December 1992 MAGazine Volume 8 Number 12

Table Of Contents

The Presidents CLI...

This is the month we decide who to vote on in January. This is your chance to show how patriotic you are. Most of the officers are stepping down. I am graduating from MSU and I'm going to Wisconsin for a while then I'm going to the Chicago area. My dad is still going to be around, so I will be able to stay in contact. But enough of that. This month we are going to look at the Miracle keyboard and its teaching software. If you are interested in making music this is something that might help. I'd like to announce that are librarian Ken Winfield has made it into the Fred Fish collection. He sent Fred some of his programs that he had showed some of and now the world can see what Memphis is doing in the area of programing. I heard that the Quantum Leap show used an Amiga to morph a woman's face in one of last months shows. We are also going to look at what stuff the club has and does behind the scenes. This should make it clear what the officers do so that we can nominate new officers. See you at the meeting.

MEANINGLESS RAMBLINGS

I really hope that you recieve this before the meeting cause we are having a few minor problems getting this out. I guess that I could try to hide behind alot of excusses like family problems and Thanksgiving holiday, but the main reason is probably just procrastination. Oh well, I hope you get this in time.

Remember that this is the month that we nominate new officers, so be thinking about who would make a good officer. I have seen and used the miracle keyboard and must admit that it is a very good teaching tool, so if you are intrested in music and the Amiga you will want to make an effort to attend this meeting.

Well I guess that about wraps things up for me this month. As always if you have something to contribute, please do so. I can be reached at 388-0108 or at Videospeak. Until next month RAVE ON and save the planet, PEACE! ;-)

GET READY FOR Commodores NEW 32bit 500 Replacement
THE AMIGA 1200

MAG .info

Officers

President
Brian Akey (901) 278-6354
Vice President
Donnie Webb (901) 363-8025
Secretary
Raymond Ginn (901) 353-4505
Treasurer
Micheal Cervetti (901) 386-2584
Librarian
Ken Winfield (901) 382-3339
MAG Editor
Trevor Thrasher (901) 388-0108
Printing
Terry Campbell (601) 393-4864

Dues Notice

Dues must be paid at or before the General Meeting of your expire date. If paid on or before this time, the renewal rate is $20 for the entire year. If you wait past the general meeting you will be dropped and must renew at the new member rate of $25 for the year. Please pay at the General meeting or send dues to:

MAG dues c/o Michael Cervetti
8300 Rembrook
Cordova, TN 38018

Meetings

The Memphis Amiga Users Group holds general meetings the second Saturday of each month in the Farris Auditorium on the campus of State Technical Institute at Memphis For more information call Brian Akey at (901)377-1093.

Rentals

A variety of Amiga specific videotapes are available from the Club's library for $3.00 a week. For more information contact Ken Winfield at (901)382-3339.

Disk Sales

Mag library and Fred Fish disks are $2.00 each. High Quality Blank disks with labels are 65 cents each. These items can be purchased at each general meeting.

Classifieds

(free for Members)

Complete Amiga 500 with external floppy. This includes an A520 and a one meg Agnus. $275.00 388-0108, ask for Trevor or leave a message.

Commodore 128 with drive and lots of extras $150.00 388-0108 ask for Trevor or leave a message.

Akai 612 sampler with disk drive. $275.00 853-4401, ask for David.

You can place your ad here Free! Contact: Trevor Thrasher

Note...

Please help me keep the Magazine accurate by contacting the editor on any incorrect information contained in this printing. If you would like to place an ad in the Magazine please contact the editor Trevor Trasher (901) 388-0108

AMIGA 1200 REVIEW

by Mark Stuart on Usenet

The following is a copy of information I received from Commodore NZ regarding the Amiga 1200. I am a Commodore dealer, I have never signed an NDA and they don't seem to mind me talking about it. I have a few customers who use the net and they can verify that this ain't bull. Read on...

Introduction

The A1200 is the most significant product Commodore has released since we introduced the Amiga 500. The A1200 is seen as the A500 of the 90's. We should view the A600 as the entry home computer and the A1200 as a power machine for all home hobbyists.

Positioning

The A1200 is much more powerful than the A500 or A600. It is the first keyboard integrated machine with the AA chip set and a 32 bit processor.

This will permit 256 colours from a palette of 16.8 million compared to the A500 and A600's 32 colours from a palette of 4096. This new chip set also supports an enhanced HAM mode allowing near photo realistic image in all resolutions with up to 256,000 colours. The new A1200 chip set will support VGA productivity screen (640 x 480 256 colours) at refresh rates up to 72khz interlaced. Sprite sizes have been increased from 16bit to 32 and 64 bits wide. Also sprites can be displayed in screen borders and have resolutions independent of play fields. The A1200 will come with 2 megabytes of chip RAM, thus chip RAM expansion is not needed.

The A1200 is a true 32 bit system, with 32 bit RAM, and ROM using the 14Mhz (2x A500/A600) clock speed 32 bit 68E020 processor. This processor not runs at twice the speed of the A500/A600 but also has a 256 byte instruction cache. These capabilities enable the A1200 to achieve performance that is up to 5 times that of the A500/A600.

The A1200 is packaged in the new style case, but will support the addition of a numeric keypad, as in the A500+. This package also supports the addition of an internal 2.5" IDE hard drive, as in the A600.

The A1200 retains the PCMCIA card port for memory and I/O expansion but adds a 32 bit processor bus expansion port accessible via a door on the bottom of the unit. This port is enhanced to 32 bits and 14Mhz operation. Cards/Adapters can have access to the port allowing:

Boards added to the expansion bus can have external cable connector access via a rear panel knock out.

With the new package, AA chip set, better expansion and high speed 32 bit processor, the A1200 is a very exciting and competitive product.

The new A1200's are shipped with Amiga DOS 3.0 a backward compatible extension to the industry standard 2.0 which provides full support for the new chip set enhanced graphics, and is "localised" for over 14 countries and languages.

All this means is that we have without doubt the most power home computer in the world even after our competitors recent launches. With the increase in colour depth and screen resolution combined with Amiga's graphics performance, the A1200 will provide better video performance than PC386 systems.

Technical Secifications for the 1200

CPU

MEMORY AND EXPANSION

SOFTWARE

DISK DRIVES

INTERFACES

CPU EXPANSION SLOT

SOUND

GRAPHIC MODES

VIDEO DISPLAY OUTPUT

Everything You Need...

IMAGINE CLASSES FORMING NOW!

We will be taking reservations for a 4 week, 6 hour course on Mastering Imagine to begin in January.

The Price of the entire course will be $60 dollars per person and supplies will be furnished. The Classes will be held at Videospeak from 7:15 pm to 8:45pm on Wednesday evenings.

If you are inerested in learning more about 3-D rendering, this is your chance. Call today 853-4401 to get your name on our list, as class size will be limited.

The Fred Fish Collection On-Line™

'The definitive BBS source library of freely redistributable software for the AMIGA'

The Fred Fish Collection On-Line CD ROM contains the entire 600+ floppy disks of freely redistributable software compiled by Fred Fish in a compressed format usable by BBS systems running on virtually any hardware platform. The collection is compressed both by disk and by latest version of the programs in the library. As with the Fred Fish Collection on CD ROM disc, ParNet is fully supported. Files are compressed in LHARC format. All directory and filenames conform to the MS-DOS standard. The disc is CDTV compatible. This CD ROM is the most cost effective way of providing support for any BBS systems Amiga users.

The Two Best Reasons to Buy a CDTV or CD ROM Drive for an Amiga

799 Highway 72 East
Collierville Tn 38017
901-853-4401 voice
901-853-4804 Data

VIDEOSPEAK
Authorized Amiga Dealer

CineMorph, or How My Cat Became My Dog

by Sylvia Lutnes

The new buzzword in the Anigma community is Morphing. Unless you've been on Venus the last few months, you've heard of it. Morphing has evolved beyond 'dissolving' one picture into another...the user now has almost total control of the entire process including what parts of the picture morph and what parts don't. With added control comes added complexity...does this mean morphing has become difficult? Not at all if you're using CineMorph from GVP.

CineMorph offers three types of morphing: Single Image (changing a single image into a variation of itself), Dual Image (changing one image into another) and Sequence Morphing (transforming one moving sequence of frames into another). With Sequence Morphing you can also have any number of groups of sequences morphing into other groups. This can be very powerful indeed. Imagine morphing a bouncing ball into a bouncing frog...or Washington into Lincoln into Hardy into Truman.

There are three cheers for CineMorph right out of the box: CineMorph follows Commodore's User Interface Style Guide, it uses Commodore's Install program, it also uses AmigaGuide for Help screens. No surprises for the unwary here. Visually, CineMorph is silky smooth when drawing the images and completed frames.

The program opens with two empty windows on the screen...source and destination. What you load into these two windows depends on the type of morphing you are planning to do. If it's to be a Single Image warp, load the same picture into both windows. The loaded pictures are converted to gray-scale for editing and can be in jpeg format if desired. The program overlays a mesh of lines onto each image, with little squares at all the intersections. You select these points and drag them. It's that easy.

You can, of course, refine this process by adding or deleting rows and columns of points. You can select points by row, column, or by drawing a box around them. You can set the number of frames in the output as well as the morphing method and frame size. You can generate the output into 24-bit frames, or render to any native Amiga mode plus HAM-E and DCTV. I did not find support for AGA, however. You can render separate output frames or render directly into standard Anim-Op5 format, but you'll need a separate anim player to view the animation. You can even ask for a ping pong anim.

If you are doing Sequence Morphing, you can decide which frames will be key frames. Only key frames allow you to move the points...the non-key frames generate their changes by 'tweening. Powerful control is given over the amount of blending between the pictures and the speed of the changes. If you want a frog's tongue to move slowly at first, then quickly towards the end you control this through curve editing which is a visual representation of how fast the morphing occurs over which frames.

I found the output to be excellent. As with any graphics software, what you get out of it is what you put in. Practicing with various types of images and morphs will give you a good feeling for what you can do and how many points you will need for any given area of the picture. I did a cat whose ear pointed and stretched; through the entire sequence, the integrity of the ear remained intact.

If your picture is small, or you have added many new points, the mesh overlay can almost hide the picture you're working on. To get around this, you have the ability to resize the window to give you more elbow room. (In fact you can do anything with the windows you want, including hiding one behind the other). This brings up the one very confusing feature of CineMorph I found rather annoying at first. Aspect ratio. When you resize a window, the aspect ratio changes. This is actually a "good thing," but needs more explanation than the manual gives. Resizing the window, thereby changing the aspect ratio, will not affect the output. It becomes important if you are loading a picture that comes from another platform. You can edit it in the ratio that makes sense to you, but the output will still be correct.

On the other hand, if you DO wish to change the aspect ratio of the output you can scale the output size through a menu option. But it is not easy to figure out what size to put in the requester. The window title bar gives the size of the picture that was loaded in...if you resize the window, this figure does not reflect the new size.

CineMorph's 56 page manual has all the facts, laid out by menu. It has a glossary, index, and list of keyboard commands. There is a walkthru for each of the three types of morphing and a few words for tips. This is bare minimum. There is nothing in here to inspire you with ideas for projects or to give you a taste of the magic that is available to you. The sample projects and file names changed after the manual was printed, so be sure to read the readme.

Though it's a pleasure to hit the HELP key and find AmigaGuide help available (in a window that can be resized and remain open while you work), there is little in there beyond a rehash of what the menu options are. I'm planning to kill the 72k amigaguide library and do without it, since I find it just as easy to have the little manual open next to me.

I did run into a couple of problems while using the program. You can abort a rendering in progress by closing the little progress window. When I did this I thought the program was frozen but it wasn't. All that was necessary was to click on any other window on the screen to activate it, then the menus were again accessible. Also, the manual's instructions for selecting an entire column of points don't work, though selecting an entire row does. And the file requester is as slow as a sloth.

I've enjoyed this program tremendously. There are really some goofy things you can do with morphing. CineMorph is very easy to use and the Interface is a joy but I recommend reading the manual thoroughly to understand and use everything that is available.

Minimum requirements: 1.3 or 2.0, 2 megs fast RAM/512k chip. Recommended: Accelerator, 2.0, HD, mucho fast ram. Tested with: 3000/25 under 2.04 with 3 1/2 megs fast ram and HD. Version: Version 1.0 9/6/92

CineMorph
Great Valley Productions, Inc.
600 Clark Ave.
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Technical Support Line (215) 354-9495
Fax (215) 337-9922
Price $149

A BRILLIANT PREVIEW

by Jim Meyer

One of the benefits of being a technical writer is the fact that you not only get to play with new "goodies," but you also get to participate in their development. Such was the case with DCTV a few years ago. This year, the hot topic is AGA, and the answer - from Digital Creations - is Brilliance.

Brilliance is an AGA-capable program that pushes the envelope on state-of-the-art. It has all the tools that you've become accustomed to, and a few that haven't been seen before. It runs on all Amigas, but its ability to handle AGA graphics will give it special appeal for A4000 and A1200 owners. What follows is a product preview of a program still in development, as seen from the inside.

From the moment you boot Brilliance, you get the idea that there's something different about this program. While most paint programs use a tool strip and a menu strip, Brilliance has no such thing. Instead, there are panels - we call them menus, actually - that stack at the bottom of the screen. If you've used DCTV, you'll be familiar with this approach.

The advantages of this approach are twofold. First, all of the available options for any particular menu level are visible while that menu is displayed. There's no need to traverse a series of pull-down menus and submenus, with the attendant bad language when you accidentally make the wrong selection. Secondly, the menus exist apart from the main screen, with their own palette. No matter what changes you make to the palette of your screen, the menus are always visible. Toggling the menus on and off quickly becomes second nature.

The Brilliance Interface feels most like DCTV, but the options are reminiscent of Deluxe Paint. There's a reason for this - the programmers developing Brilliance include the folks who designed DCTV, Deluxe Paint ST, and Deluxe PhotoLab, as well as a number of the early EA releases.

Remember all the gradient options of DCTV? You get them all with Brilliance. Horizontal, Vertical, Radial, Spherical, and Highlight are all there, with eight separately-configurable gradients. Those gradients, by the way, can have as many as 128 colors. Each gradient has its own dither amount, and its own cycling speed. And cycling, by the way, isn't limited to the colors in the palette. You can use "True Color," - a set of colors which can be drawn from the Amiga's full palette, not just the screen colors. Brilliance lets you define 256 True Colors.

Multiples abound in Brilliance. There are 8 brush wells to serve as temporary storage for brushes or anim-brushes. And there are multiple screens. By default, you get a Work screen and a Spare, but you can add additional spare screens to the limit of your memory. Each screen, by the way, can have its own palette.

One of the design goals of Brilliance was to make sure that every possible option was covered. Curves, for example, come in two variety. There's the familiar single control-point, but there's also the two control-point Bezier curve. When drawing ellipses, you not only get to choose center-to-corner or corner-to-center modes, you can also rotate the ellipse to any position once it's drawn.

The air-brush has three options: fine spray, "splatter" - which uses any brush as the basis for the droplets - and Shape. That last mode lets you use a brush as a "mask" for the spray, defining a boundary of any shape. And Brilliance lets you adjust not only the nozzle size, but the flow rate and the focus of the spray.

You'll find a number of new paint modes, as well. There's Dither1 and Dither2, both of which feature a definable dither percentage, and Negative and Not. Negative mode changes the paint under the brush to its HSV opposite; NOT performs a similar function, but uses the binary representation, flipping each individual but. You'll find the familiar smear and spread, and you'll also find Halfbrite, Range, Lighten, Darken, and perhaps another new wrinkle or two by the time Brilliance is released. Lighten and Darken operate as their names imply; each changes the luminance of the underlying colors. Halfbrite - which only works in Halfbrite mode - gives you a quick way to change a color to its Halfbrite counterpart. Range works by moving each underlying color up (or down) one notch in the current Gradient range.

With so many choices, Brilliance gives you more opportunities to make mistakes. It's only fair, then, that Brilliance also gives you multiple Undo and Redo levels. You can define an Undo buffer that is as large as your memory allows, and then step through your drawing in reverse. Don't worry about Undoing all your good work; the Redo function lets you do that which has been undone.

Once you get past the 8-bit palette and the stunning HAM8 mode, the most striking thing about Brilliance is the speed. Even in its current beta form, it has a crisp, snappy feel to it. I tried a few fills with Brilliance, and compared the times to Deluxe Paint IV. The results were an eye-opener. A full-screen gradient fill (horizontal) took Deluxe Paint IV 18.2 seconds. Brilliance did it in 8.3. A full-screen highlight fill took 57.2 seconds with Deluxe Paint, and 35.2 with Brilliance.

A lot of care has been taken with the design of Brilliance to ensure that the program works with you, not against you. The color cube, for example, presents you with 4096 colors - even on non-AGA machines - to help you zero in on that perfect hue. The Save requesters have a handy "Info" button to let you interrogate an image before you load it and find out its resolution and palette size. The menus can be assigned to the function key of your choice, in any combination. Even the Magnify window is easier to use. It has a grid option, to let you differentiate one pixel from the next, can be sized horizontally, and has the zoom controls right on the border.

I am, admittedly, a biased observer. Nevertheless, I'm happy to report that Brilliance carries on in the tradition of DCTV. Like its predecessor, it makes computer painting feel more like painting on a real canvas. It's fast, feature-filled and friendly; there's even a feedback that tells you what tool you're pointing at! There are still a few details left for the programmers to attend to, a few paragraphs left to write for the manual, but Brilliance is almost here. Watch for it; it'll make your Amiga shine!

BRILLIANCE!

MEMPHIS AMIGA GROUP OCTOBER 18, 1992

LAST NAME FIRST NAME CITY ST ZIP EXPIRE
1. Akey Brian L. Memphis TN 38107 OCT 93
2. Andrew Sid Memphis TN 38168 SEP 92
3. Andrews Freddie L. Memphis TN 38128 JAN 93
4. Bilson Edward Memphis TN 38115 JAN 93
5. Bowers William Memphis TN 38118 MAY 93
6. Browne Kevin Memphis TN 38111 SEP 92
7. Burns Keith Cordova TN 38018 NOV 92
8. Campbell Terry A. Horn Lake MS 38637 DEC 93
9. Carruthers Joey Memphis TN 38119 FEB 93
10. Cervetti Michael Cordova TN 38018 AUG 93
11. Chiego John & Sara Memphis TN 38119 OCT 93
12. Crighton Jr. Robert Millington TN 38053 APR 93
13. Dahms Michael K. Memphis TN 38127 OCT 92
14. Deschamps Joseph Jackson TN 38305 SEP 92
15. Dobbins Chris Memphis TN 38152 APR 93
16. Dobson Michael Memphis TN 38118 NOV 92
17. Durfee Tony Jackson TN 38305 DEC 92
18. Dye Julia Ann Memphis TN 38120 APR 93
19. Echols Steve Memphis TN 38125 DEC 93
20. Evans Larry Memphis TN 38135 JAN 93
21. Fanelli Daniel R. Germantown TN 38139 FEB 93
22. Franklin Shelley Memphis TN 38120 MAR 93
23. Ginn Raymond Memphis TN 38127 APR 93
24. Glover Steven Cordova TN 38018 JAN 93
25. Harper Richard Memphis TN 38111 FEB 93
26. Hartley Marilyn Memphis TN 38118 SEP 92
27. Hawkins Conrad G. Memphis TN 38117 JUL 93
28. Hooker Bill Memphis TN 38134 NOV 92
29. Hudson Scott Memphis TN 38141 OCT 92
30. Ingerson Steve Walls MS 38680 SEP 93
31. King Guy Collierville TN 38017 JAN 93
32. Kligel Joseph Memphis TN 38118 APR 93
33. Knight Ronnie Burlison TN 38105 JAN 93
34. Langston Scott Memphis TN 38111 JAN 93
35. Lewis Jeff Memphis TN 38134 MAY 93
36. Lowder Mark Memphis TN 38118 FEB 93
37. McCalla Ron & Audrey Jackson TN 38305 DEC 99
38. Mergen Steve Memphis TN 38104 MAR 93
39. Miller William Germantown TN 38138 JAN 93
40. Mitchell Mike Memphis TN 38108 SEP 92
41. Montgomery Ronald Memphis TN 38108 DEC 92
42. Morgan Don Memphis TN 38117 JUN 93
43. Mott James Memphis TN 38109 JAN 93
44. Nolen Kent Arlington TN 38002 JUL 93
45. Norman Joe R. Dyersburg TN 38024 JAN 93
46. Nunn Bob Memphis TN 38141 AUG 93
47. Photo Grafix (Jim) Memphis TN 38112 MAY 93
48. Pittman James E. Memphis TN 38116 APR 93
49. Ralston Bruce Memphis TN 38104 MAR 93
50. Reagan Alan Memphis TN 38104 NOV 92
51. Rush David Memphis TN 38127 NOV 93
52. Sanders Joe Memphis TN 38134 AUG 93
53. Sheridan Larry Brighton TN 38011 NOV 92
54. Spence David E. Collierville TN 38017 MAR 93
55. Stokes Paul Eads TN 38028 DEC 93
56. Swope Henry Braden TN 38010 NOV 92
57. Thrasher Trevor Southaven MS 38671 NOV 92
58. Torrence Samuel Tupelo MS 38801 MAY 93
59. Underwood Lenore Millington TN 38053 DEC 92
60. Varnell Roy Memphis TN 38127 APR 93
61. Vineyard Charles W. Memphis TN 38118 AUG 93
62. Walker Jim Memphis TN 38128 JAN 93
63. Wallace Michael S. Marion AR 72364 AUG 93
64. Walp Len Memphis TN 38128 JAN 93
65. Waters Robert Memphis TN 38116 OCT 93
66. Watson Jerry Memphis TN 38118 NOV 92
67. Weatherall Broadus Memphis TN 38111 JAN 93
68. Webb Donnie Memphis TN 38118 JAN 93
69. Wells Phillip Jackson TN 38301 APR 93
70. Williams Charles Wilson AR 72395 DEC 92
71. Winfield Kenneth Memphis TN 38128 OCT 93
72. Wulff John Memphis TN 38115 JUL 93
73. Wyatt Joel Jackson TN 38301 FEB 93
74. Yates Richard Memphis TN 38134 MAR 93