Edit Control Jack Distinguishes Panasonic Camera

In this issue:

Panasonic
PV-D607 VHS-C Camcorder


Sony CCD-TRV52
8mm Camcorder


Samsung SCL91
8mm Camcorder


Organica
3D Modeling Software


Pyromania! Pro


As Good as VHS-C Gets



PV-D607 VHS-C Camcorder

($999)

Panasonic

One Panasonic Way

Secaucus, NJ 07094

(201) 348-9090

http://www.panasonic.com

view tech specs

One of the biggest problems with camcorders in the VHS-C format is that
they generally aren’t made for people who want to edit their videos. Second-generation
VHS-C copies show more than their fair share of noise and resolution loss,
and trying to find a VHS-C camcorder with an edit control protocol is pretty
difficult. For these reasons, most manufacturers of VHS-C camcorders try
to modify their gear for the point-and-shoot crowd, who will usually perform
all of their edits in the camera with the record button.

Panasonic’s PV-D607, which sits at the top of the company’s VHS-C line of
camcorders, is a curious specimen because it’s one of the only VHS-C models
available with an edit control jack (Panasonic 5-pin). This means that it’s
possible to connect the camera to an edit controller and control its functions
remotely via cable, something that you’d usually only want to do with a higher-end
format, like S-VHS, Hi8 or DV.

Another feature that the PV-D607 includes that’s rarely found on VHS-C camcorders:
the ability to shoot digital still images and transfer them directly to
your computer’s hard drive. This kind of feature is very common on digital
camcorders because, well, they’re digital, and made for that kind of thing.
The PV-D607, however, proves that you don’t necessarily need a digital camcorder
to transfer images directly to your PC without a digitizer.

So what is Panasonic up to with this camera? Here’s a hint: where other
manufacturers are busy beefing up their higher-end Hi8 and DV camcorder
offerings, Panasonic hasn’t given up on VHS-C just yet as a viable format
for home videographers.



Bird in Hand

The PV-D607 has the same boxy-yet-compact styling that’s shared by most
other Panasonic Palmcorders. Though it is about the same length as the average
compact camcorder, it’s a bit taller than most, which might be a concern
for videographers who hold small size at a premium. It fits well in the
palm, however, and offers easy access to all controls; a focus knob sits
directly under the lens, and most other relevant controls are placed logically
around the camera body (not buried in a mess of on-screen menus).

One array of controls that’s a little bit confusing to master at first is
located directly on top of the camera. In camera mode, these controls toggle
the image stabilization, digital zoom, still-image capture and digital special
effects of the unit. This is simple enough to figure out, but because these
buttons do double-duty as controls for the camera’s still-image capture
functions, they have three more ambiguous appellations attached to them
(Memory, Mode, and Start). The overall effect is a bit confusing.

So what do we do when we’re confused about a camera’s controls? We check
the manual, of course, and in the case of the PV-D607, we’d find it to be
an excellent, succinct and well-written document. Many illustrations are
given to help the beginner through some of the more difficult aspects of
camcorder operation, and unlike many camcorder manuals, it’s well organized
and indexed.



On Tape

Video images shot by the PV-D607 look relatively crisp and colorful when
compared to footage from a typical VHS-C camcorder. In today’s market, it’s
not uncommon for camcorders in this class to have a hard time producing
200 lines of horizontal resolution; the PV-D607 came through with 230 lines.
This certainly isn’t anything to write home about, to be sure, but it’s
about as good as it gets for today’s VHS-C cameras.

The presence of an automatic on-camera light is a great help for the resolution
of video shot by beginners, who all too often shoot in too little light.
How often have you squinted through a family member’s home video, barely
able to distinguish individual faces by lamplight? The built-in auto-light
solves many of these problems, turning itself on automatically when lighting
is inadequate.

Audio recorded with the PV-D607’s built-in microphone was barely adequate,
owing in large part to the poor quality of the VHS format’s linear audio
tracks. Luckily, an external microphone input is included to help you get
a mike closer to the talent.

One particularly irritating thing about the PV-D607 is worth mentioning:
the slow rate at which tapes are rewound. It took a full four minutes to
get from one end of a 30-minute tape to the other.

To sum it up, the PV-D607 is one of the best VHS-C camcorders we’ve tested
in recent years. Its faults are primarily those of its format – poor audio
quality, especially – but nonetheless it performs very well even for a VHS-C
unit. Its biggest problem is probably the price; at $999 suggested retail,
you can get a Hi8 camcorder with similar features, better audio and much
better image quality. To its credit, however, it retains the main thing
that keeps VHS-C camcorders alive and well: interchangeability with home
VCRs. Let’s hope that Panasonic’s decision to stick by this viable format
is one that the entire industry will eventually embrace.





Is Eight Enough?

8mm Face-Off


Camcorders in the 8mm format have long held their own in the consumer realm.
With point-and-shoot simplicity, compact 120-minute tapes and superior audio
quality, these little cameras offer one of the best price-to-performance
ratios available in the consumer electronics arena.

With most of the prosumer videographers of the world leaning toward S-VHS,
Hi8 or DV, the notion of a "serious" 8mm camcorder has to make
you wonder if such a device would be worth the effort. Still, there is that
sparsely inhabited space that exists between the money-making prosumer videographers
and the serious home video enthusiasts who want a little more from their
camcorders. Though their audiences (and budgets) may be small, these industrious
videophiles are discovering that the process of shooting and editing home
movies with a camcorder and a few accessories can be a rewarding creative
endeavor.

For those who take the 8mm format seriously, we’d like to turn our attention
to two new 8mm camcorders: the Sony CCD-TRV52 and the Samsung SCL91. Both
have microphone jacks, headphone jacks and built-in LCD monitors – excellent
features for taking the first few steps toward advanced video techniques.
Both, too, will likely be interesting to those in the hobbyist crowd whose
passion for video exceeds the size of their wallets.









Eight Millimeters, Sony Style



CCD-TRV52 8mm Camcorder

($1099)

Sony Electronics

One Sony Drive

Park Ridge, NJ 07656

(800) 222-7669

http://www.sel.sony.com

view tech specs

The Sony CCD-TRV52 is, plainly put, one of the finest 8mm camcorders available
on the market today. It won the 1997 Videomaker Best 8mm Camcorder of the
Year award, and for good reason: it has most of the features necessary for
serious hobbyist work, and it pushes the limits of what the 8mm format is
capable of in terms of image and sound quality.

Still, the CCD-TRV52 is not without its flaws. For one thing, it’s rather
expensive–at $1099 list, a number of good Hi8 camcorders are available with
comparable features (without the LCD monitor). But for those who are after
the very best that the 8mm format can offer, the CCD-TRV52 is hard to beat.



Turn it On

Like most of Sony’s camcorders, the TRV52 is well designed and proportioned.
With your right hand in the camera strap, access to Record, Zoom and Standby
buttons is a cinch. With your left hand, you control the camera’s other
main functions, such as Focus, Digital effects and assorted Menu commands.
Also controlled with the left hand is the Program AE (autoexposure) button,
which toggles between Sports, High-speed Shutter, Twilight and Auto modes.
While some may miss the twisting dial that controls many a camcorder’s Program
AE system, we found that the push-button method is actually easier to operate
while shooting in most situations. When shooting with the LCD monitor flipped
out, however, the Program AE button was a little awkwardly placed.

Looking into the viewfinder (or onto the LCD screen) reveals a wealth of
information about the camera and its current settings. A familiar-looking
hand denotes the activation of the SteadyShot function; icons also exist
to indicate Program AE mode, Focus mode (manual or automatic), Backlight
function, tape speed (SP or LP) and a number of other standard functions.

In the Digital Effects department, the CCD-TRV52 offers Mosaic, Solarize,
Black and White, Sepia and Negative Art. The most useful of these for most
people is probably Sepia, because it effectively conveys an old-time cinema
look. The control that activates these modes is a simple buttonwhich, like
the Program AE modes, is easy to access in most shooting situations. There
are two 16:9 shooting modes offered on the CCD-TRV52: one which simply places
two horizontal black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, and one which
actually distorts the aspect ratio of the picture for playback on 16:9 television
sets.

One minor problem was noticed while shooting with the LCD monitor flipped
out: the slightest camera movement tended to cause streaks to appear in
the image. Other than this, the LCD performed well, producing a sharp, viewable
image even in direct daylight. Also, the unit’s automatic focus, white balance
and exposure systems performed amazingly well, shifting almost instantaneously
to compensate for changing conditions. Even a shot that moved from the bright
outdoors to a dimly-lit interior produced seamless results with no apparent
hunting for the right settings.



Serious Shooting

If you’re the type of videographer who plans on growing into a more serious
shooter as your skills increase, then you’ll find that the CCD-TRV52 is
equipped to grow with you. The presence of microphone and headphone jacks
will help you gain better audio in your productions, and the Control-L connection
will let you connect to an edit controller at some point in the future.
The presence of a mounting shoe on the top front of the camera body is also
a plus; this feature, which is getting harder and harder to find on consumer-level
cameras, is great for attaching an on-camera light, or perhaps a small shotgun
microphone.

As for picture quality, the CCD-TRV52 is just good enough to allow dubbing
of a single generation (from the camera to VHS tape, for example) and still
retain a decent image for home viewing. Colors are richer than most 8mm
camcorders, and when the lighting is right, there is very little noise present
in the picture. For potential nonlinear editors, the image quality is good
enough for high-quality home video production. It’s not prosumer-quality,
to be sure, but again, the prosumer crowd is best served by Hi8, S-VHS and
DV equipment.

For the price, Sony could have gone one step further and included a way
to control the iris directly. Even without this important feature, however,
the CCD-TRV52 holds its own as a serious camcorder for serious video hobbyists.



Sony CCD-TRV52

Score Card



Video: 4

Audio: 4

Manual: 5

Control: 3

Ease of use: 3

Overall rating: 3.8



Another Eight from Samsung



SCL91 8mm Camcorder

($799)

Samsung

105 Challenger Road

Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660

(201) 229-4000

http://www.samsung.com

view tech specs

In more or less direct competition with Sony’s CCD-TRV52 is Samsung’s SCL91,
one of the company’s first camcorder offerings that includes a flip-out
LCD monitor. Like the CCD-TRV52, the SCL91 is an all-around solid camcorder,
but it has both strengths and weaknesses that the Sony model lacks. The
most immediately obvious difference is price: the SCL91 lists for $799,
a full $300 less than the Sony CCD-TRV52. The low price makes it attractive
right off the mark, but is there really $300 worth of difference in quality
and features between the two? Let’s take a closer look to find out.



First Shots

Though the SCL91 shares several design features with the Sony CCD-TRV52,
the Samsung unit is considerably larger and bulkier. It’s not hefty to the
point of being unwieldy, but it does have more mass than many 8mm camcorders
in its class. Because the SCL91 has no image stabilization, this extra weight
is something of a boon, as it makes it a little bit easier to hold the camera
steady while you’re shooting.

Operation of the SCL91 is simple and straightforward. The camera rests comfortably
in the hand, and is not at all awkward to operate. For beginners, a system
of Help screens describes the functions of the camera’s fader, titler, zoom,
backlight compensation, manual focus, self timer, insert edit and program
autoexposure functions. This is a feature that Samsung began including on
their camcorders in 1997, and it has proven to be an excellent way to get
camcorder owners to become more familiar with their equipment without even
opening the user’s manual.

Most of the SCL91’s systems are controlled by well-placed buttons that are
easy to locate and operate. Though the camera does have an on-screen menu
system, none of the camera’s major controls are buried there; all are placed
on the camera body itself. Operating the manual focus control (a small ring
located on the bottom front of the camera) is considerably easier than most
push-button style inner focus systems; in fact, it was easier to dial in
a sharp focus with the SCL91’s ring than with the CCD-TRV52’s dial. The
zoom control, however, was a bit disappointing, offering only a single zoom
speed, and a slow one at that. The camera’s automatic focus systems were
likewise a bit slow to respond.



Parting Shots

In most ways, the SCL91’s performance dipped just below that of the CCD-TRV52.
Colors were not quite as vibrant; the LCD was a little bit harder to see
in bright light; automatic systems were a little slower to respond; etc.
Audio, however, came through with flying colors on the SCL91, and was every
bit as crisp and clear as that of the Sony unit. Though the image quality
wasn’t quite as good as that of the CCD-TRV52, it was good enough to allow
a single generation of editing.

Bottom line: both camcorders in our 8mm shootout passed the test of the
serious amateur, offering features and performance that would allow beginners
to grow in the craft. But if you have the extra money to spend and you want
the best 8mm has to offer, go with the Sony.



Samsung SCL91

Score Card



Video: 3

Audio: 4

Manual: 4

Control: 3

Ease of use: 4

Overall rating: 3.6



Don’t Panic, It’s Organic



Organica 3D Modeling Software

($299)

Impulse Inc.

8416 Xerxes Ave. N.

Brooklyn Park, MN 55444

(612) 425-0557

http://www.coolfun.com

view tech specs

One of the biggest hurdles that beginning 3D artists have had to overcome is the relative difficulty of the software interface. To make things easier,
Impulse Incorporated has developed Organica, a 3D imaging tool that attempts
to bring the process of modeling down to a level that anyone can understand.
With Organica, you can create complex, well-rounded three-dimensional models
and animations in minutes that look like you spent all weekend designing.
Though it isn’t the easiest or most elegant design interface in the world,
Organica does bring the process of 3D modeling and animation down to a level
that beginners can immediately comprehend and enjoy.

The secret of the Organica system of modeling is a set of complex mathematical
systems that 3D designers call Metaballs. Put simply, the Metaball system
allows you to create complex 3D curves by placing two simple shapes near
one another. The software calculates and renders all of the slight gradations
and curvatures that occur where the two shapes intersect, almost as though
a skin were being stretched over the whole. Thus, a series of closely-placed
spheres becomes a tube, or perhaps even a tree branch.

Organica is certainly not the first product to make use of the Metaball
concept. Nor is it the finest expression of this complex and very powerful
3D design tool. Instead, the designers of Organica have taken the Metaballs
idea out of the forest of sub-menus and options that usually hide it and
brought it to the fore where beginning 3D modelers can immediately see its
benefits.



Model Building

The user’s manual that ships with Organica states the premise of simplicity
quite clearly: "We at Impulse already know that no one who buys software
wants to read manuals. So don’t read this manual. Just install the software
as explained in the installation instructions so you can just go play."
To test how easy Organica was to use, we did just that: installed the software
and started playing with the software without consulting the manual. Indeed,
we found ourselves marveling at the ease with which we could drag and drop
the numerous provided Metablox shapes into impressive-looking 3D models.
Then again, we have had quite a bit of experience with other 3D design programs;
the first-time beginner in 3D will probably find it necessary to hit the
manual pretty hard to sort out the basic concepts involved. While Organica’s
interface isn’t the most intuitive we’ve ever seen (that award would probably
go to MetaCreations’ Bryce family of products), it certainly is simpler
than most. The most obvious drawback in the interface is the tendency for
selected objects to move and rotate in curious ways; it might take several
tries, for example, to make a selected cube rotate into a precise position
with the mouse.

The types of models that Organica is best suited for creating are those
that imitate nature – trees, animals, human beings, aliens and the like (hence,
the product’s name). The main purpose of the software, in fact, is to free
its users from the necessity of either spending multiple hours dealing with
complicated software or of buying pre-made models in order to have nice-looking,
lifelike flora and fauna. With Organica, those who want to add complicated
forms to their 3D works of art – be they video titles, multimedia presentations
or just an afternoon’s goofing around – can do so with a maximum amount of
creativity and a minimum amount of sweat.



Video-Friendliness

Computer-based video editors will be glad to hear of Organica’s ability
to create 640×480-pixel .AVI (Video for Windows) files that drop easily
into Adobe Premiere, Ulead MediaStudio or any other standard nonlinear editing
software. For this reason alone, Organica is worth the purchase price for
those who have a way to output Video for Windows files onto tape (via encoder,
genlock or video capture card).

Note that Organica doesn’t include a high-quality rendering machine for
creating photorealistic images. Though it will provide a decent-looking
graphic or animation that’s suitable for many purposes on its own, the main
purpose of the program is to make models for use by other products. 3D models
created in Organica can be exported in several standard file formats (including
.LW for NewTek’s LightWave, .3DS for 3D Studio Max and the industry-standard
.DXF for a number of older applications), where they can then be further
manipulated and rendered to your heart’s content.

In short, Organica is a fine product for all those who have ever wished
there was a way to create natural-looking 3D models on their own without
spending too much time learning the interface. It isn’t for everyone; more
specifically, it isn’t for people who already know how to make high-quality
organic 3D images on their own. But for those who are thinking of getting
into 3D animation with a minimal learning curve, Organica may be the answer.









Fire and Explosions, Royalty-Free



Pyromania! Pro

($249)

Visual Concept Entertainment

P.O. Box 921226

Sylmar, CA 91392-1226

(800) 242-9627

http://www.vce.com

view tech specs

Having watched quite a few hours of video that our readers have submitted
to the Videomaker/Panasonic tape contest, we are well aware that plenty
of you out there in video-land are making your own digital action-adventure
movies just for the fun of it. For these people especially, we have a treat
in store: Visual Concept Entertainment’s Pyromania! Pro, a collection of
inexpensive royalty-free conflagrations on CD-ROM. Originally photographed
on 35mm film stock and then scanned frame by frame at 2048×1536 pixels,
these thirty-odd explosions, flare-ups and clouds of burning debris are
of sufficient quality to enhance any videographer’s titles, action sequences
or other situations that require a little bit of canned heat.



Blow it Up

When you purchase the Pyromania! Pro collection, you get two CDs full of
pyrotechnics in three different formats: standard video files (Video for
Windows for the PC version, Quicktime for the Macintosh version), Targa
sequences (for use with high-end video capture boards like the Truevision
Targa 2000 and others), and mattes (a series of JPEG images that include
each frame in the sequence). Let’s discuss each of these formats on its
own, as each has its own pros and cons.

All of the standard .avi (Video for Windows) or .mov (Quicktime) video files
can be easily dropped into the timeline of Adobe Premiere, Ulead MediaStudio,
Strata VideoShop or any other standard nonlinear editing software. The resolution
of these digital video files, unfortunately, is not the greatest; ranging
from 200×117 to 288×216 pixels, they leave something to be desired for serious
video editors who plan to output their productions to videotape. To save
space on the CD, the standard video files have also been compressed using
the Cinepak codec – another factor which you might well expect to degrade the
image quality considerably. When used at a standard video resolution, however
(640×480, for example), they survive re-sizing and placement within video
clips quite well. Most are short enough and lacking enough in subtle color
variation to pass for realistic explosions without any major apparent artifacts
in the image. When keying these explosions into our digital productions,
we found it necessary to use dark background footage, because all were shot
with black backgrounds.

Targa sequences are, as described above, designed primarily for use with
higher-end video capture cards and the editing systems that support them.
The Targa files offer the best resolution of the formats offered (720×540),
but unless you have the right kind of hardware and/or software, you won’t
be able to make use of them as moving video images. (Note: for those video
or film professionals who want the ultimate in quality, the Targa sequences
are available from the manufacturer at full 2048×1536 resolution. They aren’t
cheap, though; at $4.50 per frame, a typical 100-frame sequence runs $450,
plus file handling and materials charges.) Similar to the standard video
files mentioned above, the Targa sequences also necessitated the use of
dark background footage when using these explosions in composited scenes.

Finally, the matte sequences were created using the Ultimatte® process,
which completely separates the explosion from the background. With these
sequences of JPEG-compressed images, it’s possible to create a very clean
composite, even with brightly lit background footage.



Flame On!

Though all of the explosions provided in Pyromania! Pro are of very high
quality, the product is not without a few minor glitches. Probably the worst
of these is most prevalent among Adobe Premiere users: the tendency for
the nonlinear editing software to automatically re-size every clip to a
4:3 aspect ratio, thus causing pixellation to occur as the program re-shapes
the pixels. Another minor annoyance: some of the explosions have walls and
floors clearly visible in the flaring light of the flames, making it necessary
to either remove these unwanted details from the sequence (a rather time-consuming
process) or simply live with them.

By and large, however, the explosions and other various flame-related effects
contained on Pyromania! Pro’s two CDs are an excellent way to spice up a
video production. Try using them in title sequences, as transitions, or
in a good old-fashioned shoot-em-up chase scene, if you so desire; they’re
easy to use, relatively inexpensive and loads of fun.






Tech Specs

Panasonic PV-D607 VHS-C Camcorde
r



Format

VHS-C



Lens

20:1 optical zoom, 200:1 digital zoom, 4mm-80mm focal length, single-speed
power zoom, f/1.6, inner focus, wide macro, 58mm filter diameter



Image sensor

¼-inch CCD, 270,000 pixels



Viewfinder

0.5 inch color LCD



Focus

Auto, inner manual



Maximum shutter speed

1/10000



Exposure

Auto



White balance

Auto



Digital effects

None



Audio

Mono VHS linear



Inputs

External microphone



Outputs

Composite video and mono audio (via ¼-inch proprietary jack)



Edit interface

Panasonic 5-pin



Other features

Built-in auto light, flying erase head, built-in lens cover, electronic
image stabilization, fade, character generator, backlight compensation,
index search, digital still image acquisition, PC serial link, motion sensor
operation



Dimensions

4.25 (width) by 4.6 (height) by 6.7 (depth) inches



Weight (sans tape and battery)

2.5 pounds



Video Performance (approx.)





Horizontal resolution (camera)

270 lines



Horizontal resolution (playback)

230 lines



Performance Times





Pause to Record

0.5 seconds



Power-up to Record

3 seconds



Fast-forward/Rewind (30 min. tape)

4 minutes



Strengths

–Digital still image capture

–Panasonic 5-pin edit jack



Weaknesses

–Relatively high price

–Poor audio quality



Summary

One of the best VHS-C camcorders we’ve ever tested

return to review




Tech Specs

Sony CCD-TRV52 8mm Camcorder




Format

8mm



Lens

15:1 optical zoom, 30:1 digital zoom, 4.1mm-61.5mm focal length, multi-speed
power zoom, f/1.4, inner focus, 37mm filter diameter



Image sensor

¼-inch CCD (470,000 pixels)



Viewfinder

0.5-inch black-and-white CRT; 3.5-inch LCD monitor



Focus

Auto, inner manual



Maximum shutter speed

1/4000th of a second



Exposure

Auto, Program AE (Sports, High-speed Shutter, Twilight)



White balance

Auto



Digital effects

5 (Mosaic, Solarize, Black and White, Sepia, Negative Art)



Audio

AFM stereo



Inputs

Microphone



Outputs

Composite video, stereo audio, headphones



Edit interface

Control-L (LANC)



Other features

16:9 recording, 5-second recording, electronic image stabilization, titler,
Laser Link IR playback (with optional accessory), end search, edit search



Dimensions

4.6 (width) by 4.4 (height) by 8.2 (depth) inches



Weight (sans tape and battery)

2.1 pounds



Video Performance (approx.)





Horizontal resolution (camera)

270 lines



Horizontal resolution (playback)

220 lines



Performance Times





Pause to Record

.5 seconds



Power-up to Record

2.5 seconds



Fast-forward/Rewind (30 min. tape)

1 minute 20 seconds

return to review




Tech Specs

Samsung SCL91 8mm Camcorder




Format

8mm



Lens

16:1 optical zoom, 32:1 digital zoom, 3.9mm-62.4mm focal length, single-speed
power zoom, f/1.4, inner focus, wide macro, 46mm filter diameter



Image sensor

¼-inch CCD (270,000 pixels)



Viewfinder

0.5-inch LCD; 3-inch LCD monitor



Focus

Auto, inner manual



Maximum shutter speed

1/4000th of a second



Exposure

Auto, Program AE (Sports, Portrait, Spotlight, Sand and Snow)



White balance

Auto



Digital effects

5 (Mosaic, Art, Black and White, Sepia, Negative)



Audio

AFM stereo



Inputs

Microphone



Outputs

Composite video, stereo audio, headphones



Edit interface

None



Other features



Dimensions

4.5 (width) by 4.25 (height) by 9 (length) inches



Weight (sans tape and battery)

2.5 pounds



Video Performance (approx.)



Horizontal resolution (camera)

260 lines



Horizontal resolution (playback)

210 lines



Performance Times





Pause to Record

1 second



Power-up to Record

4 seconds



Fast-forward/Rewind (30 min. tape)

2 minutes

return to review


Tech Specs

Impulse, Inc. Organica 3D Modeling Software




Platform

PC

Minimum System Requirements

Operating system

Windows 95 or NT

Motherboard

486 or better



Memory

16MB or more



Strengths

–Easy to use

–Inexpensive

–Easy export to high-powered 3D rendering software



Weaknesses

–No high-quality rendering utility included



Summary

A great way for 3D beginners to easily create natural-looking 3D models

return to review




Tech Specs

VCE Pyromania! Pro




Platform

PC or Macintosh



Minimum System Requirements

Any computer that’s capable of working with Video for Windows (.avi) or
Quicktime (.mov) files



Recommended System

For maximum resolution, a Targa-compatible video capture card is recommended



Effects

Mushroom explosions, zero-g explosions, sparks, rolling fires, firetrails,
fireballs, dynamite fuse, laser hits, fire banners, spark showers, exploding
car, explosion wipe, match light



Strengths

–Easy to use

–Ready-made, safe fire effects

–Manual includes tips for compositing



Weaknesses

–Video for Windows and Quicktime files have relatively low resolution

–Walls and floor of studio visible in some explosions



Summary

Great for action sequences, titles, transitions, etc. where flames are required

return

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