Cable network The Discovery Channel is getting ready to debut a new special about dinosaurs this weekend called When Dinosaurs Roamed America . The feature’s production was heavily dependent on the Macintosh, according to a new article by Joe Cellini posted to Apple’s Web site entitled
High-definition dinosaurs roam America.
Director Pierre Des Lespinois said that raw footage of scenery and backdrops were shot on location using Sony HDW F900 high-definition (HD) digital cameras, and shots would often be rearranged on location as the production team coordinated their efforts on their PowerBooks.
DV has its place, too, even though its resolution is about one third that of HD (720 x 480 versus 1920 x 1080). Editor Barrett Sanders did his editing on a Power Mac G4 equipped with 400GB of storage capacity, Final Cut Pro and a Matrox RTMac card used to render effects. Another G4 was dedicated for compression. Sanders mixed together the location footage produced by Des Lespinois and his team with computer animation created by Montreal-based Meteor Studios, laying down sound, music and narration as well.
The team has future plans for HD video and their Macs, as well. They’re presently working on a new project for Discovery entitled Weather X , and a TLC project called Living with Monsters . Cellini said that Mac systems “will figure prominently” in the development of each project.
When Dinosaurs Roamed America premieres this Sunday, July 15, at 8pm ET. More details about the making of this special are available from
Apple’s Web site.