
spring cleaning and spring showers.
What do these things have to do with telecommunications? Read on.
Spring Cleaning In an earlier column 1 alluded to the following subject as being the next month's topic. Unfortunately, after writing the column, 1 realized that the subject did not justify a complete column, so we will clean up the desk a bit, and include the essential parls here.
If you spend very much time on BBSs, you'll soon notice seemingly random punctuation and strings of letters. These often take the form of ROTFL,This is a form of shorthand used to convey ideas and even emotions through a non-graphic medium.
Since few people want to type, or read, a long-winded discourse, abbreviations are used wherever possible. The letters ROTFL mean "Rolling On The Floor Laughing." Some other common phrases are IMHO, "In My Humble Opinion," and BTW, for "By The Way."
While many of the abbreviations used are easy to figure out, such as FY1 (For Your information), some can be downright obtuse.
For example I ANAL means I Am Not A Lawyer, and usually precedes advice that may land you in jail if followed. GD&R, which usually follows a snide remark, stands for Grinning, Ducking, and Running. Requests for information often includeTIA, (Thanks In Advance), and sometimes begin with PMJI, (Pardon My Jumping In).
What about the odd punctuation? These are known as smileys, or emoticons. Turn the magazine sideways, so that the colon is at the top. No, this is not a Rorschach test, but you should notice a strong resemblance to a face; two eyes, a nose, and a grinning mouth. One of the great things about smileys is that, with a minor 12 14 Jaeger Software P~l Lund hbuir a I Figure 1: The Fighter Duel Pro 2 Demo from Jaeger Software is available on line.
Alteration, the entire meaning or emotion the user is trying to convey can change. For instance, change the ")" to a and your smile turns into a frown. Using a semicolon instead of a colon adds a wink,1 f you want to show amazement, either real or sarcastic depending on the context, type :-0 .
The important thing here is that smileys can impart a subtlety to the communication that you would get in a face-to- face conversation with someone. For instance, suppose someone's message reads "I heard Commodore is launching a multi-million dollar advertising campaign.You could tell from the winking eye and lopsided grin that they didn't intend for it to he taken too seriously.
On line conversations also have their own rules of etiquette.
For instance, make sure that the Caps Lock key on your keyboard is off. Otherwise, EVERYTHING YOU Tyi’E WILL LOOK LIKE THIS, AND PEOPLE WILL ACCUSE YOU OF SHOUTING. An important thing to remember is the old adage, "Keep your words sweet, lest you have to eat them." This is good advice for any conversation, but on line it is especially appropriate. It is very easy in the heat of the moment when something has really ticked you off, to let go with a blast of venom on line. After all, the computer isn't going to reach out and slap your face, so it's easy to get things off your chest.
This is referred to on line as flaming the object of your comments.
Remember that others reading your comments almost certainty won't share your wrath. Indeed, YOU probably won't feel as hot a few hours later, and may regret what you said. You should also remember that people of all ages and opinions read the messages you post. [NOTE: Many on-line services have rules regarding the use of strong and or threatening language. Use of such language many result in the loss of access privileges.] April Showers They may bring May flowers, but they also can produce thunderstorms with lots of lightning, I can tell you from personal experience that it does not require a
direct hit for lightning to cause a lot of problems. This is because of the phenomenon known as induced current. A lightning bolt passing near a telephone line can set up a large induced current in that line. This is what happened at my house one night. The current travelled through the phone line to my modem, where it caused ever}' capacitor to explode. Tire current then continued on through the serial cable to my A-500, destroying two integrated circuits on the motherboard.
None of the other phones in the house were damaged. None of the other electronic devices plugged in were hurt, only my computer and modem. While there are surge protectors for sale that protect phone lines as well as power lines, none of them are sure protection from the power of a lightning bolt. The simplest protection is to unplug the modem from the phone jack. This isolates the most direct route for lightning to enter your computer.
Since that incident, I plug in the modem only when I am getting read}' to go on line. If a thunderstorm moves into the area while I'm on line, I disconnect from the BBS. And unplug, knowing that an aborted file transfer is a lot less expensive than a new modem and computer.
Files of the Month Genie file number 21933, called FDP2DEMO.LHA, is a demo of a commercial game that should be out by the time you read this.
Fighter Duel Pro 2, from Jaeger Software, is the latest upgrade to their flight simulator. (Figure 1) This demo will give you a chance to try it before buying, as it is a fully playable version, with certain features disabled. New here are additional planes, keyboard controls, and a fix for the long-standing gun problem. The tracers now curve in response to your plane's motion and gravity. This is a large file at 497,536 bytes, and at 2400 bps will take about 41 minutes to download. You might want to check local BBSs first. In order to be run, the demo, as with the game, requires Kickstart 1.2
or higher, 2MB of Chip RAM or 2MB of Fast RAM. Increased performance results from more memory, faster processors, or the AGA chip set.
How much would you be willing to pay for the ability to locate the issue of Amazing which had the review or article that you skimmed at the time, but now is vitally important? If you have the database program MicroFiche Filer, a modem and a Genie account, it will cost only a short download. File tt 21986, appropriately titled A MAZING. LH A, is a 33,152 byte file containing references for every article or review in every issue through January
1994. At 2400 bps it can be yours in less than three minutes.
That’s all for now, remember my addresses are: Genie: Rhays5 CompuServe: 72764,2006
U. S. Mail: Rob Hays
P. O.Box 194 Bloomington, IN 47402-0194 Please remember to
include a SASE if you need a personal reply.
Next month we will continue our tour with a look at CompuServe. See you on line!
• AC* tips hints workarounds suggestions bytes l,pdates fixes by
John Steiner Applied Engineering RAM Card and Workbench 2.0
Clete Baker of Omaha, NE writes with a question on compat
ibility with his memory card and Workbench 2.0. I final! 1
decided il was time to move on to the 2.n version of Workbench
a couple of months ago, bought the package and tried to install
it, but discovered lhat my Applied Engineering 8-MB RAM card
not only doesn't work with it, it draws the buss down cold so
that the machine will not boot at all... I get nothing but a
blank gray screen. Of course, Applied Engineering responds with
"oh, we stopped supporting our Amiga products prior to the
release of 2.0" Has ant one to your knowledge worked around
this by re-writing his own firmware for the board to get it to
talk to the 2.0 ROMs?
Have any hardware hackers tackled this problem? If you have any suggestions, let me know I'll pass it along.
First rule for successful installation of hardware and software Adam Szvmczak of Toronto, Ontario, Canada contacted me with comments for Keith Christopher and Bob Devries. Adam graciously offered to communicate with Mr. Devries via E-Mail. He also commented on installation of hardware and software with some very good advice.
The first rule of installing anything should be: do not install more than one thing at a time, cither software or hardware. Install one thing first, make sure everything works, and then install the next item on your list.
Workbench 2.1 Gurus Bob Devries’ mention of guru problems was the subject of a letter from Eric Myers of the Bronx, NY. He writes: After upgrading my A?000 to IVB2.1 via The Rejuvenator, I now have 2 MB chip RAM and 512 KB fast RAM. Installed are both the 1.3 and 2.05 KS ROMs. I do not yet have a hard drive. Just an external floppy drive. I started getting S0000003 and S0000004 gurus right after the upgrade. Then are more or less random and unpredictable and have occurred in almost every program I have commercial or PD. I can always invoke the guru with a program called Apassist tan
AmigaGuide- like program by Black Belt). It also happens when manipulating windows, and believe it or not, it once happened during the animated 2.1 boot screen before I inserted my W'B disk! Also the de-archivers Ix and llta 1.38 seem to guru much more frequently.
As a heavy BBS user this is not good. There is a whole topic on this in a Genic RT. I believe it is called ‘2.1 problems’. After reading all of the messages pertaining to this problem, il seems that users with a ividc array of configurations are getting this guru. Only WB2.1 and the guru numbers are common to everybody. 2.1 also seems to have introduced 'read write errors on track 880'for many floppy users usually during write operations. Users have had success solving this one by changing drive parameters with a program like Nicprcfs. Others replaced their drives, CIA, Paula and or Gary
chips. The C= setpatch update that is on the boards states that it is supposed to solve the guru and floppy r w errors, among other problems, but it is for 2.0 users. 2.1 users have an even later version of setpatch. I manually installed the 2.0 setpatch fix on mi 2.1 anyway and still had the above problems. I've tried just about even thing and as a last resort I'll soon replace at least the Gary chip. Any knowledge and investigation into this problem will be greatly appreciated.
Vertical Pin striping Problem on A4000 30 Jim Hansen of St. John's, Newfoundland writes with a problem that affects AGA high resolution modes on his A4000.
I make 4x5 negative and positive transparencies from my monitor and, in high resolution modes such as Productivity and Super 72, they all show a faint vertical pin striping in flat areas of the pictures. This appears to be some sort of hardware fault. Is there a fix?
Mr. Hansen did not mention whether or not he has asked a Commodore service agency about his problem. My local dealership's service tech did not know of a widespread problem, and has heard no complaints from users in Fargo. He recommends taking it in for service. Have any other readers noticed this problem?
SETPATCHMRGCOP Problems John Houghton of Collingwood, Ontario, sent copies of letters written to Digital Creations and Adspcc Programming. Though the details of the letters are much to long to reprint here, John wanted to pass along the information in case others are having problems similar to his. After installing a DCTV unit that he uses for title generation and animation graphics, he began experiencing system crashes when running several applications especially Aiaddin 2.3. He struggled with the problem, blaming bugs in several of his programs, until, while analyzing his startup sequence,
he discovered the DCTV program installed and automatically executed (at bootup) a program called SETPATCHMRGCOP. He removed the reference to this program from his startup sequence and nil spurious gurus have disappeared. He writes: I don't know what this patch does but many of my guru errors indicated a COPPER LIST CORRUPT.
He also noted that DCTV still seems to work OK without the patch.
Temperature Problems With A500 Harry Kelly of Seattle, WA writes about an unusual problem with his A500, purchased in 1989. It has 1 MB RAM and one external floppy disk drive.
Last winter I found my A500 would not boot up correctly if the air temperature in the room was under 70 degrees. The room is an unheated old bedroom. During the colder months, 1 keep the door closed to save on the heating bill. On my days off, I am frequently in there so I leave the door open. Once the temperature warmed up last spring (and all the rest of
1993) , I experienced a normal boot up. Yesterday it was 60
degrees in this room -when i opened the door and attempted
to boot up, I would try again even time I saw a degree or
two rise’. It took over two hours and countless tries
before success. It was 71 degrees!
The boot up will stop after the third line and a System Request will appear. Nothing happens if you click on Retry. When you click on Cancel the System Request leaves the screen. The error message reads, Drive dfl: not found. Addbuffers failed returncodc 20.
He notes contacting Commodore provided no help in solving the problem. I would recommend that the unit be taken to a service agency. Chances are that a technician can find a component, possibly the chip that controls floppy drive access, that fails at low temperature by using a commercial circuit cooler. This product, available in aerosol cans, contains a chemical that immediately cools a component by several degrees. Simply booting the computer with the cover off (while it is warm enough to boot properly), then methodically and slowly cooling components one at a time, and then trying to
access dfl: might identify the defective component. Also, cooling components, one at a time, between reboots may identify the culprit.
Questions on the Auto-configuration process Mark Gilliland sent E-Mail via Portal with questions on the Auto-config process, Here's another question for the hardware hackers.
I would like some general information on the auto-config process.
Specifically for an A2000 motherboard using 2.x ROMs and 2.1 OS.
I am tn ing to debug a problem with board conflicts (boards run separately, but not together) - information I have comes from SHOWCONFIC utility.
The problem seems to beat address ECXXXXXX. (The "next" available canfig address after a GVP CPU card, its piggy-backed RAM board, ami a GVP Scries II SCSI controller.)
The boards having trouble (the only ones I hare tried to plug in):
- PP&S DoubleTalk network card
- A2 UVE2000
- Retina 4 MB Each runs OK by itself. But when any two are
plugged in at the same time there seems to be an addressing
conflict. Sometimes neither board gels recognised. Sometimes
only one board does (but not always correctly - such as seeing
only 2 MB on the Retina). And sometimes the machine just hangs
and won't boot. It all depends on which boards, which order in
the spare slots, etc. From what little I know about the
aulo-config process, Fin assuming the boot POST routines signal
each slot in turn, perhaps indicating addressing map at that
time? Since I thought code in Motorola CPUs should be easily
relocatable, lam further assuming there is not a software
problem, but perhaps a hardware problem (either a bad trace or
solder joint, or a faulty I O port pin?).
Two of the cards mentioned are no longer supported by their manufacturers (either out-of-busincss or out-of-the-AMIGA-market). But the Retina is brand new. I have not gotten much help from MacroSystems o t this. They recommend speaking to the other manufacturers. The board is a revision 4B, and I'm not sure if its a faulty motherboard or perhaps a bad 1C.
If you have any comments ot suggestions, send them on. I'll pass them along.
GVP Hard Card and NEC CD-ROM Drives Mark also sent along a compatibility note regarding the Series II Hard Card + from GVP.
What rev 4.5 Fast ROM firmware does not work with NEC CDR-74 or CDR 74a CD-ROM drives? I have recently sent a drive to CVP technical support folks for them to play with and figure it out.
He went on to note that it'll work as long as the CD-ROM is the only device on the SCSI chain!
Online! Platinum Script File Workaround Max Yoder of Arlington, VA writes with a question for anyone who has some experience with Online! Platinum, the terminal program from the now defunct, Microsystems Software. He writes, Although my capture buffer works perfectly while using the mouse, I have never been able to activate it from a script file, as described on pages 87-S8 of the manual. Does anyone know of a solution? Are the three " necessary after "MENU BUFFER OPEN"?
ToolManager 2.0 and Quarterback Incompatibility Ted Hyatt of Bronx, NY writes with a problem he noted on his A3000 with an internal high density disk drive and an external low density drive. He noted that when running Quarterback v5.04 through Tool Manager version 1.5, lie only had one problem, a requester for volume Progdir: to be inserted, After canceling the requester, the program runs fine. When lie installed ToolManager
2. 0, the requester disappeared. However, when attempting to
retrieve compressed files saved to high density disks.
Quarterback began asking for disks as if they came from a low
density drive. He re-installed ToolManager 1.5, and the
problems with Quarterback disk access disappeared. He wonders
if there might be some work-around for this problem between
ToolManager 2.0 and Quarterback 5,04. If you have any
comments, drop me a line, and i'll pass them along.
That's all for this month. If you have any work-arounds or bugs to report, or if vou know of any upgrades to commercial software, you may notify me by writing to: John Steiner c o Amazing Computing Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722 ...or leave Email to John Steiner on Portal 73075,1735 on CompuServe Internet mail can be sent to john_Steiner@cup.portal.com FAX John Steiner at (701)280-0764 (8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Central time, Monday-Friday)
• AC* Addressing Address It! Review Feedback Letters to the
Editor Is there too much Amiga video?
CD12 receives high praises from a new user.
Why don’t we hear more from U.S. Commodore Executives?
“Have you seen the CD-i infomercials? Even old junk sells if you do some advertising.” In the January 1994 issue a! AC, our product, Address It! Was reviewed by Mr. Rick Manasa. There are a few important notes that should be made in response to this review.
The latest release of the program is version 1.Id, which corrects the bug listed in the problems section of the review. An update has been forwarded to the reviewer, and other owners of older versions of the product should contact us directly for upgrade information.
Most importantly, Mr. Manasa experienced problems using his laser printer with Address It'. The problem is simply that the program is unable to work with proportional fonts. Bv setting a laser printer to a non-proportional font such as Courier, all problems lining up items disappear.
Otherwise, the review was fair and complete. The "Wish List" section of the review is important and useful to our development team. Products can't be improved if it is unknown what users want.
We encourage all Amiga owners to write to us with their suggestions.
Syd Button President, Legendary Design Technologies Tlumk You, Your feedback is also important to AC. It helps us tremendously when a developer responds to an article with new information.
Commodore Executives Should Be Heard I have seen, in European Amiga publications, a section allowing a spokesperson from Commodore to answer questions and provide information to the Amiga community. Have you ever thought of doing something similar? In this section, you could let Amiga users know what Commodore is doing to promote the Amiga here in the U.S. This could allow Commodore to develop a relationship with its user base, and improve its image. To me, Commodore U.S.A. is virtually non-existent. What are they doing to promote CD- 2 or the rest of the Amiga line? By having a section in the
magazine devoted to Commodore maybe these questions could be answered.
Doug Libby Chico, CA AC continual!y offers Commodore executives an opportunity to speak openly about their goals and expectations. The February J994 issue of AC carried a large interview with Lew Eggebreclit, Vice President of Commodore Engineering. He discussed Commodore's long term research and development as well as possible new products for release early this year.
Unfortunately, you arc requesting information on Commodore's marketing plans for the United States and this is a different problem.
Rarely have ziv been able to get CUM executives to address this need.
When they have offered information for publication, we have immediately published it. We have accomplished this by quoting their speeches (see the CES coverage in the April 1994 ACJ or their press releases whenever they have been available.
AC has made several maneuvers of its own over the past few months to bring readers more information on Commodore's plans. Check out our new CD3- column and watch for more show reports. AC has always brought the most information to its readers from all sources.
“Most Amiga owners are NOT video freaks.” Our offer to Commodore executives remains open and we hope they will one day offer the same open communication for publication we have seen from their European counterparts. Until Hum, we will continue to bring our readers interviews with Commodore executives as available and special features from trade shows and other events on a regular basis lo keep the Amiga community up to date.
Too much video I believe that Commodore is wasting its time with the video market. The future is in the business sector. Consider: ’’The video market is a "niche" market, important to some consumers, but nut to most.
“Many, if not most, video consumers would like their expensive video computers to do more than edit video tape; a little word processing or database management would be a nice return on the investment,
* Most Amiga owners are NOT video freaks. Do they persevere
because of the Amiga's superior graphics?
No, the IBM or Macintosh offer graphics at least as good as the Amiga's. How about sound? Nope, both the IBM and Mac offer 16 bit sound with add-on sound cards. Price? Sony, Commodore has fatten behind in this area too. Games? IBM has the lock on this one.
So why does the Amiga warrant a corps of dedicated followers? MULTITASKING, that's why!
Commodore needs to: '"Ensure, by sponsorship or subsidy if necessary, that the Amiga lias wordprocessor, spreadsheet, and database programs that are equal to those available on other platforms (Final Writer and ProCalc are good examples). Further, these programs must be able to read and write files in major IBM and Mac formats.
’Establish a networking standard for the Amiga. Too many Amiga programs are not networkable; this is a killer in today's business market.
’Dump the 880k floppy and "optional" hard drive. The high capacity floppy drive and standard hard drive are minimal equipment in a business computer.
’Cut their prices to the bone.
“Commodore has another chance to establish itself as a major player in computing.” What will Commodore have then? Price-competitive machines that can work with files in any computer format, multitasking all the while! A sort of computer chameleon that can be advertised as the perfect business computer with the added advantage of video editing capabilities!
Sincerely, jeffrev T Powell West Covina, CA There is an old saying that can d well apply here, "From your lips to God's ear." In this case, you can exchange "God’s ear" for the ear of anyone in power at Commodore International.
CD32 Excitement I received my CD12 on Christmas Eve. T couldn't wait for the official US release and ordered mine from Canada. This machine is everything a game console should be. Commodore has another chance to establish itself as a major player in computing.
I also enjoyed your feature, "CD11 Special: CD - Has Landed" in the February 1994 issue. Besides reviews of CD'2 software, I would like to see articles on networking this device to other Amigas. Many owners of older systems will prefer to do this instead of purchasing a new Amiga system. It is an excellen t stopgap until the AAA-chtp set begins to appear.
Keep up the good work!
Sincerely, Terry W. Moore San Antonio, TX Ivr have no information concerning the feasibility of networking Amigas to CD12 at this time. However, AC is always searching for articles and we openly request anyone with ideas for CD12 articles or projects for CDV- (or the Amiga) to write us.
Famous Amiga uses, et al It is good to see David Tiberios' List of Famous Amiga Uses, for it is at least some consolation against the fact that Pcs and Macs are used for about everything else. Jeff James' article preceding the Feedback section admits much the same: "AGA... Too Little, Too Late?"
Maybe we Amigans can slough it off most of the time, yet there must be moments when each of us despises the image of the Amiga fighting for its rights as a minority, as if the Amiga is not really a true, general purpose computer, but only a game and video anomaly. Perhaps the genera! Public can take some of the rap for being so ignorant as to buy something besides an Amiga, hut Commodore gets to take the brunt of it. Over the past decade we've watched Commodore watch everybody else do their marketing right. What docs the general public see when they walk into Wal-Mart, Sears, Radio Shack,
Circuit City, Etc? Everything but Amigas. People don't know about independent dealers - what few of them there are.
If you did not become an Amiga convert hack when the A1000 first put Pcs and Macs to shame, then you've probably got little incentive to be an Amigaphile nowadays. Have you seen tlie CD-i infomercials? Even old junk sells if you do some advertising.
1 wouldn't expect Commodore to ever get the picture. And so it is that this is why, as Mark Twain pointed out, the spider will find it safe to spin its web in Commodore's door, knowing it will not be disturbed. Most people will never know about the Amiga because its not "in their face".
Sincerely, Ken Dnhlstrom 11 Calhoun, GA Commodore has made some rich promises concerning CD(see the CFS article in last issue), yet good strong marketing for the entire Amiga line has yet to he addressed. This has been a consistent story with Commodore, but one that should he placed "in their face" at even opportunity. Your letter will be forwarded to the offices of Commodore international.
Send letters to Feedback c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722 -AC* CanDo: An Interactive
Authoring Tool Part 8 AppEvents and Graphics Printing by
Randy Finch While trying to decide what type of program to
write for this month's topic, I realized there is a program I
have been needing for some time that would be perfect. 1 can
use the program every time I write an installment for this
CanDo series.
I create the figures for my articles using DeluxePaint. Once 1 have all of the figures on disk, I like to view them in slide show fashion to check for mistakes before printing them. This is just begging for a custom Workbench utility program, and CanDo is up to the job. The program is entitled PrintPics.
The Program Design 4, Select the Available Modes button in the Normal Window section and make sure the number of colors is set to a number that is iess than or equal to the number of colors on your Workbench screen, i use a four-color Workbench so that is what I have selected. If you have eight or more colors, you can use a larger number of colors. If the number of colors selected is larger than what is available on the Workbench, the window will not appear on the Workbench, but will remain on its own custom screen. The size and position of the window can also be set at this time; however,
since the window has a drag bar and a sizing button, these parameters can be set by moving and sizing the window on the Workbench. (IMPORTANT NOTE: The position can be changed while in Design mode whereas the size can only he changed while in Browse mode. Beware that for some strange reason, if you open the Window Editor requester and then select the Cancel button, CanDo will not allow the size of the window to be changed even in Browse mode. To correct the The user interface for PrintPics is shown in the upper-left corner of Figure 1. Tire program allows multiple icons representing IFF
graphics files, such as those in the CdoVHelm window in the lower-right corner of Figure 1, to be selected and dragged to the interface window. The selected filenames are then displayed in the List object. The View button activates a slide show of the pictures.
The Print button is used to print the pictures to the current Preferences printer. The Quit button allows the user to exit the program. Finally, the long button at the bottom of the interface window executes the PrinterGfx program in the Prefs directory Figure 2). This allows the user to quickly change the printer's graphics settings before printing the files.
PrintPics consists of two cards. One is named Wblnterface. It is the user interface described above. The other card is named Picture and is used for displaying the picture files while viewing or printing.
The User Interface Card The first thing that must be done when creating the PrintPics deck is to change the name of CanDo's default blank card to Wblnterface. The window type of this card must then be changed to Workbench. This can be done by bringing up the Window Editor requester from the Main Control Panel as shown in Figure 3. There are several tilings that must be done within this requester.
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P 5|| F tgurcB Leaisy ____ C nDoF * l*i | CanDoRradMe CllUtlilt let] Ed it orTooI a !j ’ '¦=' | Brushflnins D cks Figure i. User Interface for PrintPics CanDo Deck Gr&at team a or fnteddfent computing Amazing Computing, the first mo nth dp Arnica magazine, has adapted to the ev-er-chanppinp needs of the Am fa usert to hrinp fj orth the host information, on time, andin the dearest manner possihde, Amozinp Computing has adwaps made a commitment to the Am fa community and tithes up to that hfh standard of Cjuaditp each month hep hrinpinp its readers the datestAnefa news andinformation from around
the pdohe, Amazinp Computing, Acs TACdf, & Acs dJOffDA are the hest resources for anep Am fa user.
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Y _ Title Open the uindou onto... our own private screen.
the Workbench screen.
Fublic Screen the current screen.
Attributes... Objects Options Colors Scripts... Activated Close Button Resiled Ok problem, open the Window Editor requester again and select the OK button. The window can then be re- sized in Browse mode.)
5. Click on the AppEvent button in the Scripts section and add
the script that is shown in Listing 1 for the Wblnterface
card's OnAppE vent event. On A pp Event is activated when the
user drags icons from another window on the Workbench to the
Wblnterface card.
The OnAppEvent script added in the last step simply creates a document named AppEventList and puts the contents of Argl into it. When an AppEvent occurs within a CanDo program, the list of filenames associated with the icons that were moved into the window is assigned to the system variable Argl. Each filename is separated by a line feed character (ASCII 10). By typing Argl into the document, the latter will contain all the selected filenames, one per Line. Document AppEventList is associated with the List object on the Wblnterface card. Thus, whenever the document is updated, the filenames in
the List object will be updated also.
The User Interface Objects The Wblnterface card contains five objects: a List object and four TextButton objects. The List object, named AppEvents, is simply used to display the names of the files to be viewed and or printed. Therefore, it has no scripts associated with it. As mentioned earlier, the document associated with (his object is named AppEventList.
The first TextButton is named View and is used to activate a slide show of the files listed in the AppEvents object. The second TextButton is named Print and is used to print the files listed in the AppEvents object. The third TextButton is named Quit and is used Figure 3. The Window Editor Requester for Wblnterface Deactivated Cancel Origin X Y BO | & Nornal Window Rva iI able Modes, H|WT~1 H [?IB 1 Colors! 4 |_ J Picture Window Undefined Inage L_m to exit the program. The fourth TextButton is named PrintSettings and is used for changing the printer's graphics preferences. Each of these
four buttons has an OnRelease event scrip! That executes when the button is selected.
The OnRelease script for the View button assigns the string "View" to the variable named Command, moves the cursor to the start of the current document (AppEventList), and then goes to the card, Picture. The OnRelease script for the Print button is exactly the same except the variable, Command, is equated to the string "Print". The script for the Quit button simply executes the Quit command. The script for the PrintSettings button executes CanDo's Dos command with the string "SYS:Prefs PrinterGfx" as its argument. This tells CanDo to execute the program named PrinterGfx in the SYS:Prefs
directory. This program is included with AmigaDOS. It allows the user to change various graphics settings for the currently selected printer.
The Picture Card The Picture card can be initialized at design time to any resolution because it will be changing based on the resolution of the pictures being displayed. The Window Editor should be used to turn off all available objects via the Objects button in the Attributes section. These objects can interfere with the display of the picture files.
When the View or Print button is pressed on the Wblnterface card, its OnRelease event script activates. Each script activates the Picture card after assigning a value to the variable. Command, and moving the cursor to the top of the AppEventList document. When the Picture card Ls activated, its AfterAttachment script executes after the card is displayed.
Following through the AfterAttachment script in Listing 1, the first thing that occurs is that the variable, TheLine, is compared to a null string, TheLine is the string in the current line of the current document. If this string is not null, meaning that at least one file has been dragged to the Wblnterface card, the ShowPicture command is executed with TheLine as an argument. The ShowPicture command loads the file specified by its argument and associates It with the current card, Picture. It does not matter if the file contains a picture of a different resolution or depth, than the Picture
card, CanDo will automatically change the card's resolution to match the file. The ScreenTo FRONT command then displays the picture.
Next, the script determines which button the user pressed by looking at the contents of the variable, Command. If this variable is equal to "View", then the script pauses for five seconds, otherwise (the only alternative is "Print") the PrintWindow command is executed. This command prints the current window to the user's Preferences printer using the current graphics settings. After either pausing or printing, the current document's cursor is moved down one line, which places it on the next filename in the list, and the script is exited.
Once the AfterAttachment script finishes execution, tire one and only object on the Picture card activates. The object is a timer set to go off after zero seconds. Therefore, its Occurred script executes immediately. This script checks to see if TheLine is null. If it is, there are no more files in the list to view or print, so the program goes to the Wblnterface card to await more user input, If TheLine is not null, the Picture card is activated again causing its AfterAttachment script to execute again. Tire Timer object, named Timer_l, must be used because the GotoCard command cannot be
issued from within an AfterAttachment script.
Some of you may be wondering why I didn't just pass the list of filenames from the OnAppEvent script to the Picture card by using Argl as an argument and then creating a loop within tire AfterAttachment script to display each picture in turn. Good idea! 1 tried it. It doesn't work. The first picture displays fine, but when a Friendly & Knowlegablc!
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Transactions arc con d r Now for the fine print The U.S. prices shown are based on the USS-CdnS exchange rate as of add creation, and are shown for comparison purposes only. Since we are a Canadian company, alJ | nducted in Canadbnjunds. If you are not Canadian, vour bank will automatically convert to foregin fundi when vou place an order & we authorise your card, therefore, actual prices I o indal state ar federal tstxee or nrriffs. This add | Cor the hwxal currant price. Special order items are j : chipped in lot quantities, so please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. There w iU 6c a restocking
fee on orders return ed umccllcd n: fused. All equipemnt is NTSC'120 I _ cry popular demand exceeds supply, so order early to avoid dissapointmenk Itcxni out of stock will be special ordered & shipped when available. IT you are unclear on any of thts. Please ask for details. Sorry, hut we can nor be rctpootibh fonlMmuge or lews during shipping, so phase insure yx vr order! Hey, bareI mentioned lately that'the Amiga Rules? | i pre-pan Volt7 60 Ilz. Some items are verv picture that is not the same resolution as the firs! Is encountered, it does not display properly, it will appear using the
resolution of the first picture. Thus, if the first picture is high resolution interlaced, a subsequent picture that is high resolution non-interlaced will be squashed vertically. This bug was verified bv a technical support person at INOVAtronics. They plan to correct this problem in a future release. As an interim work-around, the Picture card must be activated between each picture. This reinitialization allows the card's resolution to be changed via the ShowPicture command.
The Home Stretch Well, that was short and sweet. 1 like programs that are useful yet do not require too much effort to develop. Do you have any utilities created with CanDo? If so, I would like to see them. You can write me care of this magazine.
Listing Listing 1. PrintPics CanDo Desk
* Deck "PrintPics"
* Time 19:49:07
* Date 12 22 93
* card(s) in deck.
* Card "Picture" ? Card "WBInterface"
• 2 Card(s), 2 were printed.
* Natural order of Cards
* Card "WBInterface"
* Card "Picture"
* There are no Global routines in this deck.
Card "Picture" AfterAttachment ; uaed to be AfterStartup If TheLineo"" ShowPicture TheLine ScreenTo FRONT If Conanand="View" Delay 0,5,0 Else PrintWindow Endif HoveCursor DOWN End If EndScript Wlndow "UserWindow" Definition Origin 0,0 Size 320,200 Title "" NumberOfColorB 32,69632 windowColors 0,1,0 ; Detail, Block, Background WindowObjects NONE WindowFlags ACTIVATE BORDERLESS SEPARA7ESCREEN TOFRONT EndScript EndObject OneShotTimer "Timer .1" Definition Duration 0,0,0 j Minutes, Seconds. Jiffies EndScript Occurred If TheLineo"" GotoCard "Picture" Else GotoCard "WBInterface" Endlf EndScript
EndObject End of Card "Picture" Title "View Print Pictures" NumberOfColors 4,69632 WindowColors 0,1,0 ; Detail, Block, Background WindowObjects CLOSEBUTTON DEPTHBUTTONS DRAG3AR SIZEBUTTON WindOwFlags ACTIVATE TO FRO ST WORKBENCH EndScript OnCloseButton Quit EndScript OnAppEvent MakeDocument "AppEventList" Type Argl EndScript EndObject List "AppEvents" Definition Origin 29,26 Size 264,15B Font "topaz",8 ; FontName, PointSlze PrintStyle PLAIN ,2,3 ; Style, Penl, Pen2 TextColora 1,0,JAM2 PenA, PenB, DrawMode Border DOUBLEBEVEL ,2,1 j BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Document "AppEventList" ;
where the text cornea from EndScript EndObject Text But ton "View,, Definition Origin 27,208 Font "diamond",20 ; FontNaae, PolntSize PrintStyle SHADOW ,2,3 j Style, Penl, Pen2 TextCotors 1,0,NORMAL ; PenA, PenB, DrawMode Text " view " Border BEVEL ,2,1 ; BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Highlight COMPLEMENT Button?lags NONE EndScript OnRelease Let Corsaand="View" HoveCursorTo STARTOF DOCUMENT GotoCard "Picture" EndScript EndObject TextButton "Print" Definition Origin 127,208 Font "diamond”,20 ; FontNane, PolntSize PrintStyle SHADOW .2.3 t Style, Penl, Pen2 TextColors 1,0,NORMAL i PenA, PenB,
DrawMode Text " Print " Border BEVEL ,2,1 ; BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Highlight COMPLEMENT ButtonFlags NONE EndScript OnReleaae Let Coosnanda "Print" MoveCurBorTo STARTOF DOCUMENT GotoCard "Picture" EndScript EndObject TextButton "Quit" Definition Origin 227,208 Font "diamond",20 ; FontNane, PolntSize PrintStyle SHADOW ,2.3 i Style, Penl, Pen2 TextColorB 1,0,NORMAL ; PenA, PenB, DrawMode Text " Quit " Border BEVEL ,2,1 ; BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Highlight COMPLEMENT ButtonFlags NONE EndScript OnRelease Quit EndScript EndObject TextButton "PrintSettings" Definition Origin 28,244 Font
"garnet",15 ; FontNane, PointSize PrintStyle BOLD SHADOW ,2,3 ; Style, Penl. Pen2 TextColors 1,0,NORMAL ; PenA, PenB, DrawMode Text “ Change Printer Gfx Settings * Border BEVEL ,2,1 i BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Highlight COMPLEMENT ButtonFlags NONE EndScript OnRelease Dob "SYS:Prefs PrinterGfx" EndScript EndObject
* End of Card "WBInterface"
• AC* Please Write to: Randy Finch c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140
* Card "WBInterface" Window "UserWindow* Definition Origin 50,30
Size 340,280 cli directory by Keith Cameron A Shell Glossary,
Part 1 Quite often, while I'm writing my articles, I find it
necessary to resort to a glossary of computer terminology to
make sure that I'm using the correct terms. Also, since I use
IBM compatible machines at work, sometimes I confuse
terminology that is not the same among MS-DOS machines and
Amigas. I thought it might, therefore, be helpful to define
clearly some of the terms which I commonly use in my column. I
will not concern myself with AmigaDOS commands, but with other
terms related to the use of AmigaDOS. I'll proceed in
alphabetical order and define one term per paragraph, beginning
with active.
Active refers to the window which is currently selected; that is, the one in which you are working. If you move back and forth between various windows (isn't multitasking great!), you will notice that you need to click in a window to make it active. You can not work in a window that is not active.
AmigaDOS is the operating system used by the Amiga. Each computer system uses a different version of DOS (disk operating system). For example, most of the IBM world uses MS-DOS, which stands for Microsoft. The operating system is the system of commands and instructions that actually run the computer.
An application is a type of software that performs a task. For example, word processors, spreadsheets, and databases are all applications. Many computer systems divide all software into two groups; application software and systems software. Systems software is the software needed to run the system, such as those commands contained in the 'c' directory of Amigas.
An argument is a piece of information needed in some command lines to complete the command. For example, to see a directory listing of drive dfl from the command line, you would type a command, DIR, and an argument, dfl:. Not all commands require arguments.
One concept many users have trouble comprehending is ASCII. This is an acronym for American Standard Code for Information interchange. When you produce a document using a word processor program such as ProWrite, that document can only be read or changed (basically) by ProWrite. However, most word processors today have an option which allows you to convert such documents to text files. These text files are, in essence, ASCII format. ASCII allows all computers, u'hether IBM, Macintosh, Atari, etc., to be able to share text files. Text files found on computer bulletin boards are normally put in
ASCII format so that users of all systems can access them. Files that I create at work on my IBM compatibles can be read at home on my Amiga because of ASCII.
Of course, since the two machines have different operating systems, I can't put an IBM diskette into an Amiga computer; however, I can upload to a bulletin board from my IBM and then download that file to my Amiga once I get home.
Two terms which are very similar are backup and back up.
Please notice the spacing of each. Backup is a noun and refers to the extra copy made of a disk or file. Back up is a verb and refers to the TAX BREAK" The Intelligent, Intuitive Tax Preparation Program TaxBreah, the casiest-to-usc preparation tool for pour personal computer. Tax return preparation can he frustrating and confusing.
Forms and Schedules fully Integrated with TaxBreah BS: Form 1040 Form 10404 Schedule Ik Itemized Deductions Schedule B: Interest and Dividend Income Schedule C: Pro lit or loss Iran Business Schedule 0: Capital Gains S Losses Schedule E: Supplemental Income Schedule Schedule F Farm Income & Expenses TaxBreah provides you the tools to speed up the process, and mieimiie errors. Best of all, TaxBreah allows you to load two returns simultaneously to see which particular tax scenario will save you the most money.
¦ Perform Whet if" calculations wth multiple returns and estimated amounts ¦ Use mouse or keyboard lor versatility ¦ On-lne content -sensitive help.
¦ Pnncs IRS acceptable facsimile printouts M Easy movement between lorms. Schedules, wwisheets and Ime itemizations is standard lor TaiBreak Just click an the apetaable Ime and the back up lorm appears Schedule R: Credit lor the elderly or Disabled Schedule SE: Social Security Sell Employment .
Tn Fora 4562 Depreciation E Amortization Form 2441: Credit lor Child S Dependant Care Expenses (era 8606: IRA. Mon-Deductable Contributions Basis. E Ndntaiable Distributions Fern 2106: Employee Business Expenses Fern 1903: Moving Expenses Form 6615: Computation ol Tax for children Under Age 14 Farm 4866: Application fur Automatic Extensions ¦ itemization back-up available lor each line item ¦ Pre defined worksheets lor backup to schedules ¦ Zoom in ur out of high and low resolution ¦ A constant display of the 'baLtom line" helps you analyte your tan status as you prepare your reuxn ¦ On screen
look alike lorms and schedules $ 79.95 Updates from previous years Oxxi $ 29.95 inc. Post Office Bon 90309. Long Beach. CA 90803-0309. USA ftyjre 13101 427-1227 ¦ FAX 13101427 0371 Circle 159 on Reader Service card.
Action of making an extra copy of a disk or file. Whenever von purchase a new disk containing a program, the first thing you should do is make a backup of that disk and then store the original.
The only time you should ever use the original again is to make another backup. Likewise, if you have a hard drive, you should also back up your hard drive every' so often in case you have a system break down of some sort that causes files to be lost or become irretrievable.
When you format or copy a disk, you may have seen the term block appear on the screen. A block usually is 512 bytes functioning as a single unit either in RAM or on a storage device. Usually, the entire unit is bound together, not separated. A block can also refer to a group of related commands in programming.
When you turn on your computer, you actually boot it up.
When you boot your machine, the files and commands needed to operate it are loaded and read. Not all disks are bootable. If they do not contain system commands and instructions, such disks will not cause the computer to become ready to operate. By selecting appropriate commands and files, it is possible to make a system disk which will start the machine. Simply because a computer is on does not mean that it is ready to operate. Sometimes when a program fails, it is necessary to reboot your machine. There are two ways to do this. First, you can give it a cold boot (or reboot) by turning the
machine completely off, letting it reset for a few minutes, and then booting again. The second way is by a warm boot (or reboot). I once saw this method described by a writer as the "Vulcan Death Grip" because it requires holding down the Ctrl key, the Alt key, and the right Amiga key at the same time.
At times, it is necessary to use keyboard combinations. Some of these were discussed in a recent column about the features of the Shell. In keyboard combinations, you use more than one key to perform a funtion. For example, many combinations require the Ctrl key and another key. The Alt key is also often used.
CL1 is Command Line Interface. Today, this term is being replaced by Shell. Both the Shell and the Cl.I are the same thing, but the CL1 came first. It is a method of controlling a computer from the keyboard by typing in specific commands and arguments. The Shell is simply an advanced version of the CL1. This is becoming a widely used term, for MicroSoft is now including the DOS Shell in its system software packages. I do not know where the term originated.
A command is an instruction given to your computer so that it will perform a task or function. Commands are programs themselves. They perform routine tasks such as copying, deleting, and renaming.
The Amiga Shell has a command history. This allows the Amiga to remember various commands that you have executed from the Shell and recall them by pressing the up and down arrow keys. This feature saves the user a great deal of typing. I described this feature more fully in a recent column.
The command line, of course, is the actual line of text vou type in at the Shell or CL1 prompt. This line of text consists of commands, arguments whidi are necessary, and other information such as switches and parameters.
The current directory is the directory in which you are currently working. In my classes, I have learned that this is one of the hardest concepts for people to learn. Imagine that you are in a multiple story building with numerous rooms on each floor. It vou move to office 211, then you can onlv see what is in that room and you can only work in that room. If you want something from the lounge on floor six, you must physically go there. The same is true with a computer. If you are in the 'c' directory, you can only see what is in that directory. If you want something from the 'systems'
directory, you must instruct the computer what you want and how to get to that directory.
Next month. I'll continue this glossary, picking up with the letter ;D'. Remember, this is not an all inclusive computer glossary; rather, it is restricted to terms used in connection with the Shell.
• AC* Please Write to: Keith Cameron c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Foil River. MA 02722-2140 You’ve created the
perfect piece, now you’re looking for a good service bureau
for output. You want quality, but it must be economical.
Finally, and most important...you have to find a service
bureau that recognizes your AMIGA file formats. Your search is
over. Give us a call!
We'll imageset your AMIGA graphic files to RC Laser Paper or Film at 2400 dpi (up to 154 Ipi) at a extremely competitive cost. Also available at competitive cost are quality Dupont ChromaCheck™ color proofs of your color separations films. We provide a variety of pre-press services for the desktop publisher.
Who are we? We are a division ot PiM Publications, the publisher of Amazing Computing for the Commodore AMIGA. We have a staff that really knows the AMIGA as well as the rigid mechanical requirements of printers publishers. We’re a perfect choice for AMIGA DTP imagesetting pre-press services.
We support nearly every AMIGA graphic & DTP format as well as most Macintosh™ graphic DTP formats.
For specific format information, please call.
For more information call 1-800-345-3360 Just ask for the service bureau representative.
Computer Cat I Serves up the SHASTA Stoi by Robert Van Buren Can-a-Mation Using copy points from the sponsoring agencies, the Computer Cafe team conceived, storyboarded, modeled, animated, and rendered the first Diet Shasta 15-second TV spot in just 18 days just in time for its national airing during the 1993 Freedom Bowl.
The full length 30 second spot was completed 10 days later.
Animators David Ebner, Jim Arthurs, and Tom Williamson worked around the clock to meet the tight deadline.
The Computer Cafe team greatly appreciated the extra support by vendors like RCS, GVP, DPS, and Warm and Fuzzy Logic. Creative director Jeff Barnes comments, "we were under a heavy deadline and the extra support we received from the vendors made it possible to meet our timeline. We sincerely appreciated their help."
Five 68040-based Amigas were put to the task of full-time rendering at the Santa Maria based company, three extra machines averaging 30-51) minutes per frame were provided by MG Software in San Diego.
"Between freelance animator Jim Arthurs, from Colorado, and Mark Miller, in San Diego, we were modeling scenes and Par testing animations 3 or 4 times a day. The holidays provided heavy phone line traffic so we constantly had to drop from 14,400 to 9600 bps to minimize modem errors. Because we were using a number of machines at different locations, it was important to keep a tight watch on all the computers for scene consistency throughout the process."
Modeling To create the cans, geometry was modeled at 3000 polygons for manipulations with Bones and image-mapped at 3300 lines of resolution for the tighter shots in the animation. The girl can scene was lifted from the animation to be used for the outdoor portion of the campaign. The frame was rendered at print resolution and required high-detailed image maps for output to the billboard design company.
Arthurs and Williamson laid out the animation for the main characters with the Y axis at zero; the top of the refrigerator shelf was also strategically set at zero. Since some of the shots contained as many as 140 to 160 objects, it was more practical to parent sections to null objects so that scenes could be separated down and worked on several systems at once. This also helped to quickly move excess geometric data out of the way.
Effecls Basic object motion was animated in Lightwave's Layout, then the movement parameters were shaped and enhanced with Bones.
The object's deformation could have been a laborious task using other 3-D packages, but the Bones feature made the project manageable in a short deadline.
The realism of the balloons was achieved using a previously rendered reflection map and an extra-wide angle lens aiming down (POV of the balloons) and in front of the cans on the shelf; this helped to create a realistic ray-traced effect.
Blasts of confetti were layered on top of tine rendered end tag with the help of a custom version of the Sparks Particle Animation program donated by programmer Jon Tindall of Detroit.
The soda spray bursting from the cans as they popped their tops was rendered separately and blurred using ADPro. This effect created a more natural blending of the spray edges and gave a distinction in the denseness of the liquid.
Three sizes of image maps were used on the soda cans, in addition to two polygon detail versions. With over thirty' cans in a single shot, it was unnecessary to use 3000 plus image maps on every can, so the higher detail maps were used on the cans in the foreground and a lower resolution map was placed on the remaining cans to speed up rendering.
Conclusion The crew at Computer Cafe noted that although the deadline was tight, it was a pleasure dealing with the people at Shasta and the associated agencies. "We hope that we can work with them on projects in the future. For now however, we are very proud of our work on the Can-A-Mation project and our ability for a quick turnaround, A special thanks to all the people from Creative Computers and all the animators and support people involved in making this a successful project."
The Future 1994 already appears to hold exciting prospects for the Computer Cafe team. General Partner David Ebner, "We're negotiating several contracts at the moment for some very exciting projects. Several companies are talking to us about doing effects for upcoming feature films, CD-ROM programs, and graphics for 3DO.
We like the challenge of entering uncharted territory with our graphics. Interactive presentations, for example, is an area that we've been experimenting with for a couple of years and I think we have some great ideas that will be implemented very soon, For more information contact: Computer Cafe 3130 Skyway Drive 603 Santa Maria, CA 93455
(805) 922-9479 Fax (805) 922-3225 Inquiry 239 TWO YEARS AGO THIS
MONTH, I showcased a program with its own Graphical User
Interface (GUI).
That program, The ADPro Scale Utility, was very popular, but it had a level of complexity such that few if any readers used it as a tutorial on how to write a GUI for an Arexx program. Most people simply requested the disk and used the program directly. Since that time, people have asked me to present a more beginner-oriented approach to creating a graphical user interface for Arexx programs. 1 like the rexxarplib.library v3.0 by Willy Langeveld, an Arexx Gul-building freeware library available on BIX and other BBS's, on Disk I of The Arexx Cookbook, on the Arexx program disk from Bill Hawes
(Wishful Thinking Development), and from Fred Fish. This library is a set of functions available to Arexx that provide so-called "hooks" into the AmigaDOS GUI, which has Commodore's trademark name "Intuition". Think of rexxarplib.library functions as "ambassadors" that give Arexx programs two-way communication with "foreign" (Intuition) routines in the operating system (not otherwise directly accessible by an Arexx program). The library functions let an Arexx program build up a graphical interface from the low level pieces provided by Intuition. The library functions also allow these
graphic objects (such as string gadgets) to send messages to any Arexx port. We are going to "retrofit" an existing program with a GUI, but first we need to learn how a GUI works.
The Relationship of GUI to Program How to Make A Graphical User Interface for Your Arexx Program by Merrill Callaway GUI takes input from the user and calls programs to solve the problem, and routines to update the GUI display to correspond with program output. In general, a GUI is simple to use and hard to code. It can he rather obtuse and abstract, because it accesses low level system routines that are nothing if not cryptic. The conception of the GUI, therefore, frequently gets lost in the details of the code.
The entire Amiga system is built around the paradigm of messages and replies being sent to or received at message ports. Message ports are software's way of communication with the user’s world of GUI and Shell console, or the system's world of device drivers, libraries, and so on. Arexx is no exception. Arexx ports and message packets, though different from system ports and message packets, accomplish similar things. Arexx messages usually pass through the Arexx interpreter, rexxmast, which acts as a sort of "Post Office" distributing "mail" (the messages) to "addresses" (the message ports of
currently running software).
Loading the rexxarplib.library adds a new set of functions to the set of Arexx built-in functions. The rexxarplib.library functions allow us to build a GUI program that runs and then exits, leaving behind active Intuition graphical objects such as screens, windows, and gadgets. 'These objects wait for certain "events" to occur.
I eii ¦a] 0L IDCMP Conuerter HE A jIcon I 'B18B0801 gTBggfgj User input... ai-gUMents:
* ftJ ,CHA,|3BB,SB j str, id, nouse pos.
[Tei~ c 1994 by Merrill Caltauai 195 leaiRa; ?| Converter 7* Converter.
‘[til irr This proffran builds the GUI.
Call PSM. PRRSE ARG answer, * set I il I ib=' r int ts RDDLIB I 20 Vf ~~m Vt im i i. , 11 tn Create our very own host applicat Me.should use_the asynchronous i) DO ) 10 THEN DO er)-10 T x(y,'String too long ¦x* This window
* -*¦ This window
* -*¦ The window ADDRESS AREXX * wait for our new port to cone
DATATYPE answer,*w' THEN DO One class of events are called
IDCMP (Intuition Direct Communications Message Port) events,
and represent various GUI activities, for instance a mouse
click on a window close gadget. These graphic events adhere to
the message port paradigm. A window may have several IDCMPs
specified such as "CLOSEWINDOW" and "GADGETUP". If these two
events are specified as the IDCMP for a window, then if we
click the window close gadget, the IDCMP message "CLOSEWINDOW"
is sent. "GADGETUP" is the IDCMP message if we click and let up
on the left mouse button over a gadget, or press [Enter] inside
a string gadget. The user need not worry about how the system
handles these messages. Just be aware that we need to let the
system know the list of IDCMP events that we require. This
IDCMP list is an argument to the rexxarplib.library function
OpenWindowQ, and enables various events in our window to send
The operation of the GUI centers around the fact that each gadget can send a message string to the "notify port", (an Arexx port) whenever user specified IDCMP events occur (such as a mouse click). This message string can contain arguments such as tire mouse position, the content of the string gadget, the height of the resized window, and so on. The notify port takes in this information and the program, whose port it is, processes the information.
If we want the GUI to replace the Shell window (the console device) for entering information and for receiving output results, we should set the notify port to "REXX". Then the program needed to process the information can be very much iike our original program before we wished to give it a GUI, except that instead of using a PARSE PULL to get user input from the console, it uses a PARSE ARC to get the argument list sent to it by the GUI.
Once the user input is completed in the GUI, e.g. pressing [Enter] in a string gadget, or clicking on a button with the mouse, that IDCMP event triggers the sending of an Arexx message. The message goes to the notify port, "REXX" where rexxmast (tile Arexx interpreter program with the port name "REXX") handles the input exactly as if it were input from the console device.
Similarly, instead of using SAY to output the results to the console, our modified program might use the rexxarplib.library functions Ip I Character Nunber Conuertgr Hexade Binary t t:rh ¦vi Octal J Dec Ina I ibip b x * I REMOVEGADGETO followed by an ADDGADC,ET() to update the contents of a string gadget back in the GUI. The initial program to build the GUI, and subsequent calls to functions to update the GUI objects send messages to the "CONTROLPORT", an Arexx port name for the GUT itself. The "CONTROLPORT" is determined in the first step of building the GUI, as we shall see.
Using rexxarplib.library, tbere are four steps to coding an Arexx application with a GUI. There is a natural first step that must be coded before anything else. The second through fourth steps are not entirely' sequential. For instance, in the second step below, a gadget is created to send a message, but the actual message argument may be left as a null "" until the physical alignment of the gadget and other graphic chores are completed.
The message string may be filled in later.
The Four Steps to GUI Applications First, create the Arexx Host using the CREATEHOST() function. This opens two Arexx ports for the GUI, one to "listen to" and one to "notify" (or send messages to). Without these ports there is no communication to or from anything. This first step is abstract and invisible, but essential. The correct way to call the function is subtle. One correct form is ADDRESS AREXX '"CALL CreateRost(CONTROLtOM,NOTIFYPCiRT) We must use the asynchronous port "AREXX" rather than tire more typical "REXX" default port. Tire interpreter, rexxmast has two ports, "REXX" and
“AREXX". Addressing "AREXX" allows the program to continue rather than wait for the routine to finish (essential in a GUI). Asynchronous is equivalent to "running in the background". Note the correct way to use the combined single and double quotes. Nothing will work without these double quotes!
CONTROLPORT represents a name we use for our GUI (I use "HEXHOST” in my example). It should be unique to the session and it is case sensitive. If you name this port all in CAPS, then you won't have to quote it every time. Arexx converts non-quoted strings to UPPER case. The NOTIFYPORT is where we are to send our messages from the GUI. If we were making a GUI for a host application program's Arexx commands, we might simply make some buttons which sent host command strings to that application's port name.
However, I like to set "REXX" as my NOTIFYPORT in order to do logic, update the GUI display, and so on. By using "REXX"as your NOTIFYPORT, you can bounce messages back and forth among several programs (including other GUIs) and write small, modular routines that are easy' to debug because you are invoking rexxmast to process all the messages, tt is a good idea to write your programs in modular sections with rexxmast central to alt of them.
Second, create the look of the user interface by adding objects such as gadgets and buttons and menus to a screen (optional) with one or more windows. Each and every object is added, removed, or modified through the listening or control port opened in the first step. We have mentioned the way a window waits for certain IDCME events to occur so that it can send a message, but the actual look of the window is controlled by "flags”, which set characteristics such as a "close" gadget, a "resize" gadget, "depth" gadgets, and so on. These flags are set at the time the window is created.
Flags may be concatenated together as were the IDCMP events to specify more than one window characteristic.
Third, customize the properties of the objects added to the interface. This step includes all such things as highlighting gadgets, rending the contents of a string gadget, recording the mouse position, putting up requesters if errors occur, and all sorts of "graphic housekeeping". Physically, this code may be in the GUI or in other programs that update the GUI display.
Fourth, attach the Arexx problem-solving code to each object.
This is where the actual work is done on the data. This is the program we modify to handle GUT events updates instead of Shell input output. As you can perhaps tell, this part seems simple now that we have seen the complexities in the GUI!
Hands On I want to focus on writing a GUI instead of on the details of the program it accesses, so I picked a program that is well documented, and one that lends itseif to the GUI treatment. The February, 1992 Arexx column presented a little program, HEX.rexx, to translate characters into their codes in several different number bases, and vice versa - finding the character associated with a certain number code. This type of information is always useful to programmers, and those who need to know the escape codes for special characters. HEX.rexx is also described in The Arexx Cookbook, and on
Disk I of that book.
The “Converter” GUI Design Our project is to make a GUI window containing five string gadgets; one each for entering displaying Characters, Hexadecimal numbers, Binary numbers, Octal numbers, and Decimal numbers.
Beside each string gadget is to be a button identifying the type of gadget it is. Character, Hexadecimal,... etc. The buttons are to serve the dual purpose of starting the conversion process as if we had pressed [Enter] in the associated string gadget. The string gadget will also start the process of conversion if [Enter] is pressed while the cursor is in the string gadget. We want one further button, a CLEAR button to erase all the entries. Behind tire scenes, we need to handle errors such as invalid characters entered in a number string gadget, or a character string that is too long for the
built-in Arexx conversion functions to handle. We will add some text about authorship to the window directly. Finally, we want an icon for the Workbench to launch the Converter program.
The operation of the GUI is simple. We enter (or modify) any string in any of the five string gadgets, and press [Enter] or click the button next to the string gadget. If our string was valid, the other four string gadgets fill with the equivalent of the input string expressed in the other four formats. If our string was invalid, we get a requester informing us of the type of mistake. The warning requesters have an OK button to make them go away, and we can then change the mistake. If we click on the CLEAR button, the display clears to all blank strings, except the one for Decimals which
contains a single 0 (A null string is an invalid decimal number. See the listing of Converter.rexx for an alternate way to CLEAR.). Our Gui window has a close gadget to exit the program and clear away the display.
The Listings There are three listings. Converter.rexx controls the GUI setup.
Hexconvert.rexx is the replacement for the original Hex.rexx and is derived from it. Hex.rexx is tire original program in case you do not have the references. It is instructive to note the differences between the original "stand alone" program run from the console, and a program called from a GUI. As an exercise, can you rewrite HexConvert.rexx so that it functions either wav, from a console or a GUI? The gadgets in the GUI are all symmetrical. They all pass their contents, the gadget ID, and the mouse coordinates as arguments to the same program, HexConvert.rexx. Therefore, we will only focus
on the GUI window and the program flow from and to one gadget.
Converter.rexx The GUI The first thing we do is load the library. Next we call CREATEHOST(HEXHOST,REXX) to enable communications as we discussed above. We use a WAITFORPORT HEXHOST (ARexx command utility) to wait for the port name to open up. Next, we assign the IDCMP and FLAGS as variables equal to the concatenated strings of window events and attributes, respectively. The FLAGS are mostly self explanatory. Step one is completed with a CALL OPESWIHDOW(HEXHOST,0,11,140,210, idcjp, flags,wlndcwtitle) The numeric arguments are the x,y coordinates of the upper left corner of the window,
followed by the window's width, height.
The last argument is the text to put in the window title bar. The last argument (omitted) is the name of a public screen, which, if omitted, our window opens on the Workbench. I chose to eliminate the complexities of a custom screen and open the window on the Workbench. The next call is to the MOD1FYHOSTQ function, Normally the message sent to the notify port would be the name of the event, or "CLOSEWINDOW". That would be meaningless to rexxmast at the notify port "REXX", so we modify the message with the MODIFYHOST() function to CALL QUIT(HEXHOST) which cleanly closes down the GUI window. The
next block * Character string input * CALL ADDGADGETtHEXHOST, 10, 20,CEA," , "'Call HEXCOHVERT.REXX ''%g‘•,%&,%X,%y270,RtDGEBORDER) * Convert character button • CALL ADDGADGET(HEXHOST,290,20,CHA1," Characters
- 'Call READGADGET(HEXHOST, CHA)'") adds one string gadget and
one button to the window.
ADDGADGETQ is used to both add a gadget and to update a gadget. The argument list is the COHTROLPORT.x.y, ID, "default text", mess ago, width, RIDGERORDER.
X and y are the upper Left corner coordinates. Note that if tire last two arguments are omitted, it becomes a self-sizing button instead of a string gadget. 270, RIDGEBORDER, turns it into a string gadget 270 pixels wide. In the message of the string gadget we use escaped characters "%g" to substitute the contents of the string (case sensitive, quoted - hence the doubled single quotes) for argument 0, and %d to substitute the string ID as argument 1. The mouse coordinates %x, %y are substituted for arguments 2 and 3 in order for the error trapping process to put up a requester exactly where
the mouse pointer is. The ADDGADGETQ for the button sends a message to the string gadget to read its string and send its message using a READGADGET() function. If you have entered "A" in the string gadget for Characters, and pressed [Enter] or clicked on the "Character" button, and your mouse is at (100,200) on the screen, the message "Call HEXCONVERT.REXX 'A', CHA, 100, 200" is sent to rexxmast at “REXX". Rexxmast processes this as a command: a call to the program HEXCONVERT.REXX with the argument list as shown. Once HEXCONVERT.REXX opens, it uses a PARSE ARG answer,option,x.y instruction to
divide and assign the input: answer='A'; option=CHA; x=100; v=200. The SELECT block changes the new information into the old variables so that we won't have to rewrite the old code. Now it’s business as usual exactly as if the information had been entered at the console. Whenever an error message needs to be displayed, instead of SAY, we use a REQUEST(x,y,message„OK) to display a one-liner on the Workbench. The omitted arguments are for string gadgets and Cancel text (See docs for rexxarplib.library). The last C.UI related task is to update the string gadgets in our GUI once
HEXCONVERT.REXX has done its converting. There is no "write gadget" function available, so we first must remove the gadgets with RSXOVEGADGET (HEXEOST, id) then we ADDGADGETQ the exact gadgets back into the GUI except that instead of a blank string as the default, vve put in the results from the conversion calculations: chastring, hexstring, etc. If we don't remove gadgets before updating, we simply write duplicates on top of old ones (not cool). HEXCONVERT.REXX then exits. The GUI is still there waiting for another user input cycle.
Note that we have removed the DO FOREVER loop of tiie original HEX.REXX program. The GUI takes its place.
The Icon Copy or make a "Project" type icon of your choice. Name it "Converter", and set the default tool to "RX". Be sure that tire two programs are in a directory on a search path.
Listing One * Hex.rexx Number & character translator *!
DO FOREVER SAY 'Input string [Rtn] option (x or b or o = hex, bin, oct)., Quit*[Rtn][Rtn].'
PARSE PULL answer, option .
Option=UPPER(left option,1)) IF option**'H* THEN option*'X' IF answer*' ’ THEN EXIT 0 IF option*' ' THEN IF DATATYPE(answer = 'NUM' THEN option*'D' IF option*'X' THEN IF -DATATYPE(answer,'x') THEN DO SAY 'Invalid hex number. Try again.’ ITERATE END IF option='B' THEN IF -DATATYPE(answer,'binary') THEN DO SAY 'Invalid binary number. Try again.'
ITERATE END ' IF option*'O' THEN IF -octal(answer) THEN DO SAY 'Invalid octal number. Try again.'
(continued on poge 53) ITERATE END SELECT WHEN option*'D' THEN DO cha=d2c(answer) hex*d2x(answer) bin=c2b(d2c(answer)) oct*b2o(c2b(d2c(answer))) SAY 'decimal number*'answer 'and is equivalent to:1 SAY SAY 'character='cha 'hexadecimal*'hex 'octal='oct *binary*'bin SAY END WHEN option*'X' THEN DO cha=x2c(answer) dec-x2d(answer) bin=c2blx2c(answer)) oct*b2o(c2b(x2c(answer))) SAY 'hex number*'answer 'and is equivalent to:' SAY SAY 'character*'cha 'decimal*'dec 'octals'oct 'binary='bin SAY END WHEN option*'B' THEN DO Cha=b2c(answer) hex=c2x(b2c(answer)) dec=c2d(b2c(answer)) oct=b2o(answer) SAY
'binary number*'answer 'and is equivalent to:' SAY SAY 'character='cha 'decimal*'dec 'hexadecimal*'hex 'octal*’oct SAY END WHEN option*'O' THEN DO bin=o2b(answer) cha=b2c(o2b(answer)) hex=c2x(b2c(o2b(answer))) dec=c2d b2c(o2b(answer))) SAY 'octal number*'answer 'and is equivalent to:' SAY SAY 'character*'cha 'decimal*'dec 'hexadecimal*'hex 'binary*'bin SAY END OTHERWISE DO • characters * dec=c2d(answer) hex=c2x(answer) bin=c2b(answer) oct=b2o(c2b(answer)) SAY 'character string*'answer ‘and is equivalent to:' SAY SAY 'decimal*'dec 'hexadecimal*'hex ‘octal*'cct 'binary='bin SAY END END END *
check for valid octal number • octal: PROCEDURE PARSE ARG octmim DO WHILE octnun-*" PARSE VAR octnum 1 first 2 octnum IF first 7 THEN RETURN 0 END RETURN 1 • convert octal number to binary * o2b: PROCEDURE PARSE ARG octnum k=l DO WHILE octnum-*" PARSE VAR octnum 1 num.k 2 octnum k=k+l END k=k-l n=k-l sum=0 DO i=l TO k sum* (num. I) * (8**n)+suin n=n-l END binnum=c2b(d2c(suir.)) RETURN binnum * convert binary to octal * b2o: PROCEDURE A brand new manual accompanies the software, rewritten and illustrated in many cases from the ground up. Speed increases in the rendering routines,
especially those that incorporate shadow generation, range from 10 to 30 percent over previous versions.
Aladdin 4D 3.0 is now hardware key-protected through the joyport.
Render farm users can purchase additional hardware keys by contacting Adspcc. Instead of describing all of the 3.0 features, allow me to touch upon those that represent unique new attributes.
If it is mentioned that a tool is external, that means it is a separate modular program outside of Aladdin 4D itself. Aladdin 4D is now in a position to add unlimited new tools through this external modular concept.
R-CVICIIVS Aladdin 4D 3.0 by R. Shawms Mortier Aladdin 4D 3.0 has arrived. More than the expected upgrade to the previous versions, this package sports some new tools never before available to Amiga artists and animators. In comparison to the original version, which added revolutionary features like multi-texturable gas objects as well as animatable waves and an intuitive camera-target system, the new 3.0 version adds another level of newer tools as well as adjustments and upgrades to the interface itself. The biggest news? Aladdin 4D is now modular, meaning that new tools can be added as
they are developed and literally plugged into the interface. Some of these modular tools are already being developed for distribution on Adspec's Aladdin's Lamp newsletter disk. To promote the development of customized tools, a programmer's development kit will be available to owners of the program at no extra cost.
New Internal Tools: Splines New to A4D 3.0 is the capability to design polygonal shapes using B-Splines.
With splines, your 3-D creations can be much smoother, leading to the sculpting of more organic 3-D shapes. The actual rendering is still accomplished by targeting polygonal surfaces, and for that, A4D has a special SPOTOPOL tool. A new freehand spline gadget as well as a companion freehand poly gadget appears on the A4D main editor screen. The SPOTOPOL tool brings up a requester that allows you to determine the resolution of the polygon the spline will be converted into and the angle.
If the tool is used to refit a spline to a poly, there are tolerances that can be set that address the "fit" of the result. As a visual reference that allows you to see the results of some different settings, the manual contains a number of specific poly spline examples.
A4D has had the capacity since its first version to input splined (vector) drawings created with other Amiga software (PwDraw, PraVcctor and Art Expression), as welt as PostScript files saved from other packages. All of this is still possible, but now in addition you can create those smooth shapes right in A4D, transform them into a smooth polygonal surface, and then create extruded or swept (lathed) 3-D shapes. This gives you the possibility of importing EPS fonts drawing outlines and converting the vectored shapes to smooth polygonal shapes with far fewer points than the original imported
vector (splined) shape. You could also use the spline controls to radically (or subtly) alter the imported shapes, all within A4D 3.0, Grid Snaps Grid snapping, overlooked in previous A4D versions, allows you much finer control of lining up edges of polys as they are either Figure 1. A sphere was created and mapped with a texture list containing two procedural bump textures. Two concentric gasses were then added, partially obstructed by the moon.
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Above: Figure 3. New attributes and requesters accent the A4D interface.
Constructed or reworked. The A4D Grid Snap tool opens a Grid Defaults window. The size of the grid can be adjusted on any and all axes, and the grid can be aligned with any selected point. If grid snap is on when vou move an object, it will snap to the next grid point position.
New and Upgraded External Tools Just to remind you, the use of the term external too! Indicates a tool that is actually based in a program outside of A4D, and opens the way for the creation and distribution of an unlimited number of new tools in the near and far future. Aladdin thus joins the traditions set bv ProPage with its Genies and Light Wnve3D with its macros. Some of these external tools have been moved from their previous placement within A4D, and they are represented by a Named Tool List under the A4D icons. Added to ail of the external tools is a togglable help screen that describes
in great detail what a tool does and how it does it.
Scale (upgraded in 3.0) New attributes to Scale include being able to select either the poly center or the Attach Point as the place from which resizing operates. Previously, selected polys or objects were resized from their centers alone, making certain delicate resizing operations (and especially alignment) somewhat difficult. There is also a new Scale Deforms toggle that allows the automatic resizing of animation deformations to occur along with the resizing.
Conforms Conforms allows you to deform any selected polys to a predrawn splined shape. When activated with the RMB, a Conform Default window opens up. In it are several parameters to set, including scaling and power functions, scaling from a center or an Attach Point, far or near scaling, and a radial setting. The real magic takes place, however, when you access this tool with the LMB, which makes its operation interactive. By moving the LMB while holding it down, you can see the selected shape conforming itself to the splined shape. Letting up on the LMB creates the new shape.
What are some of its uses? With a little practice, you could deform a sphere into a shape that could be used as the basic structure for a sculpted 3-D head, a teardrop, or another organic element. Your experiments are aided by the fact that you can see all of this happening in front of your eyes. A series of drawings showing the results of using this tool with various settings is included in the manual, making the learning curve much gentler.
Interactive Rotation of the View This represents an upgrading of the View Rotation option. In addition to being able to use the number pad keys to rotate the view screen around a selected axis, an interactive option that places a bounding box around Objects on the screen now allows you to rotate the view interactively (a comparative function to a similar attribute in LightWave and Caligari, sometimes referred to as Virtual Reality rotation). First you click on the ChaView (change view) tool in the external tools listing. All polys are then boxed according to their group number. Holding down
the mouse button will move the view on any axis, adding the shift key will zoom in or out, or adding the alternate key (Alt) alone will move the view from side to side or up and down. Added to all of this is a new togglable perspective grid akin to that in Caligari and LightWave that gives you a reference for movements of objects.
Dpaint Dpaint has been included to demonstrate how easy it is to add external tools that will activate other programs from within A4D for multitasking operations. You can do a listing of this too! In a text editor to observe that it is a simple CLI command. You could just as easily design a similar tool called "ADPro," "ArtExpression," or another named program to turn it on, as long as your memory is up to par for multitasking with it. Even at a fairly basic level, users can begin designing external modules that A4D can incorporate.
Point Control The Point Control, menu supplements the Point-Add Point- Deiete icons allowing much finer control over the addition and deletion of points in a polygonal shape, It works on either all polys selected or one poly at a time. You can add points between two selected points in either a forward or reverse direction. If points are to be deleted, then you can select the minimum angle, in degrees, that determines a boundary for deletion operations. Any number of points can be automatically added.
Primitives Primitive library lovers, wait till you see this! Other Amiga 3- D 4-D software offers you the opportunity to tap into a primitive library to add pre-structured primitive objects, but the primitives are very limited in quantity and scope. A4D 3.0 gives you two separate Primitive generation menus. The first is called Platonic Primitives. The initial release of the program offers only four platonic solids Icosahedron, Dodecahedron, Octahedron, and Tetrahedron. As this tool is upgraded through new modular releases, other Platonic solids will be added. You can vary any or all of the XYZ
size defaults.
The second Primitive menu Involves the creation of Quadratic Primitives and includes additional parameters that can be altered.
Sidebar: Interview with Greg Gorby tt's always Interesting to look into the mind of Amiga developers, to see what makes them tick and to discover the sources of their creative energy. With that in mind, I visited Greg Gorby (Aladdin 4D's creator) at his home in Salem, Ohio in October of 1993.
Mortier: What is your background as an Amiga programmer,..how and where did you learn your craft?
Gorby: it must have been in ‘83 or '84 that I decided to learn to program. I bought the books and an early compiler for the Amiga 1000 and learned. There was, literally, no one In the area who knew anything about C or assembler, so books were my only companion for a year or two. There were times when I hung my head and told my wife, Beverly, that I must be mentally deficient, I "would never get this.” Well, with a lot Of persistence, I finally became an (arguably) efficient programmer. I first wrote a few games (marketed by another developer). These taught me to use the hardware as efficiently
as possible. They were about one thing. Speed. When ! Began writing productivity software, 1 actually had to learn to slow down, to be completely friendly to other tasks running at the same time. The latest version of Aladdin 4D Is actually several tasks all running simultaneously.
Mortier: Aladdin 4D seems to be an artist s and animator s tool that isn't wed to a specific look, meaning that each user's work can be very unique as compared to another's efforts, Can you comment on this, and where does this adaptability originate?
Gorby: As an artist, when I saw a painting. I usually recognized It by its style. I would say "That’s a Dali ' or "(that) must be a Vermeer." When I began to write 3-D programs, I had noticed that I was saying “That is a Sculpt." Or “(that) must be a Silver."
Everyone doing work in a particular program seemed to lose their individuality. The program was the creator, and the program's user was. In general, unrecognized, I was determined to find out why this unforgivable state of affairs existed. I tried the three most widely-known 3-D programs of the time and found out in a hurry. I found that the programs were written as a set of solutions to a well-defined problem, phrased as an engineer's question. And as with any such question, the solution was searched for and found.
This was then given to the user. When he drew in the program. It was usually from a set of predetermined objects. Attributes, etc.. were also limited to a given set, with even the variations available very well defined. The net result was that the renderings performed had the flavor, or style, imposed on them by the originating program, not the intent of the artist.
This has changed in many of the newest 3-D programs, at least to some extent. When I now see a 3-D rendering. I am often unable to tell what program generated it. It is becoming Increasingly Important who created it, instead of what program, This was achieved in most part not only by giving the user an extended number of options In object creation and attributes, but in the very nature of how the original questions are phrased.
I am quite happy to say that we have come as far as anyone in achieving this goal, perhaps even farther. Many of the animations we have received, done by our users, have a very unique look. We hove shown tapes of these animations to professional studios, and without fail, they think they are generated on SGI machines, they just can't say on which renderer. They Included are all of the quadratics: Ellipsoid, Hyperboloid of one sheet, i lyperboloid of two sheets. Torus, Elliptic Cone, and an Elliptic Hyperboloid. Various parameter settings have their results copiously illustrated in the
The New Path Extruder Path extrusion is the extrusion of an object along a path, and A-TD's Path Extrusion tool has some extensive new capabilities not found in earlier versions. Used in combination with the spline often think it was done on a new version of one of them. When we tell them it was done on the Amiga with Aladdin 4D. They can't believe it, We tell them it doesn't matter. It is more important to know who made it than with and on what, Mortier: In terms of hardware, what, in your opinion, does the Amiga need to remain in the running as a professional graphics and animation platform?
Gorby: 1 see three main things that would insure the Amiga's future. First, and above all. Advertising. After all, you can sell anything with the proper advertising, And the Amiga is still a jewel of a machine. It still has the most efficient and up-to-date operating system hardware combination available. Second, we should update the hardware in two ways. Have 24-bit display as standard, keeping the HAM modes for opcode 5 animation. Then use the more efficient RISC processors in parallel configuration These goals are not only achievable, but exist on not only other platforms, but even for
available peripherals. Third, we must rekindle the enthusiasm Amiga owners have always had and which seems to be fading. Without this loyal dedicated enthusiasm, the Amiga with Its poor advertising and support would not be In existence today.
Mortier: Aside from your software, what other Amiga packages have motivated and influenced your development over the years, and how?
Gorby: In general. I don't like software that is full of features when none of them work extremely well, I would prefer to use separate pieces of software, each with a specific purpose, each of which perform very well. The first software that really impressed me on the Amiga was the original Dpoint. It was a very solid, fast, responsive piece of work, even if its display modes and feature set were somewhat limited. The second software that really impressed me was the Amiga's operating system especially its multitasking kemal. We can be very proud to have such an operational base to run our
programs In.
Mortier: What ore your favorite new features in A4D 3.0 and why?
Gorby: I love using the 3-D splines. With them it is so easy to draw smooth, rounded forms. They also make generating smooth paths for motion really simple. Along the same lines are the control splines. With them, there is complete control of changes occuring during the animations that is graphical and intuitive. And the new wave types and Instancing which the paths can do are quite interesting. I have really only just begun to understand what the instances con do. And have gotten some wonderful surprises. And of course, my favorite of all is the new open-ended editor, With it we can write new
tools that are almost full applications in themselves and they are fully interactive.
Mortier: Can you give us a few teasers concerning where A4D might be going in terms of new fools or concepts?
Gorby: The new external tools show our direction, both presenl and future. In 3.0, we have opened the editor to external tools, written both by us, and by Individual owners as well as third parties. In o future version, we will open the rendering side. This means you will be able to choose from several rendering engines.
Perhaps a super fasf, faceted renderer the type we use now and a full faytraced renderer. Not only the ones we provide, but others written by those companies that only want to write rendering engines without doing a modeler. We may also allow external texture toofs to run so these can be written by third parties.
Drawing tools, the Path Extrusion tool can create the most intricate curved surfaces with ease. Creations could include railroad tracks that follow curved surfaces. By multiple-selecting a number of objects at a time, extruded polygons can be used to create multiple curves targeted to a path that itself curves in all three dimensions.
Looped wires and cables, curving railings for stairways, twisted hanging vines and related objects are now easy to generate by using this exquisite new A4D tool. You can rotate and resize all elements with C-Splines (Control Splines).
As told bv AC Tccb 3.4 and Amiga World Aug. '93... The LANGUAGE For Ik Amiga!
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support...Free technical support... This is the FAST one
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1. 3,2,0,2,1 and 3.0 F-BASIC 5.0™System $ 99.95 Includes Compiler,
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the Editor Menu: Lens Flares These are listed simply as Flares
in the menu. NevvTek's LensFlare option is no doubt going to
be compared to A4D's like- minded tool. But A4D’s flares have
some new expanded capacities as compared to those of
LightWave. Lightwave's algorithmic tens flares are capable of
generating variable asterized effects. In A4D, flares are not
algorithmic. To make them appear in a scene, you must first
design their components in a paint program, or import them
from an included A4D library. What they add, however, is
infinite variability. A4D's lens flares take their look from
bitmaps, including any animated ones, targeted to them. They
can also be composited, leading to all sorts of interesting
and bizarre effects.
You merely construct a picture or brush you like in a paint program and then choose it as a lens flare. A4D's flare components can also be grabbed from live video. One option is to save an A4D gaseous structure as a painting, grab it as a flare-brush, and then paint instant stars in your cosmic backdrop. Or even better, create animated flares from an imported series of pictures, Because they use bitmap lists (texture lists), they can take on all of the features of the list: transparency, strength, color levels, offset positions, flipping, etc. Mechanical Waves Mechanical waves move the points
on a polygonal object's surface so you can create true rippling surfaces ocean waves, waving flags, etc. With the opening of a new Wave window, you can appreciate the complexity of this tool. The selected polys should be triangles, as the associated poly normals can be severely displaced by this operation, known as "tripling" in LightWave. You can animate the polygonal surface by displacing any axis along another axis by set frequencies, phases, ranges, and angles. This is not a tool you can begin to appreciate through verbal description. It requires dedicated experimentation. After a session
of experimental play, you will want to document the results achieved to get a better grasp of the possibilities. Here, A4D accomplishes a process with ease; a process with which other packages struggle.
Instancing Bound to become a tool that will be emulated in all of the other serious Amiga 3-D 4-D packages, A4D's Instancing tool is going to allow you to do things you never dreamed were possible on an Amiga, as it was previously available only on very high-end systems. What instancing does is to replicate selected polygons (2-D or 3-D objects) along a path so that you can easily create animated effects like snakes and other undulating elements that automatically follow each other at user-definable distances, spaced out in grids or along a path. For example, make just one tin soldier and
wind up with a whole platoon. The grouped soldiers need not march in unison either, but can move each to his own drummer.
Tire cloned instanced objects can be set to move according to different time parameters during an animation. By setting the angle of rotation of instances, you can make perfect rotational clones around a central point, like flower petals opening and closing. You can use one polygon to create an entire multi-polygonal object in this manner. Experimentation with it is very addictive, and 1 expect it will add a whole list of new possibilities to things like logo generation and animation.
Control Splines A4D's C-Splincs, like those in Caligari Broadcast and LightWave, replace the ease-in ease-out and delays that are used in other programs including previous versions of Aladdin. Any temporal aspect that can be used during an animation is now controllable by C-Splines. C-Splines can be loaded and saved to disk, and the program comes with a ready-to-incorporate listing of several. C-Splines give you a visual indication of object acceleration deceleration. You can finely tune the rate of change of an object's temporal motion using C-Sp!ine controls.
Conclusion In this article, i have focused on the new attributes of Aiaddin 4D. Those of you new to tliis software will want to be advised that the features I have discussed represent only a fraction of its power and variability. The new modular approach will expand its use far beyond what it now contains. It remains a top choice among Amiga 3-D 4-D artists and animators. The upgrade cost for previous A4D owners (2.0, 2.1, or 2.3) is only $ 99. Previous owners of tire Draw-4D series should call Adspec for pricing details. You can also upgrade from any other Amiga program for $ 219 (See Adspec
for details).
• AC* Aladdin 4D 3.0 Adspec Programming
P. O. Box 13 Salem, Ohio 44460
(216) 337-1329 Inquiry 217 Please Write to; Name Name c o
Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 A Rexx continued from
page 46 PARSE ARG binnum k=l do while binnum--'' PARSE VAR
binnum I nun.k 2 binnum k-k*l END k»k-l finalsums'' DO i-k TO
1 BY -1 aum=0 DO n-0 TO 2 IF DATATYPE(num.i)-CHAR THEN LEAVE
un«(nua.i)*(2 *n)+sum
i. i-1 END finalBumafiumlIflnalsum
i. i+1 END RETURN finalsum Listing Two * HoxConvert.rexx *
option='HEX' THEN option*'X' WHEN option-'BIN' THEN option-'B'
WHEN Option-'OCT’ THEN option-'0' WHEN Option-'DEC’ THEN
option-'D' OTHERWISE Option-'C' EOT * Number & character
translator * IF option-'Dr THEN DO IF LENGTH(answer) 10 THEN
DO d-LENGTH(answer)-10 RESULT-REQUEST(x,y,'String too long by'
d'.',,0K) EXIT END IF -DATATYPE(answer,'w'J THEN DO
RESULT-REQUEST(x,y,’Invalid whole number.1,, OK) EXIT END END
IF option-'X1 THEN DO IP LENGTH(answer) 8 THEN DO
d-LENGTH(answer)-8 RESULT=REQUEST(x,y,'String too long by'
d'.',,0K) EXIT END IF -DATATYPE(answer,'x*) THEN DO
RESULT=REQUEST(x,y,'Invalid hex number.',,OK) EXIT END EOT IF
option-'B* THEN DO IF LENGTH(answer) 32 THEN DO d»
LENGTH answer)-32 RESULT-REQUEST(x,y,* String too long by'
d'.',,OK) EXIT END IF -DATATYPE(answer,'binary') THEN DO
RESULT=REQUEST(x,y,¦invalid binary number,OK) EXIT END EOT IF
option-‘O' THEN DO IF LENGTH(answer) 11 THEN DO d =
LENGTH(answer)-11 RESULT-REQUEST(x,y,'String too long by'
d'.',,OK) EXIT END IP -octal(answer) THEN DO
RESULT-REQUEST(x,y,'Invalid octal numberOK) EXIT END EOT IF
option-'C' THEN IP LENGTH (answer) 4 THEN DO
d-LENGTH(answer)-4 RESULT-REQUEST(x,y,'String too long by'
decstring-answer chastring-d2c(answer) hexs t ri ng-d2 x(answe
r) binstring=c2b(d2c(answer)) octstring=b2o(c2b(d2c(answer)))
EOT WHEN Option-'X* THEN DO hexstring-answer
chastring-x2c(answer) decBtring-x2d(answer)
binBtring=c2b x2c(answer)) octstring-b2o(c2b(x2c(anBwer))) END
WHEN option-'B' THEN DO binstring-answer chastring-b2c(answer)
hexstring«c2x(b2c(answer) decstring=c2d(b2c(answer))
octstring=b2o(answer) EOT WHEN option*'O' THEN DO
octstring-answer binstring«o2b(answer)
chaatring=b2c(o2b(anBwer)} hexstring-c2x(b2c(o2b(answer)))
decstring=c2d(b2c(o2b(anBwer))) END OTHERWISE DO * characters
* chastring-answer decstring=c2d(answer)
hexstring-c2x(answer) bin8tring«c2b(answer)
octBtring-b2o(c2b(answer)} END EOT • remove gadgets before
DEC) ? Rewrite gadgets-output * CALL
* ' g" ,%d, Vx, y"% 270, RIDGEBORDER) CALL
80. BIN. Binstring,, "'Call HEXCONVERT.REXX ' ' g'
', d, xr y"',270, RIDGEBORDER) CALL
ADDGADGET(HEXHOST,10,110,OCT,OCtatring,, "'Call
ADDGADGET(HEXHOST,10,140,DEC,decstring,, "'Call
HEXC0N7ERT.REXX ' 'Vg‘' ,Hd, x Ay"', 270,RIDGEBORDER) EXIT 0
* check for valid octal number * octal: PROCEDURE PARSE ARG
octnum DO WHILE octnum-= ’' PARSE VAR octnum 1 first 2 octnum
IP first 7 | -DATATYPE first,'w') THEN RETURN 0 END * convert
octal number to binary * 02b: PROCEDURE PARSE ARG Octnum k=l
DO WHILE octnuir.-= ’ ' PARSE VAR ocrnum 1 num.k 2 octnum
k=k+l END k=k-l n=k-l sum-0 DO i=l TO k sum= (num. I) • (8**n)
-»-sum n=n-l END binnum=c2b(d2c(sum)) RETURN binnum * convert
binary to octal * b2o: PROCEDURE PARSE ARG binnum k=l DO
WHILE binnum-=¦' PARSE VAR binnum 1 num.k 2 binnum k=k+l END
k=k-l finalsum*'* DO i=k TO 1 BY -1 Bum=0 DO n=0 TO 2 IF
DATATYPE num.i)=CHAR THEN LEAVE sum=(num.1J * 2**n)+sum i=i-1
END finalsum=sumlIfinalsum i=i+l END RETURN final sum Listing
Three * Converter.rexx GUI for HEX.rexx * OPTIONS RESULTS *
setup Loads library * lib='rexxarplib.1ibrary' * intuition,
windows, gadgets • IF 'SHOW('L’, lib) THEN CALL ADDLIB lib,
0, -30,0) IF -SHOW('LMib) THEN EXIT 20 *
* * Create our very own host application.
* * We should use the asynchronous "AREXX" port.
* * This window GETS its messages thru "HEXHOST".
* * This window SENDS its messages to "REXX".
* * The window opens on the "Workbench" screen.
for our new port to come on line * WAITFORPORT "HEXHOST" *
Amiga Intuition parameters for the window and gads * I * for
gads * f iddT =!"CLOSEWINDOW GADGETUP" * for window * f lags
WINDOWSIZING SIZEBOTTOM ACTIVATE" * open the window with the
parameters we want * CALL
OP£NWINDOW(HEXHOST,0,11,440,210,idcmp,flags,, "Character Number
Converter") I* what to do if we click on the closewindow gad *t
") *
* * Add the primary gadgets to the window.
* * If the gad is clicked, the last Btring is sent to "REXX".
* * Here, they are calls to the other programs.
* * Character string input * CALL ADDGADGET(HEXHOST,10,20.CHA
- 'Call HEXCONVERT. REXX ' ' .g " , x, %y'", 270, RIDGEBORDER)
* Convert character button * CALL
ADDGADGET(HEXHOST,290.20.CHA1,” Characters
- ‘Call READGADGET(HEXHOST,CHA)'") * Hexadecimal number input *
,%d,%x,%y'",270,RIDGEHORDER) * Convert hexadecimal button *
CALL ADDGADGET (HEXHOST. 290, 50, HEX!, " Hexadecimal -,,
"'Call READGADGET (HEXHOST, HEX) ' " ) * Binary input * CALL
,%d,hx,%y' ",270,RIDGEBORDER) I* Convert binary button * CALL
ADDGADGET(HEXHOST,290,80,BIN1, " Binary "'Call
,%&, Hx Ay270, RIDGEBORDER) * Convert octal button * CALL
10, 140,DEC,"",, "'Call HEXCONVERT.REXX 'l%g‘',Hd,%X, y'",
270,RIDGEBORDER) * convert decimal button • CALL
(HEXHOST, DEC) ' ") *
* * Use one or the other of the linee below for the CLEAR
* * gadget. Just "comment out" the line you don't use.
* * The second alternative is commented out now,
* * The first way to CLEAR is to send a null " from the
* * CHA string gadget. This blanks all but the DECimal
• * gad, which is set to "0", because a null "¦ is an
* * invalid number. The second alternative sends a "0"
* * from the DECimal gadget, which loads all the numeric
* * gadgets with strings of 0's. ThiB method of clearing r* shows
that eight 0’s in binary = two 0’s in hex. Three
* * 0's in octal, one 0 in decimal. If you are comparing
* * single characters, thiB method of clearing will help
* * count the place holders for you.
* * CLEAR gadget leaves all blank except DECIMAL-0 * CALL
[* Alternate clear...uncomment to use.,, f* CLEAR gadget puts
0's in number gadgets. * CALL ADDGADGET(HEXHOST,290,170,CLR,"
- 'Call HEXCONVERT 0,DEC'") .. .remove Alternate line and this
one to uncomment * t* Window Text * CALL windowtext
(HEXHOST,, 'UH H WV U (C) 1994 by Merrill Callaway ) EXIT 0
• AC* Please Write to: Merrill Callaway c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 AC Interview Jim Sachs
* Wv ¦XT.
Amiga Artist and Game Developer If there is one person who stands out as the premier artist for the Commodore Amiga, it would be jim Sachs. Mr. Sachs' artwork Iras been seen on the Amiga since its earliest stages. However, Jim began his career as an architectural major at Cal State LA and then he studied Air Force ROTC at USC. He was an Air Force pilot, flying C141's for six years, until the Air Force wanted to change his posting, "They wanted to make me a flight instructor in Lubbock, Texas. I wasn't about to do that so 1 got out of the Air Force. I already had my house at Lake Arrow Head.
About 4 years later t got married.
I was just sort of casting around for some ideas as to what to do for a career, I knew nothing about computers, so I decided to buy a Commodore 64 because the price was low and it looked like a good way to enter the field.
After a month of typing in programs from magazines, I discovered that I had a flair for computer programming. I decided to do a little artwork on the 64, although it meant programming the picture in hexi-decimal arithmetic since there was no such thing as an art program at that time.
! Created a backdrop of Washington DC and my wife suggested that I make that into a game based on the old movie Earth Versus the Flying Saucers. So 1 did. I put in flying saucers which destroyed the buildings and your job was to destroy the saucers. 1 decided to market that game directly from my house through mail order. It did relatively well. It paid for the advertisements i had in most of the major magazines. The game got good reviews but t didn't make any real money on it because piracy' was really rampant in those days.
With that game and winning Commodore's first graphics competition, I had enough of a name in the industry to get developer status on the Amiga right away, 1 drew a few screens using Graphicraft, which was a very primitive paint program (but light-years ahead of what I was used to). 1 took these first few drawings to a Commodore show in San Francisco in February of I486, and was immediately hired by Cinemaware and Aegis. 1 guess that's pretty much the early story.
AC: When you went to Cinemaware, the first thing you worked on was Defender of the Crown?
)S: Vcs. About four years after 1 started with the 64,1 switched to the Amiga.
AC: How Long did it take you to create Defender Of The Crown.
IS: Seven months at twenty hours a day average. There was a tremendous amount of pressure from Cinemaware to get it done. They would call me in the middle of the night to make sure I was still working. At the end of the project I needed to go to twenty-two hours a day and t cracked. I had a nervous breakdown at that point.
Cinemaware hired one of my apprentices, Rob Landeros to do the last screen in the project - Robin Hood by the campfire. After that, he became the Art Director for Cinemaware.
1 could not gt) into my' computer room for a month, t went through a little psycho-therapy, and slowly started to come back, i worked on the house for a while and did some real manual labor. I got my bearings again. But, I realty didn't want any part of Cinemaware after that, 1 never did any other projects for them.
I went to work for Aegis Development. 1 did some artwork and demos using Aegis Animator and Aegis Images. Then I did the artwork for Par Is Of Call.
Forts Of Call was submitted to Aegis by a programming team in Germany as a finished product. But the graphics were so bad that it could not have been released it in that (orm. Of course, they were hoping that 1 would take pity on them and redo ail the graphics. Which I did.
The game needed very' little programming after that, because the programmers had done the game in such a way that it called up IFF images.
As long as I resaved my artwork under the same names, their game would run with my artwork instead of theirs, it was very easy to get that product on the market. It was a big hit in Europe, and did relatively well over here too, blit Aegis didn't push it as Well over here. After Aegis went out of business and The Disc Company took it over, it became a bundling deal, packaged with Amiga 500s.
AC: Any other projects?
IS: 1 did another project for Aegis which I hesitate to name because it turned out so badly. But it was written in BASIC and it was very slow. It was called Article's Tomb, 1 believe I saved the graphics on it, but nothing could have saved the programming, 1 did a lot of magazine covers, book covers, and ads for Aegis. 1 did graphics for Commodore to use in advertising and demos for early' Amigas.
Eventually 1 got disillusioned with Aegis and quit. Soon afterward, everyone else did too and they' went under.
At that point, 1 started Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea with Disney, However, 1 had some trouble with Disney al that time. The deal fell apart. With each new management regime at Disney 1 would present the case to restart the project. Only in the last few weeks has that been successful.
I did a lot of game development for the Mattel Powerglove on the Amiga, even though it was pretending to be done on the Nintendo. I did television advertisements for them where a kid is playing Nintendo games on a giant "People felt computer art would replace traditional artists. Not true, it just gave the artist an extension of the tools available."
Screen, but the images were actually coming from an Amiga. 1 helped design the first couple of games that came out for the Powerglove.
AC: The artwork was dune on the Amiga?
IS: Yes. All of it.
AC: And they ported it over?
IS: They were able to port over two of my' concepts to the Powerglove - the two simplest ones. But the one that really sold the Powerglove to retailers was a variation of Time Crystal, a demo I had done on the C64.1 did an anim of that on the Amiga and that is what they used in ail of their advertisements to get the investors. We knew at the outset it was going to be impossible on the Nintendo, but it really got a lot of interest at CHS (Consumer Electronic Show). They paid well and I had a pretty good working relationship with Novak, the head of that department at the time. He quit Mattel and
went on to form his own company doing SEGA games. Since then, 1 haven't had any contact with Mattel.
1 atso did all the book covers for the series of books by AmigaWorld. The Amiga Vision book, the cover for Rob Peck's book, and A wiyrtDos 2.1 also did some covers for Commodore Magazine until they stopped publishing, AC: After that you were still working with the Amiga.
)S: Yeah, 1 have never quit. I did some game artwork for Novalogic and Electronic Arts. 1 worked on Centurion, Kellen Beck designed that. He was the designer of Defender Of The Crown when he was at Cinemaware, then he quit to form his own company with Will Vinton, the guy behind the California Raisins, and he recently joined Trilobyie. He's a talented game designer, and I expect to see some great work from him in the future.
I also taught a lot of seminars where 1 would travel around the country and give lectures. 1 did some for AmiEXPO, The Hunter Group, and some on my own, My own seminars were entire weekend affairs where I charged about $ 35 per person and I gave eight hours Saturday and eight hours Sunday of Computer graphics, animation, music, and basically everything that I was involved with.
Those went over very well until the Video Toaster came out and then everyone only wanted to talk about the Toaster. 1 wasn't involved in lhat, so I stopped doing the seminars.
AC: Did you ever use the Toaster?
IS: No, I never have.
AC: Any desire to use the Toaster?
IS: i have never had a chance to get into 3-D rendering, and have preferred using 2-D paint programs to simulate a 3-D look, in the past I'd always used Deluxe Paint, but now I am on very good terms with Digital Creations and I have helped them somewhat with the development of Brilliance. Mainly I did the package cover artwork that they are using in all of their advertisements.
AC: Was that a straight deal or a commission royalty arrangement?
IS: Straight deai. They gave me equipment to do the job. They gave me an A40U0 before the general public had their hands on one (one of the original black front prototypes), a I960 monitor, a Supra 14000 baud modem, and a bunch of really nice State of the art equipment so that I Could do the project and modem it back and forth to them. That look about 3 weeks to do the original picture and then they kept wanting more and more fish added to it.
More fish, more fish. Over the next 3 months or so I kept adding more fish and it finally got to a state where they were abte to use it. 1 began that screen about a year and half ago so that's a long project, they're been really nice to me and sponsored my attending the show in Toronto and I just kind of helped them out in the booth a bit. I'd tike to see them come out with a machine which can do what the Toaster can do - even more, really. They've been working on something along those lines for several years now and I'm very hopeful that it will finally come to market. They really put all
their resources into the Brilliance. I'm behind them and their program 100%.
AC: Some of the people you taught have gone on to do other tilings. You mentioned one gentleman who apprenticed for you who did the final screen for the Defender of the Crown IS: Yeah, he became the art director of Cinemaware when I left, Rob Landeros.
He was already an accomplished artist, a scrimshaw sculptor. When Cinemaware went under, he went to Mastertronic which became Virgin Games, then he quit to form his own company with Graeme Divine, called Trilobvte, Thev developed The 7th Gnat and The Eleventh Hour, A really talented group. Steve Quinn was another apprentice of mine during my Defender of the Crown days, I le went on to become the art director of Park Place Productions, which was a major development company until Sony stole most of their employees to form their own game company.
The thud fellow I 'discovered' was David Mosher, who is now an art director at Interplay. He did graphics for Battle Chess and is working on the Star Trek games.
AC: You've tiad a lot of impact on the Amiga. I mean your artwork is seen on almost every demo the Amiga does for any new product.
S: Yeah, Commodore usually hires me to do graphics or do the whole thing for the demos. I did the whole A500 demo, the original one that was given out to all the dealers. I did the CD1' demo, the one with the dinosaur and the jets.
Usually t work in conjunction with Silent Software, where (hey do most of the programming and 1 do everything else. I did all the ROM graphics for CDTV - tite user interfaces, start up screen, tiie preferences, and the audio panel, and it went over very well and made a big impact. Unfortunately the machine itself didn't. I was hired to do it all over again for Cdl:, but I'm very disappointed with how that turned out because it was changed so drastically after 1 turned it in.
AC: Did they give you any reason for changing it?
IS: No, they never really did. I can't really think of any excuse for changing it.
One of the programmers mentioned that it was hard to program into the ROMs, but I still have a version which runs fine when booted from a floppy.
AC: You're a programmer as well as an artist?
IS: Yes, but I only deal in machine language. Almost everything these days is written in C and I've never been abte to learn C. 1 only speak machine language. Deferider of the Croztm II is written in The Director. I didn't have time to program it in machine language so I worked very closely with Keith Doyle who (wrote The Director) and got him to make a lot of changes in his program, and to give me sections of source code, so that I could make changes too. I'm realty sorry to see that Tile Director is not really being supported anymore, it was a heck of a good environment for game development.
AC; How long did it take you to reprogram Defender of the Crown It?
IS: It ended up taking about 2 years hut most of that was because of changes Commodore was making to the platform. The game had to be done in 3 different languages so it could be a worldwide release. Initially Commodore hired translators to translate my text but a lot of that didn't turn out well at all. So I had to hire other people to redo a lot of that. The Italian version and German version were the only ones that [ was able to keep from Commodore.
1 had to redo the Spanish version and French version and 1 did all the English version from scratch. The guy I hired to do the English version also spoke French, but with art English accent. Some French people are not thrilled that the narration had an English accent, but the game is set in England so they just have to live with it, 1 guess.
Suddenly Commodore decided that CDTV would use the 2.0 operating system, so 1 had to completely redo the game. The Director wouldn’t run under 2.1) initially so there were a lot of changes in The Director, in animation speed and things like that. Of course, CDTV never made it to the market with 2,0 chip in it. I've probably got the only one with 2.0 chips. Instead, they switched everything to CD*2. Now its a whole new ball game, so 1 had to redo the game, optimizing for 68020 microprocessor, more available memory and several other things. Time after time CBM kept coming back with a whole new
groundwork for the platform that the game had to run on. Well, it's finally On the market and I'm pleased with the way it turned out.
I cleaned up a lot of the screens and redid a lot of the artivork. There's probably about 2 months of redo in the artwork and 3 months to write all new music. There's 5000 tines of code for each language, 25,000 lines all together. Then 1 had to convert alt the title screens to other languages. 1 don't really like doing conversions. It's not as enjoyable as original work.
AC: Speaking of original works, vou're starting to work on 20,000 Leagues under the Sea again?
IS: I'm 90% sure it will go through this time. Marc Teran, the new head of Disney software, seems to have some real vision. There are still many parts of the deal which have to be ironed out, but the mood is very positive this time.
The game will really set precedents in many areas. Its a huge game.
There will be manv different islands you can explore and they're all real islands, the Seychelles, for example. Those islands have very distinctive rock formations and you will be able to tell which island you're on by this, This involves a tremendous amount of research, and it will be geographically correct for circa 1868.
AC: Will you have to spend time down in the islands?
IS: 1 wouldn't mind a couple of working vacations in Bermuda or Hawaii.
Most of it will come from books and magazines, i have been collecting material (or several years in anticipation of this project, AC: How long do you think this will take?
JS: We’re shooting for the Summer of 1995 but this may slip a little. Disney seems very realistic about time. We'll need a good staff for this project, and I'm really going to have to delegate and not try to do it all by myself.
AC: You basically work out of your home, will this project affect that.
JS: No, I have a very well equipped home office. Of course, there is a lot of work which has to be done elsewhere. My friend (and sometimes partner), Reichart Von Wolfscheild of Silent Software just bought a new facility including a tremendous bam structure which is perfect for a simulated movie studio, and this is just like making a movie.
AC: I assume you use a lot of your architectural background in u liat you do and you like to play with light. Do you start with a while background, black background, or what.
Commodore has just released Detender Ot The Crown II for CDJ}.
Jim Sachs created new scenes such as the Finalle view (above) and updated old favorites like the courtyard (right) with its brilliant use of light and shadow.
JS: If I'm drawing characters or objects that are going to be pul into a game, i start with a neutral background. Most people tend to draw these objects on a black background, but that usually gives a false sense of contrast. When the object is placed into the real scene, it often looks very washed-out. So if it is going to be in the ocean I set it on a blue-green background, or if in the sky, light blue. Artists create a lot of problems by not putting enough contrast into their art initially. They set middle values of color and no real bright whites or dark blacks and things just don't show
up. They try to compensate for this by going WAY too intense on the saturation (vividness) of colors, 1 always tell my students to use high contrast, but low saturation.
Anti-aliasing, which is smoothing the jagged edges so they're not risible is also very important. Many people think the artwork in Defender of the Crown is hi-res, hut it's all anti-aliased lores.
AC: Any other tips.
JS: 1 like to lay things otil directly on the computer, not on paper first. The computer is a great brainstorming tool. You can cut and paste and erase things at will.
In laying out a scene, light is the main thing. Picking the light source and sticking with it is probabh' the major tip 1 could give a budding artist.
Too many don’t understand where the light is coming from in a scene, i.e. sun nr a lamp, and where the shadows should fail. For instance, using clip art, they’d dip out the Golden Gate bridge and maybe pul it into a picture of the Rhine River. Now, the image of the bridge has a light source coming from one direction and die river scene has the light coming from another direction, and it doesn't look realistic. If they would just flip the bridge over, the light sources would match and it would look realistic, it's such a simple thing, but can make an enormous difference. Keeping track of where
the light should be coming from - that would be my biggest tip for novices.
AC: Why do some artists resist the computer?
IS: Some very accomplished artists have trouble making die tr.msitition, have trouble with the mouse, have trouble visualizing an image as light instead of dark. They view things as colors they've applied to a white paper instead of a black canvas that you're painting on with points of light. People experienced with photography seem to have an easier time making the transition. Thev are used to thinking in terms of light, AC: Your form of art lends itself very well to Brilliance.
IS: Absolutely, 1 find it very hard to go back to DeluxePaint. I’m very spoiled with Brilliance and its unlimited undos. I’ll immediately start in drawing something without thinking, 'Should t be saving right now?' In DeluxePaint you only have one level of undo and I'm constantly being bitten by that now, AC: You have a wide vision of what is going on in the marketplace, what do you see in the direction of software?
JS: More games like the 7th Guest. Bill Gates called that one the future of interactive multimedia, so it's getting a lot of notice. I’m going in that same direction with 20,000 Leagues, hut with even more depth and realism. I want you to really feel as if your under water - you’ll see it, hear it, feel il.
People seem to be worried about virtual reality, that you won’t want to leave your home pretty soon, that there won’t be a life outside of computer games. I have just the opposite view. These games open up new experiences which make you thirsty for more knowledge of that subject. People are always afraid of new* technology, hoi each slick, high-tech invention creates even more demand for it's opposite - rough, cobby, handhewn. Do people wear dirt-free Teflon jumpsuits? No, they wear the same thing they wore 150 years ago, faded blue jeans.
People felt computer art would replace traditional artists. Not true, it just gave the artist an extension of the tools available. Computers will never replace reality, they will make you want to experience the fresh air or see a real babbling brook that is not computer generated. Virtual Reality can be a valuable tool in designing buildings, practicing surgery etc. But it will never replace reality.
AC: So we'll be a lot more creative in the future.
JS: I think so. Computers open up this creativity to the common man. Soon, you'll sit down with your $ 2,000 home computer and create something like the movie Tran. Do all the music and graphics without hiring actors or renting a studio, right in your own home, and open up all sorts of opportunities for creativity to people who used to work at MacDonald's with no hope of breaking into the entertainment field.
AC: With the multimedia explosion what does Commodore have to do to be a part of that. Is CD® the answer?
IS: Its an interim answer. But Commodore lias to gel people thinking about CD?- and the name Commodore. They've got to gel the word out, ADVERTISE!
AC: But the hardware is there?
JS: The hardware is there. Its a good machine for the next 3 years. Its also a good TV cable box. It can do MPEG decoding and it can do overlays of graphics onto a signal. It can do anything Time Warner or Viacom would want from a set top box. Even' existing box in the country is going to have to be replaced in the next few years, and CD’-'s price and capabilities are right.
AC: Geoff Stilley quotes that there could be 40 million installed by the end of the year. That's how fast it could be, 1 asked him what this does to help the Amiga market.
JS: Well il helps the market by having the name Commodore on every kid's game machine. The parents think, Tf this little game box can do this, imagine what the A4000 can do,' ! Know a lot of people in the industry don't like the fact that it's a game machine. If it gets the name of Commodore on the lips of kids, the parents notice. That's how Apple did il all the kids see the machines in school and go home and tell their parents to buy one. Apple blitzed (he educational market.
.¦1C: isn’t CD ¦’ whatever you put into it? I mean its a game machine, if that is all you play on it, but if other software is created it could do other things.
JS: Oh yes, it’s a powerful machine, and will be expandable with keyboards, disk drives, etc. If enough units are sold, then I'm sure manufacturers will come up with external versions of Retina boards, digitizers, networking systems, etc. it would be nice if Commodore could come up with some seed money to get both hardware and software projects started, and also really advertise the machine, but I don’t see any sign of this yet. I think some drastic changes in the company's philosophy are needed, and very quickly.
• AC* With Special Papers and Supplies by Dan Weiss Looking back
over the articles in this series, there is one area that's been
touched on many times but never really looked at in depth,
using specialty papers and supplies. This is an area that is of
great interest to fledgling and cost conscious publishers. By
using preprinted color papers, you are able to achieve stunning
results without incurring the cost associated with color
Even for those with the budgets and inclinations for color printing, it is still impractical for short runs.
Over the past few years, a new market has developed for high quality'preprinted paper. Catalogs from Paper Direct, Queblo, and Beaver Prints cross my desk on a regular basis touting new designs and supplies. I notice that "seasoned" desktop publishers tend to brush these off as amateurish, but they're not. More and more I receive direct mail, invitations, and everyday letters on these papers and they stand out as quality pieces.
Standing out is what publishing is about. If your piece is just going to be ignored, then why print it? You and your customer want results from your work. Using the Special papers, and other supplies, offered in these catalogs, can improve your image and your customer's. This month we will look at some small projects that work well with specialty papers.
Business cards that are remembered The first project is the all important business card. Let's face it, black type on a white card makes for the most boring, and forgettable, business card imaginable. In this day and age, your business card sells you. If it looks good, you look good. The problem is that color printing of business cards is not cheap by any means. Here is the first place that preprinted paper can come to your rescue.
Paper Direct of Lyndhurst, NJ offers 23 styles of business cards, including the awful pure white version discussed above.
Each of the designs can be coordinated with other supplies Paper Direct offers to create a complete company image. The business cards come in sheets of ten (two across by five down) and are micro-perforated to break apart without looking like they were torn. A box of paper will yield 500 cards and cost twenty dollars.
Now that you know what paper you can offer, what services can you offer? Fonts are very important. You should create sample sheets of all your fonts so that you can present them to the customer. Make a point of the wide range of fonts you offer at no extra charge. Try' to get some logo clip art. Many business cards feature standard logos for different types of businesses like wrenches, hard hats, books, or computer disks. Most of this stuff is prettv boring, but some customers like it.
If you own a scanner, even a hand scanner, or know a friend that does, offer the service of including existing company logos on the cards. Try to get as big a copy of the logo as possible to start. If they only have a small version, use a photocopier to blow it up and then trace it to make a clean crisp version. Take the clean version, scan it at a low resolution, and print it small. Printing a 72 dpi scan at 300 dpi will generate surprisingly good results. Don't try to scan a large logo at 300 dpi and further reduce it. This just creates a big scan and doesn't gain you anything. Adding custom
logos is a good way to earn an extra fee.
A special trick you can offer cheaply, is to customize the cards.
Normally every card in a run of five hundred must be the same. But since you are printing the cards in sheets of ten, vou could easily run 10 different designs (one for each card). If the company is small you could offer some of the cards with different names. Don't offer to make runs of less than 500 cards total as there is no room for profit. However, combining runs in blocks of 50 cards to total 500 cards is no problem. Each card on the sheet could be completely different for all you care.
Another trick is to give each card a different serial number.
Combine this with a small register (like you have in a check book) that you print separately and the customer can record the name and I notice that "seasoned" desktop publishers tend to brush these off as amateurish, but they're not, More and more I receive direct mail, invitations, and everyday letters on these papers, and they stand out as quality pieces, This is not cost competitive with cheap one color printed business cards. Prices for plain cards are around SIS - $ 20 for 500.
Remember you have to make some money on this or there is no point in being in business. To make money you need to offer nicer cards with more features. By using preprinted papers, adding logos and clip art, and offering a wide range of designs and fonts, you can charge higher prices. In the St. Louis area, High quality cards can run as much as $ 60 -$ 70 for 500 cards which shows there is a market.
To help out, I suggest ordering the sample paper kil from Paper Direct. This kit contains a sample of every kind of paper that they sell. Use this kit as your sales tool. When you visit a client, show them samples of the paper that you will be using. After the client selects a paper, you can have a box of it at your door the next day. There is no need to keep anything in stock except for the selector kit. If you have a bit of extra money, 1 suggest that you order two kits. Keep the first for showing the paper plain. Use the second set to create sample jobs that show the paper and vour work in
Phone number of the prospect who received the card. Tire serial number then becomes a customer number and your client immediately sets up an extra link with the person receiving the card.
A final trick is to turn the business cards into magnets. For S10 you can get a pack of 25 business card size magnets with adhesive backings. While we in the computer business shy away from magnets, they are a great way to keep your name in front of a customer. Similar magnets from a company that will imprint (put your name on) anything are only slightly more expensive, but require 500 unit minimum order. You can get a box of the magnets and give each customer a free magnetic version of their card. More than likely they will be back wanting more of their cards turned into magnets.
Give credit where credit is due Everyday people do things that deserve honoring. They graduate from training programs, meet goals, surpass previous records, and put in years of service. Giving a certificate is the best way to recognize these achievements. Queblo of Hagerstown, MD offers an impressive line of desktop publishing-ready certificates and awards. To go along with the certificates they offer holders, frames, and plaques for the certificates. With these, you can turn a simple certificate into an award that truly stands out. As with the business card paper, all of these supplies are
available overnight if your customer is in a hurry.
A trick to make a certificate more impressive is to emboss it with the corporate seal. All corporations have a corporate seal.
Queblo sells strips of gold foil seals. Ask the client to use their corporate seal to emboss as many seals as needed. Then apply them to the certificates. It is important to emboss the seals first or you are very limited as to where the seal can be placed because most corporate stampers only reach about a half inch further than what they are sealing. Paper Direct sells ribbons that can be placed under the seal to give an even more exciting look to the document.
In a desktop publishing class 1 used to teach, 1 awarded each student a personalized certificate of completion. To many this was not only a good example of desktop publishing in action, but also a special memento of the course. Even for small things like marking the first vear of an employee's service can he made special by an award.
When laying out the certificate, be sure that you do not print over any of the printing already on the certificate. Also be sure to have the name of the person in the most prominent position with the largest or nearlv largest font on the page. The organization giving the award and the reason for the award come next in order of importance. From there shift down to a much smaller font for the details. Remember who and why are the two most important things on an award.
Something that is popular on certificates is to place the name of the award on a gentle arc at the top of the document. This is easy to do with Art Expression or Professional Draw. Under the arc you can have the persons name or perhaps a piece of clip art associated with the award. For a gaming tournament featuring railroad- oriented games, I created awards on a parchment like paper. The name of the tournament was on an arc along the top of the certificate and a stylized picture of a diesel locomotive was featured underneath. The awards realty stood out at the tournament.
Get the picture and look professional Most preprinted papers offer abstract or natural designs. This is great for business cards and stationery, but lacks impact for some direct mail brochures. Now Beaver Prints of Bellwood, PA offers papers with full color professional photographs. It is amazing how professional these papers can make your work look. Part of this is due to the fact that the cost associated with using professional photographs is very high. Beaver Prints has taken on these cost so you don't have to. They arc in the process of revamping and improving their line right now so I
could not get a photograph of what they have, but I would recommend looking into what they offer.
What would you use them for anyway? To focus in on what your customer does. A photograph of a nurse taking a pulse immediately grabs the attention of the reader and communicates the message of professional medical care. A piece of black and white clip art can not have this level of impact. Similar quality images of people at work, real estate signs, and nature scenes are also available. Don't use paper like this when all you are trying to do is advertise a sidewalk sale (unless it is in a very exclusive shopping center). Even though the costs for the papers with photos is about the same as
other papers, they will look out of place in many environments.
Some good places to use them are for real estate companies, professional services, seminars, professional societies, charities, and Special functions for limited audiences. Many of these projects would not require the use of an entire box of paper, but be sure to charge the customer for the full box. I suggest this for two reasons;
1) So you are not stuck with the cost of the paper and 2) Since
the paper presents a quality image, your customer will expect
a higher price.
Complete setups Something new So the lines of ail the companies are complete business stationary kits. In these kits are brochures, letterhead, envelopes, business cards, mailing labels, post cards, and more all with the same design. It is a good package to get a company off the ground with a professional image. An example set from Paper Direct has over 600 pieces and sells for $ 100. You can offer to customize it and offer the complete set for 5200. This makes a tidy profit and is a steal when the customer sees all that they are getting.
Since the designs are part of the normal lines of paper you can get extra supplies for the client when they need them.
Bringing it all home Throughout the article I have focused on three companies, here are their names, and how to get in touch with them : Paper Direct 1-800-A-PAPERS 205 Chubb Ave.
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 Inquiry 228 Queblo 1-800-523-9080 1000 Florida Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21741 Inquiry 229 Beaver Prints 1-800-9BEAVER Main Street Beilwood, PA 16617 Inquiry 230 Call one or all of them and ask for free catalogs. These are the power tools for desktop publishing in today's world. In the meantime keep in touch through this magazine or via internet at danw@slpc.com.
• AC* Please Write to: Dan Weiss c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Great Amiga 24-bit
Helpware A closer look at Pegger & Magic Lantern
friend now and then, and there are two recent products that
serve this purpose well. Each program addresses the Amiga's
24-bit realm quite adequately in its own way.
Pegger: The Amiga Automatic Image Compressor You would think by this stage in the game the JPEG image compression standard would be automatically added to all of the top Amiga 24-bit software packages, but sadly this is not the case.
Just look at the software that knows nothing about JPEG: Montage, Dpaint, LightWave 3D, Brilliance, Final Writer, PageStream and the 1 ist goes on. Of course, many Amiga users are satisfied using (or have become accustomed to using) AD Pro, IntageFX, or ImageMaster to translate saved files into the JPEG format after they have been saved as a 24-bit file. Ail of these packages do this quite well, but it is an extra chore and it causes extra writes to your hard disk, something many users do not appreciate. Wouldn't it be nice to have a utility that automatically saved JPEGs every time you saved
a 24-bit file, and one that could read them back when you loaded the file again? Well, there is a product that fits this description to a tee: Pegger from Heifner communications.
Before I describe Pcgger's operation, it is best to caution you a bit about the use of JPEG compression. JPEG is a "lossy" compression method, meaning that it makes some accurate guesses, but guesses nevertheless, concerning the pixels that make up your 24-bit graphic. JPEG decides on what information in a picture is either redundant or unnecessary for the picture to be perceived by the human eye, and then stores the "needed" info in a file. When it is read back, some of tire original information will be missing which is apparent if you look at the before and after under a magnifying glass. At
small |PEG compressions (settings of 80% to 100%) you will not be able to distinguish the picture from its original, except that it will take up less room on your hard drive (normally from 35% to 50% of the original 24-bit picture at the aforementioned compression numbers). If you recompress the picture however, especially if you do this over and over again, you will create a graphic closer and closer to a meaningless blob. The rule in using JPEG compres- Workbench Screen
o PEGGER SNOOP - Directory Setup ji& Ran Diski A V New Delete Use
Save Ran Disk: s j | Image Compression Bl Enabled Bl This Dir
Only Arexx j OFF J PaHerir Match Q| Create Disk Space XXX2 |j J
Rename Quality 1180
3. 0HB Free yl JPEG Decompression B Enabled B All Sub Dir ____
Arexx |0FF ..... 1 51 IFF 24 |_| Smoothing Backup Temp Dir
Figure 1. The Pegger SNOOP screen.
Sion routines is never recompress n JPEC graphic, if you keep this in mind, you will use Pegger in .1 happy, healthy way.
Another rule that I personally follow, is to never compress an image below the 100% setting. This saves me disk space, and also assures me that 1 will have the intact graphic as close to its original form as possible on file. I have a suspicion of mechanical processes that effect my artwork, but at the 100% setting I get to have my cake and compress it too.
The Pegger manual lists a selection of compression sizes as compared to an original image of 836235 bytes. At the 100% setting the image suffers no discernible loss and has file size reduced to 207,447 bytes. That amounts to over a 75% reduction. As a comparison, a setting of 90% (which is a safe range for image quality) gets you an image file only 9% of the original 24-bit data.
Pegger allows you to compress 24-bit, FrameStore, HAMS, and DCTV images. Pegger requires an Amiga with WB 2.0 or later, a hard drive, and at least 2M13 of RAM. I tested Pegger on an A-2500, an A-3000T and an A-4000 in all of these formats, and upon reinvestigation of the images (at the 100% setting) could discern no difference in quality. There are known problems with Pegger when it comes to the DPS Personal Animation Recorder, Dpaint loaded-in 24-bit files, and Toasterp iint RGB's.
How it Works Every time you boot Pegger, a neat little animated introduction pops up three separate icons on your screen: CJPEG, DJPEG, and SNOOP. "C" is the compressor, "D" the decompressor, and SNOOP remains active allowing both compression and decompression when your software loads saves the necessary images. CJPEG and DJPEG are used to compress decompress files already stored, while SNOOP (the module you'll probably use the most) remains active to sniff out files as they are being loaded saved from your other software, as long as you indicate the directory path that Pegger "watches".
(See Figure 1 fora look at the Pegger SNOOP interface).
Four Pegger Experiments:
1. 1 created a 24-hit image with OpalVision (274,864 bytes).
This was compressed to JPEG from OpalVision (84,181 bytes). Then it was compressed with Pegger (78,840 bytes). Both JPEGs were identical in qualitv, but the Pegger file was over 6000 bytes smaller.
2. This was a complex test. I started my ENLAN-DFS system and
LAN'd two Ainlgas together. I dumped a Toaster Eramestore copy
(609,554 bytes) in the RAM of the second Amiga. Then I changed
it to a 24-hit IFF and compressed it (305,268 bytes at 100%)
using ADPro to the RAM of Amiga 1. From there I used the Peg
ger SNOOP routine to decompress it and read it into Final
A flag came up telling me the file was decompressing, but the file refused to load in Final Writer. Undaunted, 1 tried the same procedure by translating the FrameStore to a HAMS first. This worked great! There I was with a Toaster FrameStore sitting on my Final Writer screen. Then I realized that I had not told Pegger to decompress the image as an IFF24 in the first place, and tried the first experiment again, with a positive result! (See Figure 2).
3. In this third use of Pegger, 1 first loaded a NASA pic into
Brilliance on Amiga 2, and saved it to the RAM of Amiga 1
with SNOOP compress decompress active. 1 loaded the JPEG com
pressed file to Montage on a second system, decompressing it
as it loaded. Everything worked as expected.
4. This one was the most impressive for standard Pegger use. I
dumped a 24-bit OpalVision JPEGd image into RAM. Then I used
the SNOOP function to turn on JPEG decompression. 1 then went
to Dpaint (16 color Hi-res on a non-AGA machine) and read in
the JPEG image. After allowing Dpaint to dither it fully,
there it was in full glory on my Dpaint 16 color screen. Now
Dpaint users can use JPEG image files! (See Figure 3).
The Pegger manual is absolutely superior in both comprehensiveness and clarity, detailing al! Of the Pegger attributes and the use of its Arexx port. Pegger also facilitates Batch processing JPEG images. This software addresses a much needed function on the Amiga, that of translating JPEGs hack and forth. Until the time when all of the major graphics productivity packages do this on their own, Pegger will be able to fill a needed niche. Who knows.
This may be the parent package of a later edition: Mpegger.
Magic Lantern: Real time 24-bit animation playback Simply put, Magic Lantern is a retargetable graphics animation editor. Now allow me to explain my terms, starting with "retargetable". This term is becoming a new buzzword.
Retargetable graphics are graphics that can be set to display on any one of a multitude of 24-bit boards or in the AGA mode of the latest Amigas. Magic Lantern, for instance, can display its animated files on OpalVision (8,15, 24), Picasso (8,16, 24), GDA, Amiga formats, and Retina (8,16, 24), and there are more formats coming. Magic Lantern does most of what the more expensive Hard Disk animation editors (MovieMaker and the DPS Animation system) do at a fraction of the cost. Magic Lantern will play animations directly off of a hard disk with the same expensive alternatives the big boys
require (specific high speed controllers and hard disks) to get the full speed up to 30 FPS or more, But added to this is its ability to save out an animation in its special DIFF format. Then the animation can be saved as a compressed file, targeted to any of the mentioned graphics alternatives, saved to disk, and sent aiong with a special DIFF player to friends and relatives! All of this for a mere $ 95.00 investment.
Putting a DIFF File Together Magic Lantern utilizes an EDL (Editing Decision List) for its editing options . EDLs are not new to most Amiga artists and animators, and their use has been tested in the professional arena for many years. An EDL is basically a list of all of the frames in an animation. Usually, you have to save an animation as a series of single frames to get an EDL to function, but not in Magic Lantern.
This software generates a list of frames from ANTM files as well as from numbered single frames. Once the source EDL is dumped to the "Source Files" listing in Magic Lantern, you merely dick on a source frame to have it appear in the "DIFF List" area. The DIFF List is a sequencing of the frames that determines their order in the animation. There is nothing to prevent vou from choosing every nth frame, or reversing the direction of your choices to create internal loops, or of repeating the list any number of times. Though it'll take more storage space the more frames you have, the DIFF compres
sion routines do a good job at limiting the pain. All of the familiar word processing editing commands are allowed: cut, paste, delete, copy, and moving up or down the list. The list can even be resnved as a series of IFF files, just in case you have already purchased one of the more expensive single framing options for later use.
Ta complete the picture, there are simple button controls placed at the bottom of the Magic Lantern editing screen. These allow you to target sound files and to select from a list of compression and play options, The Magic Lantern manual walks you through all of the necessary possibilities, suggesting that allowing the software to select the correct alternatives is probably tire best choice in most cases. You can load and play DIFFs right from the edit screen. Why would you settle for that alone though when you can save this stuff to disk and distribute it with the DIFF player?
1 ran Magic Lantern through its paces by creating an animation in Aladdin 4D and saving it out as a HAM8 ANIM file and as single frames. I then edited the list of frames in MagicL, doing internal looping and reverses as I went along. My original 40 frame animation (587,128 bytes as an ANIM, and about 1,600,000 as 40 single frames) became a 92 frame animation, and 1 saved it as an Amiga HAMS DIFF file (1,206,164 bytes as a DIFF compression). 1 set the frame rate at 60 on my A-4000, and clocked the animation at about 40 FPS, which isn't shabby. Next, I compiled a 40 frame DIFF animation with
the OpalVision 8bit option (saved out at 496,290 bytes). 1 should mention that 1 regenerated the original animation in 256 colors, as HAM8 animations translated to 8 bits on a 24-bit board will achieve only- strange colorations (because HAMS is really a 64 color palette, not a 256 color one). The Opal nnirn worked fine. I did not have the equipment at the time to test the direct hard disk animation capabilities of this software, but will do so at a later date and report the results.
I will use this software extensively in the coming months, and expect even more wondrous revisions and additions from the wizards of Terra Nova Development and Magic Lantern.
¦AC* Pup I fltl [ £ut [ Top: Figure 2. Here is a Pegger FrameStore translated to HAMS and compressed in ADPro, then decompressed and loaded into Final Writer with Pegger.
Middle: Figure 3. Compare the OpalVision 24-bit image and the Pegger decompression to a Dpaint 16-colar dithered image from within Dpaint itself.
Above: Figure 4. The simplicity of the Magic Lantern screen belies its power and animation magic.
C- Snattest Deltas ) Verticil Deltas J Horizontal Deltas f Lantern Chooses SriaIt _) Tester _) Turbo ) Super Charged C” Double Buffered Single Duf fared Pegger Heifner Communications, inc. 4451 1-70 Dr. NW Columbia, MO 65202
(800) 445-6164
(314) -445-0757 FAX Inquiry 226 Magic Lantern Terra Nova
P. O. BOX 2202 Ventura, CA 93002 Inquiry 227 ( Pl*v l franes )
Synchronize f Snot lest Horizontal RLC _) Vert leal RLC D ftou
S. ki Mom FPS ITB i Please Write to:
R. Shamms Mortier c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Amazing Computing is in
to the AMIGA Amazing Computing for the Commodore Amiga, AC's
GUIDE, and AC's TECH provide you with the most comprehensive
coverage of the Amiga coverage you would expect from the
longest-running monthly Amiga publication.
The pages of Amazing Computing bring you insights into the world of the Commodore Amiga. You'll find comprehensive reviews of Amiga products, complete coverage of all the major Amiga trade shows, and hints, tips, and tutorials on a variety of Amiga subjects such as desktop publishing, video, programming, and hardware. You'll also find a listing of the latest Fred Fislt disks, monthly columns on using the Cli and working with Arexx; and you can keep up to date with new releases in "New Products and Other Neat Stuff."
AC’s GUIDE to the Commodore Amiga is an indispensable catalog of alt the hardware, software, public domain collections, services and information available for the Amiga. This amazing book, updated every six months, lists over 3,500 products!
AC's TECH for the Commodore Amiga provides the Amiga user with valuable insights into the inner workings of the Amiga. In-depth articles on programming and hardware enhancement are designed to help the user gain the knowledge he needs to get the most out of his machine.
For subscription savings information, call 1-800-345-3360 (continued on page 71) The are a variety of ways to capture a screen image.
Genlocks provide the best quality. However, a screen capture utility will suffice for quick capturing.
Definitive How- to f o r Video by Oran Sands Hi! I'd like to welcome you to a new column here at AC. It's YOUR column and it's where you can get the answers to your hard ware software questions and problems that arise when creating video graphics with your Amiga. This column will primarily focus on Amiga solutions for video although we'll certainly keep in touch with what's happening in ToasterLand as well. We will use products, not just review them. So when you see us cover a new piece of software or hardware we'll also show you what to do with it. The images we'll create will be real-world
graphics, not fancy demos that you would never use.
If you've watched any television at all lately (and who hasn't) you have no doubt noticed all the TV graphics that have some level of transparency either within themselves or to the video that they overlay. They're able to do this because those graphics boxes are 32-bit systems. That means 24 bits of color information and 8 bits of transparency info, In addition to its color information, each pixel gets assigned a level of transparency one of the possible 256 levels possible ranging from fully transparent to fully opaque. Many of the fancier graphics systems can vary the transparency level
from one side to another creating a "fading out" effect.
Oomers by The Btuidito [These statements and projections presented in "Roomers" are rumors in llie purest sense. The bits of information are gathered by n third-party source front zvhispers inside the industry. At press time, these rumors remain unconfirmed and are printed for entertainment value only.
Accordingly, the staff and associates of Amazing Computing cannot beheld responsible for the reports made in this column.I CES Report Atari did well at CES compared to 3DO; of course, no one was expecting Atari to do very well, so when they came in and did a good show (and reported strong initial sales of the few units they couid deliver before Christmas), the industry started taking them more seriously.
3DO was actually showing a number of games, but retailers were disappointed with the sales performance of 3DO so far.
Some were hoping that hot new software and some lower hardware prices would help, but many felt that Sega's new Saturn CD would be a 3DO-kil!er, even though the Saturn isn't due in the USA until 1995.
The Bandito's sources say that Sega plans to introduce the Saturn CD in Japan late in 1994 with the U.S. rollout in early
1995. That plan may change if 3DO or Jaguar starts showing some
marketplace muscle later this year. Sega would be ready to
blitz the Christmas 1994 marketplace with Saturn CD if they
thought it necessary to avoid having their market share
Nintendo remains surprisingly slothlike and complacent about all this new hardware, it's particularly strange since they've lost the 16-bit game machine wars to Sega. According to independent analysts, Sega now holds about 54% market sure in the 16-bit arena, while Nintendo is about 45%. And Sega solidly outsold Nintendo over the crucial Christmas selling season.
So does Nintendo have a plan to recapture their market dominance? You couldn't tell from their CES booth, which seemed almost quiet compared to the frenzy in Sega's booth. All the hot new games were at Sega, not Nintendo. Nintendo tried to generate some excitement by showing some graphics playing on 550,000 Silicon Graphics machines, but mostly people were shaking their heads when they heard Nintendo's claims that this sort of horsepower would be theirs for under S200 in 1995. Yeah, right.
That'll be about the same time that Irving Gould decides not to accept a salary.
Commodore's CES presence was weak compared to the other companies. If you remember, Commodore had said they were going to introduce CD32 to the U.S. market in a big way at this CES. Well, seems like the big part got lost in the budget cuts; Commodore was not on the show floor, but instead was off the beaten path far away from its competitors like Atari and 3DO.
Not a terribly flashy setup, either, but at least they had a tot of CD32's that you could plav with. The software wasn't anything special, but then again neither is the Jaguar or 3DO software. All this great hardware and still no great software. The Bandito thinks these developers ought to spend more time and money on thinking of neat things to do, rather than trying to port old software or film some cheesy video sequences and slap them into the same old game design. None of this hardware is really gonna sell well until there's a few pieces of software that make you really want to have it. A
pile of mediocre games does not equal one great game.
CD32 PR Ail, the fine art of press releases. The Bandito has acquired the press release that Commodore sent out regarding its CES release of CD2?, and it has some real gems of creative PR doubletalk. First of all, according to the press release Commodore plans to limit distribution to a select group of "top level" software retailers initially.
[Translation: We can't build enough CD 's to meet demand anyway, so we're going to pretend that this is part of our distribution strategy. A "top level" retailer is anyone we can convince to carry the product.)
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According to Stilley, Commodore didn't bring out CD’- over last Christmas in order to avoid the "Nintendo-Sega-3DO clutter," according to Stilley. "There are a lot of systems fighting for consumers' and retailers' attention right now. By waiting, we feel that we have a better chance to capture mindshare." [Translation: We sure wish we could have built enough to selt them last Christmas. But by waiting, we'll have a better chance to actually produce CD- -'s and maybe even advertise them.] Commodore will be using TV ads recycled from European TV, where Commodore has been very successful with
CD32 so far. This will save them a nice pile of change, since they won't have to redo the ads. Of course, some of the adds may seem a hit odd to American tastes, but what the heck.
The pricing, as previously reported, will he 5399 for CD32 and 5249 for the MPEG module that allows you to watch movies on CD-ROM. Commodore is expecting about 100 titles to be available for CD32 when it debuts in the US, but of course that number may not be as big as they think. Software always comes out later than you expect. The Bandito doesn't mind waiting if it means that the software will be extra special because of the delay. Please, let's do something more interesting than a warmed-over CDTV title, OK? Here's a radical thought: how about making use of those AGA chips to do more than 32
colors at once? C'mon, developers, get with the picture. The picture isn't lo-res any more... GVP Going PC The Bandito hears that one of the most stalwart of Amiga developers is beginning to turn their sights on the lucrative PC market. Yes, it’s GVP that's getting into the PC market; The Bandito has seen ads for their genlock card. The word on the Bandito's private information road (as opposed to a superhighway) is that they're planning on more PC products. Looks like that will be where GVP hopes to get growth from, since the Amiga market does not seem to provide enough growth to suit them.
However, GVP still has plenty of Amiga products in the pipeline. It remains to be seen how much effort they put into future Amiga development. Let's hope for the best; GVP has produced a lot of excellent Amiga products even if they do insist on using non-industry-standard SIMMs.
Amiga For Cable The Bandito has already reported to you that Commodore is trying to cut a deal with Hewlett-Packard that would have HP using the Amiga chips as the basis for a settop box. That's the new breed of interactive TV devices that cable companies are hoping to get you to buy. This may seem like an odd departure for the Amiga, but it's really a natural expansion. What other computer is so well suited to the demands of TV? The Amiga has a natural affinity for the video signal, and its multitasking OS makes it perfect for managing 500 channels of TV (might need a few megabytes of extra
RAM, but heck, RAM's cheap these days). But, you cry, isn't this abandoning the general computer marketplace?
Sure, you bet. Survival's the name of the game, and in the increasingly competitive world of home computing the Amiga is getting beaten up in the marketplace. CD32 is one answer, and an Amiga set-top box is another. Let's look at an analogous situation: GeoWorks for DOS. Now, GeoWorks is a multitasking, windowing operating system that looks a lot like Windows. It was written by a smalt group in Berkeley, California a number of years ago. At the time, the reviewers thought it might just conquer the world of DOS. You see, GeoWorks is written entirely in assembly language, so it's small, fast,
and (unlike Windows) in runs quite well even on an 8086 chip. It multitasks in very little memory too (sound like any operating system you know?). In every head-to-head test, GeoWorks beat the pants off of Windows.
So where is GeoWorks now? It's gone from tire DOS market, but it's not dead.
GeoWorks found the perfect niche for itself: in little palmtop computers likeCasio's Zoomer. Those babies use old, slow CPUs and have very little RAM, so GeoWorks is perfect for them. Now GeoWorks has another lease on life, and it might even make a comeback in the larger marketplace, too.
So perhaps the set-top box idea just may be the thing that preserves the Amiga we know and love, and gets a few million new users. We can only wait and see what happens now.
No More 1200’s?
Commodore, as you might expect given their recent management turmoil, is reviewing how things are done in their U.S. operation. A disturbing plan is being floated around the sales department. Seems that with the constraints on production these days, and the low margins of the A1200, Commodore U.S. is considering dropping the A12Q0 from the product line.
The replacement? Yep, you guessed it: CD32. Of course, that means that Commodore would probably want to ship that little add-on keyboard, mouse, and floppy kit they have up their sleeve.
You do have to wonder some at their thinking. True, it's easier to produce one product type than two, but Commodore does make more money on the A1200 than on CD22 even given the A1200's low price point. Reminds the Dandito of the old saying, "Sure, vve lose money on every one, hut we make it up in volume!" If only we knew when to laugh... So if Commodore really goes through with tins idea, US customers might still be able to get A1200's from mail-order dealers (who would snap them up in Canada, most likely). But you'd be heavily encouraged to get a CD52 instead. This might mean better CD22
sales, which makes the game developers happy. But Amiga dealers might not be so pleased, since they really can't compete with mass merchants when it comes to selling CD32's. So theiT sales would probably go down, which doesn't make them happy at all.
Makes you wonder how soon Commodore will be coming out with their iong-promised CD-ROM drive for the A4000, which will offer CD22 compatibility.
That might make the dealers a little happier. But the Bnndito doesn't think that Commodore will be producing the standalone CD-ROM in vast quantities, not until they can really fill all their CD32 orders.
With Commodore's recent focus on getting CD32's put together, there's a lot of Amiga hardware that's ready to go but just isn't getting manufactured. Among the boxes in waiting is the eagerly sought-after A4000T, the heavy-duty tower version of the A4000 that is the answer to the power Amiga user's prayer for more power. And don't forget the CD32-compatible CD-ROM drive for the A4000 that's all done and ready to ship, as soon as there's some room on the manufacturing line. At least we don't have to wait for Commodore to manufacture its DSB board, since that's been sold to DKB. Then there's
the new cost-reduced A4000. Oh, and just because the manufacturing cost lias been lowered doesn't mean you can necessarily expect a greatly reduced retail price. The Bandito hears that Commodore isn't contemplating any great price breaks. Seems like they figure that if you want to buy an Amiga now you're willing to pay a premium price. The Bandito only hopes that they come to their senses at some point. A nice drop in price might make the summer a warm selling season.
Amiga: The Next Iteration What's the scoop on the next generation of Amigas? Well, just like you the Bundito's been hearing a lot about what the new machines might consist of. Seems like every RISC chip on the planet has been named as a contender for the new CPU, along with the Motorola 68060 chip which should be on its way soon. Which chip will get the nod? Well, the 68060 looks like the best bet right now because it would be the easiest chip to get Amiga DOS up and running. Porting the OS to any other chip would be a lot of work, and right now you could spray Commodore's Software
Engineering department with automatic gunfire and not have a very good chance of hitting an Amiga programmer. (Now, now, it's not nice of you to say that Commodore management did exactly that. For shame.)
Of course, the 68060 is going to be quite expensive when it comes out; some of these RISC chips will have much better prtce-performance. Lew Eggebrecht's been talking about including both a RISC chip and a 68060 in a future Amiga, thus being able to run Amiga software and some RISC software at the same time. Still unanswered, though, is why anyone would want to pay more for a box with such dual capability.
And what software would the RISC chip be running, anyway? Windows NT? UNIX?
Gosh, Commodore hasn't had a whole lot of success in selling UNIX boxes in the past.
Somebody better have a chat with Unde Lew about the possible markets for future Amigas and who is likely to buy them, and why. And they better talk to him pretty soon, too.
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Soon is not a word you should use to describe when the new Ainigas will actually be shipping. From what the Bandito hears, don't expect to see a new Amiga with the AAA chips until I995. Why so long? Well, Commodore's more limited resources these days are bent on producing CD3-, and performing some cost reduction on that and the Amiga 4000. Besides which, it'll take some time to finish the hardware for the new Amigas, and iiuite a while to complete all the new software that's required. The Bandito only hopes that we don't see the new Amiga hardware ship with unfinished software; this is worse
than not shipping at all.
Scheming For Screamer NewTek's hot rendering box for LightWnvejD is aptly titled the Screamer for its blistering speed at generating 3D animation. Unfortunately, NewTek isn't anywhere near as fast when it comes to getting the product out on the market. The projected December release date has come and gone, and LightWave power users are beginning to emit some howls of their own.
The Bandito hasn't heard any firm release dates vet, but it shouldn't be too much longer. If you're interested in one of these boxes, you'd better start saving your pennies; the 59,995 price lag doesn't include RAM, which you'll have to add yourself.
How much RAM? Well, how fast do you want to render? You might be able to get by with 128MB, but you might want to plan on 256MB for real high performance. While RAM prices have dropped recently, that still means a sizable dent in your bank account.
Oh, and while the general public doesn't have access to Screamers, a few key NewTek power users do. Hand-built prototypes have been created for the animation crews at Babylon 5 and smQitesf DSV, thus serving as beta-test sites as well as getting those high-profile Hollywood projects done in record time. How do you get on such an exclusive list? Weli, if you have to ask, then you don't have a chance.
New Toaster Box?
The impending release of the Screamer has increased speculation about NewTek's future plans for the Toaster. The Bandito has seen some data floating by on the net to the effect that NewTek might be considering building the Toaster hardware itself into a Screamer. This would be a terrific amount of work, though. It would be made easier if NewTek could get the right from Commodore to use the Amiga chip set, so that NewTek could (to essence) build an Amiga right inside the Screamer. It's certainly feasible to get the rights to use the Amiga chips, since Commodore is not averse to licensing out
the Amiga chips or even selling whole boards (as they did for some arcade games a number of years ago).
Still, this would certainly raise the base price of Toaster hardware substantially, which NewTek doesn't seem interested in doing.
Of course, you might be able to put together a less expensive Screamer by using only one RISC chip in it instead of four (like the Screamer has), but it would still be a costly box (more costly than an Amiga 4000, though more powerful, to be sure). And then Commodore would lose a powerful reason for people to buy the Amiga 4000, which wouldn't help Commodore any. And don't underestimate the amount of work involved with designing all this hardware (and then writing the software, too).
The whole idea seems rather complicated and difficult; the Bandito's best interpretation is that you shouldn't expect any changes in the Toaster platform any time soon. They have some other hardware project in the works that's been taking up most of their design time, according to the Topeka spv network. Nobody's talking yet, but something new is expected this year.
One interesting note: Vvil Wheaton, an actor lx"st known for his role as Wesley Crusher Ln Star Trek: The Next Generation, has taken a job with NewTek as a programmer.
The Bandito doesn't know what he's up to, but he’s known to be an expert on warp engines, which sort of fits right in with the Toaster's DVE's, don't you think?
The Bandito will just have to keep fishing around in the sea of Amiga data to see if anything bytes.
Do you know of any rumors, gossip, scuttlebutt, or just plain dirt?
If so, become a professional tattletale and pass these tidbits on to: The Bandito c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Sync Tips continued
from page 66 This is commonly used for creating transparent
backgrounds for titles. Check out your news programs and see
what I mean. It's a tasty effect and one we should try to use.
So let's figure out how to create that same effect on our
Amigas .
Our task will be to create a name graphic for our on-screen talent. We'll place it in the lower third of the screen and the name should be opaque while the background should have some level of transparency. The easiest way to accomplish this is with a genlock that has built-in faders, preferably the manual type such as the Supergen. Normally I'd suggest that the title text name be in white with a level of no more than 80% (RGB-12,12,12). This time, however, I'd suggest a hotter level, perhaps as much as 15,15,15.
Now create a solid color background underneath the text, the color is vour choice but as you'll see some will work better than others.
Now set your genlock so the graphics overlay the video signal.
Using the faders, slowly fade the overlay out. At some point you'll sec the background become transparent and the text will still be opaque. That's because the luminance level of the text is substantially higher than whatever color you choose for the background.
This causes the background to fade out before the text, leaving you with the desired transparent effect. If you're fairly coordinated, y'ou can fade in the title graphic to the established point and then out again just using the faders. Of course genlocks that can't hold a fade at a predetermined point will keep you from using this technique.
That's when we try our next trick.
Color- You can use a paint program to create the backgrounds. Create a panel of color with every other pixel missing (it isn't actually missing but it is color zero, our transparent color). This will let the video peek through.
If you're stuck with a genlock that's all on or all off, then we need to try something different. Let's use our paint program to create our backgrounds. We'll create a panel of color with every other pixel missing (it isn't actually missing but is color zero, our transparent color). This will let the video peek through giving us the look we need. You'll notice though that some colors work much better than others. This is often because of the video we are overlaying. This will take a great deal of experimentation but it's rather painless. Just play with the pallette requestor to alter the look.
The real pain in this technique is creating a background with all those holes. Depending on which paint program you are using, 1 might suggest creating a small area of "holey" color. Then grab a bit of it as a brush which you can then use for stamping down to speed up your work. In fact, if you like the effect it creates, save that brush for use on the next project. (Anyone that would like to write me with a better way of creating a "holey" background I'll pass the lips along.) Try dithering a range of colors to spread a hue shift across tire screen. Make sure that color zero is the first or
last color in the range. Try creating a fuLl screen graphic with a large hole in it.
Position the hole such that it reveals the subject. You'll end up with a toxtured colored image in which the subject matter is untouched, making it stick out like crazy! Above all experiment! You'll be surprised at what you'll be able to create.
Another technique that works well involves the use of a video SEG with interna] keying capability. With the Amiga as a source on the switcher's inputs, use the internal key feature and fade the key in little by little until you have the desired look. You are doing the same tiling the genlock trick did, but with a different piece of equipment.
One last minute thought, why not make an animation that you overlay transparently. The animation can also feature moving boxes or shapes of color zero to reveal the video underneath. Gee, we could go on forever but that’s it for this month's column! Remember, write me with your questions or answers and feel free to share your techniques. You'd be surprised at how many others could benefit by the knowledge YOU have.
Address your questions or comments to me c a Sync Tips, Amazing Computing or contact me "ojsands" via Email on Portal.
Or ask me in person during Portal's weekly video graphics online conference. 9pm CST Not only am I on-line but there's always a host of other experts available to answer your questions, many of them the authors of the very software you're using.
You can contact Oran Sands c o Amazing Computing or find him online on Porta! As ojsands@portal.cup.com. Join Oran in conference on Wednesday nights at 9pm CST.
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DIGITAL IMAGE SPECIAL F X Using DELUXEPAINT, ADPRO and OPALPAINT AREXX to Process and Enhance Images PART VI: Drop Shadows by William Fravvley WELCOME AGAIN TO YET ANOTHER installment in this continuing digital special effects series. This month, for the sake of completeness in our comprehensive examination of useful graphic techniques for desktop publishing and multimedia applications, we'll explore the proper method of creating soft-edged drop shadows in several of the more popular 2D paint and image processing programs DeluxePaint, Art Department Professional and OpalPaint.
Depth Perception For most humans, vision is the single most important sense responsible for defining reality, and in this visual realm the perception of depth more-or-less allows us to successfully navigate about this Avidhya-produced terrain. In tire external world, presided over by the senses, depth is perceived via binocular vision. This is the ability of our two visual input devices which we call eyes to convert electromagnetic information taken from slightly different viewing angles and transmit this to the brain over completely independent channels where it is then miraculously combined
and processed to reveal a three-dimensional picture of reality. Therefore, when it comes to viewing two-dimensional planar images simulating three-dimensional cubic space, our central processing unit requires certain visual clues in order to simulate the phenomenon of depth inherent in our world.
From my observation, artists use techniques such as manipulating color saturation for shading effects, perspective drawing, and shadowing to help "fool the eye" into believing that there is depth to the image plane when in fact there is only an illusion of the same. However, it appears that shadows possess characteristics of both former methods in that they not only constitute color information which controls lightness darkness, but they can also be drawn in perspective. It is only recently that contemporary artists and illustrators working with two-dimensional media have employed various new
stereographic effects such as alternating shuttered lenses and random-dot stereograms to virtually recreate the three- dimensional field by way of dual angle viewing, but this is a protracted topic for future discussion.
Realistic Shadows Now, in order for a 2D shadow to be convincing, it must mimic tire characteristics of its 2D Figure 1: A comparison of the traditional drop shadow used by graphic designers of the past and the latest diffused-edge, variable transparency soft shadows possible with today's paint and image processing software. This example was created in OpalPaint with the aid of a brush feathering operation.
New Drop Shadow De£uxePaiKo V Hij. IL. -U -t l-tx- raoromaaimeapawfTa DROP PROP SHADOW SHADOW cousin. When computer graphic artists first started using shadows in their design work, the characteristically black, hard-edged look became the norm. We all know what I'm refering to, right (Figure
1) ? Well recently, with the emergence of linear transparency
keying, or Alpha channels, designers can now generate shadows
with the look and feel of their real world counterparts. Look
for variable transparency and feathered edges as essential
qualities in shadow realism, for in the physical world, light
must succumb to the effects of radiosity and diffusion, the
apparent laws which command lightwaves to reflect and scatter
according to the properties of the matter that they strike.
For example, when light strikes an object, the shadow cast will not be completely devoid of all the light. Some light will inevitably reflect off of neighboring objects or the object itself to lessen the darkness of the resulting shadow. This is what is known in physics, or more topically in ray-tracing parlance, as radiosity. Applying this principle to our work means that we should try to achieve some sort of transparency to the shadows.
Furthermore, a shadow's edge is never a solid line of demarcation. Instead it is diffuse, the uneven scattering of light because of differing surface properties, and tine diffusion is proportional to the distance between the object casting the shadow and the one receiving the shadow. Therefore, in our efforts we will attempt to simulate diffused edges of the shadows by "feathering" the transparency at the edges. Some of the current software available, namely OpalPaint and ImageFX, have built-in feathering capabilities. The others, like Dpaint and ADPro, do not, and will require alternative
approaches to achieve this effect. Not yet having the opportunity to work with any of the other image processing and paint software, I cannot say exactly what capabilities these programs have to offer, DeluxePaint To lead off this star-studded extravaganza, we'll take a look at a simple method of creating drop shadows in the non-AGA version of Dpaint, where the most important features of this software to achieve edge-feathering and shadow transparency will be the Edge- Outline and Translucency effect, respectively- Those of vou that have the AGA version should be able to follow along and
achieve much better results with the enhanced color options available. 1 chose to use Dpaint in order to give those of you without 24-bit display cards a ray of hope in creating effects that emulate the abilities of full-color paint and image processing software. So let the games begin.
If you haven't done so already, run Dpaint and load in some kind of textured background, preferably a hi-res interlace screen in 16 colors. I chose a laid paper texture from the Scala MM200 set of background clip art (Figure 2a). These offerings look fairly decent in hi-res and remarkably only consume three to five of the color registers out of sixteen, leaving the rest free for text and shadows when using it as a background for titling.
Figure 2 (Above): With a background texture loaded in Dpaint's main screen (A), the spare screen can be used to create the shadows for objects or text (B). Here, the KaraChisel and ChiselScript ColorFonts are given shadows by outlining the Color Mode of each text brush with various shades of the background texture to simulate a soft edge. The Translucency is then activated when the shadow brush is stamped down and deactivated when the text brush is finally positioned over the shadow (C).
Figure 3 (Left): For this piece, images were scanned into ADPro with an Epson flatbed scanner and converted into brushes within OpalPaint where drop shadows were then added to each and composited onto a related background motif.
The next step depends on whether or not yon want to use ColorFonts or a mono-color font. Either way, you'll need to make room in the palette for the colors the font will use. In the case of the ColorFonts, which will occupy registers 0-7, copy all the colors used by the background texture to tire last eight (8-15) registers. If possible, arrange the colors from darkest to lightest, or vice-versa.
As seen in Figure 2, I've transformed the three blue background colors to a spread of four in registers 8-10 for reasons soon to be revealed. However, if the background texture requires most or all ol the available registers, leave the palette alone and pian on only using a single-color font. From this point on, I'll explain things for the ColorFont users, as the process is a bit more involved because of the shuffling of two different half palettes within our one working palette. If you are using just one color for your font, you'll be able to interpret these techniques for a simpler approach.
Next, open the Choose Font requester by clicking with the right mouse button on the Text tool. Select one of the ColorFonts that came with Dpaint such as KaraChisel and okay the requester.
Select Yes when the system message asks if you want to use the font's palette. Because the palette has now been altered, we'll need to remap tine background texture to this new palette configuration by selecting the Color menu item Remap. After a brief pause, the image should return to its original color scheme with its colors now using the new register locations.
Now we'il need to create our text. Flip to the spare screen by pressing 'j' on the keyboard. Make sure the Text tool is activated and type in the desired text onto the plain background. Pick up this text as a brush while holding the left mouse button and place in the spare brush slot by selecting the Brush-Spare submenu item Brush- Spare (alt n). This is our text brush. Now to create our shadow brush, go into Brush Color Mode (F2) and select one of the darkest colors in the background texture as our brush color ( 11). For best results, use shades of grey for your shadows if applying text to a
single-color background. This dark shade will be our base shadow color, and the remaining light shades will serve as subsequent brush outlines to simulate the feathered edge effect available in 24- bit programs. Now simply pick the next lighter shade of the background colors and select the Brush-Edge submenu item Outline, or alpha key 'o.' Continue ibis process stepping through all increasingly lighter shades of the background colors (Figure 2b).
You may want to "double up" on some of the lightest shades for better feathering. With our shadow brush complete, we're ready for the final step.
Flip back to the main screen (j) and set the "transparency" level through the Effect-Translucency submenu item Settings..; a good beginning value is 70. Switch on Translucency (alt t) and stamp your shadow brush down. Use Undo to play with the Translucency settings in order to achieve an effective transparency effect for the shadow. Once satisfied, swap the shadow brush with the original text brush (alt b), turn off Translucency, and stamp down the text brush over the shadow but slightly offset. The more offset tire text is to the shadow, the higher it will appear to float above the page.
Check your results with mine in Figure 2c. Not bad, but now let's see what 24-bit can do for a drop shadow.
OpalPaint Containing all the familiar tools and features of any good paint and image processing program, and then some, navigating about OpalPaint is sheer delight. For even if you don't own the following software, reading through the remaining tutorials may give you some insight into the inner workings of using Alpha Listing One DropShadow.oprx vl.l by William Frawley January 1, 1994 Creates a feathered drop shadow for selected brush.
Shadow can either be attached to selected brush or placed by itself in another brush slot for greater placement flexibility.
NOTE: This code was inBpired adapted expanded from code originally written by Greg Niles of Centaur Development and published in Amiga World (Aug, 1993).
IF HESULT-G THEN DO * Find ¦ free brush slot * * Flags * * Check available bays • Attached-0; ShadowNum-0 DO iel TO 3 IF isBrushNum THEN ITERATE ActiveBrush i Brushsize PARSE VAR result Defined .
IF Defined®"-I" THEN DO ShadowNum=i LEAVE END LastOne*i END IF ShadowNua=0 THEN DO AskBool 'There are no empty brush bays for the shadow!
' n nOK=Erase an old brush CANCELeAbort script?'
IF RESULT=0 THEN EXIT ELSE ShadcwNumsLastOne END ELSE Attached-1 Ask for Feather Amount OPTIONS RESULTS • * * Load rexxarplib.library Insure WorkBench to back
- SHOW('I ,'rexxarplib.library') THEN, CALL
ADDLIB('rexxarplib.library’,0,-30 * This will insure that
Workbench * * screen will not pop to front * ? When this
script is activated. V * Hbench is default arg for this * *
function. * ADDRESS 'OpaiPaint_Rexx' ¦-* * Set Preferences
a Show Title * 1 *-? SaveSetUp Panic AskBool “Drop Shadow
Maker vl.l - by william Prawley.
n n OKAY to Continue, cancel to Abort."
IF RESULT-0 THEN EXIT *-. * Ask Which Brush to Use * I*-* Asklnt 131 "Select brush number (1-3). n(Select CANCEL if you don't want to lose your brush!)" IF RC=5 THEN EXIT BrushNum-RESULT •-• * Ask to Have Attached or Separate Drop Shadow * .-. AskBool 'Attach Shadow to Current Brush or in Seperate’, 'Brush Slot? n n OK-Attached CANCEL*Seperate' CALL ScreenToBack(} * AekProp 0 320 0 "Enter Feather Amount: 0-320 (0-No Feather)" IF RC=5 THEN EXIT f eather Aait=RESULT I*-' * Ask for Transparency Level * *-• AekProp 0 100 50 "Select transparency level of drop shadow."
IF RC-5 THEN EXIT TransAmtoRESULT *-* * Get Size of Selected Brush * I*-* ActiveBrush BrushNun BrushSize PARSE VAR RESULT Bwldth Bheigbt *-• * Make a New Screen * r-• CurrPage OrigPage-RESULT PageRes AddPage 640 400 RESULT OpenPages NewPage=FJSULT PickPage Newpage * Calculate Position in New Screen to Center the Brush • * * PageSi2e PARSE VAR RESULT PageWidth PageHeight Xposition=TRUiIC( (PageWidch 2)-(BWldch 2)) Yposit ion-TRUNC((PageHelght 2)-(BHeight 2)) channels, where they are niosl notably used in video applications.
And as we shall see shortly, linear transparency keying certainly plays a large role in creating realistic leathered-edge drop shadows.
For completeness, the explanation that follows describes a drop shadow that is attached to the brush that spawned it, thanks to a special feature in OpalPaint that allows a brush to pick up both the normal image on the page and any information in the corresponding Alpha channel. There is also the option of creating a brush containing just the shadow, which is less convenient but more flexible. However, we'll concentrate on the former.
With a selected brush residing in one of the brush bays, make sure tile handle is anchored at the top-left corner, using the Brush Manipulation requester if needed. Now create a new page and stamp the brush down in the center noting the coordinates. Enter the Alpha workmode, Alpha Paint Options requester and select Grey Scale as the Edit Mode. Now click on the Alpha Function Invert to reverse the current Alpha channel to completely transparent, represented by black. Make sure the Drawing Mode is set to Paint and the Color Source as Paint Pot because we want to use only a singular-color,
solid brush when painting in the Alpha channel. Therefore, affirm that the first paint pot contains the default color white and select it. Stamp down the brush at exactly the same coordinates as in the Paint channel before. This makes the Alpha channel completely opaque in the area of the brush in the Paint channel. Now set the desired transparency for stamping down our shadow, try 70%, change the brush handle to the lower- right comer, and finally feather the brush appropriately. Stamp this brush down slightly offset to the first one, and again note the coordinates. You should now see a solid
white and a grey representation of the brush on the screen.
Return to the Paint Work Mode and in the Brush Cut Mode requester, enable Use Alpha so that we may pick up the information contained in the Alpha channel along with the regular image when we pick up our new brush. Using a rectangular cut, start from the first coordinate location and drag out the box a distance equal to the difference between the final coordinates noted from the Alpha channel operation and tire original coordinates. You should now have a brush with an invisible shadow residing in the Alpha channel portion which can be seen when it is stamped onto the page. How easy that was!
Unfortunately for ADPro users, creating a drop shadow is a tad more involved, but the resulting quality should negate this minor irritation. Read on and find out why.
ADPro Because the more expedient brush Feathering operation used in OpalPaint works from the perimeter inward to alter the transparency of the edge of a brush, it effectively reduces the size of that brush. This can be undesirable, especially when adding a shadow to an already thin font. The result is rather anorexic looking and doesn't stand out very well.
So what's the alternative? Well, let's try experimenting in ADPro and find out. Incidentally, we could just as easily accomplish this next technique in OpalPaint, but I'm guessing there are more of you out there that have ADPro than those who own OpalVision. Enough said.
For this tutorial, we will simply add a shadow to some text so we may easily understand the basic theory involved. The key here is our use of an Alpha channel to add variable transparency to the edge of the shadow and the composition process. This will become apparent as we do it. But before running ADPro, you may want to •-----i * CALL Appropriate Function to Create the Shadow • •- IF Attaehedsl THEN CALL HakeAttached ELSE CALL MakeSeperate *-* * Return to Original Page * *- PickPage QrigPage DeletePage NewPage IF Attached*! THEN Okay "Done! Paste new brush anywhere!"
ELSE Okay "DONE! nOrigir.al brush In: "BrushNum, " nShadov HestoreSetUp NotBusy EXIT brush in "ShadowNum INTERNAL FUNCTIONS • Create Brush w Attached
- * Drop Shadow MakeAttached: ActiveBrush BrushNum Handle 0 0
ColorSource Multicolor PutBrush Xposition Yposition WorkMode
ALPHA SetDrawMode 4 Zap SetDrawMode I ActiveBrush BrushNun
Handle 0 0 | ColorSource PaintPoc ActivePot 1 PutBrush
Xposition Yposition WorkMode IMAGE t* Feather the Brush •
ActiveBrush BrushNun Feather FeatherAat * Ask for position of
drop shadow * Okay "Choose the location of your drop shadow."
Handle 0 0 GetPoint PARSE VAR RESULT XdropPos YdrcpPos * Hake It! • Busy WorkMode ALPHA panic SetDrawMode 1 ActiveBrush BrushNun Handle 0 0 ColorSource PaintPot TransType Standard TransAmt Trans ENABLE ActivePot 1 PutBrush XdropPos YdropPos Trans DISABLE * Calculate area to contain brush & drop shadow • x1=min(xpos ition.XDropFo a) Y1=KIH(YPosition,YDropPosI X2=MAX X?ositicn+BWidth,XDropPos*BWidth) Y2=KAX(YPositiontBHeight,YDropPos+BHelght) • Cut Brush with alpha drop shadow mf WorkMode IMAGE ActiveBrush BrushNun CutKode Normal 1 t* The 1 enables "use Alpha" • RectCut XI Y1 X2 Y2 RETURN
•-• * Create Seperate Shadow Brush * *-* KakeSeperate: ActiveBrush ShadovNum CopyBrush BrushNun Feather FeatherAnt Handle 0 0 WorkMode ALPHA SetDrawMode 4 Zap SetDrawMode 1 ColorSource PaintPot TransType Standard TransAmt Trans ENABLE ActivePot 1 PutBrush Xposition Yposition Trans DISABLE WorkMode IMAGE ActiveBrush ShadowNuas CutMode Normal 1 X2sXPosition+BWidth Y2=YPosition*BHeight RectCut Xposition Yposition x2 Y2 RETURN Listing Two
* **** .
* • * ScaleBrush.oprx vi.O by williao Frawley * • ¦ * * January 6, 1994 * * * * Scales selected brush to desired percentage. * - . create a working directory that will house several temporary files and your background image. This will keep operations smooth and well organized. Let's begin.
In ADPro, ioad in a Backdrop. Select Color, Filled, and make the color pure black (0,0,0). Set the dimensions according to the size of the background and the text that you want to enter. For less confusion, you may want to make the width and height identical to the background texture. Here, however, since I eventually wanted to create varying heights for different shadow elements, 1 subdivided the process for the two different text elements shown in the accompanying figure and created separate backdrops for each, in this case, the dimensions are 368x240, large enough for the text that was
chosen. Save this result to the directory you've created as 24 Bit-Plane Data called Black.24. Next, enter the Text Visual operator and type in the text string using the font and size of your choice (Figure 4A, p.79). Center the text, making sure it all fits within the backdrop and leaving a little room around the sides for eventual blurring (Figure 4B, p.79). Set Blur to (-1), Emboss to Off, Mix to 100. Tint and Saturation to 0, and the RGB color values to the color of your choice. Hit Accept to render the text, and then Exit. Save this 24 Bit-Plane Data as Text.24. We'll now transform this
image to be used as an Alpha channel for making Ihe shadow. Since Alpha channels must be 8 Bit-Plancs, select the Color_To_Gray operator and accept. Remember, in ADPro's linear keying process, black is transparent and white is opaque, just the opposite of OpalPaint Tire text portion of the image should now be some kind of medium grey, depending on the original color you chose. The value of this grey will determine how transparent the shadow is when the Black.24 file is composited 'through' the Alpha channel onto the background. A tighter grev will mean a darker shadow and vice-versa. Got it?
If you're not satisfied with the shadow's transparency after the final step, it is here where you need to correct the Alpha channel for better results.
With the transparency problem solved, as a final step regarding this image, we must now diffuse the edges. Select the Convolution operator and load in the Blur5x5 preset matrix. For maximum blur, change the Threshold from 64 tod and accept.
Using this convolution, blur the image approximately 10 times and save the 8 Bit-Plane Data as Ajpha.8 (Figure 4C, p.79). Did you notice that tire blurring process worked on both sides of the text edge, keeping the bulk of the image intact? This is the advantage that this technique has over feathering in OpalPaint: a more robust, yet softer quality to the edges.
This is it, the final step. Load in your background texture and select Comp and Alpha as tire load type. When you're prompted, load Black.24 for the IFF file and position it in the Composite Control requester where you want the shadow to he located and note the final offsets used. Okay the requester and select Aipha.8 for the Alpha Channel file to be loaded next. Display and check your results (Figure 4D, p.79). Repeat the appropriate steps above if you're not satisfied with the transparency or placement of the shadow. Next, leave Composite on, select IFF load type and load in the Text.24
file. In the Composite Control requester, this time position the text at about the same offsets as the shadow's (Figure 4E, p.79). Because the blur convolution tends to blur downward, it seems that only a small offset in the negative X direction is needed for proper text displacement. Finally, because our text was placed on a solid black backdrop, we can mask out any one color, in this OPTIONS RESULTS Listing Three • - ¦ Load rexxarplib.library Insure WorkBench to back IF ¦SHOWt'L','rexxarplib.library') THEN, CALL ADDLIB('rexxarplib.library',0,-30) • " ¦ ¦ * • • • • •
•*****•***•*•?* OPTIONS RESULTS CALL ScreenToBackO This will insure that Workbench • screen will not pop to front * when this script is activated, * Weench Is default arg for this * function. * • • Show Title *-• ADDRESS 'OpalPaint_Rexx' AskBool "SeaLeBrush vl.O - by Willian Frawley.
n n OKAY to Continue, CANCEL to Abort" IF RESULTbO then exit •-• * Ask which Brush to Use 5caleFage- Screen-oprx vl.O by William Frawley January 6, 1994 Scales oversized page to within maximum OpalPaint screen size (736x476) while maintaining proper aspect ratio.
Asklnt 131 "Select brush number (1-3)."
IP RC-5 THEN EXIT Bruahiilie,'* RESULT • . • Ask Percentage *-* AskProp 0 400 SO 'Percentage to Scale?
n nEx; 50-50 (Halve) 200-2C0 (Double)' IP RC*5 THEN EXIT PercentsRESULT •-. • Scale Brush *.-. ActiveBrush BrushNum • Activate chosen Brush Blot RescaleMethod SMOOTH1 Rescale Percent Percent •-. • Show New Size and Exit t*--. BrushSize PARSE VAR RESULT W H Stringa"Finished! Size of new brush is "I|W!I" by“IJB Okay String EXIT • Load rexxarplib.library Insure Workbench to back * « IF -SHOW('L',*rexxarplib.library') THEN, CALL ADDLIBt'rezxarplib.library'.0.-30) CALL Screen7oBack() * This will insure that Workbench f* screen will not pop to front t* when this script 1b
* wsench is default arg for this • function.
F* Show Title *- ADDRESS 'OpalPaint Rexx' AskBool "ScalePage- Screen vl.O - by Hilliaa Frawley.
n n OKAY to Continue, CANCEL to Abort" IP RESULT-0 THEN EXIT * Find Page Size and Resolution * •--v PageSize * Get page dimensions * PARSE VAR RESULT W H PageReg Res.RESULT • Get page resolution * case the black, bv entering (0,0,1)} in the RGB gadgets, respectively.
Okay the requester and check your results, Hopefully, you'll be as pleased as I was, especially if vou have a 24-bit display.
So, to summarize the steps:
1. Load in a BackDrop, Color-Filled Black (0,0,0). Save as
2. Add text via the Text Visual operator, Save as Tcxt.24,
3. Execute Color_To_Gray operator. Execute Blur approx. 10 times.
Save as Alpha.8.
4. Load in Background image. Turn on Composite.
5. Load in Alpha. Select IFF image Black.24, position and select
Alpha image Alpha.8.
6. Load in IFF image Text.24. In Comp Ctrl, position over shadow
and mask out black.
The Arexx Scripts The Arexx scripts this month are solely for OpalPaint. Because ADPro has no brush or WYSIWYG display capabilities for text placement in an Arexx situation, creating an Arexx script to automate the aforementioned process for ADPro would have been incomplete at best, requiring a fair amount of manual input from the user. Therefore, I've included a few OpalPaint utility scripts to expedite your working environment, especially in cases of creating drop shadows.
For example, ScaleBrush.oprx compliments the Cut-Out Brush Manipulation Menu's variable Resize tool by offering a more precise method of scaling your brush with actual percent values while retaining the proper aspect ratio in the process, an operation that is a little difficult to do manually. Try adapting this code for use with the Rotate command as well.
Next, ScaleScreen.oprx will scale downward the current page, if any of its dimensions are larger than the maximum OpalPaint screen size of 736x476, while maintaining the proper aspect ratio.
This can be helpful when working with super-bitmaps as the Screen Size gadget in the Page Setup menu will only scale or crop the image to match the desired screen dimensions, destroying the aspect ratio in doing so.
Soreen- Brush.oprx simply converts the current page into a brush. However, the page must be smaller than or equal to the screen dimensions, and if it isn't, the user is asked permission to scale said page using the same algorithm as in ScaleScreen.oprx. As you can see, some of this utility code is identical, so copv one and done it to finish the others and save some time.
Finally, DropShadow.oprx automates the entire process described above in the tutorial for OpalPaint, with one addition.
I've added the option of allowing you to save the shadow as a separate entity in a different brush slot from that of the original brush for increased flexibility. You may run into a situation where you need multiple shadows or placements for one brush, and this way your shadow won't be confined to your brush. Also, please note that most of the main code was adapted from code originally written by Greg Niles of Centaur Development. Thanks Greg.
Moreover, if you're into programming with Arexx, you undoubtedly have had to debug your creations at least once (sigh).
If you haven't done so already, here's a hint to effectively reduce debug time. First, in your code under the line "options results" or immediately after the opening comment line, enter "trace results."
This will enable all clauses, evaluated expressions, and values ,-* * Scale Page If Larger Than Screen • *-* IP W 736 1 H 476 THEM DO CALL ScalePage * Show New Sire and Exit • String»"Finished! Sire of page is now “IIWII" by "11H okay String END ELSE Okay 'Sorry. Page ia already smaller than screen.’ EXIT
* .
* * * * • * Scale Page To NAX Screen Sire (736*476) While
• • Haintaing Aspect Ratio. * *-V ScalePage: IP W 736 &
H 476 THEN DO NewHeight-TRUNC(736* H W)) ? Find which
dimension * NewWidth-TRUNC(476*(W H)) * fite within screen.
• IF NewHeight 476 THEN Percent-476 H ELSE Percent«736 W END
IF W 736 k H *476 THEN Percent-736 W IF W »736 k H 476 THEN
Percent=476 H ELSE NOP W-TRUNCI Percent*W) * New page
dimensions * H-TFUNCI Percent*H) PageSixe H H Fes 1 •
Scale*! Crop«0 * RETURN Listing Four ’*** t* ' I•
Screen-»Brush.opr* vl.O by William Fravley * * • f* January
8. 1994 • t* V • Transforms screen image into brush. • f*

* **** ... .. OPTIONS RESULTS * Load rexxarplib,library
Insure HorkBench to back * *-• IF -SHOW('L', TexiarpHb.
Library') THEN.
CALL ADDLIBI *rex*arplib.library0,-30) CALL ScreenToBackl) f* This will insure that Workbench • • screen will not pop to front • • when this script ia activated. * * Wbenoh 1 default arg for this * * function. * *-• • show Title • .-u ADDRESS 'OpalPaint_Rexx' AskEool "Screen- Bmsh vl.O - by William Frawley, n n OEAY to Continue, CANCEL to Abort."
IF RESULTED THEN EXIT •-*1 * Ask Which Brush to Use •-V Asklnt 131 "Select brush number (1-3). n(Select CANCEL if you don't want to lose your brush!)" IF RC=5 THEN EXIT BrushNum-RESULT *-• * Find Page Slae and Resolution *-* FageSire * Get page dimensions assigned to variables to be displayed as output. Then, redirect this output stream, which would normally be sent to a console, to a file by running the Arexx script from a console as such: run rx [Path Filename.txt] [Scriptname.rxl where "Filename.txt" is the redirected output ASCII file which you can study later for mistakes in
your code and "Scriptnamc.rx" is your Arexx script that you want to debug. Examination of the trace output file will then help you find where your problem occurred and what to correct if needed. Once your code is perfected, simply remove the "trace results" line and resave. If all other programming languages were as facile... Conclusion If vou own ImageMaster or ImageFX, simply translate the concepts presented here to work with these particular programs.
Because ImageFX employs a helpful WYSIWYG display interface and has a complete set of painting toots and regionalized processing, achieving similar results through Arexx should prove as effective and easy as OpalPaint, without the cumbersome drawback of requiring a proprietary display card to view and run the software.
B Soft ’ Soft Shadow
• AC* Please Write to: William Frawley c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 PARSE VAR RESULT W H
PageRes 1* Get page resolution V Res-RESULT *-• * Scale
Fage If Larger Than Screen •-V IF W 736 I H 476 THEN DO
AnkBool 'Page is too large for brush cut operation.
n nScale page (maintaining aspect ratio} to fit screen?
IF RESULT-0 THEN EXIT CALL scalePage END .-. * Cut Page as Brush * •-* ActiveBrush BruahNum * Activate chosen Brush slot • CutKode NORMAL ¦ Pick up all color a • RectCut 0 0 w-1 H-l * Cut out rectangular region the * * size of our current page * Figure 4: To add a drop shadow to text in ADPro, the Text Visual operator (A) is used to add text to a solid black BackDrop and then saved as a temporary tile called Text.24
(B) . After the text Is converted to an 8-bit grayscale, it Is
blurred 10 times then saved as a temporary Alpha channel for
the shadow called Alpha.8 (C). Next, an image in progress
(D) shows the resulting shadow created by compositing a solid
black Backdrop with the Alpha channel, where the values of
the grey portions of fhe Alpha channel determine how much of
the black Backdrop are keyed through it, white being
completely transparent. Finally, the Composite Control
requester is used for final placement of the file Text.24
onto the background and shadows (E). Note that the color
black (0,0,0) is masked out in the process, leaving only the
blue text for compositing.
• •**•*• * .
• INTERNAL FUNCTIONS * * ******* .
*-• 1* Scale Page To MAX Screen Size (736x476} While • * Haintaing Aspect Ratio. * •-• ScalePage: IF W 736 Sl H 476 THEN DO WewHeight»TRUNCn36* (H w» | * Find which dimension * Nevwidth-TRUNC(476*(W H|I * fits within screen. * IF NewHeight 476 THEM Percent-476 H ELSE Percents36 W END IF W 736 & H =476 THEN Percent«736 w IF W -736 4 H 476 THEN Percent«476 H ELSE NOP W-TRUNC(Percent*W} * New page dimensions * H-TRUNC:Percent*H} PageSize w E Res 1 * Scale-1 Crop-0 V RETURN Figure 5: The final result of adding soft-edged drop shadows in ADPro.
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• Defender of the Crown II
• The Grolier Electronic d Q fie w Encyclopedia
• Insight: Technology
• The Guinness Disk of Records Defender Of The Crown II that
really stands out is the enhanced sound added to the game.
The narration and messages are delivered in a stately English voice, giving the player a true sense of actually being in medieval England.
As with the original game, play centers around obtaining wealth by either conquering territories, winning a jousting match, or raiding the treasure of other Lords. To master the game, the player must master key skills such as sword fighting, catapult operation, and jousting. Along with the skills mentioned above, the player must be able to think and plan on a strategic level, as conquest must be well thought out if victory is to be yours. On the whole, this game has reaped the benefits of the improved graphics and sound making it much more enjoyable than the originals.
It is tin.* year 1192, King Richard the Lionhearted has been captured by his enemies while returning to England from the Crusades. Four knights have volunteered to raise the ransom required to release the King, and free England from the clutches of Prince John, In Defender of the Crown II, you choose to play the role of one of these knights. Your goal is to raise £20,000, the necessary ransom. Several avenues are open to you to increase your treasury winning tournaments, capturing castles, conquering castles, skillful negotiating, etc. There are risks in all of these, and each knight has
different skills which will determine your best Course of action.
At first glance, most will assume that this game is a continuation of the original Defender of the Crown, which was released for both the Amiga and CDTV some years ago. However, this is not the case with Defender of the Crown II. This title is essentially identical to the original in most areas, although there have been some interesting changes implemented for the CD1- version. Other than a slight change in the storv line and ultimate goal, overall gameplay is basically unchanged. It seems that Commodore chose instead to improve the graphics and sound. Once again, as in the original.
Commodore enlisted the talents of well known Amiga artist and Defender game designer Jim Sachs. The original graphics have been greatly enhanced with added detail and color, smoother animations, and additional scenes specific to the CD'0 version. Speed is sacrificed for these improved graphics; as the player often has to wait for the next graphic to load.
AMIGA CD Commodore This minor complaint aside, this can be a truly entertaining game. The one feature As with the original game, play centers around obtaining wealth by either conquering territories, winning a jousting match, or raiding the treasure of other lords.
To master the game, the player must master key skills such as sword fighting, catapult operation, and jousting.
An exciting, muluniedwi adventure Hirnuyh the realm of Hnujht.s and maidens The Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia Recognized as tire industry's finest CD-ROM encyclopedia, the New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia now has a brand new interface for the Amiga CD32. With greatly improved search speeds and over 400 megabytes of data, this 21-volume encyclopedia comes to life with high-quality' sound and graphics. Instead of searching through pages and pages of books, the Amiga CD32 will do the searching for you. Information can be accessed three different ways: by topic (Geography, History, etc.), by
direct compound search, or by browsing the multimedia elements. A key feature of the CD31 version is the inclusion of over 2000 photographs and illustrations. Many of which are accompanied by high- quality sound, including excerpts from famous speeches and musical compositions.
Navigation using the controller is accomplished by using the thumb pad to move the on screen pointer to the desired selection.
All search functions can be controlled by the pointer. Key words used for searches are entered by spelling out the word on the onscreen keyboard. If you do not wish to use the search function, you may use the topic selection option which takes the user from the general to the specific via lists and sub-lists. Once you have located the desired topic, cross-references are easily located by clicking on the grey search words on screen. Some entries have accompanying photos and audio. For example, the entry' for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Includes his photo and an excerpt from his famous "I have
a dream..." speech. This combination of text, photos, and audio will Top: The New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia now has a brand new interface lor the Amiga CD32.
Right: Insight: Technology is a must for the truly curious. If you have to know how that coffee maker or areso! Can works, Insight can help.
Be especially helpful to the young student. The only item missing from this otherwise excellent title is use of full motion video. This feature would only enhance the information already included on this CD, and hopefully will be included in future releases. If you are looking for an easy to use, informative reference tool, give Grolier's a look.
Insight: Technology Have you ever wondered how things actually work? From the simple ball-point pen to the mighty space shuttle Insight: Technology for the Amiga CD32 will answer your questions. After the opening credits and introduction, the user is prompted to select from one of three main choices: Topics, Browse, and Index. Topics, as the name implies, allows the user to select from a list of 265 available topics which are arranged much like the table of contents in a book. Highlight your section, hit the red button on the controller and detailed information will appear. Selecting Browse
will randomly display articles from the disc. Pressing the select (red) button while an article is displayed will allow you to study it more fully. Index will take you to a list of over 2000 keywords which like an index, allows for easy location of desired topics. Once a key word is selected, Insight will provide the number of articles that contain that key word and an option to display that list. The main selection screen also contains two other options: Helptour, a 3-minute presentation on how to use Insight, and credits, which displays the names of those who contributed to the creation of
the program.
Once you have selected a topic, Insight will take you to a detailed information screen. All detail screens for each topic are arranged in the same way. The left hand side of the screen displays scrolling text on the topic, which can be controlled by using onscreen up and down arrows. To the right are two images relating to the topic. The top image is a graphic representation of the topic.
Selecting this image allows the user to gain additional information.
Cut away drawings with labels and descriptions are often included.
In some cases, an animation explaining the function of the topic is also included. Most of these animations and drawings are accompanied by a narration that provides detailed information on the visual image. The lower image is a photograph of an example of the topic selected. By selecting this image, the user is given a brief audio visual slide-type show which depicts various examples of the topic under investigation. A key feature of this program is the inclusion of select full motion video clips. If a film icon appears next to a specific topic on the main list, a short video clip is
available by selecting the photo image described above. This feature really makes this program come alive.
This program is a must for the truly curious. If you have to know how that coffee maker or aerosol can works, Insight can help.
This title seems to fit the "multimedia" definition better than most. Thankfully, the new drive in the CD15 player allows for shorter access time for images, making this a very usable program. Tire combination of informative text, graphics, and photos; along with the full motion video and high quality audio, make for a valuable and entertaining reference tool.
The Guinness Disc of Records, 2nd Edition Fur ihose of you who are interested in trivia, the well known Guinness Book of Records has made the transition to the CD1’ format. You now have over 6000 examples of the fastest, the highest, the first and the best, accompanied by hundreds of full-color photographs, illustrations, and sound samples that you can see and hear at the touch of a button.
When you start up the program, an animated leprechaun guide will give you a short introduction to the disc. Most people will want to skip over this as soon as possible. The voice provided for the leprechaun is unintelligible and down right annoying. Once past this point, you come to the Main Menu. This screen has twelve large boxes on the upper portion, and four symbols along the bottom. All records in this title have been split into Chapters. The chapiters are represented by the twelve drawings in the top part of the main menu screen, if you select a drawing on the main menu, you'll go to the
first record in that chapter. At the bottom of the screen are symbols which allow you to find a specific record, see an audiovisual tour, or get help.
T his is a title that begs to be explored. Jumping from topic to topic is easily accomplished and adds to the fun of exploration.
While many topics contain only text, there are also numerous photos and sounds that accompany other topics. These sounds and photos bring this disc to life and adds to the overall experience.
Access time was found to be acceptable and overall quality of the production excellent. The disc also includes a selection of audiovisual tours of topics that contain outstanding photos and informative narrations. If you are a trivia buff who loves to explore, this is a disc worth considering.
Product Information Defender of the Crown II Commodore Electronics Limited 1200 Wilson Drive West Chester, PA 19380
(215) 413-9100 Inquiry 222 Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia
Commodore Electronics Limited 1200 Wilson Drive West
Chester, PA 19380
(215) 413-9100 Inquiry 223 Insight: Technology Commodore
Electronics Limited 1200 Wilson Drive West Chester, PA
(215) 413-9100 Inquiry 224 Guinness Disk of Records Commodore
Eleclronics Limited 1200 Wilson Drive West Chester, PA
(215) 413-9100 Inquiry 225 The AGA Chip Set and Amiga Gaming:
CD 2 to the Rescue!
By Jeffjames AS MANY AMIGA OWNERS KNOW, finding Amiga software on the shelves of a local software store in the United States can be an arduous task. Locating Amiga hardware is even more difficult. While Apple, IBM and Compaq computers dominate the shelf space and advertising dollars of American computer shops and retail stores, Amiga products are often found only through the pages of a mail-order catalog or via an uncommon rarity an Amiga dealer.
Opposite: Diggers involves a team of diggesr sent out to mine for treasure in this adventure game requiring insight and strategy. The game features 33 enormous maps covering a variety of terrain. The objectives are to hit a target income level and defeat opponents as the treasure hunt unfolds.
Left: Game players take Zool, an interstellar cosmos dweller from the Nth dimension, to the edges of the known universe and beyond, guiding him through seven worlds and back to his home. On his journey, he encounters dangerous forces who can turn ordinary objects into deadly assassins In Europe, it's a different story. Advertisements for the 'X') Amiga and CD- - regularly appear in popular European computer magazines and in large newspapers. A recent print ad in England compared the 32-bit CCD- to the 16-bit Sega Mega CD by spoofing Sega UK’s ad slogan "To be this good takes Sega" with the
headline "To be this good would take Sega ages."
Commodore UK's television advertisement portrays the CD- - as the ultimate game machine, fawned over by two mad scientists clad in white lab coats. Commodore's stronger presence in Europe translates into a much higher profile for the Amiga, with Amiga and CD3- software a common sight at most computer shops and large retail stores. While it may be losing shelf space and market share to boring MS-DOS clones here in the states, the Amiga is definitely alive and kicking overseas.
FORTRESS EUROPE: THE CD32 OVERSEAS Commodore has always been successful at selling the Amiga to European consumers, and has become even more so with the latest addition to the Amiga family: the Amiga CD3-. A wolf in 1 sheep's clothing, the CD-1- is essentially an Amiga 1200 computer without a keyboard or disk drive stuffed into an unassuming Sega Genesis style case. Unlike most of its 16-bit competitors, the CD3- doesn't use cartridges. A rounded bulge at the top of the case contains the CD3-'s top-loading CD-ROM drive, which is used for games, music Cds and other compact disk formats.
At its heart, the CD-1- beats with the power of a 32-bit 68EC020 CPU and the AGA chip set. For a more detailed look at the technical specifications of the CD3-, see the October 1993 issue of Amazing Computing, p.46.) According to Jim Mackonochie of Mindscnpe U.K., the CD33 made quite an impressive entrance into the U.K. computer market last fall. A Gallup survey of U.K. computer software sales taken In the last week of December reveals that CD-’3 software sales for the period surpassed both Phillips CD-i and IBM compatible CD-ROM formats. (See Figure 1.)
According to John Smith, National Retail Sales Manager for Commodore U.K., "CD3- titles dominate the software sales charts in the United Kingdom, where we're outselling all other CD-ROM platforms." Amazingly, the CD33 jumped from no market share to nearly 1% of the UK software market only three months after its introduction. At press time (mid-January), approximately forty CD3- titles were available and shipping in Europe. Although the United Kingdom is undoubtedly the strongest Amiga market in Europe, the CD-13 has been well received in other European countries as well. According to Frederic
Bolton, a French CD33 software developer, the CD33 has been more successful in France than initially expected.
"CD33 is doing well in France. Many of the larger stores first stated that they wouldn't risk carrying a new Amiga. Lately, some stores have reversed their positions and are now stocking the CD3-." By the time the CD3- goes on sale in America in March, Commodore estimates that 85 software titles will be available and shipping. For more information on upcoming CDJ- software, see the February 1994 issue of Amazing Computing, p.95.) Even more CD3- titles are on the way; Commodore esti- IT mates that over 150 titles will be released for the CD- - over the course of 1994. Although that figure may
be a little on the optimistic side, a veritable flood of new games are in development.
Most of these new CD3- titles will be developed by stalwart UK- based Amiga developers such as Microprose, Ocean, Millennium, and Psygnosis, although several companies new to the Amiga market have decided to throw their hats into the CD33 ring.
According to Peter Moreland, Deputy Publishing Director for Microprose U.K., CD33 owners can expect several conver- 'I') sions of popular MS-DOS Microprose games to CD-’-. "We have a couple of conversions underway, such as Pirates Cold and Gunsltip 2000." Moreland added that Microprose U.K. was starting several new CD projects, with Civilization and The Legacy being the most likely prospects. Ocean Software will be offering two particularly promising CLP- titles: TFX (for Tactical Fighter: Experimental) and Inferno, According to Stephen Hey of Ocean
U. K., TFX will be "a groundbreaking flight simulator with stun
ning graphics and gameplay," while Inferno will be a 3-D space
simulator along the lines of Wing Commander. Slated to be
released sometime in the first quarter of 1994, TFX and
Inferno will be co-developed by Ocean and Digital Image Design
32-bit video game animation and colors provide life-like graphics, that can be rendered with 256,000 colors from a palette of 16.7 million.
Interplay and Almathera are teaming up to bring Castles II to CD 2 owners, while Bullfrog developer of Populous and Powermonger is planning to create an enhanced CD- ~ version of their hit game Syndicate.. Acclaim is planning to port their controversial Mortal Kombat game to the CD-- sometime in 1994; whether the CD-*- version of the game will feature as much graphic violence as the Sega Genesis version remains to he seen.
Although the first generation of CD*2 titles are primarily ports from existing Amiga games, several forthcoming games from European game developers will begin to exploit the speed, storage, and true-color graphics capabilitv of the CD. Shown extensively in the Commodore booth at the Winter 1994 CES in Las Vegas, Psygnosis' Microcosm features possibly the longest introductory' animation ever seen on an Amiga game. Although the gameplay isn't up to the same level as the graphics and animation, it nevertheless is one of tire first software titles to tap the true potential of the CD A Fans of
the Lawmnower Man movie can look forward to a CD arcade game of (he same name by' The Saks Curve (distributed by Storm), which will reportedly feature ray-traced animation patterned after the film. Finally, two CD*- titles from software developer Mirage will feature extensive amounts of rav-traced graphics and animation: Return to the Lost World and Rise of the Robots. Both are slated for release sometime in 1994.
FORWARD TO THE FUTURE The arrival of the CD** has already begun changing the face of Amiga gaming. Companies that no longer support the Amiga (such as LucasArts, Sierra and Dynamix) are taking a strong second look at re-entering the Amiga market. So what does the success of the CD-1- mean for the future of Amiga gaming?
Most developers agree that the Cl)** will cause a gradual increase in the number of floppy-based games for other Amiga computers, especially those equipped with the AGA chip set.
Given how easy it is to port floppy-based Amiga games to and from the CD**, many developers can maximize their investment by covering two markets with a single development effort. Toby Simpson, Lead Programmer for Millennium, suggests that the future of Amiga gaming resides in the CD-. "[The success ol the CD**] will translate into more A1200 A40D0 titles of certain types in the short-term. In the iong term, more software will make use of the 650MB storage capacity of CD, making it difficult to port CD** titles down to the A1200 A4000 easily."
Although tire CD** will undoubtedly have a positive effect on Amiga game development, some developers see the rise of the CD** occurring at the expense of floppy-disk game development. "We do not see ourselves developing floppy software ever, and my friends at other software publishers tell me they are phasing out Amiga floppy software in preference for CD** titles," adds Jo I yon Ralph of Almathera.
So how does the CD** stack up against the competition?
Although the CD**’s 32-bit CPU and AGA chip set allow it to vastly outperform current 16-bit game systems, the CD-''- does fall short when compared to the 64-bit Atari Jaguar and the 32- hit 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. Both the 3DO and the Jaguar feature hardware support for advanced animation functions such as texture-mapping, morphing, transparency and other special graphic effects which the CD-*- lacks. Nevertheless, the 3DO and the Jaguar have their own share of obstacles to surmount, especially in Europe. The 3DO is very expensive in the UK, the Jaguar has an extremely limited market
presence, and the Phillips CD-i is generally acknowledged as being too under powered to play games like the Amiga, in addition, all the aforementioned machines have only a small number of software titles currently available for them, an area in which the CD-" excels.
"it will take one to two years [for 3DO, Phillips, and Atari] to develop the sort of titles that the market requires.", says Jim Mackonochie of Mindscape UK. Jolyon Ralph, Technical Director of UK-based CD32 software developer Almathera, agrees that the CD32 has some inherent advantages over the competition. "3DO is too expensive, CD-i is too limited technically it can't do games well at all and the Atari Jaguar isn't a CD platform."
While the CD32 js technically less powerful than the 3DO and the Jaguar, a hardware upgrade to the CD--- is reportedly being considered by Commodore over the course of the next year or so. Although the possibility of a CD-*" outfitted with the AAA chip set (which is being designed first and foremost for the next generation of Amiga desktop computers) is highly unlikely, Commodore officials and Amiga developers concede that a low- cost 68030 processor could be easily added to the CD32 for a quick boost in processing power.
A faster processor isn't the only new thing CD32 owners may be able to look forward to.
Commodore displayed the S250 MPEG module for the CD32 extensively at the January 1994 Consumers Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Using the MPEG compression format, the MPEG module allows the CD32 to play up to 74-minutes of VHS quality video, ideal for playing disks based on the new Video CD format. Commodore hinted that a variety of new products are being developed by third-party developers for the CD32, including virtual reality headsets and gloves, cable TV interfaces, and other peripherals. A CD32-compatible CD-ROM peripheral for the Amiga 1200 4000 is also a possibility, although
some developers have doubts whether the device will be produced. Commodore may be forced to sell the drive at the same price point as the CD32 itself (i.e., around $ 399 retail) to cover production costs, making it more attractive for consumers to simply buy a stand-alone CD32.
24. 3% Amiga
15. 6% SNES
14. 4% Gameboy
14. 4% IBM PC
7. 6% NES
6. 3% Sega 8 bit
6. 1% Gamegear
5. 2% Atari ST
1. 8% Sega Mega-CD
1. 1% C64
1. 0% CD32
0. 7% PC CD-ROM
0. 4% Phillips Cdi
0. 05% Unit sales of Ihe major game machines.
For the DEVELOPER BLUES To create the software, peripherals and other products that CD32 owners will demand, Commodore is relying heavily upon its formidable network of European software and hardware developers. Unfortunately, developer support CD-1- in the states appears to be trailing behind Europe.
An employee at one American software development firm (who asked to remain anonymous) received a wooden prototype of the CD32 from Commodore nearly a year ago, yet didn't receive support materials of any kind, "It was the same story with the CDTV. I'd call several different people at Commodore for development info, only to be given a different number or person to talk to. After being shuffled around like this for a while, you begin to question whether you're making the right decision to support the machine." One of the largest American game developers encountered yet another problem with
Commodore's developer support. After investing substantial resources in an effort to port its products to the CDTV, the company then saw the platform fade into obscurity due to shifting priorities at Commodore. Because of these factors, most American software developers have adopted a "wait and see" attitude towards the CD32. Although some developers with strong ties to the U.K. most notably Virgin games, Sierra and Microprose are pushing ahead with European CD32 game development. Commodore has to prove it can effectively market and sell the machine in the states before most developers
will commit resources to CD- - projects.
Commodore's developer support is much better in Europe, according to most Amiga developers contacted there. French CD32 developer Frederic Botton reports that Commodore's support for the CD32 is an improvement over their Amiga support.
"Support for the CD32 is better than the support we received for the Amiga or CDTV. A dedicated CD32 developer support BBS would be nice, but support is offered on some networks. As far as CD32 is concerned, ail of the development questions I've asked have been answered."
Jim Mackonochie of Mindscape U.K. concurs. "There is a long-standing [development] infrastructure in Europe. It was somewhat damaged by the CBM downsizing last year, but [it is] still there."
That same downsizing has left other developers out of touch with Commodore. "1 can't remember the last time we heard from Commodore." Says Jez San of UK-based Argonaut Software (developer of Starglider I & II and Birds of Prey). "All the good people we used to deal with seem to have left." According to most developers, Commodore's mediocre track record for developer support is largely due to recent staff cuts throughout the company. The consensus seems to be that developer support is strong albeit weakened in Europe and gradually improving in America.
THE U.S. MARKET Regardless of how well the CD - is doing in Europe, most developers admit that Commodore's most challenging obstacle lies ahead: selling the CD-*2 in the US market. By the time you read this, CD"’- should be available and shipping to Amiga dealers and other distributors across the country.
Finding shelf space for the CD22 in a crowded U.S. market filled with game consoles and interactive multimedia players may be Commodore's most formidable challenge. With the Atari jaguar, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, and the Phillips CD-i all fighting for a slice of the burgeoning interactive entertainment market, finding the CD-*- at a local consumer electronics store may be next to impossible. Factor in the formidable market presence of Sega and Nintendo the twin 800-pound gorillas of the video game industry and the outlook for the CD"*- begins to dim somewhat. Although the 16-bit
systems from Sega and Nintendo can't hold a pixelized candle to the 32-bit CD A neither company is set to rest upon its laurels. Both are planning to introduce new game systems in late 1994 or early 1995. Sega is reportedly developing a 32-bit CD-based game system code-named "Saturn"), while Nintendo has joined forces with workstation manufacturer Silicon Graphics to begin work on an advanced game system with the nebulous moniker of "Project Reality."
Although both systems are still at least a year away, they serve as a reminder that neither company intends to surrender the multibillion dollar home video game market without a fight.
Nevertheless, the CD22 has definitely gotten off to an impressive start. With strong European sales, robust developer support, and an aggressive price point, the CD22 brings a great deal to the video gaming table. Although it may be too early to speculate how well Commodore's latest addition to the Amiga family will fare in the viciously competitive American video game market, one thing is for certain: the future of Amiga gaming ha_s arrived.
The comments expressed in this article are those of the author aud not those of Amazing Computing, its writers, or its staff.
Companies Mentioned Mindscape 60 Leveroni Court Novato, CA 94949
(415) 883-3000 Inquiry 231 Microprose 180 Lakefront Dr. Hunt
Valley, MD 21030
(410) 771-0440 Inquiry 232 Psygnosis 675 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 497-5457 Inquiry 233 Ocean 1855 O'Toole Ave Ste D-102 San
Jose, CA 95131
(408) 954-0201 Inquiry 234 Interplay 3710 Susan 100 Santa Ana,
CA 92714
(714) 553-6655 Inquiry 235 Commodore Business Machines 1200
Wilson Drive West Chester, PA 19380
(215) 431-9100 Inquiry 236 Please write to: Jeff James c o
Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722 Overdrive by Henning
Vahlenkamp Not to be confused with a multi-directional
shoot-em-up from Infacto called Overdrive (Coming Attracfions,
AC V9.2), this particular game, also called Overdrive, from
England's Team 17 features overhead racing action amazingly
reminiscent of Psygnosis' Nitm. In all my years of computer
gaming, 1 don't think I've ever run across two different games
with the same name before.
Perhaps one of the publishers should consider a name change for their game to avoid anv further confusion. But that's beside the point; the real issue is the quality of the game, not its name.
Overdrive - from here on referring to the Team 17 game
- offers a selection of 20 tracks on five terrains (GP, City,
Icy, Desert, 4x4) with four vehicles (GP, Supercar, 4x4,
The objective is to race until you make it to the top rank, then compete against the "demon driver" to win the game. The game doesn't say much about this driver, but you can be sure that whoever it is will be tough to beat.
The main menu offers Start, Options, Disk, and Control submenus. From Options, you can choose the skill level, game mode, and music or sound effects. The mode selection lets you play a normal game, a practice game Overdrive from Team 17 should not be confused with Overdrive by Infacto. Two different games with just one great name.
Either against the clock (time trials) or not, or a two player game with two Amigas linked by a null-modern cable.
Presumably, using actual modems over the phone lines would be too slow for realtime racing, Disk allows you to load and save games to a data disk, which unfortunately doesn't use normal AmigaDOS files, or select whether to use one or two disk drives.
Control gives you a choice of two different joystick control methods, 1 prefer the first method, whereby left and right govern turning and fire accelerates, over the second, requiring moving the stick in the direction you want to go.
There's evert support for an analog Steering wheel and console-type joypads.
Start takes you into the game itself. If you chose either practicing mode, you then get a choice of 20 scenarios featuring different combinations of vehicles and tracks. In the regular racing mode, you get a choice of three different scenarios every time you race.
Each scenario comes with two computer-controlled opponents of varying abilities, and requires a certain entry fee, You start out with $ 50,000, and continue racing until the money runs out or you finish last in three races.
Coming in first or second earns you commensurate cash prizes. Before racing, you may' opt to qualify on a track to improve your position on the starting line. Qualifying takes three laps, while each race takes eight.
When It comes time to race, you're presented with an overhead multidirectional scrolling view of the track and your car. The bottom panel across the screen provides such vital information as lap times, fuel and speed levels, and a scanner condensing a broader view of the surrounding back region. Effectively controlling your car takes practice at first, but once you master the basics, you can get down to some real racing strategy. A helpful one is to BEST LAP 00:30:00 GRAI& JfltfES ENTflV F££ $ 1BOOG PRIFE rtflfffiV 15 T: £ 35000 2Mb; $ 13000 RAT i HG : With twenty tracks on five terrains and
three scenarios for each race, Overdrive offers a great deaf of racing excitement. The object is to race until you make it to the top rank, then compete against the "demon driver" to win the game. With $ 50,000 to start, you have a lot riding on each race.
Bunip your opponents out of the way before they do it to you, since your car never su ffers any damage.
While careening around the track as fast as possible, don't forget to avoid obstacles (e.g. oil slicks) and collect fuel cans, money, and non-skid tires, among other power-ups. You'll also find strategically placed "turbo pads" for temporary bursts of turbo speed. And keep an eye on your fuel; when it's gone, you're gone.
Overdrive's animation and hi-fi, synthesizer- style music are flawless. Each terrain has a custom- tailored theme soundtrack that works well. A generous measure of digitized speech, with an English accent of course, appears throughout the game. The 64 and 32-color graphics are about as good as possible given those color limits. It's tough to find any fault with the look and feel of the game itself.
On the other hand, it's easier to find fault with ancillary matters. For starters, the manual isn't entirely accurate. For instance, it erroneously states that you can use any vehicle in any race, but you're really limited to three different predefined scenarios for every race. Furthermore, the tiny typeface might irritate those with less-than-sharp eyesight. Also, I find the poorly explained ranking system somewhat confusing, as I'm unclear about exactly what it takes to achieve the top rank, whatever that may be.
Finally, there's no mention of the ESC key which can be pressed at the Start submenu to end the current game.
The game play also has a few irritations. Your status screen only appears when you place first or second in a race, instead of whenever you want to view it, Loading times between races are longer than they should be, considering that the game ships on two custom, copy-protected disks. All that waiting adds up, detracting from the flow of the game, especially if you're unfortunate enough to have only one floppy drive. Forget about hard disk installation.
Overdrive requires PAL mode, and the Display Options menu on 2.1+ Amigas won't do the trick, so you need a utility program like Chris Hames Degrader. At least the game will run on any Amiga, including AGA, with 1MB RAM.
When 1 first played Overdrive, I almost mistook it for Nstro. This game successfully captures the essence of that famous Psygnosis game, but doesn't include a few Nitro extras like night driving and three player support on a single machine. Then again, Nitro doesn't have quite the range of options, and it's incompatible with AGA Amigas. In short, Overdrive is great on gameplay, not as great on documentation and disk accessing.
Overdrive Team 17 Marwood House, Garden Street Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 1DX England Tel: 0924 201846 Inquiry 237 Ishar: Legend of the Fortress by Henning Vnhlenkamp ...these characters aren’t merely puppets who always do what you want.
Ft's often said in the computer games business that there aren’t too many original ideas. Most new games are just variations on old ones.
That's certainly true of Ishar, a role-playing game (RPG) by Silmarils, a French developer, in a similar vein as Eye of the Beholder (EOB). While Ishar may not break any new ground in the idea department, its implementation helps it stand out in a crowded RPG field.
It seems that the evil Morgoth once conquered the land of Arborea, but Prince Jarel and his companions destroyed him after finding the Crystals of Harmony.
Incidentally, that's the plot of Crystals of Arborea, an earlier Silmarils title. So Jarel became ruler, renaming the kingdom Kendoria, Of course Jarel was killed eventually, and anarchy descended upon Kendoria. In the resulting power struggle, another evil-doer named Krogh gained control and built the fortress Ishar. That leaves you to find Ishar and get rid of Krogh, The above information is essentially all the game reveals up front about the plot.
Everything else, ranging from what to do at the beginning to achieving the goal, is up to you. Here's a hint: recruit the first character you meet, go south to the village in Angarahn, and see a man named Akeer, Like EOB, Ishar features a 3D first-person perspective, but takes place mostly outdoors instead of in forbidding dungeons. And everything occurs in real time, but there's no time limit to the game. The lush, detailed scenery of the forests and grasslands seems to wrap around you as the view is updated during your step-by- step mov ements, creating a great atmospheric feel. The box
claims over 100, 000 views! As in real life, objects in She distance have a wonderful hazy, unfocused quality which disappears as you move toward them. Things do seem a bit static, though, it would have been nice to see the trees waving in the breeze or the water rippling. The only real animation is that of the onscreen characters, particularly enemies.
Ishar dispenses with the usual RPG practice of character generation. Of course there are the familiar role-playing skills and attributes even a few novel ones such as orientation and languages. You simply start out with one predefined character, and you can recruit up to four others during the game, assuming they want to join your party and the party agrees. Psychology is an interesting factor, as these characters aren't merely puppets who always do what you want. For instance, a character may decide not to fight his own people (if they happen to be opponents) or might oppose your eliminat
ing a friend in the party. This certainly adds a rare dimension of realism.
While RPGs often have a reputation of complexity, controlling Ishar is quite intuitive. I was able to dive right into this point-and-click affair without first laboring over the manual. In addition to the viewing window occupying most of the screen, the bottom part contains a strip of icon panels for each character, and the right side contains general purpose icons.
An icon panel is the key to managing a particular character. From here, you can have him or her do various things including giving, eliminating, or recruiting other characters; casting spells; picking locks; getting bearings; healing injuries; or attacking enemies. Clicking on a character's picture reveals quick summaries of the more detailed character sheet information obtained by clicking on the character's name. This information completely defines a character, it displays all the skills, attributes, experience, energy levels, and items (carried, worn, or held in hand). You can also ingest,
examine, or drop items, as well as give items or exchange money with other party members.
The right side of the screen lias icons for movement, rearranging tire party's combat order, and loading saving games. Using an effective combat order can be crucial to success in battle, Sword-wielding fighters, for example, should be up front, while those with missile weapons and spellcasters should be farther behind. The compass and area name box help with navigation.
Nevertheless, most players will probably resort to the traditional graph paper to map their progress and prevent getting lost. The game's undocumented onscreen map of Kendoria neither shows villages nor your party's location, limiting its usefulness.
Ishar only works on AGA Amigas. You can piay the game from its two unprotected floppy disks or from a hard disk. The manual doesn't mention Amiga hard disk installation, but doing so is as simple as copying all the files from each floppy into a hard disk subdirectory and then typing "T.X” from the shell.
Since Ishar is spread across 100-e AmigaDOS files, playing from a hard disk is preferable, significantly cutting down disk access time. The game doesn't like scan-doubled screen modes, so make sure you're in a 15kHz mode such as NTSC or PAL before running the game from the operating system.
As 1 mentioned earlier, the graphics are lush and detailed. Even though there don't appear to be anywhere near 256 colors on the 320x200 pixel game screen, I can't really complain. You definitely won't find anything better in a regular 32-color Amiga game.
The peculiar music has a medieval flavor that complements the game.
There's only one obvious bug in Ishar: occasional random flashes of garbage onscreen resembling vertical bars, apparently resulting from a misuse of the AGA registers. I wonder how this escaped quality control? The bug doesn’t affect gameplay however.
As the first AGA-specific RPG, Ishar is a rather good effort. Its straightforward control should appeal to those put off by traditional games in this genre. Moreover, combat is kept to a reasonable level (often against no more than a handful of enemies), and sufficient character interaction balances it. The display bug and lack of automapping are the only things in the negative column; everything else goes in the positive. Perhaps the upcoming Ishar 2 AGA will correct these two deficiencies.
Ishar: Legend of the Fortress (AGA) Silmarils produced by Daze Marketing Ltd.
2 Canfield Place London, NW6 3BT, England Tel: 071 328 2762 Fax: 071 328 2738 Inquiry 238 Amazing Computing 0 J o o 0 0 CO w b -rV_ ¥ Vol.", No.Il, November 1992 Highlights include: "Amiga 4000," Commodore creates a bold new direction in Amiga computing with expanded graphic resolutions, modular CPU, and more.
"Progressive 040 2000," a review by Kick Mataka, "Remap Magic," Leam why this tool is your best bet for making use of your palette.
"Beginning C," Chue Xiong covers some of the basics of the C language.
¥ Vol.7, No. 12, December 1992 Highlights Include: "Polishing Basic Programs," Marianne Citlis shares the secrets of BASIC programming experts.
"Banners," A tutorial on creating banner-length printouts, by Pat Kaszvcki.
"Structured Drawing Sc TueBAStC," paul Castunguay shows how True BASIC fully supports any level of hierarchical structure.
Also, complete reviews of Voyager 1.1, PIXOUND, VistaPro 2.1), and OpalVision.
* Vol.8, No.l, January 1993 Highlights Include: "Creating a
Storyboard in Final Copy," see how to layout your animation
storyboard in Final Copy, by K Shamms Morlier.
* A Look at 24-bit Libraries," Shamms Morlier looks at 24-bit
"Using Laser Disk Players with the Amiga," Rom Battle examines the benefits of laser disks as a source of video images. He also shows an easy' way to set them up.
Plus: A complete review of the new A1200 St coverage of Comdex Fall 92 Sc the FES-London.
* Vol.8, No.2, February 1993 Highlights Include: " Extending the
AMOS Sort," Dave Senger looks at the AMOS sort function.
" Business Cards," Soft-Logik's Dan Weiss gives an in-depth tutorial on how to create your own business cards, "AD1012," a review by Rick Manasa.
AND! A special sneak preview of the One-Stop Music Shop from Blue Ribbon & complete coverage of the VVOCA Toronto!
¥ Vol.8, No.3, March 1993 Highlights Include: "Babylon 5," the Amiga changes the way TV shows are made, by los Paul Roblev "AmigaVision Projects," by William Murphy ''Art Expression," review by Merrill Callaway PLUS: Creative business forms & CES Winter '93 Vol.8, No.4, April 1943 Highlights Include: “TriplePlay Plus & SyncPro", rev iews of two great music products by Rick Manasa "CanDo," a review of the application development system from INQVAtronics, by Rob Hayes ALSO: Super VideoSlot for April, Arexx, di, and great Diversions!
¥ Vol.8, No.5, May 1993 Highlights Include: "Directory Opus", review of the latest version of Directory Opus and a start-up tutorial by Merrill Callaway "Media Madness," explores the inside of Blue Ribbon Soundwork’s new Media Madness, by Todor Fay St David Miller "SuperJAM 1.1," a review of the latest release of SupefjAM! By Rick Manasa "ImageFX," review bv R. Shamms Mortier ALSO: Super VideoSlot for May -The New Graphics Modes!
¥ Vol.8, No b, June 1993 Highlights Include: "AMOS Turns Prufessionat",review of a major upgrade hailed as a comprehensive development system, by Jimmy Rose "Searching Medical Literature," using the Amiga to tap the vast resources of medical on-line services, by Dr. Michael Tobin ALSO: Newsletter Design, Arexx Programming, Itot Diversions Amhons YttXO IOAVTIP 4COO __ t* Thizing wiH. 1
* Vol.8, No.7, July 1993 Highlights Jndude: "TypeSMITH 1.0",
review of Solt-Logik's new font editor, by Merrill Callaway
"OpalPaint 2.0," review of the latest version of this paint
program for the OpalVision board, by R. Shamms Mortier
"Structured Drawing," basic features and advanced techniques,
by Dan Weiss "DeluxePaint J V AGA," review of the latest paint
package for the AGA machines, by R. Shamms Mortier ALSO: Super
VideoSlot, Arexx, and New Products!
¥ Vol.8, No 8, August 1993 Highlights Include: "Amiga Vision Professional”, review Commodore's upgraded authoring system, by Douglas J. Nnkakihara "Art Department Profcsionai 2,3," review of the latest release of AdPro from ASDG, by Merrill Callaway "Professional Page 4,0," the latest incarnation of Ivo Page, by Rick Manasa "Pseudo Radiosity Effects," why ray tracing is not an accurate model of true light behavior, bv Mark Hoffman "T-Rexx Professional", a review of the latest release of T-Kexx from ASDG, by Merrill Callaway ALSO: AC Phone Book; A directory of Amiga Developers!
* •' Vol.8, No 9, September 1993 1 lighlights Include:
"Adventures with Aladdin",Part 111 of this tutorial series on
Aladdin 4D, by R- Shamms Mortier "CanDo,"first installment of
this series for CanDo programmers, by Randy Finch "Caligari
24," Review of version 3.0 of this 24-bit software, bv R.
Shamms Mortier "Coming Attractions," A look into the future
attractions in Amiga games, by Henning Vahlenkamp ALSO:
WOCA Australia Sc Summer CES!
M Vol.8, No 111, October 1993 Highlights Include: "Making Waves", Focus on the wave requester in (’art IV of the Aladdin series, R, Shamms Mortier "Clouds in Motion," Animated clouds in Scenery Animator, by 14.
Shamms Mortier "Media Madness," Discover what it can do for Bars&Pipes, by Rick Manasa "Bars&Pipes Professional 2.0," review by Kick Manasa "Bernoulli Multi Disk 150", A review of this great Iomega drive.
ALSO: Commodore’s new CD32!
¥ Vol.8, No 11, November 1993 Highlights Include: "CanDo”. This installment covers developing a custom object by combining several standard CanDo objects, by Kandy Finch.
"Brilliance," A complete review of this hot new paint and animation program from Digital Creations, by Frank McMahon.
"Online," The introduction of this new telecommunications column for the Amiga, bv Rob Hays.
"Get Graphic: Digital Image F X," The introduction of AC's new graphics column, by William Frawlev- 'Ticasso 11”, A review of one of the best now graphics cards available, by Mark Ricken.
ALSO: WOCA Pasadena: Commodore introduces CD-32! Plus, the incredible LightRave, a Video Toaster emulator!
¥ VoLS, No 12, December 1993 Highlights Include: "CanDo Tutorial". Basic concepts behind animations and presentations, by Kandy Finch.
"LightKavc Review," A review of this uniques Toaster emulator, bv Shamms Mortier, "Online," The introduction of this new telecommunications column for the Amiga, bv Rob 1 fays.
"Get Graphic: Digital Image F X," The introduction of Aos new graphics column, by William Frawley.
"Video Toaster 4000 Review", A review of the latest Video Toaster by Shamms Mortier.
ALSO: 1993 Reader's Chioce Awards!
* AC's TECH, Vol. 2, No. 4 I li hli hts Include: "In Search of
the Lost Windows," by Phil Burke X O hi K i i b "No Mousing
Around," hide that annoying mouse pointer with this great
program, by Jeff Dickson.
"The Joy of Sets," by Jim Olinger "Quarterback5.0," a*review by Merrill Callaway.
* AC's TECH, Vol. 3, No. 1 Highlights Include: "Comeau
Computing's C++," A review of this great new C compiler by
Forest Arnold.
"Programming the Amiga in Assembly Language Pari 5," by William Nee "Make Your Own 3D Vegetation," Laura Morrison shows how to use iterated functions to create 3D trees and plants.
PLUS! The HolLinks Developer's Toolkit ON-DISK!
* AC's TECH. Vol. 3, No. 2 Highlights Include: "Ole," An arcade
game programmed in AMOS BASIC, by Thomas J. Eshelman.
"Programming the Amiga in Assembly Language Part 6," by William Nee "Wrapped Up with True BASIC," Text and Graphics wrapping mod tues in True BASIC, by Dr. Roy M. Nuzzo "ARexx Disk Cataloger," An AmigaDOS manipulator that produces a text file containing information about the floppy disks vou want cataloged, bv T. Darrel Westbrook AND LOTS MORE ON DlSk!
V AC's TECH. Vol. 3, No.3 Highlights Include: "Rexx Rainbow Library," A review by Merrill Callaway "Programming the Amiga in Assembly," by William Nee "All You Ever Wanted to Know About Morphing," An in* depth look at morphing for Imagine by Bruno Costa and Lucia Darsa "Custom 3D Graphics Package Part I," Designing a custom 3D graphics package by Laura Morisson.
Build a Second Joystick Port," A simple hardware project for an additional joystick port bv Jaques rlallcc.
* AC's TECH. Vol. 3. No. A Highlights Include: "Custom 3D
Graphics Package Part 11," Put the finishing touches on s our
own graphics package by I-aura Morisson.
"TruBASlC Input Mask," An interesting TrucBASIC utility by
T. Darrell Westbrook, "Time Efficient Animations," Make up for
lost time with this great animation utility by Robert Galka.
F-BA SIC 5.0," A review of this latest version of F-BA5IC bv Jeff Stein.
PLUS: CD32 Development Info!
1-800-345-3360 [V: inm mk, VC TSO auka Ole' *i .j* wm Complete selection of Amazing Computing and AC s TECH AVAILABLE!
II II Jl z Have you missed information on how to add ports to your Amiga for under $ 70, how to work around DcluxePaint's Sack of HAM support, how to deal with service bureaus, or how to put your Super 8 films on video tape, along with Amiga graphics? Do you know the differences among the big three DTP programs for the Amiga? Does the Arexx interface still puzzle you? Do you know when it's better to you use the CU? Would you like to know how to go about publishing a newsletter? Do you fake fuli advantage of your RAMdisk? Have you yet to install an IBM mouse to work with your bridgeboard? Do you
know there's an alternative to high-cost word processors? Do you still struggle through your directories?
Or if you're a programmer or technical type, do you understand how to add 512K RAM to your 1MB A500 for a cost of only $ 30? Or how to program the Amiga’s GUI in C? Would you like the instructions for building your own variable rapid-fire joystick or a 246-grayscale SCSI interface for your Amiga? Do you use easy routines for performing floppy access without the aid of the operating system? How much do you really understand about ray tracing?
JL lK7= Below is a listing of the latest additions to the Fred Fish Collection. This expanding library of freely redistributable software is the work of Amiga pioneer and award winning software anthologist. Fred Fish.
Fora complete list of all AC. AmtCUS, and Fred Fish Disks, cataloged and cross- referenced for your convenience, please consult the current AC's Guide To The Commodore Amiga available at your local Amazing Dealer.
Ered£istLDiSk_9_40 AltTab A small Commodity that successively displays the screens titles at the press of ‘Alt-Tab' and allows you to choose which screen to bring to the front. Requires Kickstart
37. 175 or higher. Version 0.2. binary only. Author: Gerard Cornu
BootMan A boot manager program that allows you to select a
startupsequence at boot time using the mouse or keyboard.
Also allows password protection and a timer to load a default
startup if none is selected. Includes a preference editor for
easy modilicalion and startup. Will work with any Amiga
running KickStart 2.0 or higher.
Version 1.1, binary only. Author: Daniel Bachmann VideoMaxe A video database that satisfies all needs of a private video user. With full OS 2.1+ and environmental support (localization, application icon, installer, font- sensitive runtime gadget layout, layout saving, guide documentation.
The program handles record suggestions, spool informations, free amount of additional data per tape or title, comfortable search routines, printing, etc. Requires OS 2.1. Version 04.20, update to version
03. 22 on disk number 637. Binary only. Shareware Author: Stephan
Suerken Fred Fish Disk 941 CardZ Patience card games.
Includes two version of Klondike. The Wail and Up Down.
Version 1.0, binary only, freeware. Requires Release
2. 04 and needs a 640x256 PAL HighRes screen. Author: Frans
Zuydwijk FlipPrefs With this program, you can create several
preferences files, (The “DEVSisystenvconfiguration’’ type) of
different names and switch between them on command. A sample
usage would be to customize the startup script to set
different preferences depending on the operating system booted
into. Could also be useful in different development
environments or lor machines with multiple users.
Version 1.0. binary only, freeware, Author: Thorsten Stocksmeier Guide2Doc Converts AmigaGuide© fie to a normal document without any "@ xxx)"’s. But full ANSI-support!
CLI-ONLY, optional tableof-contents- generation and page-numbering, Output goes Jo StandardOut, so you may redirect it. Eg. - prt:". Or read the guide in CLI. Vt.0, freeware, includes C-source. Aulhor: Bernd (Koessi) Koesling Mine A Modula-2 implementation of an old computer game. You have an N " N square with mines hidden in some fields. Your job is to mark them with a flag as fast as possible. Version
2. 0. an update to version 1.8 on disk number 835. Contains some
bug fixes and improvements. Most important: now always uses
the default public screen and does not open it's own
multitasking and- chipmem-goodbye-screen. Requires AmigaDOS
2.0, Source in M2Amiga Modula-2 and (newest) 68020 version are
available from the author.
Author: Thomas Ansorge SOUNDEffect Sound sample editing program. Special features include: temporary buffers, frequency and amplitude modulation (tremolo and vibrato), echo, special reverb effect, chorus effect, mixer, free hand editing, low and high pass filter, compresser, expander, limiter, distortion and all the usual functions (copy, pasle, insert, cut, looping, zooming etc.). All effects are available in stereo. This is no update to VI .321, the program has been completely re-written and has a new user interface. Runs with OS 1.3 or above. Version 2.10. binary only, shareware Author:
Sven Buhling YAMFG Yet Another Mine Field Game This is a big classic. Your lank must move through the vanable-width and height mine field to a target. Mainty designed to help beginners cope with assembly. Uses reqtools.library ¦ Nico Frangois. Version 1.0, includes heavily commented source. Aulhor: Frdddric Delacroix Fred Fish Disk 942 Acolc A small calculator with floating point, hexadecimal and decimal modes. Has 10 memories, saves the last result in the clipboard, may be used with the mouse or keyboard.
With OS 2.x and 3.0. may be installed as a Commodity. Includes bolh French and English versions.
Binary only. Author: Denis Gounelle AS65 A comfortable and efficient 2 pass cross assembler for the Whole 6502 processor family. Version 2.3d. contains documentation in both english and german. Binary oniy.
Author: Thomas Lehmann LibraryGuide An AmigaGuide file that lists about 170 different libraries” often found in the LIBS: directory and a ssmpte one or two line description of their purpose along with version info and where to get them. Etc. May hetp you determine whether or not you actually “need” some of these spaceconsuming things. Version 1.0. Author: Dan Elgaard WBMenu A simple CLI-only tool thal allows you to add new menu-enlries to Ihe “Tools'' menu of the Workbench.
Useful for scripts and batch files, simple to use. Requires OS2.04+. Version 3.4, Includes source in assembler for bolh English and german versions. Shareware. Author: Thorsten Stocksmeier Fred.Fjsh P?sk 943 Clock A simple Clock program but with the handy feature that you can “snapshot' the clock to stay with any screen or it can be free to pop to the frontmost screen automatically. Up to 4 alarm times can be set. Which can simply put up a requester or cause some program to run in background.
Hourly chimes can also be made to run a program (I.E. a sound sample player). Uses locale.library with OS2.1+. Version 2.20, an update to version 2.00 on disk number 869.
Binary only. Author: Bernd Grunwald IRMaster A package lor the substitution of remote controls by the Amiga. You can learn and send nearly any infra red command. That means you can control e.g. your tv set from the workbench. With an editor you can create remote controls and with a runner you can use them on your wb Version 1.0, binary only. Author; Jurgen Frank & Michael Waizl JlStoJi A program to read and print Japanese electronic text. JlStoJi automatically identifies electronic texts written in Old-JIS. New-JIS.
Shrtt-JIS, or EUC-J1S (as welt as. Of course. ASCII) and displays them on screen, or prints them to dol-matjx printers. Version 1.5, binary only Author: Gerald B Mathias MCMasterAnofher music cassette cover printing utility which should work together with any printer that supports pica and fine. Other features are a search function and a list function which allow you to put, for example, all Ihe song names in a list gadget to scroll around. Requires Krckstart 2.04! Version 1.2. an update to version 1.1 on disk 685.
Binary only. Author Michael Watz!
Mkfont Converts standard Amiga fonts into softfonts for the Hewlett Packard II (compatible) laser printers. It is entirely written in assembly and is quite fast it can double the softfonts in size and smooth's them automatically. Version 1.0. binary only, freeware. Runs Irom CLI only.
Author: Tonio Voerman Wbflash A small program that nicely flashes (or color-cycles) the active window or Workbench background.
With some simple gadget clicks you can generate and save your own custom ffash-patterns. Written in assembler, includes bolh English and Swedish versions Requires OS2.0+. Version 1.12, binary only.
Author Thomas Pettersson FredFLshDisJt544 AngusTitler A program to create videotitles for (e.g.) your holiday films. It is possible to scroll 350 lines up the screen. Ol course, the colors.
Fonts, fontstyles, border etc. can be changed. It is also possible to load a background picture. This is only a demo-version thal is limited to 10 lines, all other options are enabled, even saving and loading. The full version can be obtained from the author tor $ 35 US or 45 DM. Version
4. 0. binary only Author: Andreas GunGer.
Aregress A program for stistical evaluation of measurements. You can use it to estimate different kinds of regression, and to print graphs of the regressions. Version 2 0. Binary only, freeware. Author: Sven Buhling BtockEd Disk block editor, simple but very easy to use. Compatible with 1.3 and up. Version 1.4, initial release.
Contains most source (in C) for light reading. Author- Andrew Kemmis Lhf A dir-utility and archiver with CLI and intuition interface. Enables you to copy, move, delete or rename archive files as if they were ordinary files. Extraction and compression is automatically performed as needed.
With the configuration program 'LhfEd' you can customize it to perform external commands. Version 1 03, binary only, freeware. Author: Stefan Pampin Parcheese Like Ihe classic board game.
The aim of the game is to get all of your markers safely around the board to your home base. Three levels of play, players selectable between human compuler. Includes documentation in engt sh and Spanish. Version 1,7g. Binary only.
Author: Xavier Egusquiza PhoneDir Personal Phonedirectory (PPD) was designed to remember addresses and phone numbers for you, and also dial the numbers automaticly. PPD was designed especially with multitasking in mind.
Whon you are doing something else, its window can be minimized, and when you need to. You can call someone just by a click on the mouse. PPD uses almost no system power when not used. Version 1.0, binary only. Author Hallvard Korsgaard Fre.d_FisliPisk.945 EmacsSlarter A good Emacs starter. With it you can load files into a running Emacs. Has an option to use a public screen (requires “ScreenManager"), full WB support, double-click icons into a running Emacs. New icon creating scheme, use different icons depending on what type of file you are editing, sticky flag, the script doesn't terminate
until the requested buffers are terminated. Release 1.
Includes Arexx and C source Author: Anders Undgren, Bo Liljegren I FFConvert A program to convert the different compression methods of IFF ILBM files. It supports the normal compression, a new compression method thal compresses column by column instead of row by row. And uncompressed files. Version 1,12, an update to version 1.11 on disk number 699. Includes source.
Author: Matthias Meixner MmeRunnor A freeware game like Lode Runner, but with more features.
Supports the 4 player adapter lor the parallel port, uses soft stereo where possible, doesn't stop multitasking and saves highscores to disk.
Version 1.0. binary only. Author.
Matthias Bock Orm An improved version ol PD "Snake* game on disk number 810 by Michael Warner. You control an "orm" (Danish for worm or snake}, living in a small window on the delault public screen, which grows by eating “frogs" and avoiding obstacles. This version tries to be smart about its window borders and the screen mode (Interface.
Superhires, etc.). Supports locate library if present. English. German.
Italian, and Swedish catalogs are supplied. Default language is Danish.
Includes the catalog description file and full DICE and SAS C (Lattice) compatible source. Version 1.4, Public Domain. Requires Amiga DOS
2. 04 or higher. Author: Torsten Poulin PrtSc Have you ever
noticed that there is a PrlSc-key on the numeric keypad? This
program makes it work! By pressing the PrtSc key on your
keypad, you get a screen dump to your prinfer. Version 1.52,
an update to version 1.08 on disk number 897. Freeware,
includes source. Aulhor: Jan Hagqvisl Reminder A utility to
remind you about events. It consists ol an event editor and a
small program thal is put in your WBStartup (or run from
S:user- slarlup). Every time you bool your machine, this
program checks the event database and puls up a requester (and
optionally calls an Arexx script) if there are events that you
need to be reminded about.
Version t .20, freeware, C source included for DICE and SAS6.X. Author Matti Rintala Fred Fish Disk_946 AmiOWK QWKMail formal offline message system. Allows reading of QWKMail format offline message packets popular with many bulletin board syslems (BBSes). Replies can be edited using any text editor and packed for transfer at a later time.
AmiOWK has been tested with many QWKMail systems for IBM and Amiga based BBSes. Requires Workbench 2.04 or higher. Release 2 version 2,2, an update to Release 2 version 1.0 on disk number 907.
Binary only, sharewaro. Author: Jim Dawson Dmon Dmon is a multi-pur pouse utility wntten for the author's personal use during program development. It is a Monitor. Dissassembler. Debugger and development system. You may find similarities to Amiga Monitor by Timo Rossi, but Dmon is different, it can dissassemble and debug 68xxx software in User and Supervisor Mode. If you do nol know what that means, then do nol uso Dmon!
Version t .86, binary only. Author: Andreas Smigielski fd2pragma A small utility to create prototypes for the Aztec C compiler or the Aztec Assembler from FD files as they are distributed Irom Commodore with the Include files.
Includes C-source. Aulhor: Jochen Wiodmann PrIMan A configurable. Style Guide compliant task priority manager.
Along the same lines as TaskX.
PriMan is font-sensitive, resizeable, uses a slider gadget to change the priority of any task, and has buttons for sending a Ctrl-C signal lo a task, or removing it from memory. Version
1. 1. an update to version 1.0 on disk number 928. FreeWare.
Includes C source. Author: Barry McConnell Trash Icon A
WorkBench 2.x application icon to dolelo filos. Puts an icon
at n user dolinod position on the WorkBench screen, then
deletes all filos that are dragged onto iL Version 2.3, an
update to version 1.4 on disk number 871 Binary only. Author:
Mark McPherson Yass Yet Another Screen Selector, a commodity
with several nice features such as Completely controllable via
keyboard (of course you can use your mouse, il you really want
to); Shows Screens and Windows (option); Shows
PublicScreenname or ScreonTitie (option); Ability to change
the default Public screen; Opens window even on non-public
screens (option) Font-sensitive; Resizeable window. Version
Binary only. Authcc: Albert Schweizer Fred Ffah Disk 947 Mand2000D Demo version of a revolutionary fractal program that makes it far easier to explore the Mandelbrot set. Mand2000 is compatible with all Amigas It has separate calc routines that have boon optimized for the 68000,68020.
68030, 68040 and 68881 processors respectively. It automatically detects these to ensure maximum performance. Mand2000 also makes full use of AGA graphics when available. A number of enhancements since the original demo version. Version 1.102. binary only.
Requires OS 2.04. Author: Cygnus Software NewTool A program that will quickly replace the default tool m project icons. You can specify the tool to use. Use a file requester to pick the tool, or allow NewTool to automatically choose the proper tool depending on the file type. Voision 37 195 WB 2.0+ required Binary only. Author: Michael J Barsoom.
ScreenSelect A commodity to change screen order by selecting a screen name from a listview. Also allows binding ol hotkeys to any screen with a proper name. Supports automatic activation of windows (remembers last activations) wnen changing to new screen, is configurable with Preferences program, has a full intuition Interface and is font sensitive (including proportional fonts). Documentation in AmigaGuide. ASCII and Dvt formats.
Requires AmigaOS 2.04 or later.
Version 2.1, an update to version 2.0 on disk number 915, Binary only, freeware Author: Markus Aalto Smaus A highly configurable “SUN- mouse" utility, implemented as a commodity with a graphical user interlace. It activates the window under the mouse pointer if you move or after you have moved the mouse or if you press a key. You can specify titles of windows which shall nol be deactivated using wildcards Requires at least AmigaOS 2.04, uses locale.library if available, includes english and german docs, german and Swedish catalog file (english language built rn). Version
1. 24, an update to VI. 17 on disk 868 Shareware, bnary only.
Author: Stefan Sticht Si ea my Windows A small yot very useful
commodity that increases the priority o! The owner task of the
active window, and restores the task’s priority when the
window becomes inactive unless someone else modified the
task’s priority meanwhile. This is version 1,0.
Includes source in Oberon-2 Aulhor Franz Schwarz Fred Fish Disk 948 Aois A 68000f disassembler which can automatically recognize data and strings put into the code segment ]i also generates only those labels that arc really referenced. The generated file will often he reassemblablo. In Vt, I, Adis is capable of recognizing all 68020 and 68881 instructions even with me 68020‘s extended addressing modes. Adis will also try to resolve addressing relative to a4.
Which many C compilers use in a smalt memory model. Version 1.1, binary only. Author Martin Apel Snoopy Enables you to monitor library function calls of any library you wish The idea of course came from SnoopDos by Eddy Carroll, but Snoopy is different in approach and purpose. Snoopy has no specific patches for specific functions it ts an all-purpose tool to monitor ‘ANY’ library call in "ANY* system library.
Version 14. Indudes assembly source. Aulhor: Gerson Kurz, FH Muenchen VirusZil Release II of this popular virus detector that recognizes many bool and file viruses. The filechecker can also decrunch files for testing. The memory checker removes all known viruses from memory wilhout ‘Guru Meditation’ and checks memory for viruses regularly. VirusZ has easy to use intuitiortized menus including keycuts for both beginners and experienced users. Release II versions of VirusZ require OS2.0+. This is Release II Version 1 00. An upgrade to Release I version 3.07 on disk number 902. Binary only,
sharewaro. Author: Georg Hermann Fred Fish Disk 949 BB8BS Baud Bandit Bulletin Board System Wntten entirely rn Arexx using the commercial terminal program “BaudBandit”. Features include up to 99 file libraries with extended lifenotes. Up to 99 fully threaded message conferences, number of users, files, messages, etc. are only limited by storage space, controlled file library and message conference access for users and sysops, intedace to extra devices like CD-ROM and olhers. All treated as read only, complete Email with binary mail and multiple forwarding, user statistics including messages
written, files uploaded or downloaded, time, etc, plus much more Now includes a complete offline reader answer called bbsQUICK.rexx. and Call Back Verification for local caters. Version
6. 5. an update to version 5.9 on disk
883. Includes complete Arexx source. Aulhor: Richard Lee Stockton
TitleClock A little commodity (about 3k) that throws up a
dock in the top right comer of a screen's titlebar. It may
be set up to display itself on one or more screens without
running multiple copies of the program It may atso be set to
follow your default public screen and aiso to always display
on the frontmosi screen.
Version 2.7, binary only Author; Anders Hammarquist Fred Fish Disk 950 BBDoors A collection of rexxDoors adjusted to work with BBBBS 6.5. Indudes complete Arexx source.
Author Richard Lee Stockton and various others.
BbsQUtCK An offline readVepty upload' download module for BBBBS Complete GUI with support for multiple BBBBS systems. Version
6. 4 and update to version 5.9 on disk number 883. Includes
complete Arexx source. Author Richard Lee Stockton
BusyPointers A collection of busy pointers for use with
‘NickPrefs’. (NickPrefs can be lound on disk number 780).
Author: Dan Elgaard Clock Tool A simple CLI utility do perform operations on the batterybacked-up and'or system clock, e.g. display either both, set one from the other, increment, and log. Most of those lealgres, particularly those accessing the batlery-bnckcdup dock, am not available using current AmigaDos commands. Version 1.0, includes source. Author: Gary Duncan Enforcer A tool to monitor illegal memory access for 68020 6885f. 68030. And 68040 CPUs This is a completely new Enforcer from the original idea by Bryce Nesbitt It contains many new and wonderful features and options and no longer
contains any exceptions for specific software, Enforcer can now also be used with CPU or SelCPU FASTROM or most any other MMU-Kickslan-Mapping tool Major new output options such as local output, stdout. And parallel port. Highly opton-zed to be as fast as possible Version 37.55, an update to version 37.52 on disk number 912 Requires V37 of the OS or belter and an MMU. Binary only Author Michael Smz PayAdvice Easy-to-use pay analysts program which is easily configured to deal with the way deductions are made from your salary. Useful lor investigating just how large a slice of your hard earned
cash ends up in the hands of the tax man, or to make sure that your employer isn't deducting more from your wages than he should. Version 3.00. binary only, shareware. Authors: Richard Smectey. Andy Esketson. Robert Hart Sushi A tool lo iniercept the raw serial output of Enforcer 2.8b, Enforcer.megastack 26.f, Mungwall.
And all other tool and application debugging output that uses kprintf.
This makes it possible to use serial debugging on a single Amiga, without intedenng with attached serial hardware such as modems and senal printers. Sushi aiso provides optional signalling and buffer access to an external display watcher program. Version 37.10. an updaie to version 37.7 on disk number 733 Binary only. Aulhor Carolyn Scheppner To Be Continued...... fr Conclusion To the best of our knowledge, the materials in this library are freely distributable. This means they were either pubficty posted and placed in the public domain by their authors, or they have restrictions published
in thoir files to which wo have adhered. If you become aware ol any violation of the authors' wishes, please contact us by mail.
This fist is compiled and published as a service to the Commodore Amiga community lor informational purposes only lls use is restricted to non-commerciaf groups only! Any duplication for commercial purposes is strictly forbidden. As a part of Amazing Computing1'', this list is inherently copyrighted. Any infringement on this proprietary copyright without expressed wntten permission of the publishers will incur the full force ol legal actions.
Any non-commercial Amiga user group wishing to duplicate this list should contact: PiM Publications, Inc.
P. O.Box 2140 Fall River. MA 02722 AC is extremely inlerested in
helping any Amiga user groupsin non-commercial support for
(he Amiga.
• AC* West Chester, PA - April 1, 2004 - Commodore Business
Machines introduced their latest Personal Augmentation Device,
the Amiga PAD 2B,Thefour hour starstudded master even twasheld
in themultimillion dollar CBM campus at Westchester.
Interactive multimedia simulcasts events were held in New York,
London, Frankfurt, Sydney, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Rio de
Janeiro. More than 24,000 members of the press and industry
notables were in attendance for this world-wide extravaganza.
Past The Screen The 2B was in troduced in a pearl grey case and cover and operates on six AA batteries for a period of two weeks without external recharge.
However,both theplug-in adapter and the2B'soptionalSolarFlexible™ cover can extend the battery life indefinitely. CBM also proudly announced that the 2B (as well as their complete line of over 100 devices) meets or exceeds all environmental standards set for electronic devices for the year 2010.
The main interaction with the Amiga PAD 2B is through the unit's full size, photo-realistic color touch screen and the unit's voice recognition system. The handwriting recognition, touch screen, and voice recognition system is monitored by the Assistant Corporation's Maxwell™ generation AL Each unit's Alcan be modified by tire user for their particular needs. Although the Maxwell series is based on some of the original AI's created by Assistant, CBM executives assured audiences that there is no heritage to the troubled military AI series, Thor™.
The 2B's AI program interface has been augmented to utilize the special video features of the 2B. Not onlv is the 2B video-capable and infocable-ready,butthe on-board video camera has been linked in real time to the 2B's fuzzy logic visual recognition system. This means that the unit can not only monitor activity of the infocable, but it can also view activity (people or events) and react through AI programming in real time.
Although the unit has a modest gigabyte of RAM (expandable to 4GB) the active memory core is available in 20 to 80 gigabytes. CBM bowed to diehard users who still want off-line data storage by using Sony's mini-disk system. Tire mini-disk, using the blue laser system developed in the late 90s, will only hold 1.2GB in the dual storage mode, but CBM believes the small storage will at least placate some of their more network-resistant customers.
With its industry standard dual cellular lines for voice, fax, and video, the 2B offers no new surprises. The surprise came in the 2B's keyboard hidden in the flip cover. Security issues have forced CBM and many of its competitors to offer this input device as a standard again.
Commodore OEM officials stated that the 2B was also available in military as well as industrial versions. The Consumer version can come as a professional model, personal model, and student edition. All models come equipped with the standard features listed above with modifications made to the AI and support software for each market.
To spur the use of the 2B in education, CBM is offering 3000 units in an educational contest with 1000 for teacher entries and 2000 for students. All entrants must submit a completed entry form (available on-line from Internet) as well as a one thousand word essay on why the 2B would he useful for education. Commodore has also given educational co-ops and regional directors a special discount for the 213.
The PAD's Ads The international film star and director, Mel Gibson, has been contracted for an undisclosed sum to star in CBM's 50 million dollar ad campaign to launch the Amiga FAD 2B. Attendees were permitted preliminary views of the ads which will appear over the next three months. In one static commercial, Mr. Gibson reprises his role in his notv cult classic "Hamlet". In full costume, a profile of Mr. Gibson states, "Amiga PAD ' then Mr. Gibson turns to the screen and asks, "2B or not 2B, that is the question."
Y firtherMort» The Amiga PAD 2B A voiceover, regenerated from the late John Houston estate's AI synth-performer, quickly states the many advantages of the 213 and its availability at over 20,000 retailers world wide while the camera (full 3-D where available) shows the 2B activating the features as they are listed. Quick shots of recreation, travel, and business locations demonstrates CBM's promise of complete adaptability to any situation.
CBM, who in a separate marketing arrangement is an official sponsor for the 2006 Summer Olympic Games (as personal device manufacturer), displayed additional ads for the 2B with assorted athletes. The most impressive was the PAD used in the training of one decathlon athlete. The athlete is shown training for each event with the PAD monitoring the athlete's performance and then offering an analysis. This included actual video of the athlete with real time overlays as well as physical monitors placed on the athlete and then transmitted to the 2B. The result was the 2B's AI offering corrective
instruction (a long with the athlete's trainer) through audio and (where possible) video visor in real time. The ad was a dramatic representation of an actual case history. According to the commercial, athletes in the trial run of this program have experienced an average of 9.5% increase in performance in each event in just ten days.
Where available, every ad is accompanied by an .interactive display (ID) that allows the consumer to view different aspects of the 2B as well as order one from a list of official iD suppliers. Although each ID supplier is offering slightly different deals, the consumer can quickly scan each offer through the standard secondary level of interaction.
Conclusions While some analysts were frustrated that the 2B did not have more on-board memory as standard, few faulted the need for the device in Commodore's product line. If they are to maintain their prominence as the world's leader in interactive multimedia devices, than the 2B is essential. There was some muttering concerning the 2B and an earlier prototype shown in a film by Apple Computer's President, John Scul ley, in the late eighties, but most observers felt the 2B Had significant advancements over the previous conception.
Since the 2B is onlv a small advancement of CBM technology placed in an augmentation device, there is some concern that CBM is spending far too much effort in marketing their products than in creating them. It is the reporter's view that CBM should remember their heritage and spend more resources on extending their engineering dominance than on self promotion and glitzy displays. That said, the 2B does fill a considerable need and should be as successful as all other CBM introductions have been in the past.
broadcast quality S-Video genlock for less than SI000 AGA
compatible. Compatible with all Amiga models Two independent
dissolve controls Software controllable SuperGen SX $ 749.00 The
Create spectacular true color animations on your Amiga.
Paint, digitize and display beautiful full color composite video images on any Amiga.
Capture an image in 10 seconds front any color video camera or stable video source.
Full-featured paint, digitize and conversion software included.
Compatible with AGA 1200 and 4000 Amigas in NTSC PAL modes. Two to four times the speed of AGA animations (DCTV vs. HAM8) with greater color and resolution.
Compatible with all popular 3D. Rendering, and graphics packages including: AD-Pro, Aladdin 4D. AmigaVision, Brilliance, Calligari, Cinemoiph, Draw4D, ImageMaster. Imagine, LightWave, MorphPlus, Real 3D, Scala, Scenery Animator, Sculpt, VistaPro. And many others... DCTV (NTSC or PAL) $ 299.00 TWO COMPLETE TIME BASE CORRECTORS ON ONE CARD!
The Kitchen Sync provides two channels of time base correction - the perfect low cost TBC solution for the Video Toaster™.
With a Video Toaster, the Kitchen Sync provides a complete A B roll editing system.
Two complete infinite window time base correctors on one IBM AT Amiga compatible card.
• Absolute 100% broadcast quality
• Composite or Y C video in
• Includes easy to use externa! Control panel ¦ No waveform
monitor needed ¦ Variable speed strobe ¦ Freeze Frame, two
rock-solid Freeze Fields
• Low power consumption ¦ Lowest TBC price per channel
• Works with consumer grade VCRs TvraTTT . Kitchen Svnc tliivftw
$ 1295.00 RGB CONVERTER Allows the use of DCTV with standard RGB
monitors (1084) in standard NTSC or PAL modes. Also permits the
use of external genlocks like our SuperGen.
RGB Converter
SuperGen 2000s $ 1195.00 SuperGen2000 SuperGen $ 549.00 Genlock
Option Required to synchronize the Kitchen Sync to an external
video source.
Genlock Option fsOTMW $ 150.00 S-VHS Option Required to enable S-VHS Hi-8 (Y C) video outputs.
S-VHS Option afiTHBlu. $ 99.00 mi FREE SHIPPING E9 on all VISA & MC orders in the US COD - Cash only - add $ 10.00. Call by 2:00pm PST 5:00pm EST for same day shipping.
Worldwide Distributors and Dealers Wanted. Inquiries invited.
- =DIRECT 1-800-645-1164 Orders only 9:00am lo 5:00pm PST M-F For
technical information call 916-.'144-4825 C R EATIONS PO. Box
97, Folsom CA 95763-0097 * Phone 916 344'4825 • FAX
916'635’0475 SuperGen SX. SuperGen, SuperGeh20QQs, DCTV, DCTV
RGB Converter, and Kitchen Sync are trademarks of Digital
Creations. Inc. Video Toaster is a trademark of Newtek, Inc.
IBM and IBM AT are registered trademarks of IBM, Inc. Amiga is
a registered trademark ot Commodore-Amlga, Inc. Circle 109 on
Reader Service card.
Circle 108 on Reader Service card.
1 |IVS_SCSIpro.device 2 Change the title to "View Print Pictures", 3 forcf«rs unoer iOK ,n me eowerai us. Ad orders fjiy insured Monitors.computers printers and other heavy ters may incur auditorial eftarges-cail for n pping ojcts

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