Star Wars fans have a lot to thank the Mac for, according to USA Today.
A new four-disc DVD collection of the first three Star Wars movies shios in the US on September 21. The studio responsible for cleaning up the original movie footage for DVD release - Lowry Digital Images - made extensive use of Macs in its task.
"Lowry mobilized the forces: 80 employees and 600 networked Power Mac G5 computers with the equivalent of 378 terabytes (378 million megabytes) of hard-disk storage," says USA Today.
May the picture perfect force be with you
If the movies had been transferred straight to DVD, they would have shown imperfections that would have been clearly viewable when watched. Among other faults, LightSabre scenes in all the movies were soft and grainy.
Despite the mass ranks of G5s involved in the task, restoring each movie took around a month. Restored elements were shipped to George Lucas for personal approval.
A fairly recent Apple Pro story discusses a previous Lowry Digital Images project - restoring the Indiana Jones trilogy for DVD release.
Here, the company had to repair numerous flaws that had emerged on the movie tapes over time. Lowry Digital Images CEO John Lowry explains the kind of flaw: "One of the biggest problems we had with ‘Raiders was a blue line cutting across the actors’ faces right down the centre of the first part of the movie, about 35,000 frames of scratches.”
Such problems emerge through wear and tear, aging and the 'photocopy effect' - multiple generations of the same move lose a little detail with each copy made.