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Lowry Digital
IndustryFilm restoration
Founded1988
HeadquartersBurbank, California
USA
Key people
John D. Lowry, founder
Ramki Sankaranarayanan, President
ParentReliance MediaWorks (Reliance Group)

Lowry Digital is a digital film restoration company based in Burbank, California.

John D. Lowry gained industry recognition in 2008 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 had 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] 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. Lowry president Mike Inchalik commented that the video "is by far and away the lowest quality," the company has dealt with.[5]

Company History

John D. Lowry (June 2, 1932 – January 21, 2012) was a Canadian film restoration expert and innovator who founded Lowry Digital Images in 1988.

Lowry Digital Image was largely shaped by the needs of its first studio clients. Lowry described the restoration process as overcoming three obstacles - wear and tear, aging, and multiple generations of optical copies. 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 major modern motion picture releases.[citation needed]

The company was known as DTS Digital Images while it was owned by digital audio company, DTS, from 2005 to 2008. It then changed its name to Lowry Digital in April 2008, when it was acquired by India's Reliance MediaWorks, which is part of the Reliance ADA Group, owned by renowned businessman Anil Ambani. Lowry Digital was later acquired by Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) as part of a merger of the film and media services business of Reliance MediaWorks (the media & entertainment arm of Reliance Group) and Prime Focus Ltd (PFL), a public limited company.[citation needed]

The Lowry Digital Process was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Scientific and Technical awards category held in 2012.[citation needed]

Marquee Projects[citation needed]

Films worked on

References

  1. ^ Cellini, Joe. "John D. Lowry, Restoration Software". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2008-09-23.
  2. ^ "DTS Digital Images Fine Tunes Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D for Upcoming Summer 2008 Release". Business Wire. Reuters. 2008-03-26. Retrieved 2008-08-04.[dead link]
  3. ^ "'Avatar' producer lauds Reliance MediaWorks for its Oscar". Reliance – Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
  4. ^ http://www.lowrydigital.com/noise.html
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-19. Retrieved 2009-07-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)