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View Full Version : CG in VT[3] is a disaster



Dick Nelson
08-18-2003, 11:14 AM
We are having numerous problems with the CG in our new VT[3]. The latest is that it crashes every time we try to access the templates by clicking on the "Templates" tab. This produces the following error message: "The instruction at 0x0034fea7 referenced memory at 0x0a58d340. The memory could not be read."

This error causes the entire VT to crash. Rebooting the computer did not help.

wvp
08-18-2003, 12:46 PM
I am having problems also. (Strainge that these problems were not squashed prior to release or even mentioned yet).

My editor crashed the system within the first 30 minutes of using T3 (while in the CG) attempting to save a project.

Next problem: We noticed when playing a CG (saved as a png or a tga) in TED that the quality (read resolution) is not as good as when sending the CG directly out (via the switcher). When playing the image in TED, the black level is at 55 ire. When sending the same page out from the CG (send to switcher), the black level is at 70 ire (The video level is also raised the same amount)
This was using a pre-made template.
Creating a CG page without an image & keying this over an image in TED appears to work better.
Also when we went to digitize video in with the CG open, T3 crashed. It did not when we closed the CG.
Save yourself some greif, Do not use the templates. Do not leave the CG open. DO continue to hope that one day the Video Toaster will have a working CG program.

steveg
08-21-2003, 07:59 PM
at the risk of having the newtek groupies come down on me again, I can't believe I was stupid enough to believe NewTek when they said the CG will be completely overhauled in T3. Boy am I a sucker, I actually paid my $600. again for the upgrade expecting a new working CG. Guess what? When Paul said way back in T2 that the CG would be completely overhauled, it never was. Then I was told that all I had to do was pay my $600 and T3 would have a new working CG. Guess what again? It does have a nifty new skin and in not saving pages correctly it is even worse than T2's VG. Fooled me once with T2, and now fooled me twice with T3. I guess I am a genuine fool. If the CG is not fixed soon I won't be fooled by anything NewTek says about T4. I like my Toaster but I don't like these false promises. Ever notice how quick Paul jumps in to discussions when you pat NewTek on the back?

wvp
08-21-2003, 08:33 PM
Paul, Tim, Newtek:
I am directly responsible for THREE VT systems being purchased (and upgraded to VT3).
Clearly I support what you are about / what you are doing.
It sickens me when I have editors using Final Cut Pro with no issues to speak of, but I can't go a day without hearing a complaint about the VT systems.
I would have to agree with Steveg, the Toaster [2] was sold with a CG that did not function properly. While I appreciate various new features/enhancments that came for free, making the software that is promoted function properly is more important (read should be done at no charge).
I too have upgraded with hopes of a properly functioning CG. Please make this happen. Please make this top priority. Please include this in the price we are paying for the VT3 software. Please do not lose three future sales.
This goes a bit off topic, but I have complied a list of issues users have with VT3:
1) Audio input/output not consistent (output is much lower).
2) Still no meaningful audio meters
3) Avi wrapper issues?
4) TMPGEnc plug in issues
5) CG locks up when you save a file (with image in it)
6) Changing lengths of video affects audio even when “unlocked” or different audio.
7) Several issues if using a project created in VT2. NO documentation warning of these issues:
a. cropping / positioning / size / color adjustments
b. shadows are enabled by default
c. gamma control is gone

I for one would appreciate a response from Newtek addressing these issues and informing us what we can expect.
Thank you!

prospector
08-21-2003, 09:37 PM
Wow!!!

I too was waiting for the fix for CG in VT2 (which should have been at no charge seeing as it was just to fix it) but it never came.
Looks as if VT3 is even worse.
Haven't upgraded yet to 3 yet so I might be better off waiting for the fix for 3 that should have been done in 2, and might not come till 4.

Up untill VT2, I have always recomended ANY Newtek product to ANYONE who saw mine and asked about it since 3.0,and I know for positive that it made 6 sales, but never kept in touch with the others so don't know about them.

Now with the VT, and the way it is going,( with fixes for 2 having to be paid for in 3 and still sounds like it isn't working right) I don't know anymore if I can say I would unequivicably say that anymore.

Please Mr.Jennison, I STILL have and watch the first film I got with my Amiga Toaster/Flyer about breaking out of the normal working rut and getting the power of Hollywood in the hands of the masses and given us the 'Freedom" to do it our way.
I hope you haven't left the road you were paving for the rest of us, and are leaving us to fend for ourselves.

These problems don't bode well.

cholo
08-21-2003, 11:18 PM
Just out of curiosity what problems are you people having with the CG in T2? I've never had any complaints, it does everything it needs to do... Sure, you can't make an opening title sequence on it, but then again, no Cg I've ever come across does it either. That's what compositing programs like Aura and AFX are for. But as far as making lower thirds, basic titles, disclaimers, subtitles, rollers, crawls, end credits, etc... I find it more than adequate. I use it on a daily basis, quite extesively I might add, and I've never had it crash on me. What gives? Maybe I got lucky?

tmon
08-21-2003, 11:54 PM
cholo,

i think the primary issue being discussed here is VT[3]'s CG, not T[2]'s.

Dick Nelson
08-22-2003, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by taiji
cholo,

i think the primary issue being discussed here is VT[3]'s CG, not T[2]'s.

That's correct. Furthermore, the problems are pretty well spelled out above, the main one being the fact that it locks up when saving projects--a serious flaw, and one that--it would seem--should have been pretty obvious during beta testing, if not before.

wvp
08-23-2003, 11:08 AM
Actually VT[2] crashes too. It is a well documented problem. I would say that the VT[3] cg crashing is more serious though.

steveg
08-23-2003, 11:44 AM
Once again, I note, That it seems NewTek seems to not respond to a very serious problem. Paul, Andrew, Tim, someone at NewTek please respond to the CG problem. It isn't going to go away until it is fixed. We all have records of promises to fix, improve and rebuild the CG. There are many more of us who are waiting a response than just the few who have responded here. We all are awaiting an answer. Everyone loves the T3 but the CG problem has gone on long enough.

Dick Nelson
08-23-2003, 11:58 AM
Our supplier assures me that NewTek is working on the problem, but I certainly wouldn't know that from anything I've seen here. I agree that it's way past due time that we see ON THIS FORUM some acknowledgement from NewTek that a solution is coming IMMEDIATELY.

As an aside, I can't help commenting on this quote from an earlier post:

"It sickens me when I have editors using Final Cut Pro with no issues to speak of, but I can't go a day without hearing a complaint about the VT systems. "

Obviously you haven't talked to me about FC Pro. We use it on no fewer than seven computers and there are issues with it too, not the least of which is it's completely illogical habit of saving files all over the place. It's a real mess and causes all kinds of problems. It also has a very annoying habit of stopping video and audio output to external TV monitors/decks--a problem that has been universal through every incarnation. And, of course, it's pretty much an accepted fact that it will crash at least once during any given work session. Actually, I like FC Pro a lot--it's great software in most respects. But like every video software application I've ever seen, it's got its bugs. Of course, it's biggest drawback is that it runs on Macs.

steveg
08-23-2003, 12:08 PM
I think what WVP was trying to say is he is concerned with the amount of problems his group of T3 users are encountering is much worse than they should expect from a company with as long of a track record in Video Post Production as NewTek has. I don't think he meant to change the focus of this string from CG problems to a debate over who has the most buggy editing system. Let's try to stay focused here on the fact that we need an official response on the CG problems from NewTek. Please.

dml
08-23-2003, 03:42 PM
Expect an upgrade for VT[3] very soon, perhaps by the end of the month. Perhaps the needed CG fixes will be included with that patch.

Matt Drabick

steveg
08-24-2003, 05:15 PM
once again, this is third party hearsay. If NewTek is going to upgrade the cg why doesn't someone from NewTek Tell us that. I know that Paul at least is monitoring these forums. Please let us know when we can see the CG fixed. It is not just me. Even though we were promised the CG would be fixed in T2, and wasn't, we all trusted NewTek when they said that if we pay for the $600 upgrade that the CG would be fixed. Please let us know something positive. If you can't fix the CG at least tell us that so we don't keep hoping and expecting it. The CG upgrade is the only reason I paid for the upgrade. Though the new features are wonderful, I don't really need the fancy new options. I need the CG to work as it has been included and promised since the Toaster was first designed.

jim b
08-27-2003, 02:45 PM
Im not buying T3 until all these things you guys have mentioned have been fixed. Im ready to buy but im tierd of broken promises
or a play on words to get us to buy. Have they fixed the ugly soft drop shadows yet. I posted my complaints just before they said buy T3 and you will be happy.

Still waiting

Jim

prospector
08-27-2003, 06:39 PM
Me too :mad:

Dick Nelson
08-27-2003, 09:01 PM
I have contacted our dealer with respect to the lack of attention to this problem by NewTek. I told him we want something directly from NewTek ON THIS FORUM. I don't know if he'll have any more luck than we do, but if he doesn't I'm going higher. This is absolutely unacceptable.

jim b
08-27-2003, 09:34 PM
Dick, if you want a response then post on videotoasternt.com and maybe someone will listen. Its more public.

Mick Haensler
08-28-2003, 05:57 AM
I am also waiting in the wings for a Toaster system and WILL NOT PURCHASE until this serious problem is addressed. I will be calling my Safe Harbor rep and telling him the same thing. If the problem is not rectified soon, I will have to consider another system AND I DON'T WANT TO! I want a Toaster. Please Newtek, don't make it hard for me to buy your product


Mick Haensler
Soundworx

SBowie
08-29-2003, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by jim b
Dick, if you want a response then post on videotoasternt.com and maybe someone will listen. Its more public. I'm going to take some risks here, and will probably rue the day. I'm going to do a little educated guessing, some cross-posting, and some disagreeing. I'll probably get a bunch of flack and be accused of being a "NewTek groupie" ... but I assure you I am a very honest guy and even though I am a dealer have no interest in offering disinformation. When I have biases I admit them, and when I think something is dumb I'll admit it no matter who is responsible, including me.

Where's NewTek?

As to NewTek's silence in this thread -- actually, they've been pretty quiet all around recently. I think there are several obvious reasons. They just recently launched VT[3], and have a lot yet to do with respects to promotional demos, not to mention getting it shipped and REALLY finished. They've shown LW8 at SIGGRAPH, and followed that with WEVA and a couple other smaller shows. They're not a monolith, and the guys and gals are very busy.

I've no doubt that, as on other occasions when Andrew was a little less visible than is common for him, he is busily shepherding the first VT[3] patch to completion, and there is reason to beleive it is close.

Paul has been the front runner in the marathon mentioned above. At this point, he's just unpacked from WEVA and is likely catching his breath ... and ... deciding whether 'tis nobler to dive into this thread with a comment along the lines of 'Your issues have been addressed and are fixed in the upcoming patch" -- which would undoubtedly just start a round of "When?!!!" and "Why did you ship it with bugs" and "We've heard that before!" -- or whether he should just sit quiet for a couple days (guessing) and say "Please enjoy the patch we just posted."

Now, to the issues.

The CG

This thread is mostly about the CG. The problem with the CG is mostly the Save issue, which is clearly screwed up. The issue has been acknowledged, and is reportedly fixed in the patch.

I agree there have been too many of these sort of things with the CG particularly. It shows GREAT promise, but always seems to have some frustrating little quirks. I've seen things like this before in instances where a single (albeit brilliant) programmer was trying to bring something splendid to birth single-handedly. I wonder...

Shadows

Re: the alpha shadow issue: Andrew recently wrote the following about this on the VTNT list at Yahoogroups (which for my money is the best public forum, being truly public and non-partisan).

Note - I haven't asked Andrew if I could cross-post this, and admit to partially taking it out of context AND only using part of his message (y'all should join that list so I didn't need to cross-post anyway ;) ... but it won't be the first time I've annoyed him so what the heck ;)

*******************

"Our philosophy is generally that when choosing the base algorithm used for a particular component of the software we try to ensure that with 'the most typical cases' it is able to run real-time even though in more complex cases it might not.

The problem is that things like soft-shadows are an area where there are several possible methods of implementing them ... we chose the method that runs best on the most common case (no alpha channel on the source image.)

The blur filter is one that I would point to as not having 'true' RT performance althought it is close on some machines ...

Andrew

ps. Disclaimer : Our philosophy is subject to change without notice.


*******************

Now, I do think the approach needs to be refined. Most people are going to be unhappy with the current necessaity to use Aura (or some such) whenever they want a 'alpha-contoured' shadow in V-Edit. A better solution needs to be sought, and I expect that this view will eventually prevail. In the interim, AuraVT is the answer.

I hope this helps a bit - I expect it won't, but I really think a couple days from now the issue will be moot.

Dick Nelson
08-30-2003, 07:18 PM
Here's a copy of a post I placed in another discussion thread in this forum:

We're now doing the "Save as image file" option to get around the crashes, but have discovered another problem there. This problem is mentioned in another topic area on this forum, so it's not unique to us. When you choose the "Save as image file" option you then have to designate a file type. Opening the window to do this requires increasing amounts of time, the more files you have saved. At one point the other day our director timed this at one-and-a-half minutes just waiting for the "File type" window to open. We're producing a newscast under very tight deadlines. Can you imagine waiting a minute and a half to save each of more than 30 CGs? We discovered that rebooting solves the problem temporarily.

None of this is acceptable and we need a fix NOW.

Dan Hong
09-08-2003, 10:08 AM
At the risk of jumping on Mr. Bowie and NewTek's bandwagon, I guess I should put in my 2 cents worth. I was at both Siggraph and WEVA with NewTek. With the release of both Lightwave 8 and VT[3], everyone's been running at 150% for the last six months. Let's have a tad of compassion. Look closely at VT[3]. Look at what this amazing tool does (in realtime). Look at any of the other tools you use. Do they have even 50% of the power and control that VT[3] does? I'd guess the answer is no.
As for the CG issue...Yes, I've managed to crash the system with a save. (Have you ever crashed Premiere, After Effects or Final Cut?) Have you actually looked at the output of the new CG? Have you marvelled at the templates included with the system? Unfortunately, I have to say (again), that I'm using my system to make money (faster) everyday. I also have to say that everyday I'm more convinced that this is by far the most amazing piece of technology that I've ever been associated with. I'm so impressed that I go with my dealer to show it off whenever I can. I build systems that work everyday. 30 systems out, 1 bad CPU fan and 1 bad harddrive (tested and replaced before the customer took the machine). Before we get all bent out of shape about some problems that we have, let's not forget that computers in general and computers doing video in particular are a tad finicky. Your VT system taxes your computer more in one minute than most computers get used in a year. As for software, does anyone still use Premiere 4.5? No, they never could. Premiere crashed about ever 10 minutes. And that was 4 and a half generations old. Even Final Cut is 4th generation technology. We just started the third generation of this product! What will VT[6.5] be? I don't know, but I'll be here to see.

Dick Nelson
09-08-2003, 11:15 AM
You are absolutely right that VT is a terrific product, and I'm amazed at what it does. However, arguing for "compassion" because a product has bugs strikes me as a bit odd. Would you have "compassion" for General Motors if the fuel pump went out after you had driven you new Chevy for only 500 miles?

We put up with an amazing number of product defects in the computer world that we don't tolerate with any other product. Microsoft and Apple have created sophisticated products that make them the Mercedes of computing, but in terms of reliability they have yet to equal the Model T.

Rich Deustachio
09-08-2003, 12:20 PM
Bugs need to be brought to NewTek's attention for sure and should be fixed as quick as possible, but there is a positive way to bring bugs to their attention and a negative way. The positive way tell newteK about the bug and lets them know how to reproduce it and is very productive in helping them find and fix the bug. The negative way complains about the bug, bashes newTek for having the bug, and most times makes them feel all of their hard work is not appreciated, making them not feeling good about going to work to fix the bugs.

I too get frustrated by certain shortcomings and problems with the system, but using the positive way to help them find bugs will resolve the problems faster.

steveg
09-09-2003, 10:49 AM
I don't understand why people think we are bashing NewTek just because we expect the cg to work as promised many moons ago. I need my cg to work correctly as I need my computer to work correctly. I bet that if it were some part of the system that you needed to work such as if the video inputs did not accept video you would expect NewTek to take care of it in a timely manner. And' I'll also bet that if you use your Toaster for business and could not import video you probably wouldn't say "leave NewTek alone" they will eventually fix it. I think you would be either buying another system instead of the Toaster or trying to push NewTek to make it a priority to fix the inputs.
Well, that is how much some of us need the CG to work. If the CG is not important to your clients, Fine. But I need it to work as much as the video inputs. So, Please try not to judge someone who desperately needs the cg to work, Instead, put your energy towards getting it to work so we can all enjoy the Toaster.
Besides, Paul said it is fixed. Paul said we would be able to download it a few weeks ago. Put your money where your mouth is. Where is this fix for us to download. And then there will be no more arguements about the CG.

Paul Lara
09-09-2003, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by steveg
Where is this fix for us to download.

It will be posted in a couple weeks, in order that we may roll in a newer (friendlier) registration process for all users.

prospector
09-10-2003, 03:12 PM
OH OH
Microsoft type spyware:D

I see some conspiracy theorys coming;)

Paul Lara
09-10-2003, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by prospector
OH OH
Microsoft type spyware:D


Actually, just the opposite. You'll now be able to register your VT[3] over the phone, for people that lack any sort of connectivity beyond that.

;)

jim b
09-10-2003, 08:00 PM
I give:confused:

prospector
09-10-2003, 09:10 PM
Paul..
I didn't reallt think Newtek would sink that low (microsofts level)
But conspiracys are much more fun;)

wvp
09-14-2003, 05:57 PM
So I will now have to wait "a couple weeks" for a patch to a program that is allready registered (on 1 machine, I will not install on the other 2 until the patch is issued)?
It was posted by Newtek that a patch should be available "by the end of the month"(august). Now we are told it will be "a couple weeks" not because there are more kinks/bugs to work out but because Newtek wants to make it easier for people who have not bought the program yet.
Ok. I'll wait :(
Owner of three toaster 3 systems

Paul Lara
09-14-2003, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by wvp
It was posted by Newtek that a patch should be available "by the end of the month"(august).

Please take note of the operative word in there: should.

I do my level best to help you with answers, as best as I can, as the information comes available to me.

Maybe the best recourse would just be remain silent until I have the patch in-hand, and ready to upload to the server?

:(

steveg
09-16-2003, 12:06 PM
Paul, Do not become bitter. The fact that we grumble about a new upgrade not coming out soon enough should reenforce the fact that we are loyal Toaster users. Many of us have waited years for the Toaster to be finished and working. Just the fact that we grumble at all says we are still here. You would not like the alternative, which is to abandon the toaster and move on to the many other editing systems out there that are working. So, allow us to vent our steam so we can withstand the long wait to a perfect toaster systen a whole lot easier. And, I am sure that you know that if you ignore us we will,one by one, fade away. Keep us posted and keep us here. Thanks.

steveg
09-16-2003, 12:09 PM
I almost forgot. We do appreciate your help and efforts, even if we don't say it often enough. Don't take dissapointment in not having a new upgrade with anything personal.

tmon
09-16-2003, 01:21 PM
As long as NewTek let's us know that they are aware of a specific problem and are addressing it, I'm happy, because I know that they'll probably solve it. I believe this is the case with the primary CG stability issue.

Do I want what I want "now"? Of course, but come on, how many times have you been working on a video project and the producer or client keeps asking you, "Why is it taking so long?" Tell me how much you love it when that happens!?!

Very few, if any, NLE's have decent CG's. I am confident that in time, NewTek's CG will prevail. A seeming paradox to non-coders, but this latest hitch is actually a step in that direction!