November 96

November 25

Last week we told you about some problems with Avid Cinema. We suggested that you check out Ted Landau's MacFixIt page. MacFixIt has some more info about the problems as well as a reply from Glenn McElhoe of Avid.

With QuickTime 2.5, Apple implemented a simple way to import graphics of different file formats into various applications that support still images. Graphics importers built into QuickTime 2.5 included Photoshop, SGI, MacPaint, and others. Now, a third party developer, Sam Bushell, has created an importer (installed as an extension) that can import PNG images. (PNG, which stands for Portable Network Graphics, is a new format for the web that will likely supplant GIF.) Apple's got more info and the PNG importer at a special PNG page.

There should be a new beta version of Apple's QuickTime browser plug-in for Macintosh (1.1f1) as well as betas of the plug-in for Windows 3.1/95/NT, all available from the QuickTime beta software page.

For those who want to get started with QuickTimeVR, check out a Macworld Online article on QTVR by Jim Heid, which covers how to make QTVR panoramas, including a sidebar ("Economy-Class VR") with step-by-step instructions. Also, there's QTVR piece at Jim's "Heidsite", which has links to his panos, and other QTVR-related sites (utilities, more samples, and panoramic camera and tripod vendors.)

At Comdex last week, Apple pushed QuickTime and the QuickTime Media Layer very hard. There's a MacWeek story about the QuickTime Media Layer. And, Apple has a nice, simple page explaining the QuickTime Media Layer.

Apple also talked more about version 2.5 for Windows and the industry support behind it; see their 11/18 press release. In addition, Apple had more to say about the TriMedia coprocessor cards (multimedia acceleration) that will be available for Macs; check out David Morgenstern's MacWeek story and Macworld Online's story.

Last week we covered how to remove duplicate frames in a movie, giving you different durations for different frames. This week we show how to create a movie that has different durations for different frames when you're starting with still images.

November 18

Joel Cannon, of Apple's QTVR team, has released a new tool for doing QuickTime VR hotspots called VRL. This comes just in the nick of time for those who want to use the capabilities of the new QuickTime plug-in (now in beta) which allows URL hotspot-linking. You can download a package at Joel's QTVR Workbook. which includes VRL as well as a new version of the Make QTVR Panorama tool (1.0b5). You'll also find a link there to the page where you can get the beta plug-in.

Truevision this week put out a press release stating that version 2.0 of their software will support "Universal Motion-JPEG" (Motion-JPEG A or B). This means that you'll be able to open Truevision-compressed movies on any computer running QuickTime 2.5, without Truevision's hardware.

Apple released something called QuickTime 2.5 Extras 1.0.1 at one of their FTP sites. This 4 MB package contains MoviePlayer 2.5 (with plug-ins), and some sample movies (4 music movies, one movie that's a series of still photos, and one that's a 3D animation in a video track). If you're not interested in the samples, the package isn't worth dowloading, since the software is the same as what you can find on the QuickTime FAQ software page and Apple's QuickTime Software page.

There is a MacWeek article about the QuickTime Media Layer (QTML) and QuickTime for Windows 2.5 . (The article doesn't really say too much that we haven't already reported, but you may want to check it out anyway.)

There are a number of bugs with Avid Cinema. The MacFixIt Home Page (Friday November 15th; scroll to 5th bullet) mentions this and sends you to a page that gives you lots more info.

Comdex is this week. Expect a flurry of press releases and news.

Here's a how-to that addresses a very particular need. ConvertToMovie can remove duplicate frames in a movie, giving you different durations for different frames.

November 11 - Happy Veteran's Day

It's a QuickTime VR week:

Apple released a beta of the next version (1.1) of the QuickTime browser plug-in for MacOS computers. For QTVR users, the cool thing about this version is that you can assign URLs to hotspots. It's got features of interest to non-QTVR users, too: it supports more media types (midi, aiff, mpeg, au, check list), more browsers (Navigator 2.x and 3.x and Explorer 2.x and 3.x), and allows caching of QuickTime movies. You can find the beta (1.1b1) on Apple's software page.

Here are some sample pages using QuickTime VR and URL linking with the 1.1b1 of the plug-in:

develop, Apple's developer publication, has an interesting article on QuickDraw 3D and QuickTime VR. The article is fairly technical but does refer to sample applications for turning 3DMF files into QuickTime VR objects and panoramas. You can download an archive containing sample code and the applications from an Apple developer ftp server, it's 5.2 megabytes. You will need to have QuickDraw3D too.

Also, there's a new page put up by Delta Centre for Learning Technologies, which allows you to search the QuickTime VR list archives. And, Joel and Charles released yet another beta (b6) of Sanity SaVR, their friendly front-end to the Quicktime VR Authoring Tools; you can get it at the QuickTime FAQ software page.

If you want to show off a movie, in a more dramatic and efficient fashion than using the Standard Controller, but don't want to embed your movie in a presentation, MoviePlayer will do the trick.

November 4

Netscape and Apple have released a new beta of CoolTalk for the Macintosh based on Apple's QuickTime Conferencing. Apple has a page where you can read more and a page where you can download the beta.

Joel Cannon and Charles Wiltgen have released a new beta (1.0b4) of Sanity SaVR, a user-friendly front-end for the QuickTime VR Authoring Tools. You can get it from the QuickTime FAQ software page.

Paceworks Inc released 1.0b11 version of Dancer. Dancer is an animation creation tool that makes extensive use of QuickTime tracks.

Keyboard shortcut: Use the option key to jump the playhead to the beginning or end of a movie.