Several guidelines were put in place to insure that Millennium covered the most ground possible. The main rule was that the package must be as useful to a
Toaster user, as it would be for those who also have a Flyer. This meant Toaster specific tools and effects, and compatibility for Switcher 3.x and 4.x.
While every Toaster owner should have a Flyer, those that don't will still find a lot of cool stuff in Millennium.
Old Becomes New Again
Included in Millennium are numerous great products that are no longer available or never made it to market, but will still provide valuable additions to
the Toaster/Flyer toolkit.
One of the first products added to Millennium was Byrd's Eye Software's Swipes! Toaster effects. These were never readily available to Flyer owners, since
they went off the market before the Flyer was released. Similarly, Matrix Production's Prowipes had been taken out of production. Both products also had
many unreleased effects intended for future volumes that were never realized. Millennium has them all.
Also gathered were various collections of backgrounds, fonts, animations and video sequences. In some cases, developers have been encouraged to re-release
those products and provide samples in Millennium. In other cases, such as with Digital Motions, Millennium contains entire sets. This means more content
for Millennium and more products back on the market.
Should Have Beens
There are a lot of great products available that should have been in the basic Toaster/Flyer toolkit from the beginning. To remedy that, many are included
with Millennium, such as Control Tower, Wipe Studio, RenderFX and Promix.
It's important to realize that these are not stripped down or lite versions. In some circumstances, programs have also been updated to give better
performance and new functionality.
Wipe Studio is essential for those times when you just have to have a custom wipe effect. It is the only software package available that allows you to
create 4.0 style wipes (it also creates 3.x style). Matte, color and overlay wipes can all be created with a little work and imagination. Additional
utilities to aid in the wipe making process have been added as well; for example, adding transparency to color wipes is now only a click away.
RenderFX allows you to render an entire project down to a single clip. At a very basic level. this is handy for archiving completed projects. More
valuable, though, is the ability to layer CG effects, and perform other functions that Flyer limitations make impossible. Support has also been added for
ChromaFX effects, which makes this tool even more powerful than ever before.
Promix provides a fantastic set of sound tools that add much needed sound editing capability to the Flyer. Full audio mix-downs and audio inserts on either
single or stereo channels are now available with the ease of a pull-down menu. StealAudio lets you take the audio from any Toaster Effect and use it as a
Flyer audio clip. ShiftAudio allows you to adjust audio synchronization with a video clip to get that perfect lipsync.
Lots of New Content
In addition to previously existing products, Millennium adds new content too, including over a hundred completely new wipes. Added to the Swipes! and
Prowipes collections, previously mentioned, this gives Millennium a collection of over 200 wipes. These range from basic animated and gradient wipes to
fully rotoscoped motion matte wipes. All these wipes are available for either 3.x or 4.x systems.
Also included are new fonts and background graphics for use in ToasterCG and other applications.
There are some exciting new software utilities, too. Most Flyer users already know how difficult it can be to backup projects. To improve on this, new
scripts are included that allow backup directly to a hard drive or removable media drive. You will also be able to do basic video deck control directly
from the Flyer interface - including support for many professional recorders and players.
There are some other nice utilities, but one of the most exciting has to be Electric Scene Knife. Currently, after you've recorded footage on camera, you
then transfer it to FlyerClips by carefully recording each scene to the Flyer separately, or recording everything as one large clip and then breaking it up
into smaller clips manually. That can take a lot of time, and it is often a very tedious and boring job. The advantage of the Knife is that it can
automatically detect scene changes in a FlyerClip. After scanning your clip, it shows you the positions of all the scene changes, each with their own
croutons. Then you just tell it what scenes to separate, and it will split those scenes into their own clips. With much less effort, you're ready to start
A Benefit to Developers
Another important area that needed to be improved on was the programmability of the system. To address that, Millennium adds the vifly.library, from Visual
Inspirations, which adds over 300 new ARexx commands for the Toaster and Flyer. Among other things, it allows you to add pull-down menus and menu dialogs.
Now that this will be included in Millennium, developers can count on having a richer ARexx command set for Toaster and Flyer development. It's also
presents an easy way for the advanced user to be able to put tools of their own, directly into the Toaster/Flyer interface.
In addition, a programmers manual for the all the Promix and RenderFX tools is included for the first time anywhere. So, anyone wanting to roll there own
ARexx scripts using these tools, will have all the information they need to do it.
What You Get
Over a dozen companies were involved in the development, production and organization of Millennium. This includes a lot of people whose names you are sure
to recognize: Kermit Woodall, Bill Evans, Bohus Blahut, Paul Lara and many more. With that kind of talent involved, it's sure to be a high quality
The resulting product will include three CDROMs filled with wipes, fonts, backgrounds, software and more; full documentation, professionally printed and
designed to integrate into your current Toaster/Flyer manual; a video tape overview of the Millennium package; and a comprehensive, full-color catalog of
other Toaster/Flyer products.
More information is available here: Nova Design or NewTek.