Thursday, January 31, 2008

Amiga Shockwave

When Commodore died in 1994 it sent a shockwave through the Amiga professional software market. Developers went out of business or ported their applications to other platforms at the speed of light. It was a very sad day to be an Amiga owner with a large investment in creative software and hardware. Our founder was in such a situation. He vowed though if given the chance he would help the market if the shoe was ever on the other foot.

He got his chance a few years later when the Video Toaster consulting company he founded morphed into digital video effects software development. The promise has been kept at DiscreetFX till this day. While it is true that we develop for Windows and other operating systems we have never let the dream die. The Amiga is always brought up in a positive light. Amiga and AROS bounties are supported. The Amiga is still proudly mentioned on the website. An effort was even made in 2006 with investors to purchase the rights to the Amiga itself. The goal has always been to create another shockwave but this time in the other direction. With Aladdin 4D we have a chance at that shockwave. If Aladdin 4D can be upgraded and made native on Amiga OS 4.0, MorphOS & AROS it can be a glowing example of fast professional native 3D software that users of those operating systems can be proud of. OS 4.0/MorphOS/AROS have no native commercial 3D software available for them today.

They do have products like PageStream 5.0 Pro & HollyWood 3 and every application counts. These products must be supported if a professional creative market is to be reborn on Amiga systems. We will work hard to keep the dream alive and hope other developers will join in. Even 3D animation software developers. Competition is good and makes a vibrant and alive 3rd party software market. At the end of the day it does not really matter who the IP holder of Amiga is or what they do. What matters more is what 3rd party developers do. The Amiga market has matured to a level that one company no longer matters. The community is what matters most of all. We will work hard to do our part, will you?

The Hunt for Greg Gorby

While we embark on our quest of evaluating and updating Aladdin 4D for the modern world we thought it would be best to contact someone that might like to have a say. It could be true that Greg Gorby is no longer alive or if he is he may not have any interest in Aladdin 4D and that would be fine. But since it was his baby at one point in his life and was the basis for his company Adspec Programming. We wanted to give him a voice on where he would like to see Aladdin 4D in 2008. What were his dreams for the package, how does he feel about the way 3D animation software has progressed? Without Greg we probably would not be writing this blog.

If anyone one talks with Greg on a regular bases or knows how to contact him please let us know. If he is interested we would like to know his feelings on Aladdin 4D. He is from Ohio and probably still lives there so we don't mind stopping by and buying lunch or dinner for him and his family.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kiss of Death

One of the first things we did when we took over Aladdin 4D was to develop a multi-platform strategy for the relaunch. We had always believed that limiting the user base to only Amiga customers was holding it back. But while it may have been a sin to make Aladdin 4D available only on Amiga OS it is an equal sin for products like Caligari TrueSpace to only be on Windows. 3D animation software is such a niche and has such a artistic but sometimes fickle customer base, to assure success it must be on more platforms. By limiting your package to only Amiga or even Windows is a sure Kiss of Death. Of course you could take the multi-platform approach that Cinema 4D or LightWave takes and make your product available on Windows & Mac. Or you can go a little further like Maya does and have a Linux version as well. But why stop there? We have an idea of a future world where customer choice is king and computer platforms are not as limited as they are today. By making your product available for platforms that are just reemerging like Amiga OS 4.0 or MorphOS you may just discover a new technique or tool set you might have otherwise missed.

By also making your products available on something new like AROS you may just be surprised what loyal new customers and feedback you get. By giving these obscure but exciting platforms a chance you might just give your application a chance to be successful and not die. It's good to help others and support their hard working efforts. We hope that by being this brave and supporting these additional platforms we can be a catalyst for change. It shows a great appreciation for the customer when you allow them to use your package in such a flexible way. Maybe they have a new idea for a model or animation and started creating it at home on their Amiga. On their break at work they can continue to work on it or finish on Windows. Maybe their friend has a Mac and they want to work on it at their house or show whats being created.

The computer platform will be blurred and Aladdin 4D and it's set of software tools become the focus of new animations the customer is creating. In that type of creative unlimiting environment maybe the next great animated feature can be born. Aladdin 4D avoided the Kiss of Death of course but it was a close call. At one point paramedics were called in.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Deeeeeep in Thought

Our founder is currently deep in thought and evaluating other low-end 3D animation software packages to see the best place Aladdin 4D fits in. There is a definite gap and digital divide for customers new to 3D software. A careful balance has to be struck between interesting features but not overwhelming complexity. Many computer users avoid 3D animation software all together because they feel it is too hard to use. Aladdin 4D changed that for Amiga customers and we plan to do it again for additional operating systems. We plan on making it even easier to use.

Friday, January 25, 2008

AROS & Gallium3D

The AROS Research Operating System has started a bounty for Gallium 3D. What is Gallium 3D? It is a standard way to get hardware assisted 3D graphic acceleration and shading into an operating system. The success of this bounty will make the AROS version of Aladdin 4D even better for customers. We wish the AROS community well on achieving this port and will be adding funds to the Gallium 3D bounty very soon. You can donate to the bounty using the link below.

Gallium 3D AROS Bounty

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Have You Purchased Aladdin 4D Recently?

Have you purchased Aladdin 4D from December 17th, 2007 - January 17th, 2008? If so please contact us via the Aladdin 4D forums. Since your such a recent customer we would like to offer you a substantial upgrade on the next version of A4D. The forums can be accessed via the following link below.

Aladdin 4D Forums

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wait or Wave?

A potential customer called us today and asked should they wait for a new version of Aladdin 4D for Windows or should they buy LightWave 3D? We told them they should most definitely buy LightWave 3D ASAP. Never plan projects on unreleased software when you have an immediate need. LightWave 3D 9.3 represents years and years of refinements and upgrades. It does things Aladdin 4D can't even dream of since it has gone so long without an upgrade. LightWave 3D has many many features not present in Aladdin 4D since they are very different products. LW 3D is aimed at high-end users needing cutting edge features. People use LightWave 3D in their daily jobs doing feature film, video game graphics/animations & print production. Aladdin 4D is aimed at beginners and hobbyists. Also, we are not focused on the Windows version of Aladdin 4D, in fact it will be the last port that is completed. Please support NewTek if your looking for a professional high-end 3D animation package. It will be one of the most exciting pieces of software you'll ever buy.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

8 Heads Are Better Than One.

Apple recently made their high end Mac Pro standard with 8 CPU Cores. A machine with 8 Cores has been available for some time but now all Mac Pros have this. The Mhz race is over and programming methodologies are changing. Just as the Amiga taught the industry that architectures are more elegant when custom chips are used along with the CPU. Multi core central processing units with complementary GPU rendered graphics will change the 3D animation industry. Since Aladdin 4D has not been updated for a while and is not a monolithic code base we can take advantage of these new ways of thinking.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Amiga, What a Cool Computer

The Amiga Computer Platform is what Aladdin 4D was originally created for. Many say it is the computer that launched the modern gaming industry. Many of the current game developers were formed or perfected their craft on the Amiga. Affordable Desktop Video & 3D Animation software also began life on this system.

Many of these tools are still around today on Windows & OS X. LightWave 3D, Cinema 4D, Video Toaster, DiscreetFX, TrueSpace, Digital Juice to name a few. We just wanted to say thanks Amiga for making the magic happen. If your an old Amiga fan or just want to give the platform and some of it's great retro software a try the Italian company Cloanto makes an Amiga Virtual Machine that allows this.