The company was founded by John Whitney, Jr. and Gary Demos in 1982, following their departure from Triple-I. They received financial support from Control Data Corporation. Whitney and Demos felt that greater computer power was needed to produce effects such as those being made by Triple-I for Tron; Digital Productions became famous for using a Cray X-MP supercomputer to render their animations. The company referred to its animation as "Digital Scene Simulation."
Digital Productions created 27 minutes of animation, in 300 scenes, for the film The Last Starfighter. Each frame of the animation contained an average of 250,000 polygons, and had a resolution of 3000 x 5000 36-bit pixels; they claimed that the imagery was 50 times more complex than the graphics in previous feature films. They estimated that using computer animation required only half the time, and one half to one third the cost, that would have been required if then-traditional methods had been used.
- Maxine Brown (July 1984). "About the Cover". IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications: 7–8.
- Wayne Carlson. "Digital Productions". Archived from the original on 2006-06-23. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
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