Tag Archives: Apple

Behind the Mac and Magic: The Mystery of Skywalker Sound is Free to View

4 May

Behind the Mac: Skywalker Sound Explores a Legacy of Sound Design Available to watch on Apple’s YouTube channel is Behind the Mac: Skywalker Sound. This mini-documentary released today in honour of Star Wars Day goes behind the scenes in what goes on in at this studio. We see more than how some of those magical sounds are made. We get insights into an aspect of the movie-making process that makes the filimed footage come alive.

Additionally, we see the technology used to fine tune the raw vibrations to what audiences hear in that film! Some of it may seem surprisingly low tech, but for the high, it’s no surprise Apples are used. Logic Pro is the software of choice at this studio. And from what I can notice, the servers look like they’re Apple G5s!

This video is a terrific watch to see how sound and image all gets put together. It may even perhaps inspire those who want to work in the movie-making industry to take up a position as a foley artist. Although some may argue Skywalker Sound desire to be fully digital will kill this position (please read my review of Actors of Sound here), I think this profession will be always be around in one form or another. Behind the Mac: Skywalker Sound nicely tells us why we need people who take ‘psycho acoustics’ seriously. They are the folks who’ll be out there in the natural and synthetic environment to record the next big thing. Who knows, maybe that sonic boom will be put in the next movie we’re about to see on the big screen. 

Skywalker Sound Documentary:

[Electric Bungalow] To 3D or Not to Feel Apple’s 3D, That’s the Question

13 Sep

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


Sorry Apple, but I’m not impressed with 3D Touch. By the wording alone, I’m thinking that there are sensors in the new iPhone 6s that can read bio-electric signature from a finger and measure the changes in milligauss when the fingertip connects to the screen. The further away the finger is from the surface, items can be lifted up to hover on a virtual desktop and by pushing in or double tapping, programs can be either activated or its internal content explored. That kind of holographic interface is one I will heartily welcome. But because a tactile need to feel a surface is still required by most people to navigate a smartphone, I don’t think a true 3D interface will emerge until the next decade. Your labelling of what this new feature is about is a misnomer.

How the technology works is nicely explained on Cnet and it’s basically the reverse idea of what I said.


As a few comments suggested, the idea has been around and implemented earlier on Android devices. I don’t see the 3D exciting since it does not offer the sensation of navigating a true three-dimensional space.

In comparison to several devices I own with touchscreens, one thing I have to note is that not all devices use the same kind of technology. Capacitive screens measure the force (the electrical resistance) of an object pressed against it and resistive screens locate the coordinates of where an object is causing two layers of conductive material (laid out in a grid pattern) to meet. Other technologies like sound and infrared laser exist but I don’t think they are used on tablets. To make capacitive screens even more complex, there are two types. On a few devices I use, I can sometimes feel the active magnetic resistance of the screen on my finger. I’ve often wondered if this can be exploited to provide sensations of a 3D surface so buttons, dials or wheel can be virtually created.

Now that’s true 3D because in a world where people depend on three of five senses to engage in this space just what the iPhone (or any other device) offers is hardly a taste of augmented integration.

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