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                       Nova Design Online Conference
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jcompton > Bots and humans, please begin your logs.   Welcome, everyone, to
   the Amiga Report Nova Design Online conference.   Tonight we have Kermit
   Woodall, one third of Nova Design, the company that produces ImageFX
   2.1a, the premier image processing system for the Amiga.  This
   conference, in edited form, will appear in Amiga Report Magazine. 

NovaKermi > Thanks Jason, and other operators, for having us here.  I'd
   also like to thank all of the ImageFX users out there, as well as you
   FUTURE ImageFX owners! 

oleg > novakermit, thanks for joining, and when is the PPC port of IFX
   coming? 

NovaKermi > I assume you mean a Power Amiga port with Native Mode modules
   for ImageFX hooks and effects.  We're not telling.  :)

MrDaniel > When will the next version of ImageFX appear?  What new goodies
   will it have?

NovaKermi > Next MAJOR release of ImageFX is slated for sometime in the
   first half of 1996.  What it will contain is a closely guarded secret. 
   We don't really like to dicuss future features until we're right at
   shipping time as we don't always precisely know what will make the
   release.  This is often due to the fact that we work closely with other
   Amiga companies and with our own programmers right up to deadline on
   cutting-edge stuff that sometimes simply isn't done in time! 

LoboFX > Hi NOVA...  I want to ask you if you plan to have some more
   distribution around the world as the Amiga reaches new markets, like
   LatinAmerica, are you planning this?

NovaKermi > Distribution in other countries is always a goal of ours, but
   it's often simply that no distributor has approached us seriously.  We
   get lots of inquiries but few actually order.  We're in most all major
   non-US countries, but not in all AREAS of those countries. 

Babbage > why does imagefx seem to do some things real slowl?  all written
   in c?  And do you fell the amiga is a secure platform for you and you
   will be sticking with it?  (we hope)

NovaKermi > Some functions in ImageFX may seem slow, but that's because of
   what they are having to do.  As many many reviews have pointed out,
   ImageFX is as fast as it gets in effects!  ImageFX is written in C and
   Assembly.  We're a 100% Amiga company and we're doing very well thanks! 

Seed > Do you feel threatened by Photogenics in any way? :)

NovaKermi > No, why?  Photogenics has a very small subset of the features
   that ImageFX has.  In fact, since it has no ARexx, true region control,
   batch processing, virtual memory, support for non-Cybergraphx cards,
   scanner/framegrabber support, and so on, and since it's focus is on
   painting - whereas our focus is on batched image processing and effects,
   we're two different markets. 

Bagman > Image Studio has an uncrash utility which saves your buffers to
   disk when your Amiga crashes.  Any hope IFX can do something like that? 

NovaKermi > Email me a more detailed description and we'll look at putting
   it on "the list". 

IronDuck > I was going to ask what you think of Photogenics but you already
   seem to have answered that, I don't agree with your views though..  it's
   getting better for every update - AREXX is coming soon, etc¨

NovaKermi > If you want the best here and now, with much more advanced
   features to be "coming soon", then let's talk about ImageFX.  Eh?  ;)

dlman > I know that this is going to seem like I have been living in a
   concrete bunker away from the rest of the world, but I thought that
   ImageFX was a GVP product, and GVP was out of business, and did you all
   aquire all rights to ImageFX? 

NovaKermi > Heh!  We're the creators of ImageFX.  GVP licensed the rights
   to market it, and we took it back when our contract with them ended.
   Very friendly parting and all that though.  We market it directly now,
   worldwide, and continue to focus directly on the Amiga! 

Trib > Any chance that the next version of ImageFX will have Quicktime and
   AVI loaders and _savers_?  I have talked to Newtek Flyer owners that
   would like to directly convert Flyer clips into Quicktime animations. 
   Also, will we ever see a CyberGraphX version of ViewTek?  ga

NovaKermi > Some sort of support for Quicktime and AVI _may_ happen.  Bear
   in mind that most of the popular compression CODECs used in these are
   either patented or undocumented.  I understand the Xanim guys had to get
   special permission to use even a precompiled object module for thier
   code.  A Cybergraphx version of ViewTek is very likely. 

scottj > Kermit, what are the chances of porting IFX to the BeBox?

NovaKermi > BeBox is HIGHLY unlikely.  Unless someone mails us lots and
   lots of cash.  ;)
 
MrDaniel > I've heard some reports about the 2GO board from Phase5.  What
   do you think of it?  Will ImageFX support it?  Full screen real-time
   50Hz effects would be nice.  :)

NovaKermi > I've heard nothing of the 2GO board as yet.  Ask next time
   around. 

Rioter > What do you guys priority to improve for the next major version of
   ImageFX?

NovaKermi > Specifics?  Specifically more, and better, and updated
   Toaster/Flyer support...  more effects, more automated batching for
   effects over time.  That's as specific as I can be. 

Seed > Is there a 060 version planned?  How does your current code use it?

NovaKermi > '060 support is easy for us.  We're pre-designed to allow
   specific modules for specific processors to be called automatically. 
   Mostly you're talking a recompile to support an '060, but then again,
   we've yet to SEE a real '060 around here yet. 

mark[0] > Have you yet expirimented with or observed your software's
   performance on any RISC processor?

NovaKermi > Nope.  When a RISC Amiga shows up, or a card even, we'll know
   then. 

Harv > hey Kermit, who created that brilliant Amiga guide help system in
   ImageFX2?  Best Amiga app help system I've ever seen.  :)

NovaKermi > Commodore created the Amigaguide help system Harv.  Didn't you
   know that?  ;) ...oh, you mean the CONTENTS of our Help system?  ...heh
   heh.  'twere Mr.  Laser here of course! 

LoboFX > I would like to see some other products coming from Nova, like
   Paint Programs or even a new release of Thomas' EXCELLENT Rend24 (a
   solution for DCTV owners)...  Are you planning new products?  :) ... 
          
NovaKermi > ImageFX contains a paint program...it's the only one we're
   working on.  As for future Rend24's...probably not.  IMP and AutoFX in
   ImageFX handle those needs.  However, we DO have new products planned
   for the future. 

bcampbell> "I have never played with ImageFX that much because my CD32/SX-1
   does not have a hard drive yet.  So I get a friend to convert stuff with
   his copy.  However, I noticed that ImageFX doesn't convert Digiview 21
   bit images.  Will this be fixed soon? 

NovaKermi > Digiview 21 images have loaded fine here and we've never gotten
   a bug report that's proved otherwise.  We loaded our entire test suite
   of DV21's in fact.  If you've got a bad DV21 image, email or mail it to us.

[Intermission in which RobR, Achilles, and Quinto win CineMorph packages]

Timmer > Just wondering if you have any plans to update ImageFX's GUI to
   use a fancy BOOPSI GUI system such as ClassAct? 

NovaKermi > Not in our plans at this time.  We're concentrating on more
   effects and more compatibility with Amiga hardware as well as scanners
   and such. 

Cyberwlf > I am a Photogenics owner since V1.0 and have continually
   upgraded all the way through to V1.2 and also an ImageFX 1.5 user since
   the coverdisk giveaway ;^).  Since buying Pgs1.x I have become
   accustomed to way Pgs does things (GUI) Vs IFX's style of doing things.
   Is it possible a future version of IFX will be like AdPro 2.5 or Pgs1.x?
   And also will you be offering in the future some sort of cross-upgrade
   offer or some sort of offer to make it more affordable to those who cant
   normally afford it.:) And one last question does IFX2.x support CyberGFX
   System and the Cybervision64?  :)

NovaKermi > ImageFX's interface system is highly acclaimed and versitile. 
   We really do not plan to alter this.  I'm not really in the marketing
   side of things here so I don't know about upgrade offers now that the CU
   Amiga deal is over.  ImageFX was possibly the first program supporting
   Cybergraphics, well ahead of PGs, with our own preview module that let
   you preview, paint, and image process on the CyberG. 

dlman > Will IFX support the SGI file formats?  and if so, will it be
   included or a seperate package?

NovaKermi > ImageFX already supports about all of the SGI formats.  SGI
   RGB, Softimage, Wavefront, and something else I believe.  All included. 

Bagman > Will imagefx suport VideoMaster (the pcmcia digitizer from
   HighSoft)? 

NovaKermi > I've never heard of it, let 'em know to contact us and we'll
   try to support it. 

MrDaniel > Will the next version have a nice animation GUI (with miniature
   pictures, a la Scala) that makes it possible to easily edit/compose
   animations?  Will it have full 16/24-bit CGfx support, in previews etc?
   Photogenics 24-bit window based GUI is quite nice. 

NovaKermi > Re: Animation GUI, that's a bit too specific for discussing
   here.  As for 16/24 bit Cybergraphx support, it's had that before any
   other package.  Yes, ImageFX does preview in full color (15/16/24-bit)
   on ANY Cybergraphx system.  We do this in a Windowing GUI that's an
   offshoot of the screen-based GUI of the standard ImageFX. 

Babbage > with not changing what you use as your gui front end, how about
changing the layout a bit, putting propper menus and such, nothing hard,
making it easier to use and find things?  You amybe be concentrating on
effects more, but the gui is still important, its what the users
communicate to your system with =:)

NovaKermi > It's entirely possible for ANYONE to write their own front end
   to ImageFX to make it look more like Photoshop or anything.  Our current
   interface is the result of the needs of the Amiga and the variety of
   addon display cards.  A totally windowing display keeps any interface
   off of DCTV, Opalvision, and a great many other display cards that have
   NO internal support for interfacing with Windowing displays.  If someone
   wanted to write a Photoshop styled interface for ImageFX and sell it
   directly or elsewise, I'd love to talk with them, but our primary
   interface exists for the needs of the vast majority of Amiga owners who
   can only get interfaces working via overlapping screens when they want a
   preview over their DCTV, IV24, Opal, etc. 

Schrade > I just want to repeat the sentiments that the ImageFX GUI is not
   the greatest.  :-/ I would like to see ImageFX use a regular GadTools
   GUI like ADPro does OR at least a GUI like ClassAct.  If you need more
   info on ClassAct, please let me know and I can get you in touch with the
   authors (Tau, caldi, Timmer)

Harv > Why don't you use the newer faster jpeg scheme, kermit, such.....
   as in feck's fastjpeg_aga?  is there a reason?  

NovaKermi > Our JPEG support is based on the IJG's code, although not the
   very latest release, whereas Feck is using his own assembly code I
   believe.  We're trying to stay with IJG though for standardization. 

Seed > Did Escom ever approach you?  Do you think/care about it? 

NovaKermi > We have and continue to talk with Escom.  More I cannot say. 

xterm > 1) What about support for Progressive JPEG?  2) what about future
   [direct] support for OSes such as Win 3.1/95/NT, Unix variants
   (specifically SGI), etc?
   
NovaKermi > As we upgrade to the latest IJG code we'll have progressive
   JPEG.  If you mean porting to Win95, etc, ...absolutely not!  ImageFX is
   Amiga software. 

dlman > Will IFX support DIRECT communication with the PAR and have a
   rotoscope type of interface for animation playback/editing? 

NovaKermi > Only the future will tell how the PAR support will improve.
   We've never seen a PAR here.  The PAR module(s) were written at DPS and
   given to us.  The module(s) lack ARexx support unfortunately.  As we get
   and work with a PAR, support can improve. 

Seed > Is PNG a format you believe in?

NovaKermi > The PNG is out there.  It's apparently going to make a shot at
   being the next GIF.  So long as it's supporters upgrade and maintain it,
   we'll support it. 

scottj > Kermit what happened to the agreement between Amiga image...  
   processing companies to share buffers between their programs?

NovaKermi > The agreement was never universal.  ASDG/ER never responded,
   and they're no longer supporting the Amiga anyways now, BlackBelt
   created some ARexx scripts, but never supported the standard interface.
   Other companies have come and gone, but in the wake of Commodore, it
   seems that few new standards are going to be adopted for the immediate
   future. 

jcompton > This question was sent e-mail from Bohus Blahut, who reviewed
   ImageFX 2.1's upgrade in Amiga Report: "When will you include enveloping
   for your functions?  Lightwave is a great example of the value of
   setting envelopes or "trends", and ImageMaster has them.  Also, can IFX
   batch a single frame repeatedly throughout a sequence, i.e.  an animated
   texture over a still?  (ADPro does it.)" . 

NovaKermi > To my knowlege Imagemaster does not have envelopes, it's their
   Windows product line that does this.  However, this sort of
   functionality is on "the list" and has been for some time.  ImageFX can
   batch a single frame throughout a sequence, via multiple adds in AutoFX,
   or directly in IMP.  Both are batch processors included at no extra
   charge in ImageFX. 

Frotz > OK, I have a vlab motion that i'm not using.  if you pay shipping
   you can play with it for 2 months until I get my 060.  will you support
   it?

NovaKermi > We get loans directly from the OEMs.  Thanks anyways!  As for
   support, what do you want?  Vlab JPEG loading?  We're waiting on them
   for the information and have been for some time.  I've personally asked
   Macrosystems in Germany about this a long time ago, and have re-asked
   via Noahji's personnel.   Borrowing the board isn't the problem.  It's
   knowing what's different about their JPEG format.  We support standard
   JPEGs, and theirs don't _seem_ to be standard and aren't according to some.

Babbage > do you see adpro as being serious competition to you?  And what
   do you think to AT and their amiga upgrade plans (both ppc and non ppc
   base).  Cheers for this irc session to us all btw.  :) 

NovaKermi > ADpro is three year old technology that isn't supported or
   generally sold anymore.  No, it's not competitive.  The Power Amiga
   sounds great.  The new Amiga 1200s and the new 4000 towers are finally
   here (yay!) and are priced reasonably for Amigas. 

Seed > How do you see IFX competing with the SGI rivals?  I like the
   interface ;)

NovaKermi > The Amiga doesn't compete with SGIs.  The speed just isn't
   here.   Sigh. 

LoboFX > OK, what about more configurable GUI ?  I mean changing buttons...

NovaKermi > Our current GUI can run on screens or in windows, on it's own
   screens or any Public Screen.  It works in register color modes down to
   2 colors or on other screens in up to 24-bit color.  You can alter the
   interface to make the menus ordered in any order you like with any
   options you like.   You can assign macros to any menu items already.
   It's in the manual.  Even for ImageFX 1.5 for that matter.  All the keys
   can be edited and assigned macros/ARexx scripts as well. 

MrDaniel > The GUI is the only thing that have kept me from buying ImageFX.
   Its nice for ECS/AGA machines, but I have a CV64 and want my software to
   make full use of it.  You said that anyone could write their own front
   end for ImageFX.  How?

NovaKermi > ImageFX already takes full advantage of the Cybervision 64 and
   runs in full 24-bit color on it. 

scottj > Kermit, how about adding macro recording to IFX?  I know about
   AutoFxbut its not the same.

NovaKermi > ImageFX has built-in macro recording.  Hit !  to turn it on, @
   to turn it off. 

_Ivan_ > will nova design/IFX have the desire or opportunity or however you
   might state that to make their effects/filters usuable as lightwave
   plugins..  kind of like the KPT tools that will be available for the IBM
   version of lightwave, for exmple for postprocessing ?

NovaKermi > Could be, only the future can tell.  (ie: no comment) :)

dlman > Kermi: Does IFX have 32-BIT graphics support?  As far as INTERNAL
   image processing...  If not, how does IFX handle Tranparancy? 

NovaKermi > Yes, internally we support 32-bits and 56-bits for many things,
   including compositing. 

Seed > Will there be full JStream support?  (Digital Broadcaster)

NovaKermi > Full Jstream support is already in ImageFX. 

Cyberwlf > IFX 1.5 has a bug when you halt arexx scripts during execution
it freezes the program (well the GUI atleast :)) ...Is there any fix for
this?  Does IFX2.x solve this bug?  (I assume it is a bug?)

NovaKermi > This is not a bug.  Some ARexx scripts turn the GUI off
   (LockGUI on) and you need to turn it back on.  I keep a macro key
   assigned to do this.  (UnlockGUI)

[In the final prize round, xterm and ericgir won CineMorphs and mark[0] won
an ImageFX 2.1a package]

jcompton > I'd like to thank Kermit Woodall of Nova Design for spending a
   few hours of his time with us, Optic, Schrade, and Camelot for
   moderating assistance, and the dozens of you that stayed up late or got
   up early for this conference.  :)

jcompton > Kermit: Any parting words before we give out the goodies? 

NovaKermi > Hmmm...."So long and thanks for all the fish"?  Nah, that's
   been done...how about, thanks for coming folks!