January 98

January 27, 1998

QuickTime 3.0b16 is now available.Among other changes, it's got some bug fixes, a new little application called ImageViewer, and a QuickTime GS Instruments extension which replaces the QuickTime Musical Instruments extension.Get the new version at the QuickTime 3 Preview Release download page.

YAV Interactive has released a new version of their QuickTime datarate analysis tool, Spike 1.6. You can download a Lite version, and get more info at the Spike Download Area page.

Puffin Designs has announced the Commotion Player, an upcoming product which will let you play uncompressed, full-frame, full-motion video in real time without additional hardware-- ideal when working with compositing tools like After Effects which typically require high-end capture and playback cards to show the full resolution. Check out the Commotion Player page.

There are a couple of articles at MacWEEK On-line this week that reflect on the state of Mac hardware for high-end video. One is an article about duel stream video editing, and the other is an article on the significance of the number of PCI slots.

There's also an article at MacWEEK about Live Picture's Reality Studio, an upcoming tool for creating "immersive" web sites, which can include linked panoramas, objects and still images using FlashPix compression technologies. (The delivery format is not QuickTime VR, but the tool will convert and use QuickTime VR files. The MacWEEK article says there may also be QT and QTVR export capabilities.) You can also read more about the product at the Reality Studio Product Information page.

Apple Market Center is offering free half-day seminars on Immersive Imaging in various cities around the U.S. The sponsors are Kodak, Live Picture, Kaidan, and Apple, so you'll mostly find out about their tools. Get more details and register at theApple Market Center Immersive Imaging Seminar page.

For those waiting to hear what's going on with a QT 3.0 Xtra for Director, there's a message posted at the QTVR list by Michael Seery, who's on the Director team at Macromedia. (No astounding news, unfortunately, and nothing very encouraging about QTVR 2.0 support.)

If you're interested in becoming a member of the International QuickTime VR Association, it's a good idea to do it in the next few days. If you sign up by 1/31/98, the $50 sign-up fee will be waived. (You still need to pay a $50 annual membership, however.) Details are in a message posted 1/22 at the QTVR list by Loren Price, vice-president of the Association.

There's yet another VRScript demo (#7) at the Unofficial VRScript Support Page. This one demos transitions between nodes.

You can get new versions of a couple of useful QuickTime VR shareware tools (VR2Analyser and ReverseVR) if you go to the VRTools Products page. (VR2Analyser now provides info about hotspots; ReverseVR now extracts hotspot picts.)

January 20, 1998

There's an article at MacWEEK on the next release of Adobe Premiere, version 5.0.

There's also a MacWEEK article on the MayaQuest project (an online project involving classrooms and students from all over the U.S.), covering their use of QuickTime VR and other technologies. (It's a really fascinating article.)

Intel released a beta version of the Indeo Video 4.3 codec for QuickTime for Windows 3. Indeo 4 has a few interesting features, including data-rate control, transparency, and access-key options. This release is only for Windows; we don't know if they have a Mac version planned. Information and downloads at an Indeo Video 4.3 beta page in the Apple QuickTime 3.0 Preview site

And, while we're on the topic of codecs, check out the Sorenson Sample Video page for a range of examples using the Sorenson codec.

Media100 has certified the new G3 system for use with many of their products; you can read more about this at a G3 press release at the Media 100 website.

There's a new freeware tool called HotSpot, that works with the QuickTime VR Authoring Studio; it allows you to take a QuickTime VR multi-node pano and create a smaller one without having to recreate the entire project. Check out the HotSpot page.

TheUnofficial VRScript Support Page has yet another demo: this one shows an interactive QuickTime VR pano--you can click in it to select a texture that gets placed on a cabinet in a pano of a kitchen. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page; it's demo 6.)

January 14, 1998

A significant new beta (3.0b11) of QuickTime 3.0 is out, available at the QuickTime 3 Preview Release download page. It's got several new codecs, including Sorensen for video, QDesign for music, and QualComm PureVoice for audio that doesn't contain music, all of which provide amazing compression ratios (ideal for web); see examples at the QuickTime 3 Samples page or at a Sorenson Video Codec page at Terran's web site. (One tip: if you're going to try compressing with QDesign using MoviePlayer's Export function, give MoviePlayer more RAM if it doesn't seem to work.)

Note: after Apple first posted 3.0b11, a bug with Desktop Picture was discovered, so they posted 3.0b11c2. It's a big download so if you got the first one, don't bother to get 3.0b11c2, unless the bug affects you.

The other major announcement last week (at the Macworld conference) was that Apple will split QuickTime into a free playback version and a $29.99 editing version. We've not seen any significant public information about this. You can read a mention of it in a MacWeek article about Steve Jobs' keynote at Macworld.

The next Bay Area QTVRA meeting is this Thursday (1/15), and will feature Charles Wiltgen demoing the coolest new features of QuickTime 3.0. (More info at a post by Joel Cannon on the QTVR list.)

The QuickTime web site has been moved and revamped, so some of your old links (and some of ours on this page) may not work. (Everything is now at www.apple.com/quicktime, rather than quicktime.apple.com; and many links may just take you to the top level, but the structure's pretty much the same as it was, so it shouldn't be too hard to find things again.)

A beta of HyperCard 2.4 is also out--it's got built in support (through HyperTalk, rather than an XCMD) for QuickTime and QuickTime VR. It also leverages all of QT 3's abilities to open all sorts of mediafiles (AVI, MPEG, etc.) Go to the Apple HyperCard home page to download the beta and get more info.

Some new joint QTVR efforts:

150 people participated in Spin-O-Rama, all shooting panos of the area around the Macworld conference site at the same time. Check out the Spin-O-Rama page over the next week to see the results.

Joel Cannon (QTVR Activist) has started the WorldTour Online QTVR Catalog, which is a searchable database with links to QTVR panoramas from all over the world. You can enter your pano, or search for others by going to the WorldTour home page.

If you're looking for QTVR training, courses by the Learning Alliance will be held in Cupertino, Chicago, and Boston in February and March. Check out Learning Alliance's QTVR Course Description page. Or, in New York, the International Center of Photography has a QTVR class in February; details on ICP's Digital Media Saturday Seminars page.

If you buy certain Kaidan products you can purchase the QuickTime VR Authoring Studio for $275, through January 31st. (Standard retail price is $399.) Check out Kaidan's home page.

TransForMotion , a new $45 tool for painting on QuickTime and QuickTime VR movies is now available. You can download a demo and get information at the ParisGrey TransForMotion home page

There are new import and export plug-ins for Adobe After Effects, available at the After Effects Plug-ins page.

A couple of updates to authoring tools: Interactive Solutions MovieWorks 4.02, available at the MovieWorks Download page, and PaceWorks Object Dancer 1.5, available at the Paceworks Downloads-Updater page. Both are free updates.