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  • Canopus Corporation Announces a Hardware-based 3D Effects Engine That Offers "Near-real-time" Rendering

    Canopus corporation recently announced shipment of Rexf/x ($699), a hardware-based 3D effects engine that offers "near-real-time" rendering of over 40 high-quality pre-set effects, including cube, tube, mosaic, double doors, spinning cube and environmental effects including haze and lighting. In the coming months, Canopus will offer additional effects modules that include more transitions such as picture-in-picture, titling effects and special-effects filters. The first add-on effects module will be available free to Rexf/x users in February.

    Canopus also announced in January that their DVRex and DVRaptor FireWire video capture boards will now support Adobe Premiere 5.1. New drivers are now available on the company's Web site ( --Joe McCleskey

  • Meda Corporation Announces VideoRaid scsi for Macintosh

    Continuing to expand upon its VideoRaid family of disk arrays, Meda Corporation today announced VideoRaid scsi, a RAID storage solution for Macintosh, SGI and Windows-based nonlinear editing systems. With sustained data transfer rates of 18 MB/second and 36 MB/second, VideoRaid scsi products are targeted at video editors who require very high data transfer rates and copious amounts of storage for long-format projects. The two-drive versions of VideoRaid scsi offer up to 34 GB of storage and sustain an 18 MB/second data rate. The four-drive versions offer up to 67 GB with sustained data transfer rates of 36 MB/second. --Joe McCleskey

  • 1998 Videomaker/Panasonic Contest Winners

    We rolled out the red carpet for over 100 entries ranging from action-oriented feature-length movies, documentaries and music videos, to dramas and industrial training videos. Since there were no category or time constraints placed on the contest, it was extremely difficult to choose only a few winners. However, we felt that those that did win gave more attention to lighting, audio quality, directing, editing, shot selection and framing. The combination of technical quality and creativity put these winning videos above the rest. Unfortunately, we couldn't select everyone as a prizewinner. However, those who entered should be very proud of their accomplishment. What stood out and made us most proud was that the production standards definitely rose over the last few years. All the entrants demonstrated good fundamentals, techniques and creativity. This means that you have been paying attention to all those Videomaker articles and tips. The pre-ceremony hype and suspense is over, and we've selected this year's best videos. Thank you to all who entered, and congratulations to this year's winners. As mentioned, the competition was fierce, but our judges felt that the following videos deserved the highest honors. The envelope please

    Grand Prize
    Panasonic PV-DV710 Digital Palmcorder ($2,500 value)
    Art Nelson
    Oakhurst, NJ
    Beach Rich, Fish Poor

    First Prize
    Videonics MXPro Digital Video Mixer ($1,799 value)
    Chris Cosgrave
    Niagara Fall, NY
    Hands like Suitcases

    Second Prize
    Elite Video BVP-4+ Video Processor ($995 value)
    Wayne Cook and Liz Massey
    Pimalco Video Dept.
    Chandler, AZ
    Mandrel Rod Change Procedure

    Third Prize
    Iomega Buz Multimedia Producer and Jaz 1GB Drive ($500 value)
    Kristin Atwell
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Slave to the Coffee Cup

  • A Dedicated Videographer Gets The Shot But Loses Husband

    BANGOR, ME--Investigators are citing "camcorder duty" as a significant factor in the death of Larry Fallon, who was kicked to death by an elk during a hunting trip Monday. "I wish more than anything that I could have grabbed Ken's rifle from the truck and helped him," a grieving Roxanne Fallon said, "but to aim and fire the gun while maintaining focus and properly framing the action would have been impossible." Fallon's death, captured on tape in its entirety, will air Friday, Dec. 18, on Fox's When Animals Attack VII.

  • Sony Unveils $1499 VAIO Digital Studio DV Editing Computer

    In a move that's sure to create big waves in the turnkey digital video editing market, Sony unveiled a new DV-capable home computer in its VAIO Digital Studio series (model PCV-E314DS). Priced at $1499, the computer features an i.LINK (IEEE 1394) port for easy transfer of DV stills and moving video directly to the hard drive. Bundled software includes Sony's DVGate Motion software for easy batch capture of clips from a DV camcorder or VCR, an MPEG-1 conversion utility and Adobe Premiere LE for nonlinear editing. Under the hood are a 400MHz Pentium II processor, 10.8GB hard drive, 5x DVD-ROM, 64MB SDRAM, Matrox G200 display adapter with 8MB VRAM, S-link control for Sony CD, MD (Mini Disc) and audio cassette players, and an optical digital audio output for easy interface with Sony MD and DAT (Digital Audio Tape) recorders. According to a Sony spokesman, the PCV-E314DS and later Digital Studio models will work with any Sony i.LINK camcorder, including the DCR-VX1000 and all Digital8 models.

  • Videomaker Expo Opens in Burbank January 21

    "Power Up! The Future of Video" is the theme of Videomaker's 1999 West Coast Expo that opened today in Burbank, CA. Publisher Matt York kicked off the procedings with a keynote lecture at 9 a.m. This was followed by a panel discussion of professional editing tips. When the exhibit show floor opened at 10, attendees were treated to exhibits by dozens of manufacturers, showing their latest products for making video. Three tracks of seminars started at noon. Hundreds of attendees were on hand right at the opening of the show. The Expo will continue into the evening with an awards ceremony, and will remain open with seminars and exhibits, through Saturday, January 23. The location is the Burbank Hilton Convention Center. Call the Hilton for directions at 818-843-6000. Registration opens at 8 a.m. each day. Call Videomaker for other details at 530-891-8410 and ask for Expo Customer Service.

  • CES: A Digital Success

    From MPEG-based digital music recording devices to conceptual models of DVD-RAM camcorders, this year's Consumer Electronics Show brought digital audio and video devices closer to home.

    Over 100,000 attendees converged on the roughly 1,800 exhibitors this January, and the buzz on the show floor can be summed up in two words: Digital Home.

    For example, Diamond Multimedia's Rio, a small $199 digital music device, records MP3 (MPEG-1, Audio layer 3) files downloaded onto a computer from the Internet, storing them in a Flash RAM buffer. This trend could have an effect on the home digital video editor; imagine downloading royalty-free audio files from the Internet for use in your videos. Most notable in the new camcorder offerings this year were Sony's new Digital8 cameras (covered in this issue's Zoom In Zoom Out column). Also of interest was the falling prices of typical Hi8, 8mm and VHS-C camcorders.

    JVC's new lineup of camcorders included the GR-DVL9500, a high-end Mini DV offering with a progressive scan shooting mode and a High-Speed Recording mode that shoots 120 frames per second for high-quality slow-motion playback. Also of interest were JVC's GR-AXM710 and GR-AXM910 Dual Camcorders, which combine functions of a VHS-C camcorder and a digital still camera.

    Sharp displayed an expanded line of Mini DV camcorders, including the VL-PD3U, a model the company claimed was the lightest, slimmest Digital Viewcam yet.

    Philips made an announcement at the show concerning recordable DVD-Video technology, citing plans to release the first DVD-Video recorders in the year 2000.

    Pinnacle Systems' Studio 400 computer-based editing system received an Innovations '99 Design and Engineering award this year. Best of show went to ReplayTV, a set-top device that allows television viewers to record incoming programs on a hard disk for later viewing.

  • Sony Unveils Digital8 Camcorders at CES

    At a CES press conference held on January 6th, Sony unveiled a new digital video format that records on existing 8mm and Hi8 cassettes: Digital8.

    Designed to be backwards-compatible with 8mm and Hi8 tapes, the new format records in a DV-encoded Digital8 format, and can play back analog tapes recorded in 8mm or Hi8. Sony claims that the new format can achieve 500 lines of resolution, which is roughly equivalent to the quality of DV.

    Four new Digital8 camcorder models were announced. All included both analog and IEEE-1394 I.Link outputs, both of which are available for analog and digital playback. This means that it's possible to play an 8mm tape in a Digital8 camcorder, and record the digitized output to a computer via the I.Link interface. All models also include Control-L jacks, which will carry existing RC time code information from pre-recorded analog Hi8 tapes, as well as SteadyShot image stabilization, Nightshot infrared recording, headphone jack, and LaserLink wireless transmission from the camcorder to an optional set-top receiver. The top-of-the-line Digital8 DCR-TRV510 ($1399) boasts a flip-out LCD monitor and 2MB flash memory for still-image capture. Other models include the DCR-TRV310 ($1099), the DCR-TRV103 ($999) and the low-cost DCR-TR7000 ($899).

  • Videonics Announces New Upgrade of Effetto Pronto

    CAMPBELL, CA., October 28, 1998

    Videonics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VDNX) announced the release of a free upgrade for its Effetto Pronto Compositing and Video Effects System for the Macintosh. Videonics' Effetto Pronto is a combination of compositing and effects software and a PCI hardware accelerator. It is the first desktop-based hardware and software compositing tool to offer instant feedback on effects-processing, unlimited layering capabilities, sophisticated titling and color correction, among other advanced features. The new Effetto 1.1 software offers users more speed, flexibility and control.

    Already the fastest compositing system available on the desktop, Effetto version 1.1 adds RAM and disk caching capabilities to the product. Compositors can expect to see playback and rendering speeds two to five times faster, which will make the rendering process more seamless and efficient.

    "The upgraded Effetto 1.1 software provides dramatically increased speed while achieving greater flexibility because of its expanded support of other applications," said Yeshwant Kamath, President of Videonics, Inc. "This upgrade lets artists finish projects faster without sacrificing creativity, which leaves more time for other activities or new business opportunities."

    Greater Flexibility

    The upgrade also provides greater flexibility with increased third-party compatibility. Puffin Design's Commotion Motion Tracker files can be imported into Effetto and applied to any object. These objects can be quickly composited and rendered with the help of the Pronto hardware accelerator. Effetto version 1.1 adds Dynamic File Sharing so files can easily be shared between Effetto and other applications. Effetto now supports popular standard third-party After Effects plug-ins including Digi-Effects, Final Effects Complete, Boris Effects, and the ICEfx systems from ICE.

  • Disposable Camcorders are Coming Soon

    An Aukland, New Zealand company called Disposable Video Camcorders recently applied for a patent on, you guessed it, a disposable camcorder. The disposable camcorders, like their disposable still photo cousins, will use a reinforced cardboard body that surrounds a video cassette. To eliminate the need for a battery, the camcorder will use a hand-cranked motor to power the video circuitry and tape transport mechanisms. When users open the case to retrieve the cassette, an electrical short circuit will melt the plastic guide-pin needed for the tape to run. The company didn't specify what format the camcorder would use, or the price of the unit. Look for them at amusement parks soon.