Digital Arts Is A NewTek Elite Partner
Serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan
1-800-692-6442


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Roy Disney Dies at 79

A sad day.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/12/16/roy.disney.obit/index.html

TriCaster XD300 Officially Released

NewTek has released the new TriCaster XD300 today. Digital Arts has a demo unit and we will be set up to do demos soon (I've got to learn how to use it!). Lot's of cool new features over and above the original five TriCaster models. It's way more than just a HD TriCaster , in fact, it may be the most sophisticated HD switcher around. Certainly for the price it has no peers.

More info is available on the Digital Arts web site's TriCaster XD300 page

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Take An Independent Film Break

Some cool short films by my friend documentary filmmaker James Grey.

Granite Gardens - Juxtaposes an abandoned cemetery in New York with skyscrapers, a little spooky.
MissionFOTO In The Field - Overview of some of James's recent work

A short documentary about MissionFOTO

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TriCaster Power Up Extension

The date in which a customer who qualifies for either the TriCaster Upgrade Guarantee or the Power Up Promotion can exercise their option to purchase a TCXD300 has been extended until February 23, 2010.
However, the date in which a TriCaster PRO, STUDIO, or BROADCAST must be
purchased in order to qualify for either promotion remains December 23,
2009.
 
Get the whole scoop from NewTek's site

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NewTek TriCaster™ Wins 2009 Streaming Media Readers' Choice Award

Have they won all the awards yet?

NewTek today announced that Streaming Media Readers have awarded the NewTek TriCaster™ produce line a 2009 Readers' Choice Award for Best Portable Encoding Appliance. Streaming Media, led by a team of recognized industry experts, surveyed more than 5,000 consumers to determine that NewTek TriCaster was among the best video and live streaming products across 22 categories.

"The Streaming Media Readers' Choice Awards are the only awards of their kind in the online video industry," says Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, editor, Streaming Media magazine. "While other awards focus exclusively on content, this is the only awards program that honors the technology that makes it all possible, and it's definitely the only one where the people decide who wins. And this year, more than 5,000 votes were cast for more than 200 nominees. Clearly, people care deeply about the tools they use to get their jobs done.

"We want to thank video and live stream producers for choosing TriCaster products as the best among all portable live production solutions on the market," said Andrew Cross, executive vice president, engineering, NewTek Inc. “We’re continuing to bring innovative and groundbreaking products to the market, with the upcoming release of TriCaster TCXD300, HD portable live production solution. ”

Streaming Media magazine announced its 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards winners at www.streamingmedia.com/ReadersChoice/results.asp.

With TriCaster, anyone can simultaneously produce, live stream, broadcast and project a network-style production. A single operator or small team can produce a live show while switching between as many as six cameras with two DDRs, multi-channel effects and NewTek's proprietary LiveSet™ virtual sets. TriCaster is used by sports organizations, broadcasters, schools, government agencies and others to provide a new level of extended programming and content to their audiences.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Local Sports - Action Indiana

So we at Digital Arts are putting our money where our mouth is and, along with our partner Freemark Productions, are starting a company to produce local sports television. HomeTown Sports Indiana (ComCast and BrightHouse Channel 81 here in Central Indiana) has agreed to carry our programming. We'll also be on-demand streaming at ActionIndiana.com so check us out. I'm hoping to have announcements of actual programming schedules etc. soon.


Friday, October 23, 2009

TriCaster XD300 Specs Released

Pristine Video and Audio
  • End-to-end HD 1080i video pipeline, including effects and virtual sets
  • Video processing employs 32-bit floating-point precision, 4:4:4:4 sampling and component (YCbCrA) color (well beyond industry standard 10-bit)
  • Four-channel audio processed at 96kHz, 24-bit floating point
  • Extensive audio input/output flexibility including SDI-Embedded, AES/EBU, and XLR/phone connectors
  • All video inputs can be proc amped and keyed, including titles and DDRs
  • Integrated waveform/vectorscope
  • Individual processing controls for both Main and VGA outputs
  • Capture video or stills with support for full 4:2:2 up to 1920x1080 resolution
  • Next-generation interface design with key live production tools readily available, supported by quick access to configure each source
  • Full 64-bit native architecture

Virtual Switcher Inputs and Live Virtual Sets
  • Virtual Switcher inputs support multiple ‘mix/effects bus’-like preset compositions
  • Populate multiple virtual inputs from a single camera source (and switch between them)
  • Each source has Processing Amplifier, keying and alpha channel support
  • Layer two live video or CG sources (internal or supplied by network)
  • Independent zoom and pan controls for each source that make composition easy
  • Add a third source as a dedicated overlay channel with independent transitions
  • Optionally insert live video inputs into lifelike 3D live virtual sets with ease
  • Zoom the virtual camera smoothly and easily (manual or automatic control)
  • Presets provide quick convenient access to innumerable virtual input setups 
Production Flexibility

  • HD-SDI and HD component plus SD-SDI, component, Y/C and composite input/output
  • Freely intermix source resolutions and aspect ratios (including HD and SD video)
  • Simultaneous HD and SD video output
  • Network input supports computer screen and CG sources from external computers (input live Internet video-conferencing using a networked laptop that is running popular software)
  • Simple live streaming with Flash™ or Windows Media™
  • Capture live production and/or streaming output on 36 hours of internal storage
  • Genlock input for broadcast system integration supports bi-level and tri-level references
  • On-screen ISO monitoring for all switcher inputs (internal and external)
  • Enhanced secondary video output for projector or second monitor (up to WUXGA) offers varied displays including Program, Preview, Effects, all ISO sources, Scopes, and more
  • Dedicated upstream overlay with transitions with per source positioning, scaling, and color processing
  • Two additional downstream overlay channels with individual transitions, scaling, position, keying and alpha channel, and color processing
  • Sophisticated control system for transitions, automated playback, overlays and more
  • Next generation LiveMatteHD™ for incredibly clean real-time keying
  • Convenient user presets available throughout the application, including media player playlists, virtual inputs, and audio mixers
  • Integrated audio mixer with audio-follows-video and talk over options
  • Auxiliary output supports external mixing of sound from integrated media players
  • Edit title pages even while displayed, including changes to fonts, text sizes and more
  • Media player autoplay allows easy on-air cueing of titles, video clips and more
  • DDR provides realtime dynamic playback speed control for clip playback
  • New session system allows convenient storage and recall of complete configuration and playlist setups for different shows, locations, etc
  • Easy access to every important control during live production
  • Support for LiveControl™ LC-11 switching control surface
  • Extensive file format support and new transcoder utility simplifies media import
  • Integrated professional CG/Titling and real-time editing applications


TriCaster PowerUp Program

Take advantage of the PowerUp Program and you can add a TriCaster XD300 to your production facility and save up to $7,000 on your purchase.

For a very limited time any TriCaster BROADCAST™, TriCaster STUDIO™ or TriCaster PRO™ owner who purchased their new TriCaster system January 15, 2009 through November 27, 2009 qualifies for the NewTek TriCaster XD300 PowerUp Program.

TriCaster BROADCAST owners qualify to purchase a TriCaster XD300 for $7,995 ($7,000 off MSRP)
TriCaster STUDIO owners qualify to purchase a TriCaster XD300 for $9,995 ($5,000 off MSRP)
TriCaster PRO owners qualify to purchase a TriCaster XD300 for $11,995 ($3,000 off MSRP) 

Rules and Requirements:

  • TriCaster XD300 PowerUp system must be ordered between October 1, 2009 and December 23, 2009
  • Must provide proof of qualifying TriCaster purchase during the Upgrade Guarantee promotional period (January 15, 2009 through November 27, 2009)
  • Your TriCaster system must be registered with NewTek, and valid serial number must be provided at time of order
  • Only one TriCaster XD300 PowerUp system can be purchased for each qualifying TriCaster bought during the promotional period
  • Cannot be combined with any other offer
  • PowerUp promotion ends on December 23, 2009
Or take advantage of the TriCaster Upgrade Promotion]

Call Us At 1-800-692-6442 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Camera Bundles

Update: More Stuff added!

Digital Arts in conjunction with NewTek is now offering four new TriCaster/Camera bundles



LIVE Production Bundle 1
1 Tricaster
1 copy SpeedEDIT
3 Canon Vixia HF s100 Camcorders
3 Canon 2.7" LCD Viewfinder Hoods
3 Canon Hot Shoe Mikes
3 BP-827 Battery Packs
3 Petrol PMDCB Camera bags
1 Custom Petrol TriCaster Bag



LIVE Production Bundle 2

1 TriCaster Pro
1 Copy SpeedEDIT
1 LiveSet Pack 1
1 Graphics Pack Volume 1
3 Canon XHA1 Comcorders
3 BP-970G Batteries
3 0373 VitecTripods
3 Pertol PWB-HDV Camera Bags
1 Custom Petrol TriCaster Bag


Live Production Bundle 3
1 TriCaster STUDIO
1 Live Control LC-11 and 1 TimeWarp
1 Copy LiveText
1 Copy SpeedEDIT
1 LiveSet Pack 1 and 1 Graphics Pack Volume 1
3 Canon XA A1 Camcorders
3 BP 970G Batteries
3 Vitec 0373 Tripods
3 Petrol PWB-HDV Camera Bag and 1  Custom TriCaster Bag

 
Live Production Bundle 4
1 TriCaster BROADCAST
1 Live Control LC-11 and 1 TimeWarp
1 Copy LiveText
1 Copy SpeedEDIT
1 LiveSet Pack 1 and 1 Graphics Pack Volume 1
3 Canon XH G1S Camcorders
3 BP 970G Batteries
3 FSB8TV2 Tripods (75mm Bowl Pozi Loc Tripods & FSB 8 Fluid head)
3 Petrol PWB-HDV Camera Bags and 1 TriCaster Bag

Petrol TriCaster Bag:





Call Us for pricing 1-800-692-6442

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Tally Light System For TriCaster

Digital Arts is pleased to announce our new Tally Light controller and Tally Lights for the NewTek TriCaster and VT[5] families of video switchers.




The Tally Light Controller TLC-6 adds a sophisticated tally system to your TriCaster or VT. Compatible with all TriCaster models with 2.0 or higher software and VT[3] and above. The TLC - 6 in conjunction with the TL-1 tally lights adds status and 'talent' tally lights to any camera.

Each of the six output channels gives you four LED outputs - Program (Live), Preview and Effects bus indicators. Plus an output for a separately controlled tally for the on camera 'talent'. The Talent tally can be software selected to illuminate when the camera is on the program bus, the preview bus, the effects bus or any combination.

In addition to the LED outputs each channel also includes two contact closure outputs that can be connected to most camera CCUs for program and preview tally.

If you're not using CCUs (which usually provide intercom connections) you can configure the TLC-6 to pass through intercom signals over the tally cable. The TLC-6 has an XLR connector to connect directly into your intercom system.

The controller also has two GPI outputs. The first provides a contact closure every time the source on the program (Live) bus is changed the second does the same for the Effects bus. You can use these outputs to trigger any GPI compatible outboard equipment.

VT users who have more than six cameras can connect up to four TLC-6 controllers for a total of 24 outputs.

The TLC-6 uses inexpensive RJ-45 (Ethernet type) cables to make it easy to build custom length cables using off the shelf parts and requiring no soldering skills.


The Tally Light One in conjunction with the TLC–6 provides three status LEDs for the camera operator that indicate whether the camera is active on the Program. Preview or Effects bus as well as a bright tally indicator for the on-camera talent.

The Tally Light One includes Velcro mounts or use the optional accessory shoe mount.
The Tally Light One is also compatible* with the tally outputs on the front of the TriCasterTM Studio and Broadcast and our original Tally Light Controllers TLC-1, TLC-2 and TLC-3.

*Only the Tally Light One's Program and Talent LEDs illuminate.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Network-Style School Sports Production Webinar



Join us for this free live webcast and learn how your school can deliver network-style live sports production using NewTek TriCaster™.

Live Webcast, Wednesday, September 30th, 4:30PM ET | 3:30PM CT | 1:30PM PT
  • See how your school can leverage the same technology used by the NBA D-League, NHL, Fox Sports and many others
  • Learn how a small team of volunteers and students can produce network-style sports production with multiple cameras, graphics, transitions and more
  • Deliver your sports production to family, friends and alumni around the world through live webcasting
  • Raise awareness and create advertising opportunities for your school sports program using the power of video delivered to your scoreboard, local broadcast and webcast
  • Offer game DVDs for student athletes and their families 
Guest Speaker:
Tony Wood, Teacher
John Marshall High School
Glen Dale, West Virginia



After the Webcast we would be happy to answer any questions you might have about how the TriCaster can work for you. 1-800-692-6442

Thursday, September 17, 2009

VT and SpeedEDIT Maintenance Patches Available

NewTek has posted VT5.2c and 5.2d patches.
Version 5.2c includes a number of improvements:
  - Improved Apple Quicktime performance and stability
  - LC-11 compatibility
  - Proc Amps now retain their settings
  - Support for DataLink Record i-Frame MPEG a/v
  - Improved VfW drivers for streaming 

Version 5.2d fixes a hangup on launch if QuickTime version 7.6.4 has been installed.

A fix (Version 1.5.5) for SpeedEDIT with the same problem is also available.


All patches are available for registered users at http://register.newtek.com

Be sure all patches are applied in order.

Friday, September 11, 2009

TriCaster Upgrade Guarantee extended

TriCasters purchased by December 23 can be exchanged for full purchase price credit towards TriCaster, model XD300, previewed at IBC 2009


NewTek Inc.today announced the TriCaster Upgrade Guarantee Program. Customers can trade up any TriCaster™ portable live production system purchased between January 15 and December 23, 2009 for full purchase price credit toward a TriCaster, model XD300 previewed at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) 2009. TriCaster, model XD300, is scheduled to ship late Q4 2009.

"The NewTek TriCaster Upgrade Guarantee is put in place to eliminate customer concern that an upcoming model might be better suited for their portable live production needs," said Michael Kornet, chief marketing officer, NewTek Inc. "Now, customers can make a smart investment in TriCaster and begin producing immediately, knowing that they have locked in full trade-in value on their current TriCaster, should they choose to trade up to a new model."

With TriCaster, anyone can simultaneously produce, live stream, broadcast and project a network-style production. A single operator or small team can produce a live show while switching between as many as six cameras with two DDRs, multi-channel effects and NewTek’s proprietary LiveSet™ virtual sets. TriCaster is used by broadcasters, sports organizations, schools, government agencies and others to provide a new level of extended programming and content to their audiences.

Pricing and Availability
The TriCaster family of products in NTSC is available in North America starting at US$3,995. The TriCaster family of products is available in multi-standard internationally beginning at US$5,995. Educational pricing is also available.

TriCasters are available from Digital Arts


Fine Print:

To be eligible for the upgrade, a TriCaster must be purchased from a NewTek Elite Partner or Authorized Reseller by December 23, 2009. The upgrade requires a validated coupon, as well as the registered TriCaster serial number and verified proof of purchase. Units must be returned to the reseller that initiated the original sale in good working condition with all original packaging and manuals. This program is not retroactive and cannot be combined with any other offers. This program ends December 31, 2009.

SpeedEDIT 2.0 Announced

Update:

 John Perkins of NewTek says

"SpeedEDIT2 will include a transcoder application to convert most formats into a format that SE2 can read well.

You can queue up to 1000 clips to be batch converted in one shot and begin editing while they are being converted. As they show up in the filebin, you can drag them in and start editing.

AVCHD support is built in, but it can also use DirectShow codecs to expand the import capability to formats that we don't currently support or that aren't even on the market yet."

I'll have more info as soon as I can.

From the Press Release:

AT IBC in Amsterdam NewTek revealed SpeedEDIT™ 2, an upgrade to its resolution-independent video editor that offers numerous advancements, including support for additional file formats and enhanced Sub-Project capabilities for more flexible real-time layering.

“SpeedEDIT was already known for its groundbreaking workflow, but with this version we build upon that capability by adding core functionality while improving compatibility,” said Andrew Cross, executive vice president, engineering, NewTek. “By working closely with our customers, we feel that this version of SpeedEDIT sets a new bar in editing performance.”

Among many new benefits, SpeedEDIT 2 works natively for real-time editing with XDCAM HD, XDCAM EX, QuickTime® and AC3 Audio. SpeedEDIT also transcodes additional formats, including selected types of AVCHD. Sub-Projects now provide the ability to use all of the Control Tree settings for real-time sizing, rotation and overlay functions on groups of clips as if they were a single video clip. SpeedEDIT 2 also offers improved slow motion, with options for interpolated smoothing or enhanced sharpness. For animators, image sequences are displayed as clips in real-time, with support extended to JPEG, BMP, PNG, Targa and TIFF files. SpeedEDIT 2 extends real-time preview and playback with support for BlackMagic™ and other compatible external video devices.

NewTek SpeedEDIT is a resolution-independent video editor designed to work quickly and efficiently on any video project. SpeedEDIT works with almost any type of video footage.

Pricing and Availability
SpeedEDIT is available for US$495. Purchases of SpeedEDIT made now through the release of SpeedEDIT 2 will include a free upgrade. SpeedEDIT 2 will be available in Q4 2009 at US$995, with an upgrade price of US$295 for SpeedEDIT and VT[5] owners.SpeedEDIT is available From Digital Arts.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Todd Rundgren Pay-Per-View Event to be Produced with TriCaster

From a press release:

Panacea Entertainment and Todocast, the affordable portable live satellite web-broadcasting system, announced today that they are offering pay-per-view tickets to a live stream of the upcoming sold-out Todd Rundgren concerts in Akron, Ohio on September 6 and 7 at 6:00 p.m. CT/7:00 p.m. ET and Chicago, Illinois on September 12 and 13 at 8:00 p.m. CT.

Todd will be performing his watershed 1973 masterpiece, "A Wizard, A True Star" (AWATS) in its entirety for the first time, plus a second "surprise mystery set." The ticket offers a two-day pass in each city that includes coverage of the concert and exclusive backstage access.

"Todd is the acknowledged godfather of the convergence of music, video and multimedia technologies," said Eric Gardner, chairman of Panacea Entertainment and Todd’s manager since 1975. "The AWATS dates will incorporate production on a Las Vegas and Broadway scale, and NewTek and TodoCast's revolutionary products will allow fans worldwide to take in all of the groundbreaking moments as they unfold."

"TriCaster packs all of the essential capabilities of a live truck into a 10-pound device," said Chuck Silber, senior vice president of sales, NewTek Inc. "Concerts and other live events provide the perfect venue to showcase TriCaster’s ease-of-use as a portable live production and streaming device."

"With TodoCast, our system provides Todd the only end-to-end live via satellite system that delivers high quality video and audio through our player along with a seamless pay-per-view engine that will monetize the events," said Bryan Hill, chief executive officer, TodoCast. "Much like the TriCaster, our revolutionary 120-pound satellite dish and one-button activation system makes live via satellite to Internet broadcasting affordable and easy for virtually any kind of production."

The Akron two-day package costs $20.00 and can be purchased at: www.todocast.tv/toddrundgren/akron. The Chicago two-day package costs $20.00 and can be purchased at: www.todocast.tv/toddrundgren/chicago.

Using NewTek TriCaster, the production team will create a network-style production of the concert and backstage events, complete with titles and graphics, and Todocast will transmit the event via satellite uplink for pay-per-view distribution.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Behind the Scenes At the Miss Universe Pagent with the TriCaster

I didn't realize this is such a big event. 


...TriCaster™ is being used to produce and live stream exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage of the 2009 Miss Universe Pageant on Sunday, August 23, beginning at 8:00 pm CST on NBC.com and Miss Universe.com.
Coverage includes the first interview with the newly crowned Miss Universe, the post-event Coronation Ball and interviews with VIPs including Donald Trump, Flo Rida, Heidi Montag (from MTV’s The Hills) and others.
More than 250,000 viewed a live stream of the 2009 Miss Universe Presentation Show (preliminary event) on August 16 without an accompanying broadcast event to drive traffic.  The television audience for the 2009 Miss Universe Pageant is expected to exceed one billion so this live stream could rival the most-viewed live streams of any event to date.
 USA! USA! USA! :)

The Amazon Kindle eBook Reader

I wrote this a few months ago but forgot to actually post it. This is a review of the first generation Kindle. The currently shipping model is thinner and has slightly re-configured controls to improve the egonomics.

OK here's the deal: I'm a blogger and I got, as a Christmas present, an Amazon Kindle and so therfore I am required by law to blog it.

To summarize - I love the thing, I've already read several dozens of books on it and it's a threat to my credit rating.

I've read lots of reviews online and most of them get it all wrong. First the device is a book reader, not a replacement for your cell phone, mp3 player, laptop and espresso maker. As a book reader it's top notch. Any other features the Kindle has are just icing on the cake.

It connects directly to Amazon using "Wispernet" (provided by Sprint) and you can browse, buy and download books from anywhere on the Sprint network. There are no charges for the wireless! There is also a simple web browser so you can view other web sites. The browser works pretty well with text heavy sites but don't expect it to replace your computer.

Amazon charges $9.95 for most best sellers but back catalog books range all the way down to pennies, I bought Asimov's I Robot for .35 and a few more recent books that are out in paperback for $5.95.

And the internet is stuffed with free books. I bought a DVD on ebay for about $10 that has 13,000 public domain books on it. So now I can get caught up on all the classic lit that I shouldn't have avoided in college. I could've downloaded them for free but they are pre-converted to a format the Kindle can read and are organized by genre and author so it seemed easier.

It does take a little getting used to holding the Kindle. With the large page turn bars on both sides it's pretty easy to fumble around and accidentally turn pages but after a while you get used to it. I generally hold it in my left hand with my thumb placed just to the left of the logo on the front. This way I can turn pages my just reaching with my thumb to press the next page button. Most of the keyboard is disabled during normal reading so you can grasp it by the keyboard if need be.

The eInk technology screen isn't back lit which makes it useful even in direct sunlight and increases the battery life by quite a bit. I use mine pretty heavily and I charge it about every five days. If you leave the Wispernet turned on all the time the Kindle would probably need to be charged every couple of days or so.

My biggest complaint is that the built in dictionary. It works great, scroll the cursor up to the line with a word you want to look up and press down on the scroll wheel, select lookup from the pop up menu and a screen with definitions of all the major words on that line appears. Want more detail just use the scroll wheel to pick the word and a more in-depth definition pops up. Press the back key and your back to your book. The problem is the dictionary is too small. The Kindle can use alternate dictionaries and I'd buy a big unabridged one in a second if it becomes available.

The bottom line is if you are a reader the Kindle willquickly  become your favorite possession. More good news is that used and refurbished Kindle Ones are available cheap now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NewTek 3Play - Hands On Review

The 3Play is a three channel instant replay/slo-mo/field recorder device from NewTek . This is NewTek's first foray into the HD jungle and probably a little higher-end then they have attempted in the past. The TriCasters and the VT are all aimed at, priced for and dominate the church/school/independant producer market. While the 3Play is aimed squarely at a market dominated by EVS and the Thomson K2 but still at a game changing price point.

The basic features of the 3Play are straight forward - three input channels that will accept either SD or HD signals via composite, S-Video, component analog or serial digital (SDI). Each channel also includes four audio inputs with your choice of balanced analog, digital (AES/EBU) or embedded SDI. The outputs duplicate the input connections.


All three video and twelve audio inputs are recorded simultaneously in a single multi-stream file to ensure that everything always stays synchronized. The 3Play's output can be configured as either three separate streams to feed a downstream switcher or with a single output to which any of the streams can be switched by the operator.

The 3Play work flow is also straight forward. When you begin a new session you select which video format (1080i, 720p, 4:3 SD or 16:9 SD) you want to use and whether you will be using the three output or single output mode. The only restriction is that all three inputs and outputs have to be the same format as the 3Play can't transcode between them. You can then configure the input connectors you will be using. 

In the triple output mode when you begin a session the 3Play is simply passing through the live audio and video from all three inputs. Simply presses the 'Record' button on the included  3P-10 controller and the unit begins recording all three streams to the internal RAID. My unit has enough storage for 11 hours of 720p multi-stream and 8 hours of 1080i multi-stream. So even if the game goes to extra innings you have plenty of space.

In single output mode you also get to select which of the three streams is active on the output simply by clicking the corresponding small preview window or using the three selection buttons on the 3P-10 controller.

Once recording, you as the 3Play operator, become a wizard of space and time. You can build a replay list in real time using the 'Mark In' and Mark Out' buttons and completely control play back. While you're playing back a segment the 3Play continues to record so you never have to worry about missing any action. This is great for sports that don't stop like auto racing or soccer.

The slo-mo is interpolated so that no matter how slow you go the motion remains very smooth. The engineers at NewTek have obviously worked hard on the slo-mo algorithm. You can control speed with either preset buttons for 25, 33, 50, 75 and 100 percent playback speed or adjust the speed interactively using a t-bar.

The 3Play can be operated entirely from the 3P-10 and the only time you need to use the mouse and keyboard once you have begun a session is to label replay list events. The controller has a jog/shuttle wheel for cueing up events, controls for managing the replay list and the play back transport.


The replay list is the heart of the 3Play. There are actually six replay tabs. As you add events to the master list you can color code them. These color coded events are automatically added it to one of the five color coded tabs. This allows you to organize your events in order to build highlight reels or to make it quicker to pull up a particular type of event you might need.

The replay list is completely non-destructive so you can add, remove, modify or reorder events at any time. The events in the replay list have a selection for camera. You use this to set the primary camera for playback in single output mode. This selection is also used when you export a list. If you want to replay an event from several cameras you can clone an event and change the camera for the second angle.

During the export process the mult-stream file is split apart and individual files are saved as per your replay list. The exported files are in a standard mpeg2 format so they can be edited with almost any editor. The cool thing is how fast this export function works, it's apparently just a simple file copy process so it's both fast and lossless. There is no degradation of the video quality.

The 3Play has other applications besides instant replay. It's a cost effective field recorder since you can record three cameras and twelve audio tracks it has uses for recording concerts and other live events. All three streams can be exported for post production editing. Sports motion analysis is another application since you can playback the same action recorded from three angle in perfect sync.

The bottom line is that you can't touch the 3Play's features for any where near it's $21,995 list price. NewTek has really brought network quality instant replay to the masses. The video quality is top notch, the workflow is easy to use and the price is a bargain.

NewTek 3Play available from Digital Arts call us for a price at 1-800-692-6442

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

SchoolTube

YouTube for students. A user generated video site that's safe for kids. Some pretty cool stuff and no smut!
http://www.schooltube.com

Thursday, August 13, 2009

TriCaster does Infiniti Introduction

The TriCaster™ portable live production and virtual set system will be used by High Impact Television to produce and live stream the first ever virtual new car introduction from the legendary Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance®, featuring the Infiniti® 2011 M Sedan. The live webcast will be available on Friday, August 14 at 6:30 p.m. PST (9:30 p.m. EST) at www.hittv.com/EviteMlaunch1.html.

“People will see a cool life-size computer-generated rendering of the new M, using special video mapping technology,” said Tore Dietrich, president, High Impact TV. “Infiniti is the first automobile manufacturer to unveil a vehicle in this way. And we’re excited to use TriCaster because of its versatility to switch a live TV show for the onsite audience, as well as stream it to the Web. We found the portability and flexibility of TriCaster unmatched and it’s a great way for Infiniti to reach people around the world who are interested in seeing this car.”

“When people think of live streaming, they often think of news, sporting and entertainment events, but there is huge potential for marketers who are trying to establish brands and influence potential customers,” said Philip Nelson, senior vice president, NewTek Inc. “This event shows how NewTek TriCaster maximizes the impact of any presentation with the immediacy and vitality of live video that can be seen almost anywhere.”

With TriCaster, anyone can simultaneously produce, live stream, broadcast, project and record a network-style production that can be archived for on-demand viewing. A single operator or small team can produce and stream a live show while switching between as many as six cameras with two DDRs, multi-channel effects and NewTek’s proprietary LiveSet™ virtual sets. In addition to being used by High Impact Television and Infiniti, TriCaster is used by broadcasters, schools, sports organizations and government agencies and others to provide a new level of extended programming and content to their audiences.

TriCasters at Digital Arts

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Country Music Hall of Fame Chooses NewTek TriCaster

The TriCaster™ portable live production and virtual set system will be used by the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum to record and archive many of its programs for on demand viewing at www.countrymusichalloffame.com.

“Our mission is to identify and preserve the evolving history and traditions of country music, and to educate our audiences, and we strive to be a ‘museum without walls’,” said Kyle Young, museum director. "TriCaster will help us further those efforts, allowing us to deliver our programming on-demand to a worldwide audience.”

“Cultural institutions like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum are always looking for new ways to curate historical information,” said Philip Nelson, senior vice president, strategic development, NewTek Inc. “These archived performances and interviews can deliver the spontaneity and excitement of music in its purest form, underscoring their importance to society.”

The upcoming Poets and Prophets: Legendary Country Songwriters is the first program that will be recorded, archived and available for on demand viewing. It will feature hit songwriter Matraca Berg, a live performance from Berg and an in-depth interview with the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame honoree.

With TriCaster, anyone can simultaneously produce, live stream, broadcast, project and record a network-style production that can be archived for on-demand viewing. A single operator or small team can produce and stream a live show while switching between as many as six cameras with two DDRs, multi-channel effects and NewTek's proprietary LiveSet™ virtual sets. In addition to being used by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, TriCaster is used by music instrument manufacturers, broadcasters, schools, sports organizations and government agencies and others to


TriCasters at Digital Arts

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

3D Arsenal Sports Content Pack Actually Ships!

Today NewTek announced the release of the 3D Content Pack Volume 1: Sports, a collection of network-style, ready-to-use, customizable animated 3D scenes designed for use with LightWave 3D® and 3D Arsenal™. The NewTek 3D Content Pack, Volume 1: Sports offers nearly 100 dynamic and animated scenes designed for football, baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey productions.

Each sequence contains:

  • Program opening and bumper animations for each sport
  • Logo treatments for team and player identification with areas to customize with logos and player pictures
  • Program title or team logo animations for segment introductions
  • Fast-paced bumper and transition animations that include placement for an image or video
“3D Content Pack eliminates a majority of the work and time that it takes to create custom network-style motion graphics” said Rex Olson, vice president, content development, NewTek. “Containing almost 100 fully animated 3D scenes, this is a great addition for any 3D Arsenal or LightWave 3D user to effortlessly create high quality 3D sports motion graphics for live TriCaster productions."

List price of $295 and available from Digital Arts of course - call us for price. I'll post some samples as soon as I get them.



Update:


3D Content Pack Volume 1 at Digital Arts

Saturday, May 30, 2009

USA Wrestling to Use TriCaster

USA Wrestling will use NewTek's TriCaster to stream the 2009 USA Wrestling World Team Trials on May 30 and 31 at www.livesportsvideo.com.

From the San Antonio Business Journal

“We are excited to deliver the 2009 World Team Trials to a worldwide audience,” says Rich Bender, executive director of USA Wrestling. “Whether you are a faithful wrestling fan, or a relative or friend of one of the participants, you won’t miss a moment of the live action, thanks to NewTek TriCaster.”

The complete domination of streaming sports be the TriCaster continues.


TriCasters at Digital Arts

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

TriCaster XD300 Reviews

Streaming Media reviews the XD300. Their review is based on the online demo. H/T Jef Kethly

..."from the online demo, it looks like, if not a game-changer, than certainly the system that will keep NewTek in the game for a long time to come."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TriCaster XD300 Live Demo Event

NewTek is hosting a live streaming demo of the upcoming high definition TriCaster XD300 on May 7th. You can sign up to reserve a spot at http://www.newtek.com/demo/. It will blow your mind!



Need a switcher now? check out the Upgrade Guarantee.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NAB Picures

Random Pictures
 
  
 

Monday, April 20, 2009

NAB Coolness From NewTek

NAB day one. The whole show seems a little lower key then it has in the past, it's definitely not as crowded. This makes it a little easier to get around and check stuff out. NewTek's booth though was busy all day which was a good sign.

NewTek is featuring three products at this years show: The Tricaster Broadcast, The 3Play and the TriCaster XD300. The XD300 isn't scheduled to ship until fourth quarter so they were calling it a product preview. I'll get to some details in a bit.

Nothing new with the TriCaster Broadcast other than the v 2.5 update that shipped a few weeks ago. NewTek is running the Spring Stream special which gets you with any TriCaster Pro, Studio or Broadcast purchase The Live Set pack, 3D Arsenal and SpeedEDIT plus 1 month of Watershed, Ustream's new corporate streaming service. All this is a $2264 value. The promotion runs through May 27.

3Plays are officially shipping. The 3Play is, in case you didn't know a three input HD/SD instant replay box with a pretty slick workflow. The list price is $21.995 which is a heck of deal as it's easily one third the price of any other three channel HD replay unit. My favorite bit is the interpolated slow motion. No matter how slow you go the video has a nice smooth motion. You'd expect at this price point to see a slide show when you set the speed too slow but not with the 3Play. NewTek's 3Play tag line is "Get In The Game". Now professional level instant replay and slow motion are available at a real world price point.

The TriCaster XD300 is the long awaited HD switcher. It is similar to the current TriCaster Pro in that it has three input channels, CG overlays, live streaming and virtual sets. But every facet has been improved, some on a massive scale. So the XD300 is a lot more than a TriCaster HD

The highlights:
Two independent, sizable, positionable down stream keys. And you can bring these on and off with fancy transitions. Oh and you can use any source with these keys, your no longer limited to titles and pre-recorded clips. I think those un-used joysticks on the LC-11 controller will come in handy here.

Positionable sources in virtual sets. If your camera shot isn't quite positioned or zoomed correctly you can reposition or resize that source right in the LiveSet panel.

Live zooms in LiveSets. Want a tighter shot, no problem just zoom in, you can even do this while the shot is live.

Up stream keys on all inputs. In addition to the down stream keys you can assign an individual key to each input.

Virtual inputs. NewTek has come up with an ingenious way to manage all these virtual sets, upstream keys etc. The switcher has the normal complement of inputs: 3 camera, DDR, Still store, iVGA etc. but it also has five virtual inputs that can be any combination of virtual set with two live sources and an upstream key. This makes it very easy to set up. So with the two down stream keys we're talking five HD sources on screen at once.

Mix HD, SD, 4:3, 16:9 inputs. Output SD, HD and a stream at the same time. Everything is uprezzed or down converted as necessary on the fly. You can also color correct all sources and the SD, HD and stream outputs individually.

The user interface has been carefully thought out so it looks like it's a breeze to use. The XD300 has a full complement of ins and outs including composite, Y/C, component and SDI. It's just a complete category killer, NewTek has redefined what is possible with a portable unit like this. Oh and before I forget it's only $14,995!

This thing is going to be a lot of fun demoing because it's just going to cause jaws to drop, I can't wait to get my hands on one.

I'll get some pictures up ASAP.

Online Demo

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Left for Dead in Houston - Continental Airlines

After a 30 hour trip we finally made it to Las Vegas. Continental had a major meltdown and stranded us in Houston, then proceeded to treat us like crap. But we managed to book a flight on Southwest on our own and take the $75 cab ride to a different airport and made it to Vegas just in time for the dealer meeting.

Never fly Continental!

Now off to the meeting.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sports Ammo Pack at long last released - NOT

UPDATE: OK, I got snookered by a year old press release and a little chatter in the forums. Sorry.

April 14, 2008,

NewTek, Inc. today introduced Sports Ammo Pack for 3D Arsenal™ and LightWave®, 3D content that enhances sporting event productions. The pack includes 75 individually animated scenes with many other features such as a selection utility to quickly customize color and texture mapping and custom color presets for commonly-used team colors.

The graphic animations include:

  • 15-second openings and five-second bumper animation sequences for each sport,  featuring a logo revealed in a sports arena or stadium setting
  • Logo animations for team and player identification, including three logo “shield” designs with multiple animations for each (one team, two team, single player, multiple player, etc.)
  • “Hall of Fame” animation featuring a parade of banners with areas for mapped images or video of players and a team’s logo.
  • Fast-paced five-second bumpers and two second transition animations featuring the subject of play: football, baseball, basketball, soccer and more.
“Sports Ammo Pack gives producers the opportunity to quickly and easily add impact to their sports production,” said Rex Olson, NewTek’s VP, Content Development. “With key elements including openings, bumpers and logo animations, the producer can spend more time on following the action of the day’s contest and less time on the details.”

Friday, April 10, 2009

New LiveSets for TriCaster and VT[5]

metaSETZ ( http://www.metasetz.com ) has just released their first package of LiveSet content for use with the NewTek TriCaster and VT[5]. DoubleSHOTZ consists of over 150 double box and picture in picture 'sets'. These let you place motion graphics behind your double boxes.

DoubleSHOTZ works with any TriCaster with LiveSets and the VT[5] and is priced at $295. Digital Arts has it it stock!

You can download a free sample set from the website: LiveSet Sample.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stream Or Die

NewTek's Spring Promotion has begun: buy a TriCaster Pro or better and get nearly $2300 of software and services free!

Join the leaders, start live streaming today with TriCaster.
Your TriCaster BROADCAST™,TriCaster STUDIO™ or TriCaster PRO™ purchased now through May 27, 2009 comes with $2,264 in additional value:
  • You’ll receive one month free of Watershed™ the powerful corporate live streaming solution from Ustream™, an $879 value.
  • In addition, your purchase comes with $1385 in NewTek software:
LiveSet™ Pack – Network Style Virtual Sets
3D Arsenal™ – 3D Graphics for Video Editors
SpeedEDIT™ – Blazing Fast Video Editing
Turn your live production assets into new advertising and sponsorship revenues all while connecting with a bigger global community.

TriCaster at Digital Arts

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NewTek Announces TriCaster 2.5 Upgrade

NewTek today announced the release of TriCaster™ Upgrade 2.5, a software update to its TriCaster BROADCAST™, TriCaster STUDIO™ TriCaster PRO™ and TriCaster portable live production systems. This upgrade adds the ability to record all video in the broadcast industry MPEG-2 Studio Profile, capturing with full 4:2:2 color sampling, which is important when recording chroma key footage. In addition, enhancements to the real-time MPEG2 encoding technology yield significant improvements in quality with a lower compression rate for broadcast quality video recording. 
This upgrade keeps TriCaster on the cutting edge of live streaming technologies and improves the user experience for both live and on-demand content with support for Adobe® Flash® Media Live Encoder 3. It also offers a greatly enhanced user experience with H.264 streaming format, simultaneous streams at multiple bit rates and improved streaming quality at reduced bit-rates. 
“This upgrade to the TriCaster family of products further solidifies NewTek's leadership position in the video production marketplace,” said Michael Kornet, chief marketing officer, NewTek Inc. “Now it is even easier to reach worldwide audiences with well-produced live content at an unrivaled price point.” 
NewTek TriCaster Upgrade 2.5 also offers a customized Flash® streaming profile for easier Ustream connectivity. 
“Ustream.tv shares NewTek’s belief that anyone with the desire to get content out to a wide audience should be able to pursue it without the traditional roadblocks of production costs and advanced technical experience,” said Brad Hunstable, founder and president, Ustream.tv. “We are confident that producers will see the many benefits of choosing Ustream.tv and NewTek for their streaming projects.” 
TriCaster Upgrade 2.5 is available at http://register.newtek.com as a free download for TriCaster 2.0 users. This update, including all other 2.0 features, is available to TriCaster 1.0 users at http://shop.newtek.com, starting at US$495.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

NewTek at NAB 2009

If you need a pass to the show go to the NAB website and use NewTek's passcode: EM15

NewTek will be in booth SL5014

Friday, February 27, 2009

Live Text 1.2 Released

NewTek has released LiveText 1.2


Supported Screen Resolutions
New minimum screen resolution of 1280 x 800 supports smaller screens

New Keyboard Shortcuts
F9 ………..…….. Send the selected page to Live Output
F10 ………..…….. Play current live motion page (toggles play and pause)
F11 ………..…….. Pause current live motion page
F12 ………..…….. Stop current live motion page

Stability and Performance
Improved group-object alignment
Fixed drawn shapes sometimes being cropped at the top
Corrected infrequent issue saving projects (Windows XP only)

LiveText owners can download it from http://register.newtek.com

Easy To Use?

How easy to use is the TriCaster? Easy enough for fourth graders.

The staff at WES-TV, with the help of students in grades kindergarten through three, are producing their own daily reports.

"I get to sit back and watch the morning announcements," said Mark Anderson, Westby Elementary School principal. "It's great!"

Friday, February 13, 2009

NewTek 3Play Event Today

Don't miss the Launch Event today on USTREAM at 3pm Eastern

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/3play

The NewTek 3Play

  • Portable live video replay and slow motion system
  • Supports HD and SD resolutions in NTSC and PAL
  • Records three inputs with option to display one or all three inputs simultaneously
  • Connects to any switcher
  • Breakthrough technology removes price/performance barrier
We have detail on the 3Play here: http://www.digarts.com/3play 

Update: The event came off smoothly!
NewTek is going to archive it here:http://www.newtek.com/3play

Read My Hands On Review of the 3Play

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NewTek Announces the 3Play

Hot on the heels of the Lightwave Core announcement comes the news of NewTek's first High Def product the 3Play. The 3Play is a three channel HD/SD instant replay box with a list price of only $21,995. It allows the user to record three incoming streams of video. The magic is that the three streams are synchronized at all times. This means you can record the three streams, while doing a non-destructive, live, cuts only edit. But then you can go back later and re-edit the footage. This makes the 3Play an amazingly powerful HD field recorder.

I will have more details later and Digital Arts will have a demo unit soon. NewTek is doing a live stream to officially unveil the 3Play on February 13. You can sign up here.


Update: Read my Hands On Review

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lightwave Core Technical Details

NewTek has released a little more info:

LightWave CORE™ is a completely new architecture for LightWave. Over two years in design, LightWave CORE™ is the next generation, leading edge multi-processing, unified application engine created by the NewTek LightWave development group.

LightWave CORE™ is a lightweight component system, which is used to build higher level functionality, such as nodes and node graphs for various subsystems, which together build a modern scene-graph-based 3D application. Using a Meta Data layer allows for the integrated help and search system to quickly find the tools/nodes needed for the task at hand, as well as fast development and deployment of self describing components.

LightWave CORE™ is based on the scene graph data structure. Proven over the last several years, this data structure has become industry-standard. It is fast, reliable, and offers tremendous functionality. The scene graph is a node-based structure, although the data contained within the nodes can be represented to users in many different forms:

* As a node graph
* As a list
* As a tree
* Etc.

Note that some of these representations may not be capable of showing all of the possible connections that may exist; for this reason, applications which we build on the LightWave CORE™ will have the ability to present, manipulate and otherwise assist users in any number of these manners and others, without limitation.

The true power of the scene graph is the manner in which each node can communicate with any other node. As everything is represented via nodes, and inter-node communications are effectively unlimited, nodes can actually be used to drive other nodes via dependencies and inheritance. The typical use case example would be the “driver/driven” concept, whereas an attribute of one node is dependent upon the attribute of another. Simply put, using the color channel of one node to drive a lattice deformation node, which is manipulating still another node.

With regard to nodes themselves, each can have an unlimited amount of attributes applied to it, via modifiers and other devices. Each component is rather simple and straightforward, but these node building blocks can be put together to form complex systems. Limited only by the user, these systems can be easy to trace back and debug, due to the simplicity of the basic design. For example, technical directors can easily build up sophisticated character rigs with this system, either directly or via any selection of LightWave CORE™ supported languages via SWIG (Python being the system default). Yet, animators will see only what the TD wants them to see, which allows animators to focus on the performance and aesthetics of the scene.

The scene graph allows for instancing and referencing of data. As nodes are modified, the dependent section of the node tree is re-evaluated, and the changes are propagated through the structure. This evaluation is very fast, facilitating creativity by “getting out of the way” of the creative process.

So, first and foremost, LightWave CORE™ is an application framework.

LightWave CORE™ is built on objected-oriented structures implemented in C++. The SDK is also C++. This SDK is the same for internal development as it is for external development. This means that anyone can have full LightWave CORE™ access via the SDK. The architecture enforces full access to C++ SDK and scripting languages, featuring Python as the primary language, while remaining open to interface with a wide range of others. Industry-standard, Industry-proven.

As the SDK for LightWave CORE™ is the same for all, everyone using the SDK has the same access, and the same capability, as NewTek engineers do. So, what exactly does this mean?
Power

Third parties can put together plug-ins and external applications that can effectively do anything that they can imagine doing in a 3D content creation application. Developers can choose to use the tools that ship with the application, or build their own. Once they do, what they create is then available for use by other modules, leveraging the previous work. This concept should yield powerful systems that can quickly be put together by scripters or program coders.

LightWave CORE™ provides a ground-up redesigned geometry engine, using data structures optimized to ensure the highest performance on modern, multi-core CPUs, while keeping memory consumption at the lowest possible levels.
Flexibility

Any component created via the LightWave CORE™ SDK can install and become a part of the application. This can appear to be a transparent process, meaning that the component itself would operate as if it were a “factory default” if the SDK rules are followed. Don’t like a particular workflow? Replace it with one of your own. Want to extend the capabilities of products built on the LightWave CORE™ ? Go ahead; just use the SDK to do so. There are no limits to the flexibility offered by this approach.

The design philosophy from the get-go was to use industry-standard approaches wherever a proven approach existed. C++ was chosen for this reason and the SDK as well; had we gone with C instead, we would have limited access, and caused unnecessary complexity.

For user interface, the popular Qt toolkit from TrollTech/Nokia was chosen. This toolkit is powerful, flexible, and there is a large talent pool of users with experience within the toolkit. This gives NewTek access to a talent pool with previously-existing experience. Less training upfront enables potential hires to become more productive more quickly. Also, with thousands of users, this toolkit is more robust than anything that we could have developed in-house at NewTek. In addition, it is available now for development; had NewTek developed its own toolkit, as had previously been done for earlier versions of LightWave, LightWave CORE™ development would have had to wait for implementation of the UI toolkit system. This is but one example of the benefits of leveraging industry standards.

LightWave users will see the benefits of the Qt immediately: snapping palettes, flexible UI design, skins and so on are possible within this system, and NewTek has already leveraged these features to varying degrees. The wide-ranging adoption of Qt in large commercial vendors is occurring, and this trend further reinforces our choice.
Full LightWave CORE™ access for Python, via SWIG

In addition to full access via C++ and the SDK, internally-implemented languages have the same full access. Discussions for which language to support were lively during the design phase of LightWave CORE™ : several floated to the top, but Python held the most weight, especially when weighed against our industry-standard directive. That said, there are several legitimate languages which could have been included in addition. This posed quite a quandary, until the development group determined that we could implement internal languages via SWIG bindings. At the time of this writing, there are approximately 25 popular languages that have SWIG bindings, and can thus be implemented within the LightWave CORE™ SDK. Implementation does require engineering, but because of the SDK, this can easily be done by third parties. For example, Lua is popular in the game development community; via the LightWave CORE™ SDK, a game company could implement Lua into the LightWave CORE™ via SWIG. Once implemented, Lua would have the same complete access as Python, or any other implemented language.
Embedded Command-line and text editor

Given the support for SWIG languages, it makes sense to have components that allow users to leverage these languages within the environment. A built-in, context sensitive text editor and command line are available. The command line supports auto–complete, making inputting commands or writing scripts even easier.
Industry-standard file formats

The original LightWave object format, LWO, has gone through several revisions throughout its history. It is a popular format, and many assets exist in this format. Therefore, LWO is a fully-supported format within LightWave CORE™ , but it is not the default format (unless the user decides otherwise.) COLLADA is the basis format of LightWave CORE™ , with extensions added by the NewTek engineering team. In addition, FBX and other popular formats will enjoy broader support than in previous versions of LightWave, due in part to the flexibility of CORE™ vs. the classic architecture. In classic LightWave, evaluation orders are effectively fixed; this makes importing COLLADA and FBX files from other applications difficult at times, especially if rotation orders have been rearranged. The same would hold true for deformation evaluation order.

LightWave CORE™ has complete flexibility in evaluation order of any system. This will better facilitate data interchange with other applications in the pipeline. Rotation order, deformation order, etc., are completely under user control, offering the most versatility for problem solving.
Unification

Since the very beginning, LightWave has always been a two-headed application; one application for modeling, and a separate application for animation, shading, lighting and rendering. This is no longer the case, as LightWave CORE™ offers a unified environment. CORE™ does not distinguish between modeling, rendering, lighting and so on. Instead, LightWave CORE™ allows anything to be animated in any number of ways; keyframed animation, of course; procedural animation via scripts, expressions and so on; dynamically, in the form of a unified simulation environment. In short, anything can be driven by anything else: a water simulation could drive cloth or hair, for example, or anything else for that matter. Everything has access to everything else.

The capabilities of the LightWave CORE™ can be presented to users in a variety of different methods: in a survey of the user-base, it was clear that the split for a separate modeler vs. integrated modeler was 50/50. In the end, there was really no need to force a choice, as the environment will present these functions as desired by the user. Want to use LightWave CORE™ as just a modeler? Fine. Want to integrate modeling functions with animation? That’s fine, too. Users can decide how they would like there experience by a simple user preference setting – a dynamic setting that can be changed at any time.
Workflows and User Interfaces

LightWave CORE™ makes it possible to explore many different workflows, with the ultimate goal being to make workflows as simple and clear as they can possibly be. NewTek is currently hip-deep in that exploration. That said, whatever NewTek chooses to ship in terms of interface will be customizable by the user base, again using industry-standard tools. General access to most of the UI components is available via CSS, including fonts, placement of controls and widgets, down to pixel-level accuracy. The Desktop management system allows users to store their preferred layout in a per context fashion: settings for modeling, surface, rigging, animating, rendering and so on, can all bet set and stored separately.
Extensibility

Traditionally, LightWave has always benefited from a healthy array of products offered by third parties. These plug–ins have often proven to be ground-breaking; however, the vendor companies have often complained of restricted access. LightWave CORE™ offers a system wherein all plug-ins within the system are essentially components that are registered and managed by the LightWave CORE™ . We have endeavored to make it as easy as possible to either add to the system, or simply replace a previously registered component. By default, the plug-ins are multi-platform (mach-o bundle), enabling vendors to ship a single file to support Windows, Linux and Mac, in both 32 and 64 bit versions.
Technology

LightWave CORE™ is completely multi-threaded, spawning as many threads as it needs. Completely multi-processor-aware, LightWave CORE™ is truly a next-generation development environment for innovative 3D applications. The system is both 32-bit and 64-bit compliant, and is capable of leveraging GPU power where applicable.
Still Familiar…

LightWave CORE™ is completely new. However, LightWave CORE™ was designed to honor its roots. LightWave CORE™ workflows are inspired by the best workflows in LightWave. In terms of tools, if you know how to use LightWave, then LightWave CORE™ will be very familiar to you, even if the screen appearance is graphically different. The tools you like still work the same way, and while some tool locations might be better organized, you can always create a preference to match the way you work.

NewTek's Servers Die?

Looks like NewTek's servers went down and maybe even their UStream link. Stay tuned!

Update: They ran the presentation a couple of hours late because of a UStream snafu. Lightwave Core looks like it was everything we hoped. I will post details as I get them.

Take a look at the post just before this one for a little info on the HardCore subscription and upgrade pricing. If you aren't a Lightwave 9.x user and need an upgrade to be eligible give us a call at 1-800-692-6442. That also goes for anyone wanting to take advantage of the competitive upgrade also.

NewTek Lightwave Core

More Details to follow so watch this space!

LightWave CORE is the next generation of LightWave software, which, when released later this year, will retail for $1,495. The upgrade to LightWave CORE for registered v9.x users will be $695 upon release.


HardCORE F.A.Q.

What is the HardCORE membership?

HardCORE is a new membership only organization available for 9.x users which will give them the benefits listed below.

* exclusive access to ongoing software builds
* special pricing
* copy of annual Q4 product release
* a private forum for discussions among themselves and the LightWave development team
* exclusive information updates
* training videos
* VIP invitations to special events
* personalized membership card
* their own custom t-shirt

How much is the HardCORE membership?

* Registered LightWave 9.x users may purchase the membership for US$495. There is an introductory charter price for registered v9.x customers available for US$395 until March 31, 2009.
* Registered LightWave 8.x users (or earlier versions) may upgrade to v9.x for US$495 which will automatically enroll them into the program for one year.
* Non LightWave owners may purchase a full unit for US$895 which will automatically enroll them into the program for one year.
* Non LightWave owners, who own a competitive product, may purchase a full unit for US$595 until March 31, 2009 which will automatically enroll them into the program for one year. Note: The competitive upgrade will no longer be available for purchase after this date.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lightwave Core Update

No real news but the reveal will be on UStream: HERE. Wednesday, February 4 at 1300 PST
The New Logo:

The main thread on NewTek's forum now has over 5300 posts and 228,000 views.Amazing.

LiveText Sports Scoreboard Skins

On the heals of the release of LiveText 1.2 Sports Scoreboard Skins for LiveText are now available

For those of you with TriCasters, I'm pleased to announce the release of my LT[Scoreboards] plug-in for LiveText v1.2. Many of you have asked me for the last few years to port my VT plug-in over to the TriCaster. Thanks to the guys at NewTek, I've been able to make that happen!

LT[Scoreboards] provides eight new powerful skins for the NewTek LiveText character generator application that simplify the operation of scoreboard graphics for baseball, basketball, football, handball, hockey, soccer, tennis and volleyball. LT[Scoreboards] allows for easy integration of real-time scoreboards to your productions.

It has all the features of the VT version plus quite a few new enhancements that LiveText has made possible. For more information, check out the website at http://www.krisgurrad.com/LT_scoreboards.html.  -Kris Gurrad

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lightwave Core

NewTek has been running a viral marketing campaign for the last week or so to promote a mysterious new product called Lightwave Core. This looks like the long awaited Lightwave 10 but from the hype may be much more than just a run of the mill update.

The big announcement will be made on Wednesday Feb. 4 at 1:00 PM PST at http://www.newtek.com/core

Open Letter from Jay Roth, President 3D Division:

Hello Everyone,
Thank you all for being a part of LightWave CORE. We hope that you are enjoying it. As you know, we have been giving some clues as to what this is all about, it is very exciting. I wish that I could tell you more right now, but I can't, not just yet. No, for that you will have to wait until February 4th. I want you to keep your eyes open for a very important email (so please make sure you have signed up below) that will contain the specific whereabouts of the reveal on Monday. Until then...
Jay Roth
The main thread on the subject at the NewTek forums has around 4000 posts at this time so the excitement is building. NewTek marketing may just have it's mojo back. We'll have to see how it goes with the next big announcement that's coming up in mid Feb.

Other coverage:
Sense For The Elements
MacWorld
Digital Arts Online (no relation!)
3D Today
Digital Media Online

Friday, January 23, 2009

TriCaster Duo Hands On Review

We got our first TriCaster Duo and I've had a chance to spend a little time with it now. This is NewTek's newest offering in their line of all-in-one production units It's very similar to the base model TriCaster 100 but designed with the K-12 educational market in mind. It is also available to commercial buyers. The educational list price is $2995 and the commercial list is $3995. You can call us at Digital Arts 1-800-692-6442 for an actual price quote.

The Duo is housed in a simple silver box with all of the A/V connections on the front. It's a little smaller and lighter than the original TriCaster. The back has the computer monitor, mouse and keyboard connectors along with four USB2 ports so it's easy to connect external drives or memory sticks.

The TriCaster Duo is a three input video switcher with RCA jacks for composite video and the conventional 4-pin mini-din jacks for s-video input. For audio input it sports a pair of RCAs for line level audio and two 1/8" mini jacks (like those used on computer sound cards) for microphones. There are no input trims on the mic inputs so you shouldn't use them with line level sources.

For outputs you get both an RCA composite and a mini-din s-video outs that are both usable simultaneously along with a pair of RCAs and a 1/8" headphone jack for audio. As with the other TriCasters the Duo can be set up to use the headphone output as a second audio bus by using the solo buttons to route selected sources directly to it.

The interface is almost identical to the TriCaster 100 with one major exception. NewTek's video editor is not included. This allowed them to use a less powerful and therefore less expensive processor in order to get the retail price so low.

The TriCaster Duo ships with around 250 different DVEs including a large number of wipes, fades curls and trajectories. So you have enough different transitions for just about any situation these load into a single bank of ten on the interface so you can have your favorites at you fingertips. You also get a large selection of title templates. Professionally designed, you can use these as a base for overlays and other graphic screens.

If you prefer to create your graphics from scratch NewTek also includes a full blown CG just like the other TriCasters and the VT[5]. With the CG you can create title templates from scratch and import graphics done in another program like Photoshop.

Graphics and text are keyed over your video from the Overlay control panel you can use Title Templates, the picture viewer or NewTek's external CG editor Live Text as a source.

The Duo can either record your production to the hard drive as a high quality MPEG file or stream it live using the Windows Media Codec but not both at once. You'll need to step up to the TriCaster Pro to do both at once. My unit had about 200GB free on the hard drive which should be good for more than 16 hours of video.

A few noteworthy negatives: The Duo ships with XP Home rather than Pro, this will only be an issue for corporate buyers who try to connect to a network that has domain controllers. XP Home can't connect to a domain.

The unit has a place to mount a 120mm fan in the back but NewTek doesn't include one. I've always felt the more cooling the better but this would be pretty easy to have your dealer install and probably isn't necessary unless you are going to be operating in extreme conditions.

There is no firewire port so if you want to capture video for use in the DDR you must use either the composite or s-video connectors. Again not really a big deal but it would be a nice feature to have.

The bottom line is the TriCaster Duo is a good value for the money and has all the features you need for basic video production and webcasting. You should carefully evaluate your needs to be sure you get the right TriCaster for your particular situation but if your on a tight budget, don't need Virtual Sets or an editor the Duo might be just the thing.

Update: I forgot to mention that the academic version also includes a curriculum handbook and a 40 minute video tutorial. I'll post some more info on the curriculum in a few days after I've had a chance to look it over more closely.


See the TriCaster Duo at Digital Arts

All New Digital Arts Web Site

The new site is live. If you have any problems or even any suggestions let me know.


TriCasterOnline.com will be going away 'cause we absorbed the ecommerce into the main site.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cryptic Message from NewTek

http://www.newtek.com/core/

Lightwave 10?

Update: Viral Marketing.
On the link above it says (in Galactic standard I'm told) "Cross The Threshold"

I was trying to keep this updated but it's hopeless. The discussion thread over in the NewTek forums has a couple thousand posts now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

NewTek Winter Bundle-Up Promotion

TriCaster Studio with Free Sports Graphics Pack and LiveSet Pack ($590 Value)
TriCaster Broadcast with Free Sports Graphics Pack, LiveSet Pack and SpeedEDIT ($1185 Value)


The fine print:
  • Offer is good on new TriCaster STUDIO and TriCaster BROADCAST systems purchased between January 16th and February 28th 2009.  
  • Systems must be purchased from a NewTek Elite Partner or Authorized Reseller to be eligible.  
  • Promotion is not retroactive, and cannot be combined with any other offer.  
  •  Applies to Commercial sales only
  •  
    Call Us at 1-800-692-6442
·   

Lightwave 9.6 Is Released

LightWave v9.6’s new capabilities include improvements to animation, rendering and workflow, with FiberFX cloning, Layout snapping and automatic drag-and-drop file loading. More than 625 feature requests and reported issues have been implemented and resolved between 9.5 and 9.6. LightWave v9.6 is the fifth free update in the LightWave v9 series.
"This LightWave update again illustrates NewTek’s ability to quickly provide artists with the latest innovations to stay at the top of their games and do their best work,” said Jay Roth, president 3D division, NewTek. "Now more than ever, LightWave’s many benefits, including the ability to be used in tandem with other applications, make it a necessary part of the pipeline for those doing 3D projects of any kind.”
Numerous visual effects projects benefit from LightWave's world-class capabilities, including the 2008 Visual Effects Emmy-winning "Battlestar Galactica" and National Geographic documentary “Inside the Living Body.” 
LightWave v9.6 numerous benefits to artists include:
·       FiberFX Cloning Provides the ability to place multiple instances of hair on an object
·       Layout Snapping Allows the quick connection of one item to another, saving time and additional steps
·       Drag and Drop – Allows an icon of an object or scene to be opened by dropping the icon into Modeler or Layout  
·       New and Improved Export Buffers– Enables multi-pass pipeline users to output more buffers (layers) in high dynamic range, rather than be limited to 8 bpc (bits per channel), for greater flexibility
·       Multi-threaded Pixel Filters – Provides faster rendering of projects that integrate pixel filters
·       Depth Buffer Normalizing – Allows 3D scene elements exported into film or video footage to automatically blend properly, even if moving relative to one another
·       Ray Cutoff Enables artists to decide at what point to cease ray bounces when rendering a scene with numerous reflections, refractions and transparency, significantly shortening render time 
·       Open to other render engines – Other rendering engines conforming to the LightWave v9.6 SDK can be used directly from within the LightWave interface 
·       Three New Nodes  
o         Car Paint: Greatly eases the creation of complex polished surfaces
o         Flake: A simple procedural texture based upon the flakes often seen in car paint
o         Curve: Allows the creation of complex gradients  
Pricing and Availability
A free trial edition of LightWave v9.6 is available by download from www.lightwave3d.com/lwtrial. There are now more than 30 hours of free LightWave video training at www.lightwave3d.com, in addition to an extensive library of printable tutorials.