domingo, 30 de septiembre de 2012

Lowry Digital

Lowry Digital is a digital film restoration company based in Burbank, California. It is part of India's Reliance Big Entertainment, which is part of the Reliance ADA Group.

John D. Lowry gained industry recognition in 1971 for his computer-based proprietary algorithms used in the restoration of the NASA Apollo missions 16 and 17 films.[1] As of December 15, 2006, Lowry Digital has 700 Apple Power Mac G5s, a server bay with 700 terabytes of storage and two $300,000 digital motion picture film scanners. The company is becoming increasingly involved in work on digital 3-D films, such as U2 3D and Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D.[2] Reliance MediaWorks (formerly known as Lowry Digital) was instrumental in adapting existing technology and developing new image processing techniques that set a new standard for 3-D in the landmark film Avatar. The Burbank, California subsidiary was lauded in helping Avatar — the highest grossing film in history — to earn its Academy Awards for technical achievement.[3]

Lowry describes the restoration process as overcoming three obstacles: wear and tear, age, and multiple generations of optical copies. Each frame is scanned into a high-resolution digital format, where the computer first checks for standard problems like size alterations or jitter. Then the files go through the lab's render farm for speck removal, which is then eye-checked frame-by-frame. The system works natively in 32-bit floating point, can process any format like HD and 4K, and outputs to a pristine digital master. Lowry Digital’s advanced digital image processing is also used to minimize grain in image quality without losing any quality, even in modern major motion-picture releases like Miami Vice and Zodiac.[4]

On 16 July 2009, in time for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, NASA tasked Lowry Digital to restore original video footage of the missing Apollo moon landing tapes. At a cost of $230,000 the refurbishing effort is only three weeks into a months-long project, with about 40 percent of the work completed. Lowry president Mike Inchalik commented that the video "is by far and away the lowest quality," the company has dealt with.[5]

John D. Lowry (June 2, 1932 – January 21, 2012) was a Canadian film restoration expert and innovator who founded Lowry Digital Images in 1988. His film restoration company, headquartered in Burbank, California, had been credited with restoring, preserving, and, in many cases, saving early Hollywood films which may have otherwise deteriorated beyond retrieval.[1] Lowry developed his own techniques and technology, called the Lowry Process, which, as defined by the Los Angeles Times reduces "visual "noise" in motion pictures" which then makes it possible to undertake other forms of restoration, such as removing dirt and scratches, reducing flicker. and sharpening the quality of existing images.[1] Lowry used his process to restore and preserve more than five hundred classic films, including Singin' in the Rain, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Casablanca, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Bambi, Sunset Boulevard, and the James Bond film franchise.[1]