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Pixar Develops "PIXARVISION" Laser Recording System for Film; David DiFrancesco wins Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Award.

POINT RICHMOND, Calif.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--Feb. 4, 1999--Pixar Animation Studios today announced that it has developed a proprietary laser recording system called PIXARVISION (tm) for converting digital computer data into images on motion picture film stock with unprecedented quality. The new system was successfully tested on the 1998 blockbuster animated feature film, "A Bug's Life," and will be used to produce Pixar's future animated features including "Toy Story 2", scheduled for release this Thanksgiving.

On February 27, 1999, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will present a Scientific and Technical Academy Award to Pixar's David DiFrancesco for "pioneering efforts in the development of laser film recording technology."

"It's great to see David recognized for his pioneering work in laser film recording," said Ed Catmull, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer. "He recently lead our team of scientists in developing PixarVision, which uses solid state lasers to record on multiple film formats with more quality and speed than ever before."

Traditional film recorders use cathode ray tubes (CRTs) to create the images that expose the filmstock. Laser film recorders substitute lasers for CRTs, and are significantly more complex, due to the technology required to aim and control the laser beams. Pixar scientists pioneered laser film recording in the early 1980s, and Kodak briefly sold a commercial laser film recorder in the mid-1990s. PixarVision is more advanced than any previous laser film recorder, and provides the following key benefits over traditional CRT-based film recorders:

Higher quality color reproduction:

Solid state lasers produce light at precise frequencies, thereby eliminating the color "crosstalk" inherent in CRT based recorders (where trying to write just one color undesirably writes other colors too).

Sharper images:

Lasers can expose smaller spots on the film, resulting in sharper, less grainy images. In addition, lasers are brighter, thus allowing the use of less sensitive "intermediate" film stocks. This results in less "generation loss" (the copying from one filmstock to another, which degrades image quality).

Faster recording:

PixarVision records all three colors (red, green, blue) simultaneously, rather than sequentially, resulting in much faster recording - 8 seconds per frame versus around 35 seconds per frame for traditional CRT based systems.

Pixar Animation Studios combines creative and technical artistry to create original characters and stories in the new medium of three-dimensional animation. Pixar created and produced the first computer-animated feature film and has an equal partnership with The Walt Disney Company to finance, produce and distribute five co-branded computer animated feature films and related products. Pixar employs approximately 430 people. The company's stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol PIXR.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 4, 1999
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