View Full Version : MHO NewTek at NAB

04-09-2003, 11:58 AM
Hey wavers,

First let me say that this is not a rant, or a dig on Newtek, I'm I Lightwave fan from 5.5.

I spent 7 years in the top two art schools in the country and I have 6 years experience teaching.
The process of critique is essential to the growth of an artist, but for it to be effective, critique needs to be honest and the recipient needs to be open. that said...

I just came back from NAB, after a whirlwind tour I decided to see NewTeks booth. I must say that I was disappointed and honestly embarrassed for NewTek.

I don't expect NT to have anything like Apple or Adobe, I've heard the excuse on these board directly from NT Reps that NT doesn't have the resources :rolleyes: well... that's now really apparent.

NTs display consisted of a little patch of carpet with PCs arranged like the spokes of a wheel around the outside and a tiny stage on one side.

I won't comment much on the presenters because I don't want to hurt any feelings. All I'll say is "...Yawn"

I know that It's NAB and the focus is video, so I understand NT showing off VT and Aura, but in the grand scheme of things, these products don't have a snowballs chance in hell. Apple being on the same floor presenting FCP 4,and Shake 3 etc. made NT look like a lame duck.

IMHO Lightwave is the only relevant product in NTs roster, but at every step its given the back seat to VT :confused: .

Anyway, the 7.5b foul up really convinced me that Lightwave and the LW community would be better served if it was moved to a wholly new company and better management. In fact I think many of the Key LW people at NT came to that conclusion a long time ago.

Sorry NewTek, you have repeatedly dropped the ball, and scorned my loyalty ...goodbye

Hello Luxology!

Elmar Moelzer
04-09-2003, 12:30 PM
Hehe, you people are always so funny, really.
I can still remember the people complaining about the Don and Ralph- show, that Newtek had at the previous NABs (still my favourite show, these guys were just fun to watch).
Well the female doing the presentation seems to be a bit nervous and not used to doing presentations like these (seems to be sticking to much to things she learned by heart and does not improvize that much). She is simply lacking the routine. I have never seen her before doing a presentation for NT so it might be that she has not been doing this for very long. Give the new presentation- team a chance to get more routine. I am sure we will see a better show at Siggraph this year and an even better show at NAB next year.
Also I really want to say that the internet- streaming is very well done this year. I have never had such a great, fast and fluent streaming before. The quality is pretty good too.
So all my thumbs up to the team doing the internet- stream!
The demo- reels are overall pretty ok and the stuff by Computercafe and especially Area51 (children of Dune) is absolutely fantastic!!!! I have rarely seen such a great CG as the on ein COD and I will certainly buy the DVD of the miniseries once it comes out.
Concerning the rather small presence of LightWave, well it is NAB and there are many developers not showing their 3d- products at all (at least it happened to be so with previous NABs).
Looking forward to Siggraph in this regard. In an interview Jim Plant mentioned that NT will have something to show regarding LW by then...
Concerning "hello Luxology", ahem I have not heard of them having a booth at NAB at all, so I dont think they did a better job promoting LW at NAB, right?

04-09-2003, 01:14 PM
something I have learnt in the past : speculation is best based on facts, not on other speculations

04-09-2003, 01:35 PM
Hey Elmar,

Thanks for joining this thread.
I understand and appreciate your defense of NT.

In art school, when some one gets a harsh critique often their friends will try to come to their aid with statements like , "gee, I liked it" or "well he/she worked really hard" but in the end, if the show was sub par, it's sub par.

I'm hoping to start some constructive criticism so Newtek can learn and grow in the future.

anyway, the children of Dune stuff was awesome. I'm impressed. much better than the first series.

On the Luxology stuff:

Ofcourse Lux doesn't have a booth, my point was that NewTek has historically done such a poor job supporting and updating LW that it is indicative of management problems and resource allocation issues. I think a fresh start would be good for LW

History? Does Mac version 5.5, 5.6abc, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5 and now 7.5b ring a bell. All of these Mac released were tragically unstable, missing feature and or extremely late (wich is why Nt doesn't announce things in advance anymore).

Only 5.6c was kinda ok. and aside from flippant denials of missing features 7.5 was pretty stable.

2 out of 9 is not a very good track record. the PC side may be a different story, but PCs have no relevance to me and I purchased the Mac version so thats what I?m judging by.

All that said, I'm still a LW fan. It just seems that I'm eternally waiting that next bug fix/update and it never really comes. It's all a sick codependent relationship.

04-09-2003, 01:39 PM
I won't get into this very deep at all because it's not really my place, but to say VT doesn't have a chance in "the hot place", must be a complete lack of information on your part.

I'll be honest and say this: When I first came to NewTek, I really only new of LightWave... I mean, who hasn't. I too felt that VT was a lesser asset and that the focus should be entirely on LW. Well, my thoughts were quickly swayed. When I saw my first VT demo, I was simply blown away by the thing. It's utterly amazing and for the price... Well, It's just almost chump change for what you get in return.

I will assume that your comments were based entirely on your lack of knowledge of the product, as mine once was, but for us here at NewTek, VT and LightWave stand as equals. Both are geared for entirely different audiences, while also being geared for the same group of people. It's simply amazing!

Please don't take this as anything negative towards you, but simply me saying I understand your feelings, but I'm confident that further research into VT will quickly change your thoughts.

I simply love Porsche 911 Turbos, but I know I would never be willing to drop that much money into something I drive around. Therefore, my ultimate dream car is a 1967 Ford Mustang. Now this car, is something I can definetly aim for and in my opinion, is just as cool, fast and powerful as anything out there today. I'm not saying I would win the Indy 500 in it, but for everyday "legal" driving, it's more than enough!

As for your thoughts on the NAB booth this year, I think you answered your own concerns...

Hope this helps illustrate my point... :cool:

04-09-2003, 02:51 PM
Hi MGuerra,

I read and reread your post, then I went to read up on Vt. All I can say is...Huh?

for less than the price of VT, FCP can cut film. all effects are real time without a 3rd party video card, ..What planet are you on? Shake vrs Aura?, pffft. price maybe, features no. It's closest competition is AE, and it's being cross platform ad the vast pool of AE talent in the real world makes Aura look like a toy.

I realize that your on the NewTek Marketing team and you have to bat for the home team, but really. The VT may have a fan base and an established niche but it's all smoke and mirrors.

Believe me I am a Film/Video/ CG professional, I've used most of the top video systems. I even learned how to edit on an old VT (back in the day). VT is fine for hobbyist PC gear monkeys and one trick ponies but, in the running, it is not.

Again, I'm not trying to needlessly slight your products or tout my platform pref. I'm just giving my educated observation.

To sum up my point, LW is a compelling broad reaching product, Aura and Vt are not.

Oh and what's the deal with the car?

04-09-2003, 03:13 PM
Originally posted by theosmekhanes
The VT may have a fan base and an established niche but it's all smoke and mirrors.

You don't like the Toaster, that's fine. But your comments are completely inappropriate. Smoke and mirrors, indeed! I guess there must be some unbelievable talent out there to have produced the content I've seen with smoke and mirrors. Ever actually edit on a VT2? If not, your claims are totally invalid.

04-09-2003, 03:18 PM
You're definitely entitled to your opinion...

The car thing was supposed to be an analogy, but perhaps it didn't come out that way. My point was really to illustrate the fact that you can spend a lot of money on something that's really cool, but there are other options that are just as cool, and cost far less.

As for what planet I'm on, I'd have to check my schedule for today. I jump from planet to planet all the time, so please excuse me if I speak incomprehensively at times :(

As for Smoke and Mirrors, there's something I am familiar with. My hobby is Magic! Mostly close-up sleight of hand, but smoke and mirrors definetly plays a role in it all. Making something appear to be something it isn't. NewTek, I can honestly say, does not do that with it's products. They are what they are! We strive to be there for our customers and do everything we can to build the features into our products that you guys want.

We will not lie or misrepresent any of our products because, to be quite frank, we don't have to. I'm not trying to argue or be overly defensive on this. I mean, no one can please everyone, but I do appreciate your thoughts on the subject. You know, maybe it's just not your thing - and that's... OK, cuz you're good enough, you're smart enough, and dogonit - People Like You!

Have a great rest of the day! :)

04-09-2003, 03:41 PM
Hey you do have the right to your opinion.

Let me get this straight. You say market LW and do not market Aura and VT3. Is that right?

If so, I understand where you are coming from.

The logic I don't understand, but your position seems to be clear.

Am I locking in on your position?

And for your LW complaints about mac users getting late product. I was a siggraph when LW 7 was announced and released and the first copies were LW copies.

I do not use the mac, but I have colleagues that do. they seem to get a lot of work done in Lw.


Democracy is the free exchange of ideas. So don't take my comments wrong. I am just trying to get the picture.

If the VT3 worked on a mac would you hold the same position?

Elmar Moelzer
04-09-2003, 03:50 PM
Theo, I am not sure I can follow your argumentation. The Toastercard is only there for inputting and outputting video. It does that fine IMHO. The rest of the Toaster such as ToasterEdit is software only. Which means it would work even without the I/O- card if NT wanted to release TED like that (I am not sure about this right now, but I think it might be available through NTs OEM- product- line, but someone from NT will certainly be able to tell you more).
Yes other products also provide realtime effects, but they cant create new ones. They will only work with the effects provided in the package. VTNT2 also works with effects that you can create on your own.
VTNT2 and now 3 can also do more than just editing. There is also a live- switcher and a character- generator.
I have to agree with you that Aura does not compare well to Shake or any other high- end compositing- package. But what Aura does, it does quite well: videopainting and a few quick and dirty effects and not to forget new transitions and DVEs for TosterEdit. I guess this is the main reason why it was included with the Toaster.
While speaking of high- end compositing- packages. The VTNT works very, very well with Digital Fusion by Eyon (one of the best comp- packages out there). Which is IMHO an ideal combination with LightWave too (bitindependent, which means that it works great with LWs FP/HDR- format- I/O).
On the buggy LW- updates, well I am not a Mac- user, but I can tell you that I am not to happy with the current LW7.5b for PC neither (I have gone back to LW7.5). You are not missing much by being a MAC- user...

04-09-2003, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by theosmekhanes

I know that It's NAB and the focus is video, so I understand NT showing off VT and Aura, but in the grand scheme of things, these products don't have a snowballs chance in hell. Apple being on the same floor presenting FCP 4,and Shake 3 etc. made NT look like a lame duck.

LOL! Comparing VT [3] to FCP 4 and Shake 3, you really don't have any idea what the VT is capable of, or is used for, do you? You can easily make comparisons between FCP, Premiere, and Avid but VT [3] is much more then just an NLE. And have you ever used FCP? It's lack of realtime rendering (even with a 3rd party card) is horrific, especially under a tight schedule. I've used it in a production enviroment, so I know first-hand how incredibly slow FCP can be.

And why are you comparing Shake 3 to VT [3]? VT is not marketed as a full time compositor, neither is Aura. A more educated comparison would be Digital Fusion to Shake.

04-10-2003, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by theosmekhanes

Believe me I am a Film/Video/ CG professional, I've used most of the top video systems. I even learned how to edit on an old VT (back in the day). VT is fine for hobbyist PC gear monkeys and one trick ponies but, in the running, it is not.

When someone makes a statement like that, it makes me doubt they are what they say they are, or know what they say they know.

Jim Capillo
04-10-2003, 08:27 AM
It's clear this "person" (I was going to use the word "clown" but decided to refrain....) is just making these inflammatory statements to get a rise out of everyone.

The best thing to do is not respond at all and he will go away.

I, too am a "video professional" (whatever the hell that means - reminds me of "broadcast quality") and I have edited on FCP, Avid, Flyer, Trinity TM and of course, the Toaster. I will honestly say that the Toaster[2] is the most intuitive, quickest and has the best overall price/performance ratio of anything on the market.

Just as our friend's "opinion" slants negatively toward Newtek products (notice he has a "thing" for the company but doesn't point out individual weaknesses that he perceives in each product), it would seem he was burned (by his own perception) by Newtek in the past. Or perhaps he couldn't quite "grasp" the concept of editing to please his clients? Hey, blame it on the machine!

Not to slam my teacher friends, but what's that old saying about teachers? Those who can, do. The rest teach. Or something like that........

;) :D

04-10-2003, 11:16 AM
Look...I'm an elite, professional, really cool, well endowed video master with lots of friends. I've got over 27 years of professional education at all of the best and most professional video reformatory schools across the globe. Newtek has seriously let me and the other two percent of Tandy Color Computer users down with their display at NAB this year.

Why Newtek concentrated on displaying their T3 instead of a new version of Polaris for my beloved CoCo, I'll never understand. I've also got an Amstrad, 2 Timex Sinclairs, and more than a few Atari computers, but PCs have no relevance to me and I purchased the Mac version of Lightwave so I obviously have no freakin clue what the hell I'm talking about. As an artist however, I would have at least expected Newtek to have one of those beach balls floating magically over the vacuum nozzle on display at their booth. Geesh, even the Final Cut booth had one of them little plastic guys blowin bubbles out his butt. Sorry Newtek. Hello rubber room!

04-10-2003, 11:16 AM
I thought you might appreciate this picture of a '67 Mustang. I drew it for my boss. He gave me a picture of his car parked in his driveway and $40 big ones:D ! Hope you like it. Remember the quality is a little low since I had scanned the original and saved it as a jpeg, converted it to a bitmap for his desktop, lost the original jpeg and converted his bitmap back to a jpeg for this post.:eek: I know long story. Enjoy!

04-10-2003, 11:18 AM
Yes, a great many people mistake opinions for thoughts!

04-10-2003, 11:41 AM
handron - That's awesome. I absolutely love sketches and that one looks fantastic! Not to mention I really love classic Mustangs!

I envy your talent immensely...

Great Work!

As far the point of this whole thread, let's just fogetabowde (my best mafia impression) :confused:

04-10-2003, 11:42 AM
Hey handron,

Pleeeeease make a Lightwave tutorial on this Mustang. Did you have to purchase a "Charcoal/pencil Shader" plug-in to acheive this effect? :D

04-10-2003, 11:43 AM
C'mon People

No, I am not just trying to get a rise out of people.

I'm trying to start a vigorous, constructive debate.

Some of you making character attacks. Bad form!

Everyone take a deep breath and C H I L L !

This is not meant to be FCP vrs VT. This is NewTek believing its own hype and squandering major opportunities to provide hooks to FCP and Shake for Mac users.

My point is that NT did the expected thing and favored integration with their own products. that's just fine. The problem is that they have been marketing and selling a Mac version for over five years and they have not gotten QuickTime support right.

QT is a fringe product to you VT folks but it is key to every aspect of film/ video post on the Mac and much of the post production world. So you see, to ignore the realities of production for a significant portion of their market is really really foolish.

that's why I was disappointed with the NAB booth. Im a LW fan but I came directly from the Apple presentation that rocked my world to NTs little cult of oblivion. Absolutely no acknowledgment that any of their customers exist outside of the VT fold.

That Chaps my hide!

decent Gui design
is it too much to ask for?

Did any of you go to NAB?

04-10-2003, 11:54 AM
One more thing,

not every one who complements you is your friend and not everyone who is critical is your enemy.

If some of you folks don't wish to participate in this discussion, don't.
Railroading a discussion with OT junk and personal attacks is really infantile, and does not speak well of this community.

04-10-2003, 12:25 PM
Robewil, sorry for the misunderstanding but that is a pencil drawing. I thought that would be understood when I said that "I drew" this instead of "modeled" it. My mistake!:) Please accept my apologies. I posted it in response to MGuerra's passion for Mustangs.

04-10-2003, 12:38 PM
Yes I knew that. It was a joke (or at least an attempt at one).

04-10-2003, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by theosmekhanes
QT is a fringe product to you VT folks but it is key to every aspect of film/ video post on the Mac and much of the post production world. So you see, to ignore the realities of production for a significant portion of their market is really really foolish.

that's why I was disappointed with the NAB booth. Im a LW fan but I came directly from the Apple presentation that rocked my world to NTs little cult of oblivion. Absolutely no acknowledgment that any of their customers exist outside of the VT fold.

I don't think anybody is attacking you so much as they are laughing at some of your incredibly silly arguments. Newtek appears to be bending over backwards to make their system work exceptionally well with all variety of formats and outboard equipment in the real-world media industry. Could they go further? Sure, but they're not gonna satisfy each and every nitch application if it doesn't meet a large demand. You sure sound like yet another Mac enthusiast with the "Little Man" complex.

So in the little world of VT users, we all are just oblivious to the rest of the film/video world and all the great inovations available on the Mac platform. Gimme a break. :o If you feel you're being limited by companies like Newtek not completely catering to your "significant portion of their market", maybe you should open your eyes to the "majority" of the market and give your elitist Mac or nothing attitude a rest. My FCP systems share and share alike with the T2 just fine, and I don't recall ever needing quicktime on the Mac or PC for any video production meant for broadcast.

If we were to listen to you, none of us would be qualified to comment since we see everything but VT as "fringe" products and none of us can appreciate all the glories of your Mac because we're apparently stuck in some cult of oblivion. So I'll only say this. Be glad Newtek ever stepped out of their cult of oblivion long enough to develop a version of Lightwave for your fringe platform. I'm sure that 10% or less of Lightwave license sales is really making them consider abandoning VT3 any day now.

Brian Peterson
04-10-2003, 02:42 PM
I'm trying to start a vigorous, constructive debate.

So what type of debate do you want? So far your rants have been how crappy their booth was and the poorness of 7.5b. Well when it comes to the booth all I can say is that all I can see of it, stream and pics it looks fine to me. Maybe not a multimillion dollar piece of gloss, but it's getting it's job done.

When it comes to the Mac... Dude Apple has 3% of the market and sinking fast. You accuse us of having a cult mentality, but frankly Mac heads are a bigger cult than Newtek has ever come close.

Mac followers are willing to put up with old technology, extremely slow processor speeds and overpaying for the product! But they get a computer case that can be displayed as a work of art. :D Apple for the past two years been throwing away the baby with the bath water and not keeping up with cpu speeds.

Now consider this for Newtek which market has the potential to earn them more $$s? 3% of the market or 95% of the market? Which way would you lean? Apple's splints their market with FCP and Media 100 and Adobe Premiere and it's a small market. In the PC market there is lots more competition but there is lots more potential to make $$ and that is what is going to keep the company going. So is it surprising that their two flagship products are aimed squarely at the PC market? NO!

If you want a clip from lightwave and the pc version works better then use the pc version and thru the network port over the rendered clip!

BTW I own a G4, FCP, DVDSP and photoshop for the Mac. All except DVDSP is collecting dust. VT2 is just too powerful to mess around with FCP and their nerd programed interface. And with VT3 it's only going to get better!

But sorry, Macs are for cultists, it's right now a slowly dieing platform unless 2 things can be done, processor speed tremendously improved and prices brought down to more realistic levels. It's too bad, OS X has a lot of potential and is better than anything Microshaft has on the market, but that doesn't make up for pathetic cpu abilities.

04-10-2003, 03:40 PM
Geeze, I'm sorry If I hurt the feelings of some fragile VT users and PC folks. I feel like the fox that walked into the hen house (lots of ruffled feathers).

Newtek bending over backwards ...:rolleyes:

I guess we should all be happy with half assed efforts. That way we have nothing to complain about... hmmm, now I see. we should stamp out excellence, stifle innovation and reward mediocrity so that some of the slow children don't feel left out. (dripping with sarcasm-take it with a grain of salt please)

Now I understand you guys better.

Well, don't bother replying to this thread anymore. It's resorted to name calling.

I retract any inflammatory statements towards the VT community, and I will refrain from making speculative statements about the relative validity of any platform.

However, I stand by my original statement:
NewTeks NAB booth was pretty Damn Lame. I expected better.

04-10-2003, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by theosmekhanes
Geeze, I'm sorry If I hurt the feelings of some fragile VT users and PC folks. I feel like the fox that walked into the hen house (lots of ruffled feathers). Actually no one has taken you seriously. Hey, but thanks for a good laugh.

04-10-2003, 04:10 PM
"Dude Apple has 3% of the market and sinking fast"

3% of every market. bean counters are not relevant to this discussion. if you look specifically at publishing, education and post production. Apple has a healthy share and growing. Apple is in no way dying, it may be wishful thinking on the part of people that are suspicious of our Mac elitism. On the contrary Apple is on the verge of a renaissance. I would just like the best 3D package for my workflow. I believe that LW is that package, but It's lagging on the Macness. It's just too bad, It could be great!

Intel and Apple(Moto /IBM) have staggered tech announcements, they play leap frog all the time. Yeah the G4 has been lagging in bus speed for the past year, but Apple always takes it's time to get it right. I respect that. I won't get into Pentium vrs. G4 because all bets will be off this summer.

This is about software. Properly designed Mac software that takes advantage of the Macs distinct advantages, Rocks the house.

Anyway, I remember hearing back when 7.5 was released, that the Mac Version was a surprising percentage of NT sales.

Anyone remember this? or am I off my rocker?

I guess my observation of NTs booth was based on it's context. If you went to NAB you would know what I mean.

04-10-2003, 04:27 PM
I really appreciate some of the key points that were mentioned here, but like a garden without a gardener, things quickly start to spoil...

We should probably lay this baby to rest and move onto bigger and better things.

A tall cold glass of beer for starters... and for those of you who smoke, maybe a nice cig is in order!

Elmar Moelzer
04-10-2003, 04:34 PM
As I said before, you are not missing much just by being a MAC- user(LW 7.5b for PC is also quite buggy). I can assure you that NewTek is trying hard to make the MAC- version of LW better than it ever was(the PC- version too, but there are very huge efforts going on right now for making the MAC- version better). You will be pleased.
The VT3 is just to hardware- speciffic in terms of CPUs etc, to be portable to the MAC (without huge efforts) if that is what makes you angry. The video- editing- market is not that big on the Mac and Apple is already serving it. Porting the Toaster would be such a huge effort, that it would not be profitable to NewTek.
I hope you can understand that. Also, as I said before, the main reason LightWave was not that prominent at NAB was, that NAB is mainly a show for broadcast- solutions (although other products are shown there too). NewTek will of course concentrate on promoting their broadcast- solutions there. It is Siggraph for 3d. Companies like A/W present their 3d- packages at NAB, because they dont have any broadcast- products to present there.
Well I am not at least disappointed by the rather small presence of LW at NAB and I even dont have a VT3 myself (yet, but we are relying on it for our post- stuff, that is done at a partner- company of ours).
So and now lets just stop flaming each other, instead lets shake hands, hug and then animate something, shall we?

04-11-2003, 09:32 AM
Well, this was fun.

The original argument was, in part, that NewTek is hanging the VT[3] off LightWave's strength ... as though the former is some sort of parasite. Yet as the discussion evolved, we find numerous complaints about LW, esp. the Mac port - and few or none about the VT. Frankly, while I know how irritating bugs can be, given the numbers shouldn't the Mac crowd should just be happy that someone finally decided to bother porting a decent 3D app for them?

There were also concerns about the NAB booth being small-ish. I'll refrain from 'size doesn't matter' arguments, and simply point out that it was constantly swamped. Important people from the big networks were seen sitting side by side with "hobbyist PC gear monkeys" showing a good deal of interest in VT[3].

Aura is compared to AE (I'll come back to that) and Shake. Let's talk about the latter first. Never used it, but it seems to have some nice comp tools. But Aura is a paint program, so lets look at Shake's painting toolset. Hmmm, gee - looks pretty lame. A handful of vector tools, that's about it. I might mention, too, that Shake costs twice the price of the entire VT[3] package, INCLUDING the full LightWave package as well as Aura.

Which brings us to AE - what, no painting tools? Gotta buy Photoshop to paint? But I hate painting in Photoshop. It feels like working with mitts on, and sucks at animation. And the combined price is quite a bit more than Aura, and is approaching the cost of the entire VT[3] (starting to see a pattern here?) Of course, if I liked AE as a comp engine, I could simply buy and install it on my VT[3]. Or is AE free with FCP? Don't think so...

Now let's really stir things up, and talk about niche platforms.

You have to hand it to Apple - they really know marketing. I get people in here that own full-blown late edition FCP systems who leave with tears in their eyes after a VT demo. One guy said to me "How come I never heard of this before - it makes my system look like a tinker-toy!" - no word of a lie. So there's no doubt Apple's marketing blows away NewTek's.

The basic approach seems to be "All creative people use Macs." This always reminds me of "The Emperor's New Clothes." "I'm a cool creative video pro, so I must buy a Mac or my friends will sneer at me." Good grief. If this is true, and all the smart people and great apps are all Apple oriented, why are their users always hanging out in PC forums whining because this or that app doesn't support Quicktime. This always makes me think of someone at a large, multi-ethnic party who is upset because everyone in the room doesn't speak Urdu.

Fact is, the numbers are small enough that one could argue the Mac really only qualifies as a proprietary system. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against the Mac, don't dislike it or it's adherents. It does clearly have a disproportionate representation in the graphics realm, but is that because it or it's dependant apps are better, or because people beleive what they read very readily? Is it more stable? Not really. Is it easier to use? Not really. Is it faster? Nope, not even close. Has it got more and better video/animation/effects apps? Certainly not. Is it less expensive? [email protected]## no!

I've been down the proprietary road twice before. Never again. The next time someone invents a new killer graphics chipset, I can walk over to Best Buy and find five different companies offering cards based on it for peanuts. Occasionally, I might be able to find a shop somewhere in this city where I can order one for the Mac ... or it might turn out that I have to wait a year and pay 5X as much. Been there, done that. I've got no stability issues with my PC system, which although outrageously fast was very cheap. There is far more high-end software available for it than I will ever have time to learn, and there are at least a dozen places where I can buy hardware and software for it within a 1 mile radius of me.

If the Mac is the be-all/end-all of the realm, why do I frequently see people asking for a Mac port of Aura, and the VT? Buy what you like and enjoy it, but don't imagine that everyone who takes a different route has missed the boat. Maybe they didn't want to get on. I'm quite indifferent to it, but I know some very experienced people who absolutely hate FCP. Chacun a son gout, but I have to tell you I found nothing even remotely compelling in this argument.

04-11-2003, 11:32 AM
Great post Steve!

You know, come to think of it. Are any PC guys begging Apple to port FCP to the PC? I doubt it.

I think the only legitimate point of contention a Machead could have is the operating system as I believe OSX is superior to XP.

But then again, I don't choose a computer platform for the operating system. It's about the applications. I went from Mac to PC in 1996 because I wanted to use Lightwave (It wasn't available for Mac then and even that it is now, it's better on a PC.) I continue to use PC's primarily because of Lightwave and the VT.

04-11-2003, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by robewil
I think the only legitimate point of contention a Machead could have is the operating system as I believe OSX is superior to XP. I wouldn't be a bit surprised, but 'frankly, Scarlet...'

Really, I'm all for alternatives, and salute those who opt for them. Like many here, I'm an old Amiga guy. I hated everything Windows, it was in my genes. It was, and still is, a pig. Fact of life, though -- in this day and age, blazing fast resources are available so cheap the pig flies like it had afterburners.

Again, like you, my principle impetus to even consider a Wintel solution in the first place was NewTek. And I have no regrets ... none, zip, nada. The more I see, the happier I get. The only reason I took the time to enter this fray is that I don't see the point. So Apple had a bigger booth. That's no big surprise is it? So did Avid ... go rain on their parade. Aura's not Shake? It's not Digital Fusion either, but it's darn handy. It'll even do Quicktime :-p

p.s. - I LIKED the Mustang allusion (and got it without the explanation)...

Blaine Holm
04-11-2003, 05:15 PM
And just to add to this riduculous and un-true thread about the superior MAC.....

Apple used LW to design the icons for OS-X......

04-11-2003, 11:15 PM
Attendence at NAB was down 40% this year, but we came away with more leads collected by a substantial margin - meaning that with our modest booth at a modestly attended show we were apparently much more effective at getting people interested in the product than some folks think we should have been.

NAB is a broadcast show and 3D has a niche in broadcast certainly, but the overwhelming majority of people come to the show looking for editing and live production solutions. We had what they were looking for. The booth was packed with people pretty much constantly, and the reactions of the people getting demos in the booth was intense. They liked what they saw. They gave us their cards to scan so we could have a reseller get in touch with them.

Resellers at the show made sales, including turnkey partners, and international resellers.

Critique is worthwhile if grounded in reality. The reality is that VT[3] was very well received and precisely what we needed to center the show on - just as we center on LightWave 3D at SIGGRAPH.

04-11-2003, 11:52 PM
Only a blind man would not see the greatest value of the Toaster system and its even greater potential.

We had customers who bought it for its Live Switching capablities. We had customers buying it for its Live Internet Streaming quality and capabilites. But the majority of our customers bought it to be used for as a non-linear editing solutions. These customers are seasoned editors who used Avid and other much more expensive equipments, quit their jobs, bought a Toaster, started on their own, and doing well, because they can offer quality output at reasonable pricing.

Aura is not Shake, and not even AE, but it is an extremely valuable tool for our customers, who are very familiar with AE or Digital Fusion. and know when to use Aura, or AE for their video production.

Chuck, pass me the leads and I will turn them to sales.


04-13-2003, 06:11 AM
This thread reminds of the criticizims I posted last Siggraph. I didn't see NT's stream this year so I don't think its fair to post an opinion. However, Theo's post did parallel mine alot.

I Keep getting more and more amazed by the features of the VT. What disappointed me was its presentation. Too often, in the past, have I heard the VT compared to Discreet's Inferno or Quantel in the now trademark "garage editor" fashion in these shows. ("You render faster, so now you make more money and can have more beer and pizza") I have always felt this as being a disservice to the Toaster. I think the features of the toaster sells itself without having to shout rediculas claims of how you can fool your client into believing how much work it was and charge them more. Its really amateurish.

Really, sometimes it seemed like NT was trying to sell on how unartistic VT editors are and how the VT can make up for it. Like I said, a disservice to the VT. As one other poster put it last year, it was like NT target audience was HAM radio operators...

The Same went for Lightwave last siggraph

Instead of having abrassive personalities chiming in every 5 mins as to how unartistic he is as he messes around with LW, how about some high profile presenters. Have some people from area 51 come in, in particular the guy who did the worm capture scene, and demonstrate a general construction of that scene. Have people from Digital Domain show how LW was used in the last Star trek movie. Do you realize that in the FX journel Cinefex, when they did the story on Star trek nemeisis, never mentioned Lightwave? they mention 3D, and how Houdini was used in the explosion sequence, but no LW. thats bad, NT....

Instead, we'll get the "friends of NT" doing demos...

this IMHO is a tremendous flaw in LW's marketing. I have often pointed NT to how discreet does presentation, or Apple, or even Adobe. Especially Apple.... far more polish. I think that very important, and people call me a snob for believing so. Well, call it what you want, but companies spend millions in it. Its targeting people's perception... almost as important as the actual product. people's impression with LW and NT vary all over the map.

Another area that I have criticised NT is the lack of any partnership with Apple or Shake. All I see is maya. LW is SO well geared towards where Apple is going... it so complements Apple's product line. Final Cut pro just annouced the support for HDR 32bit color depth to match Shake. Why isn't there a correlation that with LW's hdr output, you have a film ready software suite? Why isn't there a mention of LW at the apple site, considering the multitude of artistic profiles at the site? Why isn't there a dl-able version of the discovery edition at the apple site? Why isn't it loaded on all of the macs in the Apple store?

Really, it defies logic, and unless its a cost/resouce/political issues, I can't see an explaination for the poor situation.

I hate to say it, but I saw Brad peebler as being instrumental in creating a high profile PR for LW in the past. I mean even the Luxology site has higher profile coverage of LW at times. Since his departure, I have seen a decline in the quality of the presentation of LW. If not brad, then have more presenters along the caliber of Meni.

theo, while I don't agree on all of your points, I feel your pain....

04-13-2003, 09:19 AM
Last year's SIGGRAPH did indeed include Hollywood FX folks being interviewed about how they used LW. This year's NAB did not include anyone pitching VT in the manner you describe from former NAB efforts, but did oddly enough include an interview or two with Don McCoy of Area 51 regarding the work on Children of Dune. Don was one of a number of LW professionals who worked on our LW demo pod during the show and was available much of the time at the booth to talk to prospective LW customers.

Some people loved the NAB main stage show that we ran the last few years, and some folks hated it, but love it or hate it, it's in the past. This year we used a short program on the main stage to present the capabilities of the VT as a production solution for live production, broadcast graphics, visual effects, post production and editing, VT's integration with other major production tools such as After Effects, combustion, Digital Fusion, and more, and to invite people to enter the demo area for detailed demos on how VT could be used to meet their production needs. The result was a packed booth and more leads than we acquired last year, even though attendence this year was much lower. We feel we now have a design for show presentation that we can build on and polish for future show efforts.

We've been keenly aware that the main stage and the stream really need to serve different purposes, and were able to program to account for this much more comprehensively this year. The main stage should regularly draw new folks from the passing crowds into the booth, and is therefore best done short-cycle repetitive. The stream is a continuous show that folks may watch for some length of time, has a worldwide audience and is a venue for demos and a variety of content, including more comprehensive interviews. We provided demos in four languages to the stream during the course of the show. We interviewed Don McCoy and others for the stream as well.

Demo staff on the pods included reseller and distributor partners and professional users, and the demos were geared to show potential customers how VT and LW would be powerful solutions to particular production needs. None of the pod staff were using the kind of messaging you describe from our former NAB efforts, either.

As for whether any other site has higher profile coverage of LightWave that NewTek's own, I would point out that at times we've done more profiles and tutorials in a week than other sites have done in a year, and in addition we have often placed such content with other sites first rather than immediately hosting it on our home site, meaning that we've generated coverage where folks who might not visit the NewTek site are exposed to LW. We do cover the entire range of professional artists from folks not well known yet but doing great work, to major FX houses and network broadcast users, and some folks seem to object to that range. We find it important to let folks know how our products apply to virtually any size or high or low profile professional endeavor.

As for press coverage, we really can't control what editors choose to mention or not mention, we can merely provide all the information we can to as many outlets as we can. The fact is that we are getting more coverage than ever. We have about double the number of press contacts that we used to, and we met with a number of the major magazines both in a Pre-NAB press tour and in a full schedule of meetings on a dedicated press pod at the booth. Again, for NAB, the primary emphasis has been VT[3], since it is a broadcast show. Even at that, we made sure we had two strong LW press releases for the show, the LW/HP workstation deal, and the inclusion of full LW with VT[3] full and upgrade through June 30th.

Gui Lo
04-13-2003, 08:37 PM
The point of this reply is simple.

I would think it is logical to for me to use the tools which benefit the work produced.

I am a self employed web designer/3d artist. I have only produced one major piece of video editing using very bad VCD data. I used Aura as I found it quicker and easier to make the changes demanded from the client. I only tried Premier but gave up very quickly since I couldn't figure out who to make a radial blur focus follow a path!

As with Lightwave, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, all my tools have paid for themselves several times over. That is why I continue to use them. I am not interested in people 'marketing' to me since I know it means nothing unless they show me how I can increase my range or speed.

NewTek has always impressed me since receiving the no nonsence manuel for LW3.5.

In this world of hi tech people forget that it is the art that counts not the environment or even the tools.

Gui Lo

04-16-2003, 12:45 PM
OK, I was at the NAB this year (and the previous 12 years as well).

NT's booth was not as large as before.

Have you kids(sarcasm) ever heard of overhead?

My major competitor in my market has a giant marble lobby.


But, any client that thinks he isn't paying for that is a fool.

Somebody paid for it, and I'm thinkin' the president wasn't feeling generous when he whipped out the $$$$$ for the finishings, and just sucked it up.

So, was Apple's booth bigger?


Who paid for that?

FCP users as part of the cost of the marketing of the proiduct.

NT's products are sold with a very low profit margin (relatively, compared to the industry norm of 150-250% markup)

So, what then does NT need with an acre sized booth to demonstrate its products, without a reasonable way to pay for it.

Increase the cost of the product?

Suck it up? (a loss??)

No, they need to find the balance between an oversize, expensive booth, and a booth large enough to have a reasonable presence, that will get the info out.

I think they did just fine.

PS I gave up and left the show floor for lunches this year. The buffet at the Riviera was $8...

04-16-2003, 12:48 PM
The mustang pic was sweet!

If I shoot you $40 and a pic of my ride will you sketch it?

I'm sorry, this is off topic.

04-16-2003, 12:51 PM
$40 is way too cheap man!

04-16-2003, 11:36 PM

Do you REALLY think apple software is overpriced?

$1000 for FCP is over priced? How do you explain getting the $1000 cinematools, titling package, soundtrack generator, Mpeg2/4 compressor, and 32bit color support(a first in editing) to name a few, for a $400 upgrade, that is expensive?

Or even dropping the price of DVD studio pro by half?

Shake is on par with the cost of digital fusion and Nuke, though I think its expensive...

I always thought Apple software had alot fo value. its their hardware that is the finacial bottleneck....

Apple pays for that polish because they understand that it draws people. Especially considering that by PC standards, they are a niche market...

04-17-2003, 02:54 AM
Well, if they don't pay those shiny big showfloors with the software then where in gods name do they get the money from then?
Maybe it's their computers....Naaaahhhhh...those things are pretty much given away, they even out do themselves in the price/performance ratio...
You don't think there's a reason why they sell these $1000 worth machines for $6000?