Amiga Emulation

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Martin Touhey
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Is anyone familiar with the Amiga emulator E-UAE for osx? if not then I highly recommend checking it out. When I was in high school I wanted an Amiga of my own, but never got one. I'm sure that many of you have owned an Amiga and I was wondering if anybody has any experience with the 3d rendering programs such as Imagine or Lightwave. I've tried using these programs and they're not quite self explanatory. I've checked google for manuals, but Amiga stuff is kinda hard to find. I'm not looking to do anything stellar, just do some old-school raytracing. If anyone can help it would be much appreciated.

Rowdy Rob
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Caligari/Truespace versus Blender

Clok1966 wrote:
back ... ok way back in my amiga days I used Calagari, i still have boxes and boxes of Amiga 3.5 disks someplace with the original Calagari stuff.

My response:

I remember reading about Caligari on the Amiga, but never saw it in action. If I recall correctly, it was considered prohibitively expensive by Amiga standards (thousands of dollars?), so needless to say I didn't know anyone who used it.

Did you ever produce any interesting images with Caligari, Clok? I'd be interested in hearing your experiences.

Based on what I've seen of Truespace, even the current version, it looks like it produces rather inferior output, particularly animations. I didn't know Truespace was free now, though, so thanks for the information, Clok!

That having been said, it looks like the formerly commercial Truespace program is not competitive with the freeware Blender program. I'm glad I never bought it. I've certainly never seen any Truespace animations that compare with Blender. I don't get how Caligari stayed in business so long...

Here's a 10-minute "open movie" cartoon, using Blender. If there's anything close to this level of quality being produced by Truespace artists, I'd like to see it.

Catatonic
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3 years
Rowdy Rob wrote:

It's a sort of "gamer's" joke, written in "upside down text." If you stand on your head (or turn your monitor upside down), you should be able to read it.

Finally I can read it!

clok1966
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Calagari

back ... ok way back in my amiga days I used Calagari, i still have boxes and boxes of Amiga 3.5 disks someplace with the original Calagari stuff. I had a A500 with a ..... hmm cant remeber the name (quantum?), addon box, it had a slot for more ram, a HD and a upgraded CPU (which I had all of).. shudder to think.. back then the empty box was like $500, a 40 gig HD was $200, the ram was $200, the faster CPU was like $500 If i remeber it all right. And i sold the whole kit and kaboodle for $200

Calagari had real time manipulation, so it was pretty sweet, "only" required 2 megs of ram. Here is some info.
http://www.caligari.com/company/timelinenew.asp?Subcate=Company&SubV=Tim...

the program is Caligari Truespace nowdays, was just Caligari back in the Amiga days ( maybe got the truespace name in end, cant remeber).

I see Microsoft bought them and you can get the latest (they moved to windows in the mid 90's) versions for free (didnt know that, very cool). There are lots of books on using it (I personlay have Truespace for dummies and a huge thick book (again , forget the name) that i used for refrence all the time.)

Rowdy Rob
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3D was a pain on the Amiga
Martin Touhey wrote:

Awesome, thanks rob. That's a really cool rendering you did and for 1997 is really a feat.

Thanks. There was MUCH more work to that image than you might think. On a 16-bit machine, rendering was dog-slow, and even test renders (to check for errors) took several minutes. Final renders could take DAYS! Today's typical machine can render the equivalent image in a few minutes, or even seconds!

On top of that, my Amiga had 7 megs of RAM, and to do 3D seriously, you need a HUGE amount of RAM (1 Gig isn't enough for a lot of projects!). Seven megs is insanely low memory for 3D rendering! I had to cut a LOT of corners and come up with creative ways to overcome these barriers. I rendered the spaceship, the planet, and the space/nebula background in separate passes, and combined the three images in ImageFX on the Amiga. I also had to cut out a LOT of detail on the spaceship itself, since the more polygons the object required, the more memory it required.

I painted the "nebula" in DCTV-Paint, which came with my DCTV video attachment unit. (The DCTV allowed for greatly expanded color capability). As for the planet background, my technique is still top secret, but let's just say it involved cardboard and water, among two ingredients!!!

I did indeed create about 4 seconds of animation with this scene, two 2-second spaceship fly-by scenes. The Amiga couldn't do high-speed, broadcast-quality animation at that high a color range, but I found a way! :-)

I used the DCTV video unit to output the animations to TV, which allowed a much higher color range and resolution than the Amiga was capable of natively. I also discovered a video/animation program called "Clarissa," which allowed for 30 frames-per-second/60 fields-per-second full-speed animation. Unfortunately, I had to "letterbox" the video to achieve full-speed playback.

So there I had it: a "Babylon 5" style special FX scene done on a desktop, playing at full speed! Unfortunately, the only copy of this scene I have left is on VHS tape.

The whole project pretty much killed my interest in 3D, though, since it took up SO MUCH TIME AND PATIENCE to work with such a limited computer. The animation sequence took ALMOST A MONTH of off-and-on rendering to get four seconds worth of animation! Today's computers might take a couple of hours max for the same sequence, and do it with better rendering quality.

Martin Touhey wrote:

Blender looks quite promising. I'm not quite versed in the 3D rendering world so it's kind of inundating. I actually found an old raytacer I used to work with on my pc back in the day called Persistence of Vision.

I've NEVER come across a 3D program that's "easy" to learn. Some are easier than others, but none are EASY compared to other types of production software. Compared to other 3D programs, Blender is actually considered one of the harder programs to learn, but it's MUCH easier than Imagine on the Amiga, and WAY more powerful! If you're going to try 3D, you're going to have to face the fact that 3D is going to have a tough learning curve. As for "Persistence of Vision," that's a seriously hardcore/technical/geeky platform that is much harder to learn than other mainstream raytracers (although I understand there's GUI frontends for POV).

Martin Touhey wrote:
Rowdy Rob wrote:

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

BTW.... what does this mean exactly?

It's a sort of "gamer's" joke, written in "upside down text." If you stand on your head (or turn your monitor upside down), you should be able to read it.

I think it's time I retired that tagline.... :-(

Mark Vergeer wrote:

Rob, that just looks awesome!

Thanks, Mark! I pretty much retired from 3D after that project, though. It killed me.

Mark Vergeer
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That looks excellent!

Rob, that just looks awesome!

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Martin Touhey
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Awesome, thanks rob.
Rowdy Rob wrote:

Even though Blender is a freeware program, it is a professional-level application. Learning Blender may even pay off dividends down the road pertaining to your video production business!

Awesome, thanks rob. That's a really cool rendering you did and for 1997 is really a feat. This is why I fell in love with the Amiga. It was, hands down, better than any other computing platform in its time. How unfortunate that Windows dominated the market and really overshadowed the Amiga. Just goes to show that the best doesn't always prevail. Blender looks quite promising. I'm not quite versed in the 3D rendering world so it's kind of inundating. I actually found an old raytacer I used to work with on my pc back in the day called Persistence of Vision. There's a mac version that I downloaded and have been playing with for a little while. The programming language hasn't changed at all and is really a stroll down memory lane. No GUI though, which is kind of a downer, it would be nice to know what your scene looks like before rendering, but the results are fantastic. I'm going to give blender a go and hopefully the learning curve isn't too high.

Rowdy Rob wrote:

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

BTW.... what does this mean exactly?

Rowdy Rob
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I was a heavy Imagine user on the Amiga
Martin Touhey wrote:

Is anyone familiar with the Amiga emulator E-UAE for osx? if not then I highly recommend checking it out. When I was in high school I wanted an Amiga of my own, but never got one.

I had three of them! :-)

Martin Touhey wrote:

I'm sure that many of you have owned an Amiga and I was wondering if anybody has any experience with the 3d rendering programs such as Imagine or Lightwave. I've tried using these programs and they're not quite self explanatory. I've checked google for manuals, but Amiga stuff is kinda hard to find. I'm not looking to do anything stellar, just do some old-school raytracing. If anyone can help it would be much appreciated.

Not only was I an Amiga user, I was also a user of "Imagine" on the Amiga. Actually, "user" is an understatement; I was an addict! I uploaded a picture I did in Imagine to Aminet, and got a lot of fan mail in response.

It looks quaint by today's standards, but here's the pic, found on Aminet as RO_Starliner.lha, uploaded in 1997:

Arcturian StarlinerArcturian Starliner
Dang, that looks like crap now, but I was proud of it then. It looked much better on an Amiga monitor than it does on a PC monitor for some reason. But this image compares very favorably to many (most?) other raytraced pics available on Aminet.

As for Imagine, I'm curious as to why you want to go that route. Imagine, even with the manuals, is a bear to learn. There's a freeware 3D program available on all three major OS platforms (Windows, OSX, Linux) called Blender, and it is FAR more powerful and easier to learn. It'd take you a month, minimum, to learn "Imagine" on a rudimentary level, and you can do all the same basic stuff (and MUCH MORE) with Blender, plus Blender has all the docs you need online.

Even though Blender is a freeware program, it is a professional-level application. Learning Blender may even pay off dividends down the road pertaining to your video production business!

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Mark Vergeer
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Yes I am familiar with it.

Yes I am familiar with it. Amiga Emulation on OSX is a little less smooth / user friendly as the Windows based alternatives and all in one packages out there. But the Apple OS X platform does offer quite a solid base for emulation.

In the past I did dabble around with 3D rendering programs but that was later than my Amiga days - early PC days - so can't help you in that department.

PS3: MarkVergeer | Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | Mark's Tube

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