Video projection can look good in a cinema when done correctly.
Here are some tips:
-Use a good video processor.
-Use the best audio/video connections.
-A digital cinema projector is calibrated so you only have to make a 1920×1080 Rec.709 2.35 gamma setting on the projector.
-A non digital cinema projector should at least be adjusted with the contrast and brightness controls on the projector. White should not be clipped and black should not be crushed.
-Stereo sound should be decoded with Dolby Prologic or similar.
-Alternatively you can convert video to the DCP format with Fraunhofer Easydcp Creator and play the video from the digital cinema servers. I have done this at several film festivals.
The best video scalers:
-have good upscaling algorithms
-have 10 bit HD-SDI OUT/IN
-can auto adjust sound sync.
-detect if the source is interlaced (video) or progressive (film).
-detects the correct cadence
-detects common video mastering errors.
-can switch between anamorphic 16/9, standard 4/3, letterboxed 4/3
-have good conversion from one frame rate to another
A modern scaler that have all these things is The Blackmagic Design Teranex 2D Processor.
The best transmission of video signals:
1.Digital component SDI/HD-SDI
The best transmission of audio:
1. 3 digital AES pairs with 5.1 sound (HDCAM SR)
2. Analog 5.1
3. DOLBY E bitstream 5.1 sound (HDCAM) (You need a HD-SDI audio de-embedder on some HDCAM Decks and you need a DOLBY DMA-8 plus or similar to decode it.)
4. Digital stereo AES pair (You need a HD-SDI audio de-embedder on some HDCAM Decks. Need to be decoded with Dolby Pro Logic 1/2)
5. Analog stereo
Do you need a video scaler?
A proper video scaler makes video projection easier. But if the only video source is hd-cam you can manage without a video scaler:
-A Christie digital cinema projector can auto detect the field type on the hd-sdi input.
-If the auto detect does not work you can try the different field types until you get a picture.
-If the sound needs a delay you can set it in the sound processor.
-You could make different presets on the projector for different aspects.
Converting video to the DCP format
I have converted video material to DCPs at film festivals with the help of After Effects and Fraunhofer Easydcp.
To do this you need to:
-Tell the people who submit films that the films will be converted.
-Have a HD-SDI capture device to capture digibeta and HD-CAM cassettes to prores hq 422 quicktime.
-Ask for HD prores quicktime video files with 5.1 sound to make the conversions easier.
The video material are mostly 25 fps and I convert them to 25 fps DCPs.
Projecting video with a video scaler and a computer with hd-sdi
Before I started converting all video material to DCPs (2006-2011), I used a computer with a SDI/HD-SDI Card to send the video in it’s native form to a video scaler. This way it is was the chipset in the video scaler that decided if the source was interlaced or progressive, how to fix mastering errors, guess cadence, how to convert frame rates…
The Teranex and a MacBook pro with a thunderbolt port seems like a good current video playback/capture/scaler solution:
-you can use the teranex as video scaler in standalone mode and play HD-CAM cassettes directly
-you can capture video with it.
-you can play captured video or master Quicktime files through the thunderbolt connection.
-you do not have to decide if the film is interlaced/progressive or decide how to convert framerates.
-you can play 5.1 sound
-you can upgrade to DCP conversion with Fraunhofer Easydcp Creator later and convert the captured video to DCPs.
Notes on the Teranex:
-It can be used instead of After Effects for DCP conversions. But it does not yet have 2K upscaling so you are limited to 1080P DCPs.
-The terranex will automatically do some of the things you do manually in After effects.
In fields and pulldown in interpret footage in After Effects you have to find the right cadence, and decide if the material is no field/upper fields/lower fields (progressive/interlaced).
The Teranex does this automatically and support mixed cadence/progressive/interlaced material.
-If you can’t show the SMPTE DCP framerates like 30 FPS and need to convert hard telecined material to 24 FPS, this is the box that does it the best.
It can convert these formats to 1080p24, and record them as prores 422:
-It supports 2K HD-SDI output/input, (in the future). It could possibly upconvert to the two standard presets on digital cinema equipment. 2048×858 scope and 1998×1080 flat.
-The Terranex 3d has an optional dolby-e decoder for HDCAM cassettes with dolby-e (in the future)
-You could make a XLR patch panel that is connected to the digital 5.1 inputs on the cinema sound system, this way you can connect to the terranex using a standard yamaha db-25 to xlr AES cable.
-You can use the Terranex with Resolve
-You can use the Terranex as a Ultrascope.
-It does not support HDCP. But if the Terranex is connected to the HD-SDI input on a Doremi IMB, you can switch between DCPs, Terranex and HDMI with HDCP (commercial blu-rays)
If you have made a DCP and want to check it in a cinema, you should at least run these checks in the cinema before viewing the DCP.
These checks should be done often.
These are the things you need to check/adjust
1.Check for 14 fL
Projection lamp levels that are set too low have a disastrous effect on the picture. When projected at the SMPTE standard of 14fL full white, the image is sharp and colorful. At lower levels, the colors become muddy and gray. The picture has less snap to it and feels lifeless. Important details in the darker areas will disappear if the light levels are too low. “
I use the 1-degree spot meter on a Sekonic L-758Cine to check for 14 fL illuminated from the middle of the screen. I use the square inside the Disney 2D framing Chart test DCP.
For 3D movies http://projection.pixar.com/specs_3d/ you want to hit the fL target for that specific movie. Often the target is around 4.5 fL. Sometimes the target is part of the DCP name, 4.5 is a common target.
The light level specification for Cars 2 is 4.5 foot Lamberts, measuring white light through the 3D display system. The acceptable range is between 3.5fL to 5.5fL.
With the Sekonic L-758Cine I check for (24-)37 fL illuminated from the middle of the screen which will become (3.5fL to )5.5fL when glasses are used and the Masterimage/RealD 3D system is on.
2.Check the framing chart.
If the movie has a framing chart you can adjust a preset on the projector to fit the framing chart. It is important to avoid cropping 3D movies because it could break the 3D illusion on objects near the edges of the picture. You could also use the projector framing test images. You could also check if the picture is in focus.
3.Check sound levels
Your theater sound system should be tuned to 85dB (C-weighted) on all screen channels using pink noise. The correct fader setting on Dolby and DTS systems is 7. On SDDS systems, the correct master volume setting is 0.
Virtually all cinema playback systems today are aligned using SMPTE 202M or ISO 2969. The two documents are virtually the same and both define the measuring method and the resulting frequency response known as the “X-Curve”. This provides a uniform frequency response adjustment for all theaters throughout the world. Cinema playback is also tuned to a specific level. All standard cinema systems are optimized for 85dB SPL (2/3rds back in the center) from each front channel and 82dB SPL for each of the rear channel arrays. All channels should have 20dB of headroom. The LFE channel is set at 10dB of in band gain; that is, 10dB greater than the screen channels in each 1/3 octave frequency band. SPL ranges from 88dB to 92dB, depending upon the specific bandwidth of the LFE system in use.
Alternatively you could use a Real time analyzer to check dBC level when playing the pink noise.
- Then you would see both the pink noise frequencies and the pink noise dBC level.
- If there is some frequencies missing on the display when playing the pink noise an amplifier, speaker or other equipment could be faulty.
- You will also notice which frequencies are peaking.
I’ve tried the Behringer DEQ2496 with ECM8000 microphone as a SPL.
New in REW v5:…
-Sound level meter with full integrating functionality including equivalent sound level and sound exposure level; mic/meter and soundcard calibration corrections applied; A, C or Z weighting…
Some practices that are allowed in the DCI specifications should be avoided:
-Image scaling (Use a digital cinema projector with a lens that have motorized zoom).
-Using less than 14 fL. (The specification says 14 fL +/- 3)
Some cinemas may need to change port glass, change audio equipment, change screen, upgrade to series 2 projectors and similar actions to meet the DCI specifications.
On 85 dbc:
-The different channels are not exactly 85 dBC SPL,
and 85 dBC is only correct for big auditoriums, but it is the standard.
Figure 4 shows a plot taken from that paper, in which it can be seen that if a room with a 12 metre screen at 12 metres distance is calibrated at 85 dBC, a room with a 20 metre screen at 20 metres distance would call for a level of 87 dBC, and a room with a 4 metre screen at 4 metres distance 81 dBC. From the evidence cited in the paper it is clear that an 85 dBC calibration level is not appropriate for all sizes of theatre. Especially in the smaller theatres, there seems to be justification for reducing the calibration level.
The sound in some cinemas do not sound good at the standard fader level (7.0 or 0.0)
Many cinemas turn down the fader level because the sound does not sound good at the standard level. The problem with turning down the level is that the sound will be different at a lower fader setting:
-The dynamic range of the sound will be less, some sounds may not be audible anymore.
-Different frequencies will sound louder.
-The surround sound could sound lower compared to the main channels.
A better solution would be to get the sound mix to sound good at the standard fader level. (only applies to big auditoriums)
Here are some things you could try to achieve this:
-Like the +/- tolerances for DCI fL levels, the sound X-curve also has some +/- tolerances, so the X-Curve EQ should be adjusted by ear to sound better. The X-Curve was made for big rooms, for small rooms you need to use a modified X-Curve.
-Better acoustics (example: more damping material around the speakers)
-Better equipment (example: modern loudspeakers like alcons loudspeakers)
-Amplifiers with more power that is closer to the loudspeakers
-cobranet or similar digital transmission of sound to the amplifiers.
For small auditoriums it seems difficult to get the sound mix to sound good at the correct 85 dbC level, and if the fader level is turned down you will have less dynamic range.
There is some work being done to change the X-Curve/85 dbC standard, everyone agrees it does not work well in small theatres. And some say it does not work well in big theatres.
Robustness of room and equipment specifications would seem to be a key element in future standards for cinema theatres. It would be greatly beneficial to reduce the need for any ‘calibration’ to an absolute minimum. The current calibration practices have been shown in our papers to be a source of response variability. (However, some people who earn a living from this may not agree!)
The current concepts of calibration were developed at a time when reasonably good room acoustics and high output, low distortion, wide directivity loudspeaker systems were by no means as easy to find as they are today. Good systems in good rooms should automatically produce good sounds
It would seem to be beneficial that any future standards did not ‘cap’ the specifications. That is to say, future developments should not be limited in the way that the current standards are
geared to medium quality reproduction in medium quality cinemas. Rolling off at 45 Hz and 16 kHz, for example, is no longer appropriate, except perhaps for increasing the compatibility with
lesser quality cinemas.
It is eminently feasible to strive for excellence yet still maintain compatibility with less capable equipment. For those cinema owners who wish to invest in better equipment, it should reasonable that they could expect a better sound. Under the current circumstances, this is not necessarily the case if a film soundtrack has been mixed in a room with inappropriate equalisation. If people realise that by buying better equipment they can hear noticeably better sound, it will be a driving force to improve not only the cinema rooms, but the whole industry
There is one full sized cinema sound system in Sydney (Australia) that I know of (because I helped design and install it) that is not set up according to the standard X curve, and the speaker system itself is calibrated to sound at its best with no external equalisation. When standard Dolby calibration was performed on the system, the results were very disappointing indeed. A signal fed directly into the amplifier racks sounded really good, but film sound tracks using the processor sounded … well, wrong. Poor definition and imaging (especially for the all-important vocal range), and strange dips in frequency response had converted excellent sound into merely mediocre – just as one might expect from any other theatre with an otherwise very good sound system.
To read the intra frame contrast accurately you need the Minolta LS-110. But with a Sekonic L-758Cine spotmeter and a projector checkerboard test image you could measure the light from the black and white squares and get some idea of what the intra frame contrast is. The intra frame contrast should be >100:1. http://www.dcimovies.com/archives/spec_v1_1/DCI_DCinema_System_Spec_v1_1.pdf
If the intra frame contrast is bad you could try to:
- change the port glass
- clean the port glass.
- avoid spill light from projection booth
- use black seats
Is the 1 degree Sekonic L-758cine spotmeter good enough to measure fL levels?
When I compared the Sekonic L-758Cine to more expensive measurement equipment it gave the same fL levels measured of a white test image.
To get the most exact readings of the fL levels of the black and white fields in an intra frame checkerboard test image a Minolta LS-110 is recommended.
The Sekonic has less accurate fL readings, but it will give you a good idea of what the intra frame contrast is:
Measuring Range Brightness: 0 to 190000 cd/m2 – 0.00 to 190000 foot lamberts
-when measuring it shows fL without decimals, except below 1 fL.
-it can average 9 readings.
-When checking the 8 squares of white, often some values will be above the standard and some below the standard. The white in a projector test image like the ansi contrast checkerboard will have a higher fL level than a DCI white test image/the square in the middle of the Disney framing chart played from the cinema server.
“A spot photometer is used to measure screen luminance, with a spectral response of the CIE standard observer (photopic vision), as defined in CIE S002. The photometer should have a collection angle of 2 degrees or less. For white field measurements, an accuracy of +/-0.5 cd/m2 (+/- 0.2 fL) is required. For black field measurements, an accuracy of +/-0.007 cd/m2 (+/-0.002 fL) is specified. In order to provide stable readings that are insensitive to flicker, the photometer must integrate over a period of time sufficient to remove all frequencies above 24 Hz, displaying the arithmetic mean value. The Konica Minolta LS-110 is a commonly used photometer in the motion picture industry”
-Color and Mastering for Digital Cinema
by Glenn Kennel
“Intra-frame (or ANSI contrast) is measured with the Checkerboard target shown earlier in Figure 5.3. The luminance of each of the white patches and each of the black patches is measured with a spot photometer. Intra-frame contrast is then computed by summing the white patches and dividing by the sum of the black patches. In its operating environment, the intra-frame contrast is reduced by many factors including projection lens flare, portal glass flare, ambient light spilling onto the screen and back reflections from the room itself.”
-Color and Mastering for Digital Cinema
by Glenn Kennel
On ebay a LS-110 costs around USD 3200, while a L-758cine costs around USD 550. The L-758Cine is a good tool to adjust the projector settings as the lamps age. If you can afford the LS-110, it will tell the fL with more accuracy, it also gives accurate readings of intra frame contrast and sequential contrast.
3D silver screens/high gain screens can cause some difficulties in conforming to the fL standards.
In a common height cinema you often have to use a more powerful lamp to get 4.5 fL for 3D, and another less powerful lamp to get 14 fL for 2D. If you use the same lamp for 2D as you did for the 3D feature, you could get too much light in 2D.
A silver screen also have difficulties conforming to the DCI specifications that says:
Luminance uniformity – corners and sides – 70-90% luminance of center.
-Even with a curved screen 70 percent luminance of center on the sides is not likely.
-You are allowed to have 14 fL +/-3 fL in the center so you could use up to 17 fL in the middle to compensate for the lower total luminance because of the low luminance uniformity.
-The checkerboard test image will give you an good idea of the luminance uniformity.
Trailer DCPs should be delivered in two resolutions: 1998×1080 (Flat) and 2048×858 (Scope). This way the cinema can play the trailer before both Scope and Flat movies without changing presets on the projector. With common height cinemas a preset change involves zooming the lens and changing the side masking.
For a Scope movie you should deliver the Scope trailer filling the Scope resolution 2048×858, and then use “fit to width” in a Flat 1998×1080 project in After Effects or similar software to make the Flat trailer.
For a Flat movie you deliver the Flat trailer filling the Flat resolution 1998×1080, and then use fit to height in a Scope 2048×858 project in after effects or similar software to make the Scope trailer.
Sometimes I see DCP trailers for Scope movies that do not fit the presets. The flat trailer is correct, but it seems they used this flat trailer to make the scope trailer. Instead of fitting it to the width, they fitted it to the height of the scope resolution 2048×858. This results in a scope trailer with a letterboxed and pillarboxed picture.
A Scope trailer without soft subtitles could be shown at both flat and Scope presets. When played with a Flat preset only the pixels between 1998 and 2048 would be cropped. A local distributor could add normal 8/14 “from bottom” subtitles to make the scope trailer and add 22/28 “from bottom” subtitles to make the flat trailer.
Trailers should have a good cinema 5.1 sound mix. Note that trailers are normally louder than feature films and the cinema may play the trailers at a lower volume setting than feature films.
If making a commercials/PSAs that will play together with trailers at a cinema, you should try to match the sound level of trailers and deliver in both scope and flat formats.
To deliver trailers you could use a service like filemail.com corporate which lets the cinemas download the trailers as zip files. Filemail lets you track the downloads and the download speed is fast.
Update: Instead of manually editing the XML files you can get a module for Easydcp Creator that lets you make 25 FPS SMPTE DCPs with interop subtitles.
Easydcp player does not support SMPTE MXF subitles yet, but it can use Interop XML subtitles. With 25 FPS SMPTE DCPs with interop subtitles you can test 25 FPS subtitles in Easydcp player. You can also use easydcp player to play 25 FPS films transferred from HDCAM or other sources with added subtitles and 5.1 sound. Doremi has supported 25 FPS DCPs with Interop subtitles in their mastering software and server, this may be the reason these DCPs are playable. Doremi supports SMPTE MXF subtitles on their servers when you use the Doremi’s internal subtitle engine, but not all servers do. SMPTE DCPs with Interop subtitles seems to be compatible with more servers than SMPTE DCPs with MXF subtitles. You can’t make these non-standard DCPs directly in the standard version of Easydcp, but with some tricks it is possible to make one.
This is how I made a 25 FPS SMPTE DCP with interop subtitles with Easydcp Creator and Openssl (Windows).
-I made a 25 SMPTE DCP without subtitles in easydcp creator.
-I also had a 24 interop DCP of the same DCP without subtitles.
-I opened the 24 DCP in easydcp creator and made a supplemental package (I marked the MXF assets as references) with the 25 DCP Interop XML subtitle file added to the reel(s).
You could use any 24 FPS DCP to make the supplemental package.
-Easydcp player does not support supplemental packages so you have to make a complete DCP. When making different versions of a DCP it is common to make supplemental packages that only adds the subtitles.
-I opened the Assetmap, CPL and PKL from the 24 fps supplemental package and the 25 SMPTE DCP in a text editor (notepad ++).
-I took the subtitle asset and the font asset from the 24 Assetmap and pasted it in the 25 Assetmap and edited it to match how the 25 SMPTE Assetmap looked. You can find the length in the pkl file, but you can also find it with right clicking on the file and choosing properties (size).
-I copied the main subtitle part(s) from the 24 cpl to the 25 cpl and changed the edit rate to “25 1″ and matched the duration with the sound and picture.
-I then saved the CPL, PKL and Assetmap from the 25 DCP to a new folder. I also copied the font directory from the supplemental package to this folder. And the VOLINDEX file from the 25 DCP directory.
-I changed the size of the CPL file in Assetmap to it’s new size
-I changed the size value of the CPL file in the PKL
-I changed the titles of the 25 DCP so it was marked as having subtitles in the PKL.
-I copied the subtitle font and XML entries from the 24 PKL to the 25 PKL.
-I changed the Type for the subtitle XML to text/xml in the 25 PKL
-I installed cygwin with openssl, went to the DCP folder in the cygwin shell and used this command from the Wikipedia DCP pageopenssl sha1 -binary "FILE_NAME" | openssl base64 on the cpl file and got the new hash value for the CPL file which I then entered as the new hash value for the CPL file in the PKL file.
-Then I copied the MXF files from the original 25 DCP folder to the new one and opened it in Easydcp player. Easydcp player checks if the sizes match when you open the DCP, and can check the File hashes when you have opened the DCP.
How to salvage parts of a unencrypted DCP from a broken harddrive
This is similar to cutting away broken frames from a 35 mm print.
If you get an error message on the server or TMS that says copy failure the hard drive could have bad sectors.
(Try changing cables and try to copy the DCP from the hard drive to another hard drive before trying to salvage the DCP)
You can to extract the usable frames from the sound MXF and picture MXF of the DCP with Easydcp player
The DCP I tried to salvage stopped copying when it had copied 10 percent of the picture MXF file.
-I started extracting all j2c frames from the MXF,
when it stopped because of the broken hard drive I wrote down the frame number and restarted Easydcp player,
-I tried extracting from the frame number I wrote down + 10 and it did not work,
-I restarted Easydcp player and tried +20 and it worked.
-I restarted Easydcp player again and extracted the first part until the broken frame number, both sound and picture. This would be the first reel.
-Then I skipped 20 frames and extracted sound and picture, this would be second reel.
In easydcp creator I then made a DCP with two reels.
Repackage faulty DCPs.
Easydcp Creator do not let you make DCPs with errors, but some other mastering software lets you make DCPs with errors.
These may play on some servers, but not on others.
A DCP fails the hash tests when ingesting.
Use the subtitle XML, sound and picture MXF from the corrupted DCP
-write down the reel lengths and frame offsets from the CPL
-and repackage the DCP.
If it is only the subtitle XML that has been edited, this would work. If a MXF file is corrupted, this would probably not work.
You are not allowed to use different resolutions on different reels.
A Sony server can play these, but not a doremi server.
If it is a reel with a logo at the start that had a different resolution, remove this reel and repackage the DCP.
You are not allowed to use offsets on subtitles.
A doremi server can play DCPs with offsets on subtitles, but not a Christie server.
If the subtitle time code starts at 1 hour, do a search and replace on the subtitle xml in a text editor and adjust 1 hour to 0 hour and repackage the DCP without offsets on the subtitles.
Stereo soundtracks are usually played with Dolby Prologic 1 or 2 decoding in cinemas. Many cinemas have not the option to use Dolby prologic on stereo DCPs. If the stereo soundtrack is played in stereo, the audience not sitting in the middle will hear the dialogue coming from either the left or right side.
This makes a 5.1 mix essential. Alternatives when upmixing stereo to 5.1 are Pro Tools 10 HD plugins like UPM-1 (32 bit), Waves UM225/UM226, DTS neural upmix (32 bit).
I have bought Pro tools 10 HD with the DTS neural upmix plugin and tested it on some stereo soundtracks.
-This plugin on it’s Auto setting uses phase detection algorithms to extract the 5.1 channels.
-You often need to normalize the stereo soundtrack to a lower sound level before using the plugin to avoid clipping.
-A limiter will sometimes not work well on a stereo mix.
In 2011 and 2012 ( and 2013) I converted all the short films (30) for a film festival that were not DCPs to the DCP format. In 2012 I used Easydcp Creator 2.0 that supports Quicktime files so the process was very simple. The DCPs was mostly 25 FPS SMPTE DCPs, but there were also some 24 FPS and some 30 FPS SMPTE DCPs.
Here are some tips if you want to do this for your festival:
- When using only DCPs the people who make the films can know that their film will not be shown on different equipment. Instead of using time and money on scalers and videocassette decks you can make sure the screen follows DCI specs, is 14 ftl, has good enough intra frame contrast ratio and that the sound follows the 85 dbc per channel standard. The main advantages is that Scope films will be shown in Scope and will not letterboxed and that 5.1 sound is not a problem.
-Ask for 24, 25, 30 FPS 1998×1080, 2048×858 or 1920×1080 Prores 422 or 4444 Quicktime files. The stereo track or 5.1 track from the Quicktime could be used to make the DCP. But I prefer separate 5.1 mono 24 bit 48 hz audio tracks. Scope should be 2048×858.
We accepted videocassettes that we captured with HD-SDI, but I don’t see why a festival should accept them anymore.
Videocassette formats like HDCAM is only 8 bit and do not have 2K resolutions and are often in stereo. The Prores codec can be bought cheaply with Apple Motion from the Apple App store and is 10 bit, has 5.1 sound, is 4444 and has 2K resolutions. This makes it better than HDCAM SR masters which are usually 1920×1080. There are hardware players for 422 Prores files (AJA KI) and Prores files can be converted directly to DCPs in Fraunhofer Easydcp Creator 2.0.
I also converted h264, DV and other formats. But I don’t see why a festival should accept them either, they involve a lot of extra work in Adobe After Effects.
-Ask them to upload the films using a filemail corporate account or FTP server.
Why use a physical medium at all, downloading the films is much easier. Zipping the files and using a fast wired connection to the internet is recommended.
-Have a deadline for submissions so you have enough time to convert and test the DCPs.
-Stereo DCPs should be played with Dolby Prologic 1 or 2 like stereo videocassettes. Alternatively you can tell the people on the submission form that films with stereo soundtracks will be normalized and converted to 5.1 with the DTS neural upmix Pro Tools plugin on the auto setting. Note: You should not make a fake center channel by mixing the right and left channels, this will make the movie sound like it is in mono. The volume setting for each film should be checked and written down.
-Fraunhofer Easydcp Creator 2.0 can convert Prores Quicktime files to DCPs in 2-3x real time on cheap quad core computers. If you buy a quad core computer together with a non profit license for easydcp creator, the cost could be justified because videocassette rental fees would be less for the festival or the quality of the screenings would be better.
I have run Easydcp Creator on a Quad core Mac similar to this:
I have also run it on a pc with quad core CPU similar to this one:
Quad Core PC Parts for building your own Quad Core PC:
Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Lite 9 grading software supports dual link 4:4:4 HD-SDI 10 bit RGB monitoring.
So you can use it to monitor on a digital cinema projector with a p3 xenon 2.6 gamma setting.
But it has some limitations:
-Only the full Linux version support 12 bit XYZ monitoring.
-It only works with 1920×1080. To work with the 2K DCP resolutions Scope (2048×858) and Flat (1998×1080) you need the $995 full version
Possible solutions are to upscale the Scope (2.39:1) Flat (1.85:1) 1920×1080 to Scope 2048×858 and Flat 1998×1080 afterwards in After Effects or make 1.78:1 1920×1080 DCPs.
-Another problem is the system requirements which includes some expensive hardware. If you don’t already own the hardware it could get very expensive. If you are building a Fraunhofer Easydcp player/Fraunhofer Easydcp Creator computer the GeForce GTX 680 4096 MB are compatible with the GPU JPEG2000 decoder in Easydcp Player and a fast CPU is good for the CPU intensive software jpeg2000 encoding in Easydcp Creator.
-Blackmagic Support says that you can output full range Rec.709 DPX sequences DCPs by “selecting the Unscaled full range data”. These should work with Fraunhofer Easydcp Creator default SRGB/REC.
709 conversion to DCI XYZ.
-If you buy some books about color grading like this one
and use some of the tips from them to grade your film in Resolve, (like not using 100 percent white), the Resolve Lite software could get you closer to a cinema look for your low budget film.
-If you have a good cinema you could pay for Resolve by renting out the cinema as a grading suite and the Blackmagic HD-SDI card and Tangent wave control panel could pay for itself. But then you should rent out the full 2K version or a 3D, 4K, linux 12 bit, redrocket version. The lite version works best for people who works with 1920×1080 video only or are on a budget.
-The best argument for a Resolve setup in a cinema theater is that you can see how the movie looks with 14 fL white illumination in a dark room with a 2.6 gamma setting on the projector.
-Even if you don’t have access to a proper cinema grading environment, you could still use the powerful scopes and color space conversion tools to get a better looking film.
With Easydcp 2.0 you can make DCPs from Quicktime files like 1920×1080 ProRes 422 HQ. The Apple Prores codec and the JPEG2000 codec used in DCPs are both visually lossless codecs. If you do not have a fast RAID setup this can speed up the process of making DCPs compared to making them from a TIFF or DPX image sequences or uncompressed Quicktime. But if the source files need deinterlacing and scaling you still need to deinterlace/scale the source to either 1998×1080, 1920×1080 or 2048×858 in Adobe After Effects, MPEG streamclip or similar software. To make a ProRes 422 Quicktime you can use use Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 on a mac like they do in these Adobe Blog posts, You can also do this in MPEG Streamclip, Compressor or Final Cut X. You need to buy at least Apple Motion in the Apple App store to encode Quicktime files with the ProRes 422 codec on a mac, to decode Prores 422 on windows you need Quicktime 7 .
(KOSTYA suggests using -qscale:v 4 to get good quality and encoding speed)
When you make a 25 FPS SMPTE DCP from a Quicktime file, Easydcp stores the audio files in a directory of your choice and you can convert these files later to 24 FPS and use them to make a 24 FPS INTEROP DCP that will play on older hardware (The Dolby server with old firmware does not play 25 FPS DCPs, Doremi and Sony plays 25 FPS DCPs).
If you copy the sound files from the directory to a new directory and open them with Wave Agent you can slow the sound down to 46080 hz (25 -> 24 FPS). When you open these in software like Audacity in a 48 khz project you will resample them to 48000 when you save them to 24 bit 48000 wav files. You can also use iZotope RX 2 to resample 46080 to 48000 and then save as 24 bit.
These files can then be used together with the 25 fps Quicktime or MXF in a 24 FPS INTEROP Easydcp project to make a 24 FPS INTEROP DCP. With a 24 FPS INTEROP Easydcp project you can also add Interop subtitles. A 25 FPS SMPTE DCP can only use SMPTE subtitles, which is supported in Easydcp Creator 2.1. (Update: You could use this trick to make a 25 FPS SMPTE DCP with Interop subtitles) You can also use Wave Agent to convert 23.98 fps sound files to 24 fps, just use 48048 as the sample rate in Wave Agent.
These can be used to check the DCP for some common problems or to screen the DCP. You could use the trial version of Easydcp Player (It plays only the first 15 seconds of a DCP) to check if the DCP loads correctly and even do a file hash check. With stereoscopic player you can check for audio sync and see if the colors seem OK (The trial version plays DCPs for 5 minutes at a time).
Only Easydcp player can play :
-DCPs with offsets on audio and video,
-DCPs with interop subtitles,
-DCPs that need customs 3D LUTs
Easydcp player also support SMPTE DCPs without subtitles and SMPTE DCPs with interop subtitles.
-These players can only use 8/10 bit color, not 12 bit.
-They need fast computers, Stereoscopic player can play a DCP on a i7 quad core CPU PC. Easydcp player has a higher minimun requirement (Hexacore CPU), but I have used on a Quad core CPU PC without dropping frames on some DCPs. It seems to have higher quality decoding than Stereoscopic player and it can use a dedicated Geforce 570 or better NVvdia CUDA graphic card as a jpeg2000 decoder instead of the CPU.
-Your DCP will look and sound different in a movie theatre than on your typical PC.
Easydcp player could be used to play DCPs originating from 8 bit HDCAM/10 bit HDCAM SR since the source is 8/10 bit. For smaller venues at film festivals without digital cinema equipment this could be an alternative to HDCAM player rental. It could also be used to play 25 and 30 fps SMPTE DCPs made from video sources in cinemas that has digital cinema servers that do not support these. The money a festival saves on HDCAM player rental for some years could pay for a non profit license bundle of easydcp creator and easydcp player and computers. When transferring HDCAM to DCP you could replace the stereo mix with a 5.1 mix. Or add subtitles.
But there is the added logistics of asking for permission to transfer each movie, and if the transfer is done incorrectly you could loose quality.