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Source of Amiga Video Toaster Software Released

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the if-only-linux-had-a-simple-nle dept.

Amiga 394

bender writes "About a decade after the release of of the NewTek Video Toaster for the Amiga, OpenVideoToaster is now hosting the source code of the software! The Video Toaster ushered in the age of affordable desktop video in 1991 and was used in products such as Babylon 5 and Jurassic Park."

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394 comments

FIRST POSTETH (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220241)

WHOWHOOFHOETH

Nice code, some duplicates... (4, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220247)

...in the report for Video Toaster CG [infoether.com] as analyzed by CPD [sf.net] .

I thought Amiga was deader than BSD (0)

egg troll (515396) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220254)

Not to troll, but could someone tell me why I should use the Amiga as opposed to another platform, such as the Macintosh? It seems that Amiga hardware is pretty much dead in comparison to others. Is Amiga a dead-end or are there valid reasons for continuing to use it?

Oh wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220284)

Look, it's the world's greatest troll, egg troll himself! Today he delights us with his latest masterpiece, "I thought the Amiga was dead" in an Amiga article. Such breathtaking originality! He has truly raised the bar for trolling with this one.

You are wrong Screenshots of MorphOS look here (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220317)

No that's partially true. There ARE indeed new Amiga Hardware either in the AmigaONE or the Pegasos II [pegasosppc.com] . It's a new PowerPC architecture with industry standard formfactor and components. I have one here running MorphOS [morphos.net] a native PowerPC Operating System with full AmigaOS 3.1 API compatibility + MC680x0 JIT for emulating old Amiga programms in full speed (even faster)

For some cool ScreenShots go to my Web page Here the Link [akcaagac.com] or for more look at MorphZone [morphzone.org] (top right Image Gallery).

greetings,

oGALAXYo

Re:You are wrong Screenshots of MorphOS look here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220440)

You're using 10 year old crap hardware and software. Wake up and buy a real computer, you piece of shit fanatic. You look like a jerk to everyone else in the business.

It's only a pile electronics, not a girlfriend or something! You don't need to feel bad for throwing it away!

Re:You are wrong Screenshots of MorphOS look here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220470)

Have you ever spent reading the previous comment ?

The native PowerPC is totally compareable to a modern PC or APPLE hardware. Maybe you should read the stuff before making yourself look like a faggot in the public.

Re:You are wrong Screenshots of MorphOS look here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220501)

Then again, that stuff isn't exactly Amiga hard-/software. It's just something new (going to die like Be, of course) with bizarre emulation capabilities to win over some old users. No point in buying it, really. Get a nice linux system (PPC or Intel, doesn't matter) and forget about that stupid Amiga crap.

Re:You are wrong Screenshots of MorphOS look here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220544)

Actually I am on Linux for the past 8 years now even working on GNOME (contributing stuff, written own programs etc.). Although I got a nice offer and thus I am working on the Pegasos II now.

Sure it's NOT like the old Amiga was, but same is for AmigaONE etc. With the new Hardware and OS they finally made a cut under the old rubbish and continue going a new way (like Apple did). Sure this step comes really late but it has to go forward somehow stagnating and whining on the old Hardware makes no sense, it has to go forward.

Re:You are wrong Screenshots of MorphOS look here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220547)

Wow, those screenshots prove conclusively that the Amiga Scene really was just a bunch of kids that were/are too poor to afford a Mac.

BTW, why would you even want to run "old Amiga programs"? That stuff is all completely primitive and obsolete, even by opensource standards.

Re:You are wrong Screenshots of MorphOS look here (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220578)

Why do you spent time reading my comment and visiting my page if you think it all sucks so much. Don't you have better things to do with your time ?

The Amiga community has an existance the same way QNX, BeOS, Windows, Lunix, BSD and all the other stuff has. There is no need for us to excuse towards others why we do what we do. Some stuff is simply passion and beliving. Like a hobby - We are not in a competition with Microsoft or Apple, we are doing this because we want to do it.

And you are wrong, there are many Amiga applications that are quite good. Even the Desktop experience with Ambient (MorphOS) is far better than the experience I had with GNOME (even when being a long years contributor to the GNOME project and even Foundation Member).

greets,

oGALAXYo

The Video Toaster was a revolution in video (5, Interesting)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220330)

This is a significant development because Newtek [newtek.com] brought to the desktop level what used to take hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment only broadcast stations could afford. It was an Amiga 2000 based box, which is why a reference exists to the Amiga in the first place. The original price was around $5000, and that didn't include the price of time-base correctors, frame-by-frame editing decks, cameras, etc.. But any professional videographer or low-end filmmaker suddenly had the most amazing set of tools to create what was in the hands of only the big players or the well funded. Their original promo video, called "Revolution," was an amazing demo. If you can find a copy, I suggest you view it and see that in 1991 terms this was a truly revolutionary concept.

Beyond that, Amigas with Newtek's Lightwave software were used in the production of series like Babylon 5 and Seaquest DSV. Huge render farms with 10^3 computers were generating graphics for major television series. You had better believe that it's significant from a historical perspective.

Today, Newtek's online editing setups are pretty interesting but vastly different. It's no skin off their backs to release the source because it's not really commercially valuable. That's because in the last couple of years editing come to the point where it is really accessible by the average person. I do technical consultation for video editors, and know for certain that the seed for desktop editing today was planted by Newtek's Video Toaster over 12 years ago.

One last note: the Amiga technology back in 1984 was being bid upon by two companies. The company that won was Commodore, and we know what a debacle of excess and poor marketing they were. The other was International Business Machines [ibm.com] , who decided it wasn't valuable. Had IBM purchased the Amiga technology, it's very likely the computing landscape and development of multimedia technologies would have been a lot different and IMO advanced much further for the average person than history as it stands today shows.

Re:The Video Toaster was a revolution in video (1)

downix (84795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220406)

I have never heard of IBM bidding on the Amiga technology. The only other firm I had heard interested in the technology at the time was Atari. (it was Atari's bid that made Commodore aware of the technology, from what I've heard)

Re:The Video Toaster was a revolution in video (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220443)

One last note: the Amiga technology back in 1984 was being bid upon by two companies. The company that won was Commodore, and we know what a debacle of excess and poor marketing they were. The other was International Business Machines, who decided it wasn't valuable. Had IBM purchased the Amiga technology, it's very likely the computing landscape and development of multimedia technologies would have been a lot different and IMO advanced much further for the average person than history as it stands today shows.

This is incorrect. Check out a comprehensive Amiga history [emugaming.com] and you'll see that the original corporate investor wanting to buy Amiga was in fact Atari, who produced the ST in competition to the Amiga after Commodore saved Amiga's IP butt by foiling a dirty funding deal by Atari.

IBM wasn't really involved at all. Would the computing landscape be different if Atari had bought Amiga? Maybe, maybe not. Atari had a great bit of mismangement as well, but it might've been a winning combination nonetheless. We'll never know. :(

Re:The Video Toaster was a revolution in video (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220557)

The toaster was nothing but a poorly-engineered fucking hack. As is clearly evident by the fact that no one could get it to work with custom FPGAs afterwards.

I JUST STROKED MY PENIS UNTIL I EJACULATED (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220331)

I was looking at pictures of pretty naked women. They made my penis very stiff so I had to do something about it. I now have semen drying on the blanket covering my chair. Ejaculating is fun. I suggest you masturbate as soon as possible!

Re:I JUST STROKED MY PENIS UNTIL I EJACULATED (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220466)

Phew. Already did that 2 times in the last 3 hours. Who knows, maybe if there are some really cool new pictures on usenet, I'll try a 3rd time.

BSD??? (4, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220434)

Geez, you microsofty, the correct term is guru meditation [jargon.net] . This is an article about the Amiga you know.

Dan East

Re:I thought Amiga was deader than BSD (3, Funny)

root:DavidOgg (133514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220475)

You shouldn't. We're pretty picky about who we let in. You're not invited :D

Rumors (3, Funny)

frenetic3 (166950) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220257)

this is the same device CNN allegedly used to spruce up their Gulf War footage [pennandteller.com] :)

god bless america...

-fren

Re:Rumors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220343)

Wow, nothing like a hard evidence link there. Your link contains one sentence claiming "this is what CNN was rumored to use." No substantiation whatsoever. If you weren't such a liberal, you'd call yourself an idiot for believing anything.

Re:Rumors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220540)

Perhaps you don't understand the meaning of the word R U M O R. Poster wasn't claiming anything. And you obviously don't understand the use of quotation marks because the actual quote was "Rumor has it that some of CNN's Gulf War coverage was Toasted"

Re:Rumors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220558)

If you weren't such anonymous cowardly prick, you'd realise that article was written a long, long time ago. Oh Yeah, Bush stole the election.

All well and good, but (4, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220258)

the video toaster was basically written around the Amiga custom chippery, right ?

Perhaps you could get some FPGA to do the video work, and recreate the video toaster in all its' glory, unless y'all have them lying around in the attic :-)

OTOH, it's a nice gesture :-) Saves us all from having to buy an Octane from Ebay and register with Discreet, although to be honest, I prefer my Flame :-)

Simon.

Re:All well and good, but (4, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220293)

Using an FPGA to replace the Amiga custom chips has been discussed for ages.

Noone's gotten it to work. The timing ends up wrong.

Discussing with a former Amiga chipset engineer, they couldn't even migrate the core chip from the ancient fabs to newer ones because when they did, the timing got schewed, rendering the toaster worthless.

Re:All well and good, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220446)

rendering the toaster worthless

I think if it was so sensitive to the hardware, it was useless far before that.

Re:All well and good, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220494)

Short term? Nobody cared.

But long term, you're right on. Not being able to modernize the assembly process is THE biggest reason the Amiga platform died.

Re:All well and good, but (5, Interesting)

downix (84795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220496)

The chipset provided the timing and genlock signals necessary for the toaster to work. It is these signals that make traditional editing machines so expensive to produce. The Amiga's chipset gave these to the toaster cards so Newtek didn't have to.

But, if your timing is off by even a percentage, your broadcast signal falls apart, rendering dependent systems, such as the toaster, useless for their primary job of interfacing with these signals. This is analog technology here, can't use digital techniques to solve the problems.

Re:All well and good, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220333)

chippery?

Discreet Toaster (2, Informative)

minnkota (576497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220381)

You can't even begin to compare Discreet's software to the original Toaster (or any toaster). The Toaster was basiclly a fancy video mixer controlled by an amiga. It was totally linear video (meaning you had to have a source deck and a record deck) it couldn't even capture video clips. NewTek later made "Toaster" software for Windows, which is pretty much in the same ballpark as editing/effects packages from Avid, Adobe, and Apple.

The heart of the Toaster was a custom ASIC (4, Informative)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220428)

IIRC the Toaster did utilize the Amiga's chips to the extent that it could. The magic was in that ASIC, and IMO that would be the more interesting thing to examine, although I'm sure if you dig into the code enough you'd have a rough idea of what they were trying to do.

However, to do anything with it today is pretty redundant. Your average $500 PC from Dell with a $250 Canopus ADVC-100 has more capability to edit than the toaster ever did, plus the ability to do real-time previews and output to DVD or DV tape. If you were to emulate the hardware, you'd have something that with full effects would take fractions of a second to several minutes per frame or more to render its output. Then you'd need an analog deck with frame-by-frame control, because that's how the Toaster used to do its thing: frame-by-frame, painfully, slowly usually. Plus you'd need stand-alone Time Base Correctors at a few hundred a pop for frame stabilization. To do a 1-2 hour video and have a render and print-to-tape go overnight or even over the course of a couple of days wasn't a big deal considering the lack of alternatives at the time.

I think for historical purposes or the code geek will appreciate the relase of code, but anyone with a PC from the last two years with a decent capture/output solution and a DVD writer can do far more than the original Toaster ever could.

Re:All well and good, but (3, Interesting)

notsoclever (748131) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220549)

My understanding is that the Toaster itself did all of the graphics work, and that the Amiga was really just there to control it. Though the way it was implemented (the computer sent signals through the VBI portion of its composite video output) is still pretty Amiga-specific, but that could conceivably be done by a PC with custom hardware as well.

Basically, Toaster was a hardware package with controlling software, not just a software package. You can't really port it to the PC any moreso than you can port, say, the custom software used in a flatbed scanner to a PC; you might be able to emulate the internal operation, but the hardware itself is missing.

Can it be reused ? (4, Interesting)

Ploum (632141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220264)

I'm not sure at all, but can we excpect improvements in linux video editor with this code ?

I don't know, I just ask.. I just imagine, for example, using some codes to build a NLE editor under Linux... Is it possible ?

Re:Can it be reused ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220345)

Some of the effects algorithms could be re-used.

Re:Can it be reused ? (4, Funny)

grolschie (610666) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220361)

Does the Linux kernel even have support for raw bread devices e.g. /dev/muffin ??

Re:Can it be reused ? (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220515)

linus has stated that /dev/vagina support will never be added to linux. However, support for /dev/penis and /dev/anus is rivalled only by OS X.

video toaster wasn't used for Jurassic Park (5, Informative)

green pizza (159161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220266)

Video Toaster was great for local-access cable channel type work, but it wasn't even full broadcast quality... at least it was cheap.

Some of the early rough-out effects for Jurassic Park were prototyped using an old version of Lightwave on an Amiga, but that's about it. All of the CGI effects in the movie were done on big iron Silicon Graphics machines at ILM, some of which included the use of the SGI IRIX version of Lightwave.

Again, Jurassic Park effects were done with big iron... not with a consumer-level computer with a single 680x0 processor and an NTSC/PAL video board.

Re:video toaster wasn't used for Jurassic Park (5, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220320)

Again, Jurassic Park effects were done with big iron... not with a consumer-level computer with a single 680x0 processor and an NTSC/PAL video board.

True, however the effects for Babylon 5, Sliders, SeaQuest DSV, Star Trek Voyager, etc. *were* created and rendered on consumer-level computers with a single 680x0 processor. No NTSC/PAL video board, though, other than for dailies. Lightwave rendered this stuff out using ScreamerNet, a cluster rendering tool over a "renderfarm" of Amiga computers. This was all before there was a PC version of Lightwave.

-Charles Hill

Re:video toaster wasn't used for Jurassic Park (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220424)

Wow ... Babylon 5, Sliders, SeaQuest, and Voyager. These software programmers are probably facing charges on felony conspiracy to commit bad science fiction.

Re:video toaster wasn't used for Jurassic Park (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220529)

Wow ... Babylon 5, Sliders, SeaQuest, and Voyager. These software programmers are probably facing charges on felony conspiracy to commit bad science fiction.

Thats NOT true! The first two seasons of Sliders were pretty good. Sucked like the rest after of those after season 2 tho....

Re:video toaster wasn't used for Jurassic Park (2, Interesting)

Schnapple (262314) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220436)

I used this back in High School - we had a "Broadcast Journalism" department, producing television shows for local networks, and a daily news broadcast (student body president, announcements, etc.) for which we hijacked the "Channel One" TV's.

For a while, I could "spot" when it was being used somewhere - like in low budget syndicated television shows, or in the early days of small networks, like Comedy Central.

The "problem" with it was - it was something you outgrew. That Commodore/Amiga went the way of the dodo didn't help, but really it was for small-time or hobbyist operations at best. Once your operation became big enough, you started looking elsewhere.

I should probably go back and see if my alma mater's operation is still going, and what they use today.

Re:video toaster wasn't used for Jurassic Park (2, Informative)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220517)

This was all before there was a PC version of Lightwave.

Don't forget the Mac version of Lightwave which, I believe, shipped with an Amiga tucked in there. :^P

Re:video toaster wasn't used for Jurassic Park (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220358)

Maby not for Jurassic Park. Saying so was stupid. But TV production quality != movie quality. TV broadcast quality isnt realy saying much - even HDTV sucks :)

All the CG for Seaquest DSV was done with the Video Toaster. That was definitly TV broadcast quality.

Lightwave != Video Toaster (1, Informative)

minnkota (576497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220403)

Seaquest used Lightwave, a 3D package from NewTek, for its CG effects. The Video Toaster was a combination of hardware and software, also from NewTek, for doing fancy computer-controlled video switching and mixing ("blue screen" chroma key, wipes/fades/disolves, graphics mixing, etc) in real-time via two or three tape decks... one or two for source, one for recording. Seaquest probably used the Toaster to mix the graphics with the video... but the 3D effects themselves were done in Lightwave. The Video Toaster is not a magical fairy wand that can do everything... it's just a computer-controlled video mixer / switch.

Excellent (5, Insightful)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220272)

It's not about using the software today. It's about the historical record. Software - especially landmark software like this - is part of a common heritage, and should be accessible to all. I'd like to see more companies release the source code for their crown jewels when the commercial exploitation phase has ended.

Re:Excellent (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220364)

Or to put it another way...

Wow, you guys did something revolutionary - now give it to me.

Re:Excellent (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220545)

Amen. MS-DOS should be next, Then Windows 3.1. They are not usable for OSes today except in very limited circumstances, but would be great as learning tools. I have been saying this for years.

Re:Excellent (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220572)

your a supercilious bastard, arne't you?

Open Source Software is one thing (2, Insightful)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220277)

So now we have the source code for the software, will we get the schematics for the hardware? This could breathe new life in to old Amigas. There must be a few in the backs of wardrobes all over the land .....

Re:Open Source Software is one thing (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220423)

The amigas all shipped with full schematics. Problem is that a lot of the custom chips the Amigas used are no longer available, and attempts at recreating them have ended up with timing issues. Personally I find the latter hard to believe but I haven't actually tried to recreate it myself. :-)

Jurassic Park (0, Redundant)

duffhuff (688339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220282)

I don't think Video Toaster was used on Jurassic Park, at least, not for rendering; SoftImage was used for the majority of the work. VideoToaster could have been used for compositing or other image effects, but I'm almost certain they never rendered any models with it. I pretty certain because I attented a presentation given by one of the guys who worked on JP, and it was all about SoftImage, but that was a long time ago.

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220399)

SoftImage is a 3D modeller. VideoToaster is a non-linear video editor. Who said that VideoToaster was rendering 3d animations in Jurassic Park.

VideoToaster = tv resolution, linear (0)

minnkota (576497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220488)

Softimage and Lightwave were popular 3D modelers back then (before 3D Studio and Maya took the world by storm). The original VideoToaster (the one in question) was a fancy computer-controlled video mixer / switch that lived on a card inside an Amiga. It was only TV resolution (NTSC / PAL) and was very linear. To mix video you needed two source decks and a record deck. It was only able to capture a single frame at a time. The only way to do "realtime" effects or anything resembling modern random-access non-linear editing was to use serial-controlled frame-accurate video decks that could pause and record single frames at a time. (This was also common in the Mac world back then, folks would use a frame-accurate recorder to record frames of animation from StrataStudioPro, Infini-D, or other 3D modelers as they were rendered).

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

sjhwilkes (202568) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220421)

I believe it was used for the onscreen displays - where the girl says 'this is a unix system, we have these at school' and it's a 3D maze type user interface etc.

this is unix, i know this (0)

minnkota (576497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220457)

I believe it was used for the onscreen displays - where the girl says 'this is a unix system, we have these at school' and it's a 3D maze type user interface etc.
That's Silicon Graphic's FSN (fusion) file manager from the late 1980s. http://www.sgi.com/fun/freeware/3d_navigator.html [sgi.com] . There's also a modern clone of it somewhere.

Re:Jurassic Park (2, Informative)

presearch (214913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220478)

Nope. That was SGI stuff, running the 'fsn' app. It was, indeed, a UNIX system.

Oh no (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220287)

It's doomed for failure now.

What's the license? (5, Interesting)

One Louder (595430) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220288)

I've downloaded some of the code, and neither the web site nor the source code itself seems to indicate under what license this code is being released.

Public Domain? GPL? BSD?

What are we allowed to do with it?

Re:What's the license? (1, Interesting)

ThisIsFred (705426) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220344)

Frame it and hang it on your wall probably. It's a nice gesture, don't get me wrong, but the code is little more than a curiosity. There are other open source projects out there that are much more capable, and that aren't limited to NTSC format.

Re:What's the license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220474)

how about sticking it up your ass?

Re:What's the license? (2, Funny)

thellamaman (631602) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220554)

Who cares? It's available on the Internet, that means you should be able to do what you want with it. Right?

I am going to press my reset button (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220296)

And reboot from Lunix back into Windows! I expect this post to be modded down once I have completly rebooted

Im waiting... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220304)

For my toaster to finish reflashing itself with some opensource Toaster software... Damnit! It looks like my english muffins are burning!!!

Re:Im waiting... (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220532)

They're not burning, just making use of 24-bit colour rather than 8-bit brownscale. Notice how your heat settings dial used to be marked 1-10 but now shows RGB values?

Huh, care to explain? (5, Funny)

snofla (236898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220305)

cg/readme.polite: "One of NewTek's requirements in releasing the complete source code for the Toaster and Flyer was that any rude or potentially offensive language in the original text based material be politely modified or removed." WTF?!

Re:Huh, care to explain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220377)

Uh, let me guess: The original implementors had added tons of helpful comments like /* this fucking sucks, rewrite asap */ in the code - it's not like anyone else is going to read the code anyway...

Re:Huh, care to explain? (4, Funny)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220382)

cg/readme.polite: "One of NewTek's requirements in releasing the complete source code for the Toaster and Flyer was that any rude or potentially offensive language in the original text based material be politely modified or removed." What the heck?!

Well gosh, I sure don't see a problem with that....

Hehe... (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220315)

You know for the longest time I actually thought that a the Video Toaster really was a toaster with some sort of video output. I could never understand what all the fuss was about :-)

And I was an Amiga user! (I'm recovering now...)

(Blue) Video "Toaster" (0)

minnkota (576497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220435)

How about this Blue Video "Toaster". :) http://www.schrotthal.de/sgi/o2/ [schrotthal.de] OK, so it's not a VideoToaster, but with a large drive or two and Discreet Effect or Flame, it can blow the doors off of any real VideoToaster

Re:Hehe... (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220473)

They were going to put it in a winged toaster case, but the lawyers from Berkeley/After Dark warned them that they'd slap them with a trademark suit [kanga.nu] , and changing it to a toaster with a propeller just wasn't going to work. (Just kidding.)

Ah, memories... (2, Informative)

Perdition (208487) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220324)

I remember distinctly lusting after the Video Toaster for a while, but budget restraints (having NO money) and other factors kept me from it. Sure, the Toaster was a bit crude, but it probably jump-started a few video editing careers... It was used in a few music videos, such as the Todd Rundgren song "Change Myself", which shipped with the demo tape of the Toaster's promotional package.

Cool, but is it of value ? (1, Interesting)

MajorDick (735308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220326)

I mean this is cool, that they released the source, but it it of any real value compared to currently available packages ? I mean we are talking about 15 year old code (maybe older from development to production) in a very dynamic medium.

...big deal (1, Funny)

Dan Farina (711066) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220336)

I'm waiting for TURRICAN!

Video Toaster wasn't film quality (or video...) (1, Interesting)

minnkota (576497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220341)

This article refers to the original Amiga VideoToaster... which is basiclly a 68030 Amiga with a fancy linear video i/o board and some software for basic effects. It could capture single frames, but it couldn't even digitize a clip. It was basiclly a fancy video switch / mixer. In fact, the Toaster didn't even do ful 640x480, it was a bit less than that. OK for UHF broadcast though. http://www.atv.net/images/Products/toaster.gif [atv.net] There is no way this was used for film work. Especially when ILM had a building full of SGI workstations and servers.

Re:Video Toaster wasn't film quality (or video...) (1)

downix (84795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220420)

Several elements of the Toaster could do much higher than TV quality. Lightwave and the paint program could do thousands by thousands in resolution.

Please don't mistake the limits of the TV card as the absolute limit of the system.

Re:Video Toaster wasn't film quality (or video...) (1)

minnkota (576497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220510)

Lightwave and the frame painter were very popular for film and print media, but they were not dependant upon the VideoToaster at all. You could use them with a VideoToaster if you wanted easier access to TV resolution video... but it was not required nor heavily integrated. In fact, Lightwave was also available for much beefier SGI hardware back then as well. NewTek had lots of great products, including the VideoToaster. But the VideoToaster itself was not magic do-all, do-anything fairy wand.

I have now rebooted. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220347)

Suck it Lunix fags!

Whats the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220356)

Mostly assembler in the intersting areas +++ all
tied to the Amiga's custom chips. I aint spending
my time reinventing the wheel to end up with
something that is way below the capabilities of
some of the budget programs that are out there
today.

If it was all written in C and didn't depend on custom chips I'd be interested ...

- Moomin

Interesting.. (4, Interesting)

chipset (639011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220362)

Now, there have been rumors around for years about what the Amiga and corresponding technologies have been associated with. Max Headroom (for the background, if I remember).

Now, some people are saying it wasn't broadcast quality, however, a number of people disagree. When the video toaster came out, it replaced a 100K production system for 6K. It took video editing/production by storm. For example, the FOX affiliate in Anchorage used one for years. The station manager told me how it was just incredible and could do much more bang for the buck than anything out there (circa '95).

The effects, depending on how you used them, could look cool or cheesy. Think of the effects of Home Improvement, when they did the scene changed. The one I remember out of the box for the Toaster was the legs crossing on-screen for a scene change.

So, now's the real question... How easy or hard will this be to port? It looks to support other languages, as well. I noticed Kanjii support.

Is the source code Amiga specific? I know they had other systems supported, but later. Amiga source code, at least the OS specific functions, are a lot different than coding today.

Most of the apps they have source to didn't require the additional hardware that the VT came with, which is good.

Personally, I think there might be some gems, but I doubt you'll see whole ports of the applications. Too much has changed since 91.

Re:Interesting.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220538)

It all depends on who you were asking about "broadcast quality." Anyone with a vscope would have told you no.

As for porting, it was tied to the Amiga's custom chips and the Toaster hardware itself.

The programs were interesting but, other than Lightwave and the switcher, all of them had popular third-party replacements--especially since CG didn't support right-to-left languages.

Toaster vs $100K mixers (2, Informative)

minnkota (576497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220543)

When the toaster came out it was a wonderful replacement for aging, expensive monster mixers and effects boxes. In fact, when it came out it's closest competition was nearly $50,000. Toaster had the huge advantage of being a totally new system using new ideas and new techniques. It wasn't as powerful or as capable as a true non-linear editing system or field-accurate paintbox machine... but it didn't cost nearly as much as one either.

Better late than never? (1)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220375)

I think it would be good for programmers (even those not into video) to look through their code. The team at NewTek supposibly did a lot of innovative stuff to get all that they could out of the Amiga hardware.

17,525 cinnomon cats later...

Modern alternative? (1)

Alomex (148003) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220384)


Videotoaster was very famous in its time. What would be the comparable tool today for that type of video editing?

Re:Modern alternative? (1)

rolocroz (625853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220429)

Final Cut Pro, maybe?

Re:Modern alternative? (4, Interesting)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220447)

"What would be the comparable tool today for that type of video editing?"

Final Cut Pro [apple.com] and Shake [apple.com] .

Though at Sundance this year, an enterprising individual edited and produced a movie for $218.32, using iMovie [apple.com] .

Re:Modern alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220508)

You used to be able to buy a $100 box at radio shack that did analog A-B mixes and effects. Basically the same thing.

Re:Modern alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220520)

Microsoft Paint.

Re:Modern alternative? (1)

root:DavidOgg (133514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220564)

Video Toaster NT

There's a new os (OS4) and new Amiga One machine.. (3, Interesting)

BeatlesForum.com (545967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220416)

Us folks left in the Amiga community are kinda hoping for something nice from Amiga. A few of us in the area have our own Amiga user group [ncscaug.us] and have managed to have two demos of the OS4 in the last few months.

Keep you fingers crossed.

Is this code useful anymore? (1)

ChiralSoftware (743411) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220427)

Will this lead to anything useful or is it just "cool that they made it open source"?

Also, are there terms of use for viewing the code? If so, anyone who is interested in developing for other FOSS video projects (VideoGimp, etc) should understand the terms of use before looking at any of this source code. It would be terrible if a bunch of developers looked at this code, went on to do amazing (but unrelated) things with VideoGimp and a few years down the line we get an eerie feeling of deja-vu.

----------
Create a WAP server [chiralsoftware.net] today.

Brings back memories (4, Interesting)

jacobcaz (91509) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220430)

If nothing else, this site brings back fond memories of sitting in a small, dark room rolling back the B deck to hit the right cue point for the A/B roll (I didn't have access to frame accurate or RS422 controlled decks back then).

My highschool got one of these back in 1992 or 1993 and I managed to convice them to give me THREE class periods of independent study time to shoot, write and edit our weekly "TV" show. It was a blast and it really taught me how to work under a deadline -- I was the only student doing the show and fourth period EVERY FRIDAY there had to be 15 minutes of show in the can ready to show.

At the time, it was somewhat of a jewel on our school's crown to have a weekly, entirely student-produced show. We just thought it was more fun that trig.

The last time I poked my head in my high school, they had several classes dedicated to broadcast and communications with a real teacher assigned to it and everything. They were also doing a daily show in lieu of the morning announcements over the PA system.

I feel proud I got to do it my way and learn something in the process. God bless the Toaster -- and who coudln't resist tossing in a few Kiki effects or falling sheep here and there! ;-)

Good times...

well... (1)

relrelrel (737051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220437)

Re:well... (1)

root:DavidOgg (133514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220579)

Not to mention the Amiga's underneat them. sheesh. Been trying to find an Amiga 4000 w/PPC accelerator under $1000, impossible!

Used to require the VideoToaster board (1)

jago25_98 (566531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220450)

Used to require the VideoToaster board. Originally retailed at ~2500. I think it was Zorro based and intended for A4000/A3000.

Re:Used to require the VideoToaster board (1)

root:DavidOgg (133514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220530)

The original Video Toaster was Amiga 2000 based

So maybe... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220451)

...someone will do a PAL version now? Thought at this rate Duke Nukem Forever will come out first.

Guys? (3, Informative)

root:DavidOgg (133514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220509)

Guys? This is the source for a Zorro based card. You arn't likely to get any use of it unless your PC has a Zorro bus.

For more details visit http:\\www.ann.lu

Boing (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8220519)

It's always a beautiful day when you see the ball on /.

That takes me back (4, Interesting)

concordeonetwo (644570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8220563)

The Video Toaster I thought was the coolest thing. After I saw a demo of it once, I was totally amazed. As I recall, there was one famous video effect it did. That effect oddly was used by lots of those sucide cults, such as the famous Heaven's Gate in ther propaganda videos.
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