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==========================================================================
                ONLINE CONFERENCE: LEE STRANAHAN AT PORTAL
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This conference transcript is Copyright 1995, The Amiga Zone, all rights
reserved.

Amiga Report magazine is hereby granted exclusive non-commercial
distribution rights.

Commercial reprinting or redistribution of this transcript is expressly
forbidden without permission.  Write to "harv@cup.portal.com" if you are a
commercial magazine who wishes to publish any or all of this transcript.

Do not perform any further editing on this transcript without first
obtaining written permission.


Harv: BEFORE WE START...  A POLL....  IF YOU OWN A TOASTER SEND A T.  FOR
      STANDALONE LWAVE SEND AN L.  FOR BOTH SEND TL.

Harv: L
JNeisch: T
Drakon: T T
AVID: TL
RichKoster: t
DonH: L
RickB: t
JeffH: AT
RickJ: TL

Harv: OUR GUEST TONITE HAS BEEN CALLED "THE WORLD'S SMARTEST TOASTER GUY."
      I'M SURE YOU ALL KNOW WHO HE IS PEOPLE PAY MANY HUNDREDS OF BUCKS TO
      HAVE HIM TEACH THEM TOASTER/LW STUFF TONITE YOU GUYS GET A REAL
      BARGAIN :) INTRODUCING MR.  LEE STRANAHAN.  TAKE A BOW. 

Stranahan: Well, thanks to Harv from having me.  I'm broadcasting live
      tonight from my desk at my new job with Area 51, the special effects
      company that my brother co-founded.  (Sitting in front of my 275 Mzh
      DEC Alpha, btw) We're currently working on a show called SpSpace,
      which will be on Fox this fall.  In the past, I've worked for and
      with NewTek, produced a series of video tapes, and done a very
      successful (and LONG) training tour in conjunction ith Avid Media
      Group.  We logged over 80,000 miles last year, so if you want any
      restaurant advice, ask!
          
RickB: Do you have any news on the releaase date for 4.0 Flyer?

Stranahan: Flyer release - no official word - do you want an unoficial
      guess?  Early-optimistic-as-all-get-out guess, Mid-March.
      More realistic - Early to mid April

RickJ: ? does the Flyer paint work on a 2000?

Stranahan: TPaint will work fine on the 2000 in 4.0 - not working yet in
      3.9

JeffH: Can you mix and match ScreemerNet Alpha - Mips CPUS under one License...

Stranahan: No on S-net as far as I know, but that kinda thing has changed
     before.

[*** Connection was lost for a minute, so I may have missed a question...]
     
DonH: Will all versions of LW4 be distributed on a single CDROM?

Stranahan: All version of LW will include a CD-ROm and a few floppies with
      the program on them

RichKoster: Lee, what things are you personally doing with LightWave on Fox's
     new "Space" show?

Stranahan: I'm an animator - I started 3 days ago and I've put out three
     shots, so...  I'm doing ok - The main models and surfaces have pretty
     much been done already.  The look is very nice so far - very non-CGI,
     more modeley.  The guys I work with - my brother, Tim McHugh, Matt
     Merkovich, Karl Denham, and Scott Wheeler - have done a great job so far

RickB: You left Newtek.....when.....why......and are you still working
     with them like at NAB?

Stranahan: About three weeks ago, to move back to LA and start to write,
     produce and direct projects, and no - I am working for DPS at this
     NAB.  Will be showing their PAR products and LightWave (It looks like
     - no details yet)

DrGandalf: Will the 4.0 version of LW use Essence (or equivalent)
     textures, or will we have to wait longer? 

Stranahan: LW's plug-in structure should certainly allow that By the way -
     on LW's release date, here's another guess It won't be 1st Quarter -
     I could be wrong, but I think it will just miss

Harv: Okay...  Lee....  as an ex-newtek insider...  and with the supply of
      slotted amigas drying up...  and the buyout dragging on and on...
      what are their plans for the card?  eventually...  they will have no
      new boxes to ship them for.  where are they headed?

Stranahan: Well, there are acutally a number of interesting possibilities
     there, but I can't really taslk about them...  The 4000 market is
     already very dry and they are at a premium But - NAB is just around
     the corner I can tell you this - I'm not sure what they are going to
     do, and I don't think that they are exactly sure either -

Harv: are you intimating they will show a non-amiga toaster at NAB? 

Stranahan: Things change rapidly at NewTek, and no firm decisions have
     been made about any unannounced products or adaptations of existing
     products.  And - I also can tell you that you won't see a non-Amiga
     Toaster in the sense that we think of the Toaster - as Tim said at
     the Video Toaster Expo.
     (and I know because I wrote it) - the future of NewTek is 1)
     LightWave and B) The Flyer...and that's also its present...

Harv: I have a related question for AVID - Jim...  with AW going away, (I
     know this is only today's news)...  are we gonna see VTU fatten up
     quickly do you think?

AVID: I don't think we'll benefit much from the demise of AW.  We pretty
     much have all the ads that fit our magazine that also advertised... 
     in AmigaWorld. 

RichKoster: Are you able to keep writing and doing seminars?

Stranahan: Yes - i should have more time to write, in fact, since I will
     be traveling less and Jim and I are planning a tour for late summer -
     LW only, most likely.  Oh wait One hint and rumor - if we do a tour,
     I plan on including a CD-ROM in the tour materials, With all my
     training frames on it, and about 200 megs of texture maps that I've
     created.  And more stuff.

JeffH: Will NT LW use open-gl? If not, when? Will there be a Flyer card for NT
     machines?

Stranahan: No on open GL for now - possibly by years' end - and there
     could be a non-Amiga Flyer in theory

DrTed: Basic Flyer questions...  When widely available???  Will it work well in
     A2000 or A3000's???

Stranahan: Flyer will work in 2k or 3ks fine - I think 4.0 will be out in
     April, but that is not offical in any way....

Harv: Lee I presume you have meshew's Light-ROM.  i'm interested in your
     candid opinion of it.  For $30 I thought it was fairly wonderful.

Stranahan: No, I don't have it actually

Harv: oh. well get one! :)

Stranahan: I'm sure I will! 

DonH: What are some of the NEW features of LW4? Anything revolutionary?

Stranahan: The price/performance is revolutionary And the new Plug-in
     system is AWESOME - will allow creation of very powerful tools In
     addition, there are some cool new things like Glow..  AND - here's a
     world premiere announcement NewTek has licensed with Elastic Reality
     (formally ASDG) and is including ER's HIIP technology in a number of
     products including LW and the Flyer.   Which means LW will be able to
     load and save all the file formats that ADpro did

Harv: yow!

DrGandalf: :)

Harv: and HIIP is... ?

Stranahan: HIIP - is Host Independent Image Processing.  The engine behind
     ADPros loaders, savers, and image sizing/bitplane reduction stuff SO
     - LW will have that stuff built in - which is a BIG plus.
     This SHOULD be in 4.0 - the contract is signed

Harv: so like you tell lw to load a jpeg or a gif and it just goes and does
     it?

Stranahan: Exactly Harv - or save in AVI anim format or Cineon

Harv: excellent

Stranahan: or reduce the pallette, etc...  That's a pretty big cool
     announcement, IMHO - I worked to get that going at NT...

Harv: I knew ERI had an announcement coming but couldn't squeeze it outta
     anyone there.  you just trumped them :)

Stranahan: That might not be ERI's announcement

Harv: oh. [nevermind]. they said it was "amiga development news." shrug.

Stranahan: But it might - not sure

JeffH: LW Layout, modeler will still be wire frame until they start using open-
     gl?...  What will the first plug-ins will be first?

Stranahan: Right - still wire...

JeffH: Who will have the first plug-in for sale?

Stranahan: Not sure what Plug-ins will be first- but NewTek is also in
       negotiations with a very well known and cool graphics software
       company to develop a plug-in set.

DrTed: Will my old 2000 with 50 Mhz Mega-Midget Racer 50 Mhz 882, 2 meg 32
      bit, 9 Meg 16 bit RAM, and Toaster # 000089 run LW4 adequately, or
      should I plan something more???? 

Stranahan: Well, for what projects?

DrTed: Modelling, rendering, single frame animation....

Stranahan: I can tell you that the PC will be 'better' then the Amiga
      version in some ways - the surfaces panel has a on-screen preview on
      Win NT versions, plus the abilty to change color of wireframe
      objects in layout Plus run at EXTREMELY high res - like 12k by 1k or
      whatevere If you like that sort of thing But the Amiga version will
      only be good enought to do stuff like seaQuest, B5, etc etc In other
      words, the Amy version is plenty good...  But them Alphas is
      QUICK!!!

DrTed: Naw...  NTSC field rendering will be enough for me...

Drakon: Trying to do a roll top desk type thing.  any easy way of getting
      the top to roll back

Stranahan: Yeesch - ok - I see where you're going...  Well, the real way
      would be to move the sections indivdually, I think...

Drakon: yeah but geting all sections to roll back in sync is a pain

Stranahan: Get one motion path set, and then clone the object, shift
      frames...  That would help...  Make it easier...

DrGandalf: You need a "follow me"

Drakon: I keep losing it at the beginning

Stranahan: You might need to parent it to a null...  Move the null up on
      the Y And then rotate the null Does that make any sense?

Drakon: yeah, let me think about it for a bit. 

Harv: Lee - the LW 3.5 dongle.  .....  pass thru holes....  as you know,
     they dont passthru nuttin....  will this ever be addressed/fixed?
     it's very annoying.

Stranahan: Well, the 4.0 version for Amiga and PC will require a dongle

Harv: a new dongle that passes thru correctly?  Or the same dongle I have
     now?
    
Stranahan: I fought hard against this - I don't know a popular graphics
      program on the PC aside from 3DS that requires a dongle I lost - and
      I think they plan to keep the same dongle

Harv: if you have any pull with them, tell them to re-dongle it to joy
     port #2 if it has to have a dongle at all.  thanks.

Stranahan: There's no pull with them on this - the decision is basically made.

Harv: sigh :(

Stranahan: My argument was that lack of a dongle hasn't killed Photoshop, or
     Illustrator or Premiere or or or... But Tim is set on this point...

RickB: I am trying to help a friend with a flyer He has a 2000 with a GVP
      040 board with 32 megs of ram when we installed the flyer it boots
      to the screen where the bottom image of the switcher shows and then
      the amiga power light flashes and it crashed any clues??? 
      
Stranahan: Too many possibilities there, sorry - there has been very little
     2000 system testing in house at NewTek. Almost all 4000 system, so....

RickB: everything else (other programs work fine....toaster 3.5 works fine)

Stranahan: Sorry I can't be more help - but I just don't know

DonH: Is the NT version the same as the Win32, Win95 version?  Is there
     a change in FOG so that it is variable vertically? 

Stranahan: basically the same, but there may be multiple versions (like
     486 v Pentium) compiled to take advatage...

DrTed: Back to the Flyer...  For a real working system in my A3000...  to
      produce half hour shows...  What should I really expect to spend for
      how much hard drives, RAM, needed peripheral components???

Stranahan: RAM isn't an issue.  How much footage makes a half hour show
for you?

DrTed: say at five to one shooting...

Stranahan: OK Let's say you throw out (don't digitize) half that That's an
      hour to an hour and half digitized A couple of 9 Gig drives should
      work fine 9 Gigs times 6 minutes = 54 minutes per drive Roughly Plus
      an audio drive. That's maybe 7-8 grand for drives, I think...

DrTed: Additional components???  ( like TBC's were for the Toaster???)

Stranahan: You need a TBC.  And a sync source - call it $200 for a black
      generator

DrTed: Like a personal IV in the same machine???

Stranahan: To provide stable house synce - TBC IV should be great Maybe a
      Mackie 1202 audio mixer. That helps. That's about it.... 

DrTed: (oh...  how much for flyer???)

Stranahan: $4995 list. Actual mileage may vary.

JeffH: Will Allen be adding envolopes?  I need more envolopes!!!  Like in
      the Texture section.
 
Stranahan: There are some new envelopes and Plugins could theoritically
      add many more And new surface features are easy with plug-ins.

RickJ: lee, a 2000, gvp 030,18 mg Toaster Flyer, & Retina...  the Retina
      locks up...

Stranahan: yeah that makes some sense, perhaps...

RickJ: ADPro 2.5 save to retina locks, any ideas?

Stranahan: Adding new cards will do that...does it work with the card out
      but with the software installed?

RickJ: the amiga locks the retina not at all The Retina worked prior to
      the Flyer

Stranahan: Again, sorry - but no idea there....I know there'a Retina at
      NewTek so they can at least test it...

Harv: I'm gonna sneak in one bonus question (from the crowd..  a late
     arriver) Lee: more render modules for LW.  specifically an OpalVision
     rendere?  coming in 4.0?  yes?no?  any others?

Stranahan: No plans, but could be added through plug-ins...

RickB: OK Lee Tim told me of a program that will you manipulate the caches
      in the drives is there any other programs that will let us do this
      or will we have to wait for Newtek to get it to us in 4.0 and how
      many flyers do you think have shipped to date?  thanks for
      everything!!!

Stranahan: Well, the third party often beats NewTek on things like this
      unless NT gets it out quickly...  As for number sold Let me put it
      this way - The big non-linear editor on the block is the Avid NT has
      sold about half as many Flyers as Avid has sold system - and it
      isn't even in a final version yet!
      The Flyer (in terms of numbers) is already one the most popular non-
      linear editors on the market...

RickB: Will the drive issue be better any sooner?

Stranahan: The drive issue is better now...

RickB: yes but the dealers are not letting it out!

Stranahan: AND - Avid is on Mac/PC - we're on a computer that isn't being
      made currently...
      So - it's been very successful - and 4.0 is a BIG step up...

Harv: I WANT TO THANK LEE STRANAHAN FOR GIVING US SOME OF HIS VALUABLE
     TIME TONITE.  HOPE YAWL FOUND THE ANSWERS USEFUL.  THANKS LEE,
     ESPECIALLY FOR DOING THIS IN THE MIDST OF MOVING YOUR HOME BASE.