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    A public message from Harv Laser

[crossposted to the LightWave and Video Toaster mailing lists]

NewTek held their SIGGRAPH party/product announcement tonite at the
Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, CA (about 8 miles from the site
of SIGGRAPH at the Anaheim Convention Center).

Approx. 2000 people attended.  It was jammed.  Partygoers were allowed
to tour the Wax Museum at no charge, scarf down appetizers, guzzle down
all the free drinks they could grab with both hands, and then adjourned
to an outdoor area (actually I think it's part of the parking lot) where
a large screen projection system was set up.  Your reporter ended up
standing at the back of the crowd, due to bad planning; there were way
more people than there were chairs.

Then, in sequence, Kiki Stockhammer, Wil Wheaton, Paul Montgomery and
Tim Jenison introduced varous video segments, working up from the
usual Toaster promo tapes, through a video made by a skateboarding
guy, to a lovely and cute little 5 minute 3D-rendered animation called
"Robo Jr.", then into two new Todd Rundgren videos composed mainly
in LightWave but with other Toaster effects (the audience was mixed
on these - some people love Rundgren's stuff and others can't stand
it. I thought his new videos were incredibly impressive and I like
his tunes too... Rundgren was there along with his usual
entourage... well, what can I say. He's an "artiste.") Then some short
promos for Spielberg's new seaQuest tv series were shown.
Finally, Montgomery and Jenison took the stage again (all though the
evenings performances there were constant problems with the wireless
microphones going on and off.. someone in the crowd shouted out
"time you guys made an AUDIO Toaster!"), and introduced the last video
of the night which was very short and quick blast of numbers about
their new product, The Screamer. They then pulled a sheet off a
prototype Screamer on the stage and the camera zoomed in on it and
filled the large projection screen with its image.  From what I
could see, it's a floor-standing tower box, maybe 3 feet high, a foot
wide, and two feet deep, colored grayish silver and red, and one
side of it comes up from the bottom and twists at the top.  It was
quickly spirited away for press interviews and I couldn't get a picture
of it.. I'm sure the magazines will take care of that lack in short

That was it.  No questions were taken. The thing was brought on, shown,
and hauled away in less than 2 minutes. Immediately, a new flyer
started to appear on tables all over the crowd, and I've typed in most
of it for you to peruse below.

Disclaimer: I am not employed by NewTek Inc. I own no stock in the company.
I don't even own a Toaster. They do throw a helluva good party though,
but they almost never plan for enough space to accomodate the ever-
increasing crowds that show up for their affairs. This party was
jam-packed and made quite an impression.  If you're part of the
NewTek cult, you would've enjoyed it immensely.

Begin quoted flyer (any typos or emissions are mine and are purely
due to fatigue :-) :

The introduction of NewTek's Video Toaster Screamer is about to cause
a revolution in the 3D industry.  Now, creating animation can take less
time than you ever imagined possible.  The Screamer 3D rendering engine
elevates the Video Toaster into one of the fastest 3D tools ever created.
High speed RISC processors drive the Toaster's built-in LightWave
animation system to deliver twice the 3D rendering power of a Cray I

The Screamer is a breakthrough 3D rendering engine designed specifically
for NewTek's Emmy-award winning Video Toaster System.  The stunning
computing speed of the Screamer is a result of an innovative hardware
desgn based on multiple RISC processors. Four parallel MIPS R4400 RISC
processors allow the Screamer to deliver over 600 MIPS system performance.
By running each processor at 150 MHz with both internal and external
caches, the Screamer reaches an amazing 340 SPECMarks.

The Toaster Screamer system comes complete with NTSC video in and out and
takes full advantage of the Toaster's award winning LightWave 3D animation
system.  Already the most popular 3D animation system in the world, the
Video Toaster and LightWave have been credited with bringing 3D visual
effects to weekly television for the first time. With complex 3D effects
sequences in every episode, shows such as Babylon 5 and Steven
Spielverg's seaQuest DSV are setting new standards of excellence.

The Screamer differs from expensive dedicated 3D workstations in the same
way that the Video Toaster stands out among traditional video gear.
The introduction of the Screamer brings 3D rendering power that was
astronomically expensive to a stunning new price point.  At $9,995
the Toaster Screamer offers significantly more rendering power per
dollar than any other 3D system in the world.  The economics of
3D animation have just changed forever.


Video Toaster Screamer:  $9995 (available 4th quarter '93)
An external rendering engine for the Video Toaster

Processors: Four parallel MIPS R4400 - 64 bit superpipelined RISC

Clock Speed: 150 MHz

Memory: Internal Cache: 32K on each processor
Secondary Cache: Up to 8 MB
Program Memory: expandable to 1 Gigabyte

Requires Video Toaster Workstation

(then followed by the usual Toaster specifications which I'm not going
to type in here).

End of Quote

Contact NewTek for more information. This is all I have at this point
in time.