“From the beginning, even before Jobs signed on as CEO, Pixar has been at the forefront of technology, said Nick DeMartino, associate director for strategic planning at the American Film Institute. When the company started, its primary claim to fame was a superior rendering engine, called RenderMan, that it licensed to other companies. The company continues to refine RenderMan, and many digital-effects houses and computer-graphics specialists use it,” Elizabeth Millard reports for ECT News Network.
“‘They have deep technical roots,’ DeMartino said. ‘It put them ahead of others in understanding how computer graphics work and can be used effectively,'” Millard reports. “In March, Pixar moved to using Mac OS X and Power Mac G5s for its workflow needs. In a recent speech, Apple senior systems engineer Don Peebles noted that Pixar challenged his company to come up with a way to review HD-quality video on the desktop at a reduced file size, but keeping the same level of quality.”
“The technology that resulted from the challenge was based on wavelet compression and named, fittingly, ‘Pixlet.’ Pixlet lets high-end digital film frames play in real-time with any Panther-driven Mac, without an investment in proprietary playback hardware,” Millard reports.
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