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%% CIS conference with ASDG %%
10:08:31 PM EST Friday, February 11, 1994
I would like to welcome Perry Kivolowitz of ASDG to our Conference. Perry
is the President of ASDG. ASDG has been an Amiga developer since the
I ask that everyone keep from asking 'marketing' questions, or questions
about particular issues dealing with the sales of Amiga products. These
engineers have agreed to speak with us about current technology and
Since this is a formal conference, please ask questions by typing a '?"
first. When I tell you to go ahead, then send your question. At the end
of your question--type GA to indicate the end of your
question so that the guest can answer.
If you have a follow up comment, enter a ! and I'll recognize you.
And I'm sure that I'll be able to answer your
questions in detail since we're a small crowd
Well I'll start with--What is new in Adpro v2.5?
ok, There are a LOT of new things in ADPro 2.5...
I'll try to summarize...
First and foremost is an entirely new user interface.
In fact, several new user interfaces.
We have made ADPro 2.5 completely style guide compliant
and quite user configurable. Our surveys of our
customers suggested that some people preferred a button
oriented user interface for ease of use,
while others preferred a list based user interface for
speed. In the new version we offer both, and both
formats can be intermixed freely.
The results are that the new ADPro is even more easy
to use than our previous product, and actually improves
people's productivity at the same time. Beta testers
reported being able to move through 20 to 40 percent
more work simply due to user interface changes.
On another front, there's a lot more display boards
supported in the new version and how display boards
are supported at all has improved greatly. You can
now run ADPro directly on many display boards, the
WorkBench, or any other public screen for that matter.
ADPro will render in a Window, and on many display
baords, will render in a window along with its
Some of the display boards added are all EGS
boards, the Retina, and Retina ZIII, also the
Picasso, the Video Toaster, and others.
On another front, user written arexx programs
are now fully part of the user configurable user
interface (hows that for gratuitous use of the
Also, there are more than 100 pre-written ARexx
programs which are now part of the ADPro
environment. FRED, the much misunderstood ADPro
Animation Editor has been improved and with so
many pre-written ARexx programs, it is quite
likely that an average user would NEVER have
to learn ARexx at all - just point and click
to combine the ARexx programs into larger
and more sophisticated applications.
There are some new operators, some new formats
and a great deal of new flexibility in compositing.
There's an improved manual - with 9 tutorials
amounting to 150 new pages of quality text.
That's only scratching the surface, there's a lot
Wow.. impressive. Has Gigamem been tested to work with ADPro?
Yes it has - in fact it should be common knowledge that
GigaMem was written FOR ADPro, I understand. And, we are
including a coupon for a substantial discount on GigaMem
in the ADPro box.
Paul.. go ahead.
This is just a wacked out notion, but is there any chance that Ad Pro will
ever support PhotoShop plug-ins? I don't know anything
about the technical details, but it sure would be great. GA
Photoshop PI's (I saw your same request to those "other" people) wo uld
represent quite a challenge to get working on the Amiga. We are licensed
Adobe Photoshop developers due to our
presence on other platforms - really the only thing
running in your favor is that the Mac is also a
Motorola based machine - other than that - just
about everything that can be different - is.
Is there a way to have a small 24bit Picasso window and run Adp
ro in 8 colors?
ADPro's user interface will now run on any screen which
makes itself available as a public screen. ADPro can also
run directly on several other screen types that, while
not public, are still accessible. You can run ADPro
on the Picasso screen with a 24 bit window sitting next to it
How is ASDG Products used in the production of Babylon 5?
Our envolvement with B5 goes way
We developed several key pieces of technology which made
the pilot possible. At that time, Foundation Imaging had been waiti ng for
more than a year for a digital video interface to
come out of Newtek. We were called in, and created our
Abekas support for them.
This support was critical as there was no other
viable means of moving such a large amount of video imagery onto an d off
of our beloved Amiga.
So, every CG shot in B5 did (and still does) go through ADPro
to get to video.
We were developing our morphing technology right
when their script called for a morphing antagoinist.
Foundation had both GVPs and BBSs morphing product
at the time and had rejected both as unworkable.
A fellow there was at the time doing a review
for Amiga World on morphing products and it became
known to them that we were doing one too. They
flew out to our site and did some tests and were
convinced that (what became) MorphPlus was the
way to go. I went out there several times
during the filming of the pilot and actually
created several of the key morphing shots myself
on my Amiga 3000 at my own home.
our involvement with B5 continues...
Our Abekas digital video stuff is now used by
them on 4 platforms - Amiga, Mac, SGI and
Windows. Our morphing products are used by them
on both the Amiga and Macintosh - there's an
extremely cool creature coming - whose details
I won't divulge but suffice to say that this
is an entirely CG generated creature with
some detailed effects that haven't really
been imagined before.
They continue to ADPro for just about everything.
So to be clear, there are no plans for PI support? Sorry to be so.. well
That is correct, we (at least) have not considered
the idea before you posed it.
The Picasso thing again - I don't have to run Adpro in 24bit (slow) mode
to see a small window in 24 bit? (I'm still waiting !! for my upgrade) ga
I beleive that you can run the Picasso in two ways...
First, you can place ADPro's user interface directly on the Picasso and
render in a window right there..second, you can run ADPro on
the Amiga and render seperately to the Picasso - something that's changed
in the new ADPro is that you don't need display board
SAVERs anymore. Simply select the display boards screen type
as if it were another Amiga screen type and hit EXECUTE, the
image appears there. For backwards compatibility, I think theres
a way to call display boards as if they were savers too.
(1-8,Wolf Faust) Well, but what about PhotoCD?
I'd be happy to provide PhotoCD - how about we contract
the German company who purchased a license to make ADPro
support for us? What that be acceptable?
Well, did you talk to Olaf the programmer of PhotoWorX?
No - I haven't yet - just thought of the idea - if you talk
to him let him know he should drop me some email/phone etc.
Yikes. Ok - Elastic Reality. What are the differences generally between
it and AdPro - is EA higher or lower, will the products converge, is there
PhotoCD support for it <g> etc. GA
ElasticReality was developed concurrently for the Mac and Silicon G
raphics workstations. The SGI version was released first and is a much
more powerful product due to the speed with which we can prototype new
ideas on the SGI. It entered an already crowded SGI morphing market and in
short order has destroyed the market for anyone else. No BS. A substantial
amount of all the shaping shifting you see on TV and in the movies is done
with ER SGI. I can give examples, if you'd like. The Mac version is also a
capable product with a similar user interface as the SGI version.
Both versions share EXACTLY the SAME internal code as MorphPlus.
Therefore, in theory, anything those products can do, MorphPlus
can do, aliet with more difficulty due to the user interface advatages
that ER has.
The idea of porting ER to the Amiga has been discussed at great
length and is still being discussed. There isn't a day that goes
by without someone (actually - alot of someones) asking for it.
The issues which must be addressed are pretty difficult. Mostly,
we need to be able to have the faith that if we adopt a specific
graphics display board to host ER's GUI onto, that that board
be the one with the widest appeal. It simply won't do to have
ER run on a standard Amiga screen - altrhough if too much time pass es, we
may opt for that.
Thanks. One ER thing I've read about that I'd love to have on the Amiga,
interface aside, is the vector-based (?) i.e. non-point-based mor phing.
you mean the NON vector based approach ....
Morph Plus uses vectors, ER turned that inside out
and provides total control over the morphing process
using only shapes. Since you're doing shape shifting, why
not use Shapes? You know, I wish Ben were here so he
could take credit for inventing it. :-)
Pk.. since you mentioned SGI.. briefly what do you think of Indy?
Indy is a way cool machine but it isn't really the
low priced PC SGI originally hoped people would
perceive it as. As a base price unit, it
doesn't come with much memory or a hard disk, but adding
memory and a harddisk is cheap (if you don't buy it from SGI).
Consider that an R4000 MIPS processor is anywhere from 5 to 50 times the
speed of a fast 68040. The machine can really scream.
And that's a pun - if you didn't get it.
hehe.. Mike Smith.. go ahead.
Let's face it ... The Picasso RULES!!! (Don't you agree?) ga
Let's Face It - Somebody better rule so that some standards
will emerge :-)
Perry, ASDG is one of (few) major software developers left in the Amiga
market. What are ASDG's thoughts of the future? You've expanded to other
platforms, do you envision more moves in that direction.
To borrow the words of some major league ball player...
De Amiga Been Berry Berry Good To Me...
You won't see us run away from the machine - as the fact
that we're releasing the biggest changes to ADPro ever would
suggest. But I must say, Commodore is nowhere. They have
ceased to be a player in the computer industry. And, there's
no reason to beleive that anything will change that soon.
On the other hand, there are 4,000,000 people who
(much to the "embarrasment" of Commodore according
to John Dilulo) who have made a choice to stick
with that machine. So in summary? I can tell you
that the Amiga counts for a very big chunk of our
income. I've invested 7 years of my life to it. And
for good or ill, I'm here to stay at least a bunch
Pk, you might want to read the Haynie & Jesup CO and follow
the 20 questions to Commodore Marketing..
I spoke to John Dilillu by the way..
Perry, what's up with CEDPro? I switched to something else a while ba but
would like to give an updated CEDPro a try.
We've updated it - massively.
Version 3.5 is out now - and it's quite good. You
really should give it a look. The author, by the
way, is now a full time staff person at ASDG and
is responsible for a lot of the high speed display
board support in the new ADPro.
(1-14,sja) Is there an upgrade provision? Or just pick it up at my
dealer? There is an upgrade program - yes. Give us a call. Also,
there's some secret keystroke combination in the new
ADPro which enables another cool feature which the
author of CED snuck in on me. If you twist my arm,
I'll spill the beans.
Twist, twist! <grin>
Before I get to that :-)
Another thing added to ADPro 2.5 is direct support for
the Fargo Primera in Dye Sub mode. This support
obviates the necesseity to purchase Fargo's
own dye sub option (but actually purchasing it
does give you some other benefits). The Fargo
was a heavily asked for feature - so heavily in
fact that we could not ignore it. Also added
is support for the Digital Broadcast 32 and
direct support for the DPS PAR.
Any more ADPro questions? Before I spill?
Ok. As a motion picture guy, albeit with little money, what I want to
know is how does AdPro handle autoscrolling and manipulation of super-
bitmaps and which 3d party boards support superbitmaps? GA
The beans I was going to spill bears upon this - as far as
(1-6,pk-asdg) which display boards support it? All display boards which
ADPro supports (with the exception of the DCTV and (hehe) the HAM-E) are
granted ADPro's support of super bitmaps as part of their
suppoort - if you mean - which support it with hardware
based scrolling, that's a different question and one which
I don't have the answers to at my fingertips. The
thing I was going to divulge is ADPro 2.5's support for joysticks. Yes,
You can enable joystick based scrolling by hitting the following
key sequence WHEN A RENDER WINDOW IS OPEN AND
Amiga Alt Space Alt Amiga
make sure you don't hit the control key too.
Once you've done this, the enabled state will
Hit the fire button to scroll faster.
I am sure we are going to see this appear in a game mag now. :-)
Why the secrecy?
You really want to know?...
It was secret because the programmers knew that I would
never sanction such a frivolous bit of nonsense so they
kept it secret and out of the manual so I wouldn't
find out till it was released.
Now you know. :-)
Let's give some stuff away to the die hards.!
Steve, it is usually the high roll that gets it?
Yep, do a /roll 100
hehe.. then others would accuse of us of being bought. :-)
Ok.. get your practice rolls out of the way!
Lets start with giving away....
An ADPro 2.5, a PCP, and a Pro Control - $495 (approx) value.
Are we rolling for real, or just show yet?
(***DICE***) Leslie T. Bartiromo rolled (100) 80
(***DICE***) Mike Smith rolled (100) 11
(***DICE***) BobR rolled (100) 87
(***DICE***) Paul Idol rolled (11) 1
(***DICE***) MarkM/MOD rolled (100) 8
(***DICE***) sja rolled (100) 53
(***DICE***) Paul Idol rolled (100) 28
(***DICE***) BobR rolled (100) 4
BobR wins.. :-)
hey perry let's give away a CED!
ok.... This time, no sysops ;-)
We'll give away an ADPro 2.5, a PCP, a Pro Control AND a ced. a little
more than 600 bucks value.
Ready ... ? Set.. Go!
(***DICE***) Mike Smith rolled (100) 46
(***DICE***) Leslie T. Bartiromo rolled (100) 76
(***DICE***) Paul Idol rolled (100) 35
Is that it..? If so.. Leslie... you win! Come on down!
(1-2,Leslie T. Bartiromo)
* That is right! If you were not there you missed out on a chance
* on $1100 dollars worth of ASDG software!
* Was there more? Sure! Perry stayed with us until the wee hours
* ofthe morning!
* This file may be freely distributed in any medium so long as the file
* remains intact with no changes -- including this notice.
* The conference was moderated by Mark D. Manes.
* If you wish to subscribe to CompuServe simply dial 1-800-787-RUSH. *
* Copyright 1994 AForums Ltd.