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== Video Toaster User Expo Report By: David Tiberio ==
(David Tiberio, our Contributing Editor, runs Area52, which sells Amiga
products. He was at the Video Toaster Expo as a demonstrator.)
When we arrived, our booth just didn't seem right. We had measured my
friend's dining room to the exact size of the booth, and set up all of our
equipment, yet when we got to the show, it just didn't fit right. Well,
the floor plans to the show ended up being 11 feet wider than the the
actual room, soo all the booths were not sized properly. The Media 4 booth
was moved from next to ours to behind ours, and I am sure many others had
to be adjusted.
I met the owner of Macrosystems Germany that morning. He talked to us
about the VLAB Motion card and the Draco Amiga clone. Apparantly they are
working on a machine that will partially run Amiga OS-compliant software
without the Amiga chipset. It will instead use the Retina ZIII, Toccata,
and VLAB Motion cards for some technical wizardry. They also did a video
demo with the movie Terminator. It showed some nice video effects. My
friend did the banners for NoahJi's, and other than that we exchanged some
ideas about working on some future software projects.
DPS was running some demos on PC based machines, running Windows NT. They
had some sort of non linear editor for the PAR, and showed small scalable
video clips. We had some interesting discussions about supporting PAR
boards with some of our new software.
SunRize was in the booth next to us, selling AD516's for $995 and AD1012's
for a blowout price of $99. Many dealers bought a couple of the AD1012's
at this price just so they could resell themm. They also demoed their
audio editing software during the show.
I was also in view of the Raptor II's. 4 of these machines were playing
small animating clips with some strange 3D modeler interface. Nice looking
case, but unfortunately it was tainted by Windows NT.
Dynamic Realities had beta versions of IMPACT!, the matured version of
Newton's Law physics module. While they had some machines on display, some
of the options are not 100% yet, such as object collision. However, they
had been taking orders and seemed to be doing fairly well.
I could see the NewTek displays of Lightwave for the PC from my booth.
Sure, it worked as far as I could tell, but there was nothing major about
it that I wnted to know about. During the key note speeches. I heard that
not one mention of the word Amiga was made. In fact, some people that came
to our booth did not know what an Amiga was.
I went with FOCUS GbR, publishers of graphicRECALL. They had three
machines running, and A2000, A3000, and A1200. The A2000 was attached to a
Betacam deck and was being controlled by graphicRECALL PVTR, which logs
tape footage and indexes time codes. The other two machines were showing
Photo CD databases, displaying thumbnail images and animations on the
Workbench from the CD.
Last of all, my boot had the latest verson of the Amiga/Toaster Reference
Manual v3, with a full color interface, scalable fonts, text wrapped around
graphics, etc. Bye bye AmigaGuide, hello true multimedia! I also had
Plantation available, which is the only distributed rendering software for
Lightwave that works with more than 2 machines (from InterVisual).
That about wraps up my row. In another issue, I will go througsome of the
other exhibitors which were not in my immediate area.
While I was there, I met a large number of people who I had talked to over
the years but never met in person. I also met some new people, such as
Andrew Gould from Premier Vision (no relation to our old pal Irving). We
later went out around LA, seeing the Walk of Fame, Hollywood, Beverly
Hills, Universal City, etc. The Hollywood sign was not lit, but I saw it
from a huge distance at the airport while waiting for my flight (could
barely read what it said). We saw Dick Van Dyke's hands and feet at the
Chinese Theater (he was at the show too talking highly of the A4000). And
I walked out with blisters from the Tacky Pizza incident (now I know better
than to touch a candle on a garbonzo bean). The next day I got a few more
scratches while climbing a palm tree too.
When I was at the booth, I saw the waitor from the Thai restaurant we went
to the night before, and we all said hello and talked about Amigas (he just
bought one a month ago). While joking around, I mentioned that we would go
back to the restaurant again that night, and when we did, he had called and
asked for them to take care of us (we saw him as we were done eating and
walking out the door).
I also met Dave Defelici, Harv Laser, Eric Schwartz (not the animator),
Mark Holland from VTU, Fred Fish, and too many more to list.