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SMIL: FW: Microsoft Announces Chromeffects Software Development Kit

From: James Allan <allan_jm@tsb1.tsbvi.edu>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 09:26:31 -0500
To: WAU-ua <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-id: <000401bdb70f$0db1f200$0100007f@localhost>
SMIL team -- has anybody looked at Chromeffects? It sounds like it could be
a player as well as an authoring tool.

Jim Allan, Statewide Technical Support Specialist
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756
voice 512.206.9315    fax: 512.206.9453  http://www.tsbvi.edu/
"We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." McLuhan, 1964

-----Original Message-----
From: uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu [mailto:uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu] On
Behalf Of David Bolnick
Sent: Thursday, July 23, 1998 8:35 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: RE: Microsoft Announces Chromeffects Software Development Kit


Kelly,

That's a fair question. In all honesty - just as with HTML today, the bulk
of accessibility relies on good practices employed by the author. That said,
Chromeffects can synchronize text (as in captions) and audio (as in audio
descriptions). You can also embed the Windows Media Player in a Chromeffects
object (e.g, a cube) which supports SAMI closed captioning, and with a few
lines of script (VB or Java), supports audio descriptions and synchronized
text highlighting. I will be releasing demo's of SAMI on our Web site in the
not too distant future.
Furthermore, currently if a Web author wants to produce an image of a cube,
for example, they use a bitmap which contains little useful information for
blind and visually impaired users (absent what is covered by the Alt= and
Title properties). If on the other hand, that cube is actually an XML
compliant object, a screen reader could be easily modified to recognize it
and voice that information. So, I would say that the potential for good can
definitely be realized with good authoring. Lastly I will leave you with my
personal opinion: with Microsoft's commitment to accessibility (which I get
the pleasure of seeing first hand), you are likely to see improved
accessibility with each subsequent release of our products, including
Chromeffects and Media Player. Maybe it's not fast enough for some, but it
will be steady and always moving in the right direction.

David.

David A. Bolnick
Accessibility Program Manager: Multimedia, Telecommunications
Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA  98052
Web:  <http://microsoft.com/enable> http://microsoft.com/enable


		-----Original Message-----
		From:	Kelly Ford [mailto:kford@teleport.com]
		Sent:	Tuesday, July 21, 1998 9:39 AM
		To:	Multiple recipients of list
		Subject:	Microsoft Announces Chromeffects Software
Development Kit

		My question, along with all the stunning visuals and eye
catching effects
		the hype suggests for this product, will it help or hurt the
accessibility
		of the web?

		>Subject: Microsoft Announces Chromeffects Software
Development Kit

		>Posted at 6:57 a.m. PDT Tuesday, July 21, 1998

>------------------------------------------------------------
		>
		>Microsoft Announces Chromeffects Software Development Kit
		>Next-Generation Interactive Media Toolkit to Spark a New
Genre of Tools,
		>              Applications and Interactive Media Content
		>
		>
		>ORLANDO, Fla., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- At SIGGRAPH 98
today, Microsoft
		>Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced plans for the release of the
		>Chromeffects(TM) software development kit (SDK), available
for download on
		>Aug. 17, 1998. Previously code-named `Chrome,` Chromeffects
interactive
		>media technology is an add-on feature to the Microsoft(R)
Windows(R) 98
		>operating system that unlocks a new range of
high-performance interactive
		>media content for applications, multimedia titles and Web
sites.  The
		>Chromeffects SDK allows Web authors and application
developers to leverage
		>the ease and flexibility of HTML to take full advantage of
the DirectX(R)
		>API-based multimedia power of the Windows 98 platform.
Developers can
		>deliver compelling new content enhanced with Chromeffects
and powerful new
		>tools and capabilities to catalyze innovation and new
market opportunities.
		> In support of the Chromeffects SDK, leading vendors,
including Live
		>Picture Inc., MetaCreations Corp. and Zapa Digital Arts,
are offering tools
		>and add-in components to enhance the use of Chromeffects.
		>
		>The Chromeffects SDK includes technologies to benefit a
range of
		>developers, from Web and title designers to professional
application and
		>interactive media tool developers.  Designers with skill
sets ranging from
		>point and click to scripting and programming will be able
to easily create
		>interactive content using Extensible Markup Language (XML)
in Chromeffects
		>for simple integration with HTML.  Designers using
Chromeffects can take
		>advantage of sophisticated 2-D, 3-D, audio and video
effects to
		>differentiate their HTML content in a single 3-D
composition space.
		>
		>`Chromeffects is one of the most exciting media
technologies we've seen,`
		>said Rob Enderle, director of desktop and mobile
technologies at GIGA
		>Information Group.  `Chromeffects provides the ability to
work around
		>bandwidth limitations and use the power of the performance
personal
		>computer, much of which would otherwise be wasted.  This
technology, while
		>clearly on the cutting edge today, is expected to be
mainstream in Web time
		>and will help open our eyes to even more of the as yet
untapped potential
		>of the Internet before the end of 1999.`
		>
		>Chromeffects Delivers a Fast, Flashy and Functional
End-User Experience
		>
		>Chromeffects interactive media technology gives developers
the power to
		>dramatically improve the end-user computing experience by
adding visual
		>impact and unique real-time functionality without the
lengthy downloads of
		>current bulky multimedia.  Chromeffects takes advantage of
the latest
		>multimedia enhancements to the Windows operating system and
leverages the
		>power of the latest PC hardware to deliver an end-user
experience that is
		>uniquely entertaining and efficient.
		>
		>Fast.  Chromeffects introduces a host of new interactive
media data
		>
		>types to achieve richer interactive graphics with smaller,
faster
		>
		>downloads, increased frame rates and real-time performance.
XML tags in
		>
		>Chromeffects allow lightweight descriptions to be sent over
the Internet
		>
		>for the Windows 98-based client to render and process the
media,
		>
		>exploiting the latest PC hardware for acceleration gains in
performance
		>
		>and real-time interactivity.
		>
		>Flashy.  Developers can now easily create high-fidelity,
		>
		>television-style
		>
		>effects and animations never before seen on the Web.  By
utilizing the
		>
		>16-bit color and 3-D compositional space of Chromeffects,
designers can
		>
		>create a more entertaining, engaging and memorable viewer
experience.
		>
		>Functional.  Content optimized for Chromeffects can be used
to improve
		>
		>overall navigation and communication of information.
Mapping HTML text
		>
		>or images to a cube can multiply the effective real estate
of a page.
		>
		>Rather than navigating through pages, the user can
mouse-over a cube to
		>
		>bring a new side of information to the front.  Chromeffects
also enables
		>
		>bend-away menu bars, to increase focal area on the screen.
The
		>
		>Chromeffects SDK provides many interactive examples of how
the
		>
		>technology can be applied to greatly improve functionality.
The
		>
		>documentation on the SDK itself is an actual example of how
the
		>
		>Chromeffects technology inspires viewers to interact and
explore
		>
		>concepts.
		>
		>`The Chromeffects SDK puts the ability to create compelling
interactive
		>media content in reach of a far broader community of
graphic and publishing
		>designers,` said Eric Engstrom, general manager of
multimedia at Microsoft.
		>`By making it simple for third-party developers to design
and adapt add-in
		>enhancements to Chromeffects, we intend to fill the huge
void in the
		>easy-to-author tools space.`
		>
		>Benefits of Chromeffects
		>
		>Chromeffects is designed to make interactive media
authoring simple to gain
		>widespread adoption:
		>
		>Ease of use.  Because Chromeffects technology exploits the
DirectX
		>
		>multimedia services in Windows 98, developers and content
authors are
		>
		>spared the labor-intensive aspects of media integration,
animation,
		>
		>interactivity and distributing a run time.  Developers can
add real-time
		>
		>2-D and 3-D rendering and animation -- synchronized with
audio -- to
		>
		>HTML content via simple XML tags and popular Internet
scripting
		>
		>languages.  Chromeffects offers the ability to scale
content, so viewers
		>
		>on systems without Chromeffects are able to see standard
content.
		>
		>Extensible architecture.  Through DirectX Transform,
third-party
		>
		>developers can extend and enhance the functionality of
Chromeffects.
		>
		>Transforms are add-ins to create effects beyond those
provided by the
		>
		>default library.
		>
		>Built-in run time.  With the run time built into
Chromeffects-enabled
		>
		>systems, independent software vendors (ISVs) save the
significant
		>
		>development, distribution and support costs associated with
building a
		>
		>run time.  In addition, end-user downloads are no longer a
factor in
		>
		>developing an application or add-in.
		>
		>Rich Design Elements of Chromeffects Expand Capabilities
for Developers
		>
		>Chromeffects enables different forms of media to be
integrated in one
		>seamless composition space encompassing an entire Web page,
rather than
		>being limited to a specific area of a page.  Core elements
of Chromeffects
		>include the following:
		>
		>2-D.  A set of XML tags, based on the Vector Markup
Language (VML)
		>
		>proposed standard, can be used to generate complex animated
artwork
		>
		>integrated with HTML content without using script.
Chromeffects also
		>
		>delivers flexibility so that scripting languages like the
Visual
		>
		>Basic(R) development language Scripting Edition,
JScript(TM) development
		>
		>software, Visual Basic and Java can be used, if desired, to
create
		>
		>dynamic graphics that respond to user input.
		>
		>3-D.  Chromeffects provides a library of XML tags and a
real-time 3-D
		>
		>rendering engine for adding 3-D objects, scene objects,
textures,
		>
		>animations, interactivity and lighting to content.
Two-dimensional
		>
		>surfaces can be wrapped around 3-D objects in real time,
including live
		>
		>HTML Web pages with active hyperlinks.
		>
		>Sound.  Chromeffects allows developers to use XML tags to
insert wave
		>
		>audio and MIDI into a scene with controls for various
playback methods,
		>
		>volume, pan and muting.  Developers can use multiple sound
sources at
		>
		>the same time to combine or synchronize their playback.
		>
		>Video.  Chromeffects allows developers to map video onto
2-D objects and
		>
		>3-D surfaces while providing a standard set of video
playback controls.
		>
		>Additional Features
		>
		>For additional functions, the Chromeffects SDK will provide
a library of
		>image and 3-D effects.  Effects can be applied to objects
(dissolve,
		>explode, ruffle, etc.) and to images (wipe, composite, fade
and more).
		>Through DirectX Transform, third parties can also add
effects to enhance
		>the capabilities of Chromeffects.  A robust set of
third-party effects and
		>add-ins on the SDK will include the following:
		>
		>MetaCreations Corp.  MetaStream for progressively streaming
scalable 3-D
		>
		>graphics over the Internet; MetaCreations image effects --
liquid,
		>
		>vacuum, page curl and many more -- for eye-catching image
transitions
		>
		>Squishy FX.  A new genre of interactive, continuously
generated organic
		>
		>effects and music integrated into reusable art forms
		>
		>Zapa Digital Arts.  A library of Zapa Characterz with human
behaviors
		>
		>and personalities to liven up 2-D, 2-D animated and 3-D
environments
		>
		>Live Picture.  Award-winning software for fast interaction
with
		>
		>photographs, illustrations and 3-D objects
		>
		>By utilizing standards and familiar authoring formats, the
Chromeffects SDK
		>provides flexibility and ease for application and content
developers to
		>innovate now and in the future.
		>
		>For More Information
		>
		>More information about Microsoft Chromeffects can be found
on the
		>Chromeffects Web site at
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/chromeffects/.
		>For software developers and Web site designers, the
Chromeffects SDK is
		>scheduled to be available for no-charge downloading (online
connect charges
		>may apply) on Aug. 17, 1998, from The Microsoft Developer
Network
		>(MSDN(TM)), or from the Microsoft Site Builder Network
(SBN) Web sites (
		>http://www.microsoft.com/msdn/, and
http://www.microsoft.com/sitebuilder/,
		>respectively).  In addition, the Chromeffects SDK will be
sent on CD-ROM to
		>all MSDN Professional- and Universal-level subscribers in
the scheduled
		>October shipment.  The MSDN developer program is the
essential resource for
		>developers, bringing together everything they need to be
successful,
		>including tools, technologies, education, information and
technical events.
		> The Microsoft Site Builder Network is the leading online
resource and
		>membership program for Web professionals, with more than
800,000 registered
		>members.
		>
		>About Microsoft
		>
		>Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in
software for personal
		>computers.  The company offers a wide range of products and
services for
		>business and personal use, each designed with the mission
of making it
		>easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of
the full power of
		>personal computing every day.
		>
		>NOTE:  Microsoft, Chromeffects, Windows, DirectX, Visual
Basic, JScript,
		>MSDN, Visual InterDev and DirectAnimation are either
registered trademarks
		>or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States
and/or other
		>countries.
		>
		>Softimage is a registered trademark of Softimage Inc., a
wholly-owned
		>subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.
		>
		>Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of
their
		>respective owners.
		>
		>Industry Supports Microsoft Chromeffects Interactive Media
Technology For
		>
		>Windows 98
		>
		>3D Planet Inc.
		>
		>`Chromeffects provides 3D Planet with a faster way to bring
our 3-D
		>interactive character tools to market because it allows us
to concentrate
		>on the development of an application instead of creating
the complete
		>run-time environment.`
		>
		>Kevin Bromber
		>
		>President
		>
		>3D Planet Inc.
		>
		>Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD)
		>
		>`AMD applauds the introduction of Microsoft Chromeffects
and is especially
		>pleased that it is optimized for the AMD-K6-2 processor
with 3DNow!
		>technology.  The powerful combination of Chromeffects and
the K6-2 with
		>3DNow!, along with the forthcoming DirectX 6.0 API, now
provides the
		>optimal solution to bring users the best 3-D-enhanced
Internet experience.`
		>
		>Rob Herb
		>
		>Senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer
		>
		>AMD
		>
		>Crawford Software Design
		>
		>`Crawford Software Design is using Chromeffects as a base
for the
		>development of our new, easy-to-use electricFX
interface-design tools,
		>enabling Web designers to transform their sites with
exciting multimedia
		>special effects.  Media-savvy consumers will gravitate to
sites that use
		>Chromeffects because they are appealing, lively and fun.`
		>
		>John Crawford
		>
		>President
		>
		>Crawford Software Design
		>
		>flashCast Communications Corp.
		>
		>`Chromeffects is easy to learn, and it allows Web designers
to build cool
		>3-D graphics without long download times or the need for
annoying plug-ins.
		>With Chromeffects, designers can deploy a site tailored to
the upscale
		>audience while supporting legacy browsers.  Interactive 3-D
Chromeffects
		>will boost creativity and achieve marketing objectives.`
		>
		>Paul Scholz
		>
		>Chief Internet Architect
		>
		>flashCast Communications Corp.
		>
		>Gloss Media
		>
		>`Before the availability of Chromeffects, we had to ask our
end users to do
		>a lot to experience a little.  Chromeffects is quite
revolutionary; we can
		>create compelling high-fidelity effects for our clients'
Web sites without
		>retooling our staff.  Chromeffects immediately
differentiates our clients'
		>Web sites with high-impact, fast-loading 3-D effects
without the need for a
		>plug-in.  Chromeffects is the first application that moves
the Web closer
		>to the television experience -- integration we have all
been waiting for.`
		>
		>Mark Lacey
		>
		>President
		>
		>Gloss Media
		>
		>Hunt Interactive Inc.
		>
		>`Our WebTools for Chromeffects complements Microsoft Visual
InterDev(TM) by
		>making it easier than ever to create sophisticated Web
applications.  With
		>WebTools for Chromeffects, Web authors can incorporate the
latest 3-D
		>technology into their Web sites through a very simple
interface.
		>Developers are now able to develop a compelling interactive
experience
		>without learning a new scripting language or programming.
Our clients are
		>very excited about Chromeffects and how it can
differentiate their sites.`
		>
		>John Hunt
		>
		>President
		>
		>Hunt Interactive Inc.
		>
		>Intel Corp.
		>
		>`Applications such as Chromeffects will enable a richer
connected
		>experience through scalable 3-D and multimedia for users of
		>high-performance PCs.  Intel's efforts help ensure that
consumers have an
		>optimal experience viewing Chromeffects-based content on
Pentium II
		>processor-based performance PCs.`
		>
		>Toshi Takahashi
		>
		>Director of Consumer Desktop Marketing
		>
		>Intel Corp.
		>
		>KATrix Inc.
		>
		>`Chromeffects provides the ideal platform for showcasing
our unique
		>WebCharacter animation technology because it allows us to
deliver fully
		>interactive humanlike 3-D characters over the Internet that
can function as
		>hosts, tour guides and salespeople.  With Chromeffects, the
character
		>animation is seamlessly integrated with the contents of Web
pages.`
		>
		>Stephen Lane
		>
		>President
		>
		>KATrix Inc.
		>
		>Live Picture Inc.
		>
		>`By incorporating our Zoom image technology into the
Chromeffects SDK, Live
		>Picture is bringing resolution-on-demand imaging to
millions of PC users on
		>the operating system level.  As a result, developers will
easily add
		>zoomable images and textures to their Web content, enabling
a dynamic new
		>experience for users of high-performance, media-enhanced
PCs.`
		>
		>John Ison
		>
		>Vice President of Marketing
		>
		>Live Pictures Inc.
		>
		>Luxent Webworks
		>
		>`Our corporate developers' requirements for the
visualization of critical
		>data have moved way beyond four-color bar charts.
Chromeffects lets us
		>move the real power of our 3-D Business Graphics Server
directly to the
		>client -- where it belongs -- with no learning curve.`
		>
		>Jeff Jochum
		>
		>CEO
		>
		>Luxent Webworks
		>
		>MetaCreations Corp.
		>
		>`The combination of Chromeffects and MetaStream is a
developer match made
		>in heaven.  Developers can now easily create, edit and
manipulate scalable
		>interactive media for the Web and the desktop.  Scalability
of software
		>created with Chromeffects will give users a consistent and
engaging
		>experience on a wide variety of computer systems.`
		>
		>Bob Rice
		>
		>Vice President of Strategic Affairs
		>
		>MetaCreations Corp.
		>
		>MGI Software Corp.
		>
		>`MGI Software is very excited about Chromeffects.  Our PC
photography
		>software, PhotoSuite II, is the only application utilizing
Microsoft
		>Internet Explorer as a development platform, so the
injection of
		>Chromeffects in this environment opens up a wealth of
interface-design
		>possibilities.  We are able to quickly prototype and
redesign our interface
		>to give users a new, compelling, interactive 3-D experience
without their
		>having to learn a new scripting language or engage in
heavy-duty
		>programming.`
		>
		>Thomas Nielsen
		>
		>Director of Development
		>
		>MGI Software Corp.
		>
		>Monolith Productions Inc.
		>
		>`One of the most exciting aspects of Chromeffects for us is
the capability
		>to texture 3-D objects with fully active HTML, Dynamic
HTML,
		>DirectAnimation(TM), etc.  This opens up incredible new
ways to present
		>information, improve navigation and engage the user in a
more interactive
		>experience than is possible with flat Web pages.`
		>
		>Joel Reiff
		>
		>Webmaster
		>
		>Monolith Productions Inc.
		>
		>PLATINUM technology inc.
		>
		>`Chromeffects is an important new platform for Web-based
media that makes
		>significant strides in ease of authoring and run-time
deployment, both of
		>which are key to widespread adoption.  PLATINUM technology
looks forward to
		>working with Microsoft to bring this technology to our
global customer base
		>through our product and services offerings.`
		>
		>Toni Parisi
		>
		>Director of Business Development
		>
		>Visual Computing Group PLATINUM technology inc.
		>
		>Softimage Corp.
		>
		>`We are pleased to see a product such as Chromeffects,
which allows 3-D
		>content to be delivered in a broad context.  Now developers
can take native
		>content created in Softimage(R) that has been developed for
broadcast,
		>games or feature film and repurpose that content for the
desktop or the
		>Web.`
		>
		>John McQueen
		>
		>Director of Marketing
		>
		>Softimage Corp.
		>
		>Squishy FX
		>
		>`Developing effects for Chromeffects has been an easy
choice for us. Before
		>Chromeffects, there was no platform that would support our
interactive, 3-D
		>effects in the browser.  With Chromeffects, users can now
create content
		>using our interactive, 3-D special effects in the same way
they would build
		>their HTML pages.`
		>
		>Joe Bilman
		>
		>Founding Partner
		>
		>Squishy FX
		>
		>TGS Inc.
		>
		>`The integration of Chromeffects into our 3-D art and
animation products
		>takes 3-D to the next level.  By delivering a robust and
high-level
		>run-time environment, Microsoft has enabled us to focus on
making it easy
		>to create totally cool effects for the Web and for the
dektop.
		>Chromeffects is a big win for developers and an even bigger
win for PC
		>users.`
		>
		>Terry Baker
		>
		>CEO
		>
		>TGS Inc.
		>
		>Vertigo Technology Inc.
		>
		>`The Chromeffects SDK will allow us to quickly and easily
develop
		>high-quality 3-D software.  Lower development costs and a
quicker
		>development cycle make the Chromeffects SDK an essential
tool.  Having a
		>comprehensive SDK will allow our engineers to do what they
do best --
		>develop compelling 3-D and animation tools.`
		>
		>Kevin Jampole
		>
		>General Manager
		>
		>Vertigo Technology Inc.
		>
		>Viewpoint DataLabs International Inc.
		>
		>`We believe this represents the entertainment and
communication platform of
		>the future.  With Chromeffects, our library of digital
objects and 3-D art
		>styles will help mainstream communicators and professionals
create powerful
		>documents, Web sites and entertainment.`
		>
		>Ben Wen
		>
		>Director of Business Development
		>
		>Viewpoint DataLabs
		>
		>Zapa Digital Arts
		>
		>`I founded Zapa with a vision of bringing life to the
Internet.  We have
		>been waiting for the day when processor power and Web
browsers were capable
		>of bringing Web users the kind of dynamic media they could
only dream
		>about. Microsoft Chromeffects is the platform leading this
revolution, and
		>we are absolutely thrilled and privileged to be included
with this
		>technology.`
		>
		>Eyal Gever
		>
		>CEO and Founder
		>
		>
		>
		>
		>Zapa Digital Arts  SOURCE  Microsoft Corp.
		>
		>/NOTE TO EDITORS:
		>
		>If you are interested in viewing additional information on
Microsoft, check
		>out the Microsoft Web page at
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on
		>Microsoft's corporate information pages./
		>
		>/CONTACT:  Olivia Riley of MacKenzie Kesselring,
503-225-0725, or
		>oliviarmkinc.com, for Microsoft Corp./
		>
		>/Web site:  http://www.microsoft.com/
Received on Friday, 24 July 1998 10:31:00 UTC

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