Flipped Out

Hitachi VM-E625LA 8mm Camcorder
($999)
Hitachi Home Electronics
3890 Steve Reynolds Blvd.
Norcross, GA 30093
(770) 279-5600

Just a few years ago, only one company–Sharp–made camcorders with built-in LCD monitors. This year,
however, five of the seven manufacturers listed in our 8mm camcorder buyer’s guide (August 1996)
produced at least one camcorder with this feature. The trend seems clear: consumers like built-in LCD
monitors, so the manufacturers are delivering them.

Among the latest offerings in this category is Hitachi’s E625LA, a simple point-and-shoot model
that includes image stabilization, instant 2x digital zoom and a built-in titler.

The design of the E625LA is similar to earlier Hitachi models. The standard black-and-white CRT
viewfinder rotates backward to fit snugly on the back of the camera for storage, and most of the controls
are located on the back panel for easy thumb access. It’s a little bit larger than most current-model 8mm
camcorders–necessary to incorporate the flip-out, 3-inch color LCD monitor.

Button, Button


A 12:1, 4-48mm f/1.6 zoom lens sits at the front of the unit, focusing images onto a 1/4-inch,
270,000-pixel CCD. Focus is either manual or automatic, with a pair of buttons located on the back of the
camcorder controlling the inner focus mechanism. The E625LA’s autofocus works well, changing
smoothly between subjects with little or no “hunting” for the right focus.

A standard zoom rocker switch offers only a single speed for zooming in and out; in the center of
the rocker switch, a small button toggles the 2x instant digital-zoom feature. You can use this latter feature
in two different ways: as an extra boost to the 12:1 zoom range (bumping it up to 24:1), or as a simple,
instant-zoom effect. As expected, the 2x digital zoom cuts resolution considerably, as it samples a smaller
portion of the CCD (fewer pixels) to provide this effect.

Another feature of the E625LA that makes use of fewer CCD pixels is the unit’s electronic image
stabilization (EIS). Those who are familiar with EIS know that it works in much the same way as the
instant zoom feature, trading image resolution for the desired effect. In the E625LA, however, the drop in
resolution is minimal, and the increase in steadiness is significant. On handheld shots with the lens zoomed
all the way in, the camcorder provided a steady image. On a wide-angle setting, the EIS provided a smooth
gliding effect when walking the camera forward (“dollying in”). Truly, Hitachi’s image stabilization
technology has come a long way in the past few years. Where earlier models had a tendency to slide the
image sickeningly back and forth in the frame when the shaking got a bit rough, the E625LA provides a
steady, solid image in most situations.

The E625LA has no microphone or headphone inputs–a sadly common omission on consumer-
grade camcorders. This makes it virtually impossible to record decent audio, because you can’t get the
mike close enough to the talent, and even if you could, you’d have no way to monitor what you were
recording.

Two other features of the E625LA–the built-in titler and the fade switch–are worth mentioning.
The titler is everything you might expect from a built-in camcorder character generator (CG); it’s useful for
labeling scenes and providing the occasional title for vacation footage, but not much else. The fader offers
three different options: white fade, wipe fade and zoom fade. Each is easy to operate; simply pushing the
fade button brings up an icon representing the current type of fade. To choose another option or turn the
fader off, simply press the button again to step through the icons. When one of the icons appears in the
viewfinder, a push of the pause/record button automatically triggers the selected fade.

Play it Again?


After recording both indoor and outdoor footage with the E625LA, we cabled it up to a monitor and
checked the image quality. The results, unfortunately, were disappointing. Even though the camera section
recorded video at 280 lines of horizontal resolution–not bad for an 8mm camcorder–the resolution
dropped drastically to 190 lines on playback. Though this may have been a problem with the specific unit
we were testing, potential buyers should make sure they’ve taken a look at the playback quality of this
model before they make a purchase decision.

If superior audio and video quality isn’t high on your list of priorities, then the E625LA will
perform well for you. Its excellent image stabilization and flip-out LCD monitor will provide consumers
with expanded capabilities–but if you’re planning on editing even a single generation, this might not be the
camcorder for you.


Tech Specs Hitachi VM-E625LA 8mm Camcorder

Format

8mm

Lens

12:1 optical zoom, 24:1 instant digital zoom, 4-48mm focal length, single speed zoom,
f/1.6, inner focus, macro

Image sensor

1/4-inch, 270,000 pixels

Viewfinder

1/2-inch, black-and-white CRT, 3-inch color flip-out monitor

Focus

TTL auto, manual

Maximum shutter speed

1/4000th of a second

Exposure

Auto

White balance

Auto

Digital effects

None

Audio

Mono

Inputs

Synchro edit (optional)

Outputs

Composite video, mono audio

Other features

Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), AA battery power, titler, fader, 16×9
recording

Dimensions

4.6 (width) by 4.75 (height) by 8.3 (depth) inches

Weight

2.3 pounds (sans tape and battery)

Video performance (approx.)

Horizontal resolution (camera)

280 lines

Horizontal resolution (playback)

190 lines

Performance times

Pause to record

1 second

Power up to record

5 seconds

Fast forward/rewind (30 min. tape)

2 minutes, 10 seconds

Strengths

Good EIS; LCD monitor

Weaknesses

Lacks mike and headphone jack; poor playback resolution

Summary

Big on features, short on performance


Cool Capture

Targa 1000 PCI Motion-JPEG Audio/video Capture Card
($3295)
Truevision Incorporated
2500 Walsh Ave.
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(317) 841-0332

The names Targa and Truevision have long held respected positions in the DTV world. A few years ago,
the Targa 2000 video digitizer helped bring the price point of 60-field-per-second nonlinear editing down
into the four-digit realm. Now that the street price for this technology has dropped below the $1000 point,
Truevision has responded with two product offerings: the Bravado 1000 (tested in the June 1996
“Benchmarks”), and the Targa 1000.

Where the Bravado 1000 sought to bring high quality 60-field-per-second video capture to the
masses, the Targa 1000 charts another course: to bring professional features and a higher degree of control
down another notch in price for prosumer videomakers.


Between Two Worlds


When the engineers at Truevision designed this board, they made sure to include many features that
video professionals would hope to find in a digitizer. Support (through the Targa 1000 Pro upgrade) for
RGB and YUV video offers compatibility with existing broadcast and industrial gear, while features such
as blackburst genlock input allow those in a studio environment to connect the Targa 1000 to the house
sync. At the same time, the engineers paid close attention to the basics, offering adjustable Motion-JPEG
compression, fully synchronized 16-bit CD-quality stereo audio capture, and Video for Windows (.avi)
compatibility (Quicktime compatibility for the Mac version). The unit supports both the PAL and NTSC
formats, and can input moving video and/or images from a wide range of digital formats, including Video
for Windows, Quicktime, Targa (.tga) and others.

In Use


Setup of the Targa 1000 was simple–just twenty minutes after pulling the case off the test computer,
we had installed our test model and were capturing high-quality video and audio. The setup time would
have been even shorter had the manual been a little more explicit in describing the operations of the
software; a simple “If you want to capture live video with the Targa 1000, perform the following steps”
would have helped a great deal.

Once installed, the Targa 1000 offers a number of software control panels to help you select video
formats (PAL or NTSC), adjust video and audio settings and otherwise control the operation of the board.
A Digital VCR application controls video input and output to and from the hard drive with traditional VCR
controls (Start, Stop, Record, Play, Pause, Frame Advance, etc.). Audio controls include left and right
record and playback levels, adjustable sample rate and audio preview on/off.

Unlike many consumer-level video digitizers, the Targa 1000 does not have the standard video
and audio inputs and outputs mounted directly on the back of the board. (With both inputs and outputs for
composite video, S-video and stereo audio as well as black burst/genlock in, there simply wouldn’t be
room.) Instead, a 26-pin D-type connector that fits into the back of the board holds an array of clearly-
marked cables with the appropriate connectors attached. This means that you’ll have to keep your editing
equipment close to the computer when using the Targa 1000–a minor drawback, but necessary for
including such a wide range of input and output connectors.

The Test


We tested the Targa 1000 on our Benchmarks test system, which includes a Micronics M54Hi
PCI/ISA system board, a Quantum wide-SCSI 2.1GB A/V-optimized hard drive, an Adaptec AHA-2940
SCSI controller, 16MB RAM and a Pentium 133MHz processor. With this setup, we had no problems
achieving 4.6MB/second data throughput off the hard drive. At this rate, the digitized video looked sharp,
with very slight artifacting visible only on combinations of high detail and bright color.

Truevision, however, claims that the Targa 1000 can achieve greater than 5MB/sec throughput. In
order to test this claim, we had to upgrade our storage mechanism from a single SCSI-2 drive to a RAID
system–two SCSI hard drives operating in parallel for maximum data transfer rates. With this
configuration, we had no problems cranking 5MB per second (under 4:1 compression) out of the Targa
1000. The results? Crisp, clear resolution, no dropped frames and no visible artifacts. With this card, DV-
quality audio and video comes back out of the computer with little or no noticeable change in quality.

Summary


In short, the Targa 1000 performed admirably, easily well enough for all but the pickiest prosumer
videographer. Most hobbyists will probably find the price a bit steep and the manual a little unforgiving,
but professionals who are looking for a good, solid capture card at a reasonable price will like this
board.


Tech Specs: Truevision Targa 1000 PCI A/V Capture Board

Platform

PC (Mac version available)

Bundled software

Adobe Premiere 4.2 32-bit Nonlinear Editor

Video inputs and outputs

S-video, composite, BNC (black burst)

Audio inputs and outputs

Composite RCA (x2)

Minimum System Requirements

Motherboard

PC-compatible, PCI Local Bus/Version 2 Specification

Processor

60MHz Pentium

Memory

16MB system RAM

Graphics board

VGA 256 colors (8-bit)

Hard drive controller

SCSI-2

Hard drive

1 gigabyte AV 3.5 inch/7200 RPM

Operating system

Windows NT

Recommended System

Processor

133 MHz Pentium

Memory

32MB system RAM

Graphics board

16.8 million colors (24-bit)

Minimum data transfer rate

5-6 MB per second

Hard drive controller

Wide SCSI 2

Hard drive storage

RAID system

Strengths

PCI bus mastering, 16-bit audio on-board, 5MB/second data transfer rate

Weaknesses

Instruction manual needs work

Summary

Pro-quality video and audio at a reasonable price


Boom Boom

Shure SM89A Condenser Shotgun Microphone
($927)
Shure Brothers Inc.
222 Hartrey Avenue
Evanston, IL 60202-3696
(847) 866-2200

Video and film professionals have long relied on three basic microphone types for quality audio
production: the lavalier or tie-clip mike, the hand-held mike and the shotgun or boom mike. Shure’s SM89
condenser microphone fits in the latter category, with its highly directional pickup pattern and rugged
construction.

Just one look at the SM89 shows that this mike means business. Its sleek, anodized aircraft-grade
aluminum barrel is both sturdy and elegant in design. A simple low-frequency cut switch (described below)
is the only feature you’ll find on the mike’s handle, save the XLR connector on the end of the mike.

Video Friendly


The SM89 comes with a foam windscreen and a durable shock-resistant carrying case. Available
options include the A89SM shock mount (ideal for boom mounting) and the A57E swivel adapter (for
conventional mike stands).

The SM89’s pickup element is of the condenser variety, which means you have to connect it to a
phantom-powered mike input for it to operate at all. These can be found on a wide variety of portable
mixers and a few portable power supply units. The bottom line: you can’t plug this mike directly into a
consumer-level camcorder without somehow supplying phantom power first. This fact alone places it in a
different category from many other shotgun mikes–if you don’t have access to equipment with phantom
power inputs, this is probably not the mike for you.

If you do have such equipment in your videomaking arsenal, however, you’ll be glad to know that
Shure designed this mike with video and film production in mind. The SM89’s hypercardioid pickup
pattern extends 30 degrees to either side of the mike’s axis–a bit wider than most hypercardioid mikes.
This makes it ideal for boom operations, with the mike suspended above the talent. This feature also means
that you can aim the mike slightly to one side of the talent and still get crisp, clean audio–helpful when
you’re trying to avoid a particularly obnoxious source of ambient noise. Simply aim the mike slightly away
from the source of the noise and the talent still comes through loud and clear, but the unwanted sound
drops into the background.

Included in the design of the SM89 is a 60Hz low-frequency filter for minimum pickup of wind,
mechanical vibration or other sources of unwanted low-frequency noise. For particularly trying audio
situations (like extreme wind or loud traffic), a switch located on the handle will raise the low-frequency
drop-off point to 160Hz. Though this will significantly reduce the quality of the microphone’s response, it
could come in handy for situations like on-the-run interviews or spot news coverage where the
videographer cannot control the environment of the shoot.

On the Fishpole


We performed our hands-on test of the SM89 in a studio setting, mounting the microphone to a
standard boom and running the signal through an audio mixer. We then patched the output of the mixer
directly into the mike input of a camcorder and shot a scene or two with the mike suspended above the
talent.

Using the mike in this configuration, we immediately noticed the advantages of the lightweight
aircraft-grade aluminum barrel. Even when stretched out over the talent in a difficult position, the SM89
didn’t add significantly to the weight of the boom pole.

And the audio quality? In a word: superb. Both through the headphones while shooting and off the
tape during playback, the SM89 sounded great. From a height of five to six feet above the talent, voices
sounded crisp and clean, while ambient noise or “room tone” fell into the background. The mike was
surprisingly sensitive, picking up low-volume conversational dialog almost as well as a tie-clip lavalier, but
with a warmer, more natural tone.

Next, we tested the SM89’s directional capabilities. To do this, we placed it on a mike stand and
recorded some audio near a source of ambient noise–an open door that faced a busy street. We positioned
the talent directly in front of the mike stand with the open door about thirty degrees to the left of the mike’s
axis. Not surprisingly, the microphone picked up plenty of traffic noise when it was pointed directly at the
talent, since the open door fell within the mike’s hypercardioid pickup pattern. Simply aiming the barrel of
the mike about twenty degrees off-axis, however, succeeded in picking up the spoken words while
lowering the volume of the passing cars significantly (i.e. the ambient noise fell outside the mike’s pickup
pattern). While this also tended to make the talent’s voice sound a little bit flat, the method proved to be a
workable solution to an otherwise bad audio situation.

A Great Performer


People who record audio for a living have long known about the virtues of Shure microphones, and
the SM89 is no exception. Video professionals will love its quality construction, video-friendly features
and excellent sound characteristics. Though the price is a little high for most video hobbyists, serious
videographers will agree that the SM89 is worth every penny.


Tech Specs: Shure SM89 Condenser Shotgun Microphone

Physical type

Shotgun

Transducer

Condenser

Pickup pattern

Hypercardioid, symmetrical

Frequency response

60 to 20,000Hz

Signal-to-noise ratio

79 dB

Power

Phantom

Filter

Low-cut, 60Hz or 160Hz

Connector

Balanced XLR

Dimensions

20.6 (length) x .75 (diameter) inches

Weight

6 ounces

Strengths

Very light and durable; designed for film/video production

Weaknesses

Expensive

Summary

One of the best microphones available for videography


Double Duty

Samsung SV-2040U VHS/8mm Dual-deck VCR
($1199)
Samsung Electronics
105 Challenger Road
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660-0511
(201) 229-4000

Long a contender in the consumer video market, Samsung Electronics has recently become a company on
the move, offering a wider range of audio/video consumer electronics products than ever before. This year,
the Korean-based company released its first Hi8 camcorder (tested in the June 1996 issue of
Videomaker), and promises to offer a digital camcorder soon.

The SV-2040U 8mm/VHS dual deck VCR is another first for the company. With this product,
Samsung joins the ranks of several other manufacturers whose dual-deck offerings have promised an easy
way to transfer entire tapes or selected footage from one format to another.

But aside from the obvious utility of an 8mm/VHS copy station, many videographers will likely
ask their local consumer electronics dealer how the SV-2040U serves as a simple editing solution. To help
answer this question, let’s take a closer look at the unit.

Break it Down


The SV-2040 is a 4-head, hi-fi stereo VCR with many features you’d expect to find on a consumer-
level editing VCR, including audio and video insert, 8-scene assembly editing, quasi-Hi8 playback and
stereo level controls for audio recording. What it doesn’t have, however, is a flying erase head on the VHS
side–a crucial omission that we’ll discuss later on in the article.

The front face of the SV-2040 is sleek and well-designed, with only a few visible controls for
power, tape transport, input selection (“TV View”), deck selection (8mm or VHS) and one-button tape
copying. A flip-down panel reveals channel selection controls, front-loading RCA-style inputs, a 1/4-inch
phone-plug mike jack and controls for the deck’s audio and video insert features.

As with many of today’s consumer VCRs, the SV-2040U has many of the important controls
located on the remote controller–which can be a real drag if you happen to lose it. However, where many
VCRs include at least one essential feature (such as input selection) on the remote, the SV-2040U at least
leaves enough on the front panel to get you through basic operations should this occur.

The front-panel LCD display shows input selection, tape direction and speed, time of day, TV
channel and a pair of peak meters for setting audio levels.

Tape to Tape


Copying a tape in the SV-2040U is a one-button operation–if you have the copy direction set
properly, and have both tapes cued to the proper points. Copy direction (8mm to VHS or vice-versa) is one
of those essential controls that exist only on the remote, so if you lose it, you’re out of luck until you
replace it.

The SV-2040U also includes an 8-scene Auto Assemble Edit feature. To use this feature, you
must first set the copy direction with the remote, then select a number of in and out points while the source
tape is playing. Because the unit has no time code, the Auto Assemble Edit feature uses the real-time
counter numbers to mark edit points–which means that excessive fast forwarding or rewinding of the
source tape will cause these counter numbers to slip, resulting in an edit that’s off by as much as two or
three seconds.

Once you’ve chosen your in and out points, hitting the Copy Tape button will set the programmed
edit in motion. This is where the lack of a flying erase head on the VHS side becomes noticeable: when
editing from 8mm to VHS, each edit point will have a rainbow “glitch” just after the cut. In future models,
a flying erase head would be an inexpensive way for Samsung and other dual-deck VCR manufacturers to
eliminate this problem.

If you plan on editing in the opposite direction, however, you’ll be able to make glitch-free edits.
This is because 8mm machines include a flying erase head as part of the base technology of the format.

The Verdict


Overall, the SV-2040U is an excellent consumer-level VCR. As an 8mm/VHS copying station, it
performs very well. Owners of 8mm camcorders who wish to make VHS copies of their tapes for family
and friends will find it an efficient, well-designed solution.

As a serious editing platform, however, it doesn’t make the grade. Why a manufacturer like
Samsung would make a dual-deck editing VCR without including a flying erase head on the VHS side is
beyond our understanding. Sure, you can use it to edit from VHS to 8mm–but when you’re done, you’ll
have to lose one more generation in order to copy the final product back to VHS.

Of course, you could use it as a not-so-serious editing solution. You could copy selected footage
of your recent vacation or birthday party from 8mm to VHS, rainbow glitches and all. Many home
videographers would find this acceptable; serious videographers, however, should look elsewhere for a
simple editing solution.


Tech Specs: Samsung SV-2040U 8mm/VHS dual-deck VCR

Format

8mm/VHS

Video inputs

Composite RCA (x2), RF (x1)

Video outputs

Composite RCA (x2), RF (x1)

Audio inputs

Stereo RCA (x2), microphone

Audio outputs

Stereo RCA (x2)

Control protocol

None (internal Synchro-edit)

Other features

Index search, audio dub (VHS only), 8-scene auto assemble edit, one-button tape
copying, built-in titler, LCD audio peak meters, front-loading audio/video inputs, noise-free slow-motion
and still-frame playback

Dimensions

16.9 (width) x 4.1 (height) x 13.4 (depth) inches

Weight

14.75 pounds

Strengths

Makes great copies; well-written manual

Weaknesses

No flying erase head on VHS side

Summary

A good consumer copying deck, but not for serious editing


Just Goo It

Kai’s Power Goo
($49)
MetaTools, Inc.
6303 Carpinteria Ave.
Carpinteria, CA 93013

We see them all the time, in the movies and on TV: digital versions of reality that special effects artists
have bent, twisted, morphed, warped and otherwise violated with powerful computers. A man drinks a
bitter beverage and his face caves in upon itself; an automobile gets up and dances around a gas pump; Jim
Carrey finds an ancient mask and his eyes start popping out of his head like a hyperactive cartoon
character.

Why are there so many digital effects in today’s cinema and TV offerings? Because they’re fun,
that’s why. We get a kick out of seeing real, photographic images grossly manipulated on a computer,
much the same way kids enjoy distorting their reflections in a funhouse mirror.

Unfortunately, in the case of digital effects, access to the “mirror” (i.e. the special effects) has
been limited to those who can afford to purchase and master the software. Until now, that is. For those who
have always wanted to play around with powerful digital effects, but weren’t too keen on making a career
out of it, there’s Goo.

What’s a Goo?

Kai’s Power Goo is a special effects program that allows you to manipulate a digital image by simply
clicking and dragging the mouse over selected portions of it. The idea is pretty simple: treat a two-
dimensional still image as though it were printed on rubber or clay, then provide tools for stretching,
smearing, twisting, growing, shrinking and otherwise tweaking selected portions of the picture. Want to
give Grandma a great big beak of a nose? Make your wife’s eyes bulge out of her head? Give Ross Perot
even bigger Dumbo-ears than he already has? With Goo, all this and more is possible.

To use Goo, you’ll need a powerful computer (see specs for details). You can import digital
images from just about any source–but if you want to Goo your own videos, you’ll need a still-image
capture card for input and some kind of encoder or genlock for output to tape.

Which brings us to one of Goo’s coolest features: animation. Instead of just giving you powerful
still image manipulation capabilities, this product allows you to create a moving sequence that bends,
twists, bulges and smears before your very eyes.

How does it work? Read on.

Sixty Seconds


Goo is probably the easiest piece of computer software we’ve ever used. About sixty seconds after
popping the CD into the drive, we were shrinking Newt Gingrich’s (supplied image) eyes down to tiny
little dots and giving him a huge, wide grin.

As with most MetaTools products, the user interface is simple and beautiful. A number of
graphical “Rooms” separate the various controls into appropriate categories; the In Room, for example, is
where you go to input digital images, either those supplied on the CD-ROM or others that you want to
import into the program. When you start the program, you find yourself in the Map Room, which gives you
access to all of the other rooms. To start Gooing immediately, you just pick an image from the In Room,
then take it over to the Goo room for manipulation.

Once you’re in the Goo room, a number of controls appear around the edges of your selected
image. A palette-like array of colorful buttons give you access to different program features; the Move
button, for example, enables you to grab a portion of the image with the mouse pointer and drag it into a
new position, stretching the image as you go. Other controls include Grow/Shrink, Smear, Smudge, Nudge
and Mirror Toggle. This latter option allows you to manipulate both sides of the image at the same time–
giving someone wavy hair, for example, or a big, symmetrical smile.

A secondary palette is also available that allows you to Goo the entire image at once. These
controls include Bulge, Twirl, Rotate, Stretch, Squeeze, Spike and Static. As they operate on the entire
image at once, you can’t control them by simple mouse clicks on the image itself. Instead, a slider bar
located on the lower left side of the screen applies the effect in varying degrees. For example, if you click
on the Bulge button, the slider bar will make a face appear to blow up like a balloon; the more you move
the slider, the more the image expands.

Now for the really fun stuff. At the bottom of the image, you’ll find a series of spaces arranged
like a length of movie film, with the un-Goo’d image appearing in the first frame. When you’ve stretched,
bulged and twisted an image to your heart’s content, you can click on the next available frame in the film
sequence to drop your current picture into place. This image then becomes a key frame for animation;
clicking on the movie camera in the upper right-hand corner causes your image to stretch, bulge and twist
before your very eyes. The program itself doesn’t place a limit on the number of available keyframes, but
bear in mind that when you’re ready to output the file, longer animations will require more hard disk
space.

One more feature of Goo that needs mentioning is Fusion. In the Fusion room, you can select
portions of one image and place them on another–giving a young girl the eyes and nose of an elderly man,
for example, or perhaps placing a tiny baby’s mouth on a grown, bearded man’s face. To do this, you grab
a portion of image A and then “paint” it onto image B. As this usually results in mis-matched colors and
textures, the Fusion room includes two buttons that help blend the images together. The Smooth button will
reduce the sharpness of the selected portion from image A, allowing it to blend more smoothly into image
B, while the Smear button allows you to use the mouse like a paint brush to smear the edges of the image
together. With a little practice, you can achieve very realistic color blends, even between totally different
skin tones.

When you’ve finished, you can output your still images or animations in standard formats (like
JPEG, Video for Windows or Quicktime), or as a proprietary Goovie that you can easily import back into
the program for further manipulation. With the right amount of RAM and hard disk space, you can output a
very high-resolution animation for use in multimedia or home video productions.

Just a Game?


While Goo includes many powerful image manipulation tools found in high-end special effects
packages, it was never intended to be a serious post-production solution. It will, however, add comic relief
to an otherwise dull home video, and provide all but the most dour videographer with hours of enjoyment.
At the price of an average home video game, it’s well worth the investment.


Tech Specs: MetaTools Kai’s Power Goo

Format

PC/Mac

Minimum system requirements

Motherboard/CPU

PC: 486DX, Mac: 68040

RAM

8MB

Hard drive space

20MB

Operating system

PC: Windows 95/NT, Mac: System 7.5

Graphics card

16-bit

Recommended system

Motherboard/CPU

PC: Pentium, Mac: Power Macintosh

RAM

16MB

Graphics card

24-bit

Effects

Grow/Shrink, Move, Smear, Smudge, Nudge, Mirror, Bulge, Twirl, Rotate, Stretch,
Squeeze, Spike, Static, Fusion

Strengths

Inexpensive, easy to use and loads of fun

Weaknesses

Not a serious post-production solution

Summary

A great introductory-level special effec

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