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Using the free Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve for DCP mastering. (updated)

Is the free Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve  grading/color correction software usable for DCP mastering?

-Easydcp integration
You can buy the Easydcp plugin that can export a finished DCP. Read more in this post.

Kakadu DCP encoder
To use the built-in DCP Kakadu encoder you need to buy DaVinci Resolve Studio. Read more in this post

-12 Bit monitoring.
Desktop Video 10.1.3 adds dual link 3GB HD-SDI 12 bit monitoring in Resolve 11 with Decklink 4K extreme and the BlackMagic Design UltraStudio 4K.

Example Resolve DCP workflow
RAW camera footage is run through these steps in the Davinci 32 bit color engine to make the DCP:
-convert colors to Rec.709/P3
-use the built-in Easydcp color transformation from Rec.709/P3 to X´Y´Z
-encode a DCP that can be used in cinemas with the Easydcp plugin.

Running Resolve
You need at least 8 GB of ram.

Using the Easydcp plugin
-Example. You can crop the top and bottom of 1920 x 1080 material and scale it to get it to fit inside Flat 1998×1080.
-Example. You can add black pillarboxing to 1920×1080 to fit it inside Flat 1998×1080.
-Example. You can crop the top and bottom of 2.35 letterboxed 1920 x 1080 and scale it to get it to fit inside Scope 2048×858

-If the source is 2.5 K you will get better quality rendering to 2K directly instead of rendering to HD sequences and then upscaling them.

-The easyDCP Resolve encoder will apply the correct color transform according to the setting in “Timeline Color space” in “Project settings – Color Management”.  P3 D60, P3 D65, P3 DCI, Rec 709 2.2, Rec709 2.4 fits inside the current DCI X´Y´Z´ color space. You can use different gamma values like 2.2, 2.4 or 2.6.

Example: If you use a Blackmagic Cinema Camera to rec 709 3d LUT you choose the rec 709 2.4/2.2 setting. Easydcp plugin will then use the rec 709 2.2/2.4 to XYZ matrix. If you choose DCI X´Y´Z´, no color matrix will be used.

-You can use subtitles.

-You can open encrypted DCPs and make encrypted DCPs.

-You can make SMPTE DCPs with 24 and 25 FPS,  and Interop DCPs with 24 FPS

-You can open and play DCPs in Resolve.

Using external DCP software:

You can export 16 bit RGB TIFF sequences.

These can be converted in Easydcp Creator and other software.

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How to make a 25 FPS SMPTE DCP and a 24 FPS INTEROP DCP from a 25 FPS Quicktime file in Easydcp 2.0 (and convert sound FPS)


Converting Sound FPS

You can use Wave Agent to convert between different frame rates with the changing sample rate/resampling trick. Example: 23.98 fps sound files to 24 fps. Use 48048 as the sample rate in Wave Agent.

Sample rates conversions:
23,976 (NTSC with 3:2 pulldown) -> 24 = 48048
24 > 23,98 = 47952
25 -> 24 (4800×24/25) = 46080
24 -> 25 (4800×25/24) = 50000

How to change sound frame rate with Sound Devices Wave Agent and iZotope RX

Wave Agent changes the sample rate in the metadata of the sound files similar to what Cinema Tools conform did on Quicktime files. iZotope RX does batch processing, SRC resampling, and MBIT+ dithering. This method keeps phase sync, but the pitch will be lower.

Make a copy of the sound files.
-Drag the sound files to Wave Agent.
-In Wave Agent, mark all files, choose a new sample rate, and press enter, then save.

in iZotope RX
-Open Batch processing,
-Drag the modified sound files to the Input files window
-Choose apply resample
-Choose view
-Choose the 48 kHz DVD preset and post limiter
-Choose record
-Choose 24 bit and MBIT dither

Alternatively, you can use Timefactory 2.5 to change the frame rate on soundtracks.
-You keep phase sync
-The pitch shift algorithm will try to keep the same pitch as the original, but this may introduce audible artifacts.

-Drag sound files to Timefactory
-Join sound files (if necessary).
-Use Expert settings – IN FPS and OUT FPS. Example 25 > 24 (104,166). 25 -> 23.976 PAL (104.27094)
-Choose algorithm. Example: Dirac.
-Choose process.

How to make a 25 FPS SMPTE DCP and a 24 FPS INTEROP DCP from a 25 FPS Quicktime file

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 sequence. 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. To make a ProRes 422 Quicktime, you can use Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut X.  To encode Prores 422 on windows, you can use Adobe Premiere or Media Encoder

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. Using Adobe Audition to extract sound files from Quicktime files is also possible.

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).  You can use iZotope RX  or similar software 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. You can also add a 25 FPS picture MXF file with the subtitles burnt in. A 25 FPS SMPTE DCP can only use SMPTE subtitles/burnt in subtitles (Easydcp Creator 2.1).

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Some tips on checking a DCP on a PC

Both Easydcp Player and Davinci Resolve Studio can play DCPs and lets you lower the quality settings so you can play them on slower computers. In Resolve you can use the built-in Kakadu decoder or the Easydcp Plugin to play dcps.

Easydcp player and the Easydcp plugin in Resolve support playing encrypted DCP with a DKDM.

Only Easydcp player can show the  subtitles  in DCP with interop/SMPT XML MXF subtitles.

These can be used to check the DCP for some common problems or to screen the DCP on non-DCI projectors. 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, the colors are OK, and even do a file hash check.

Both Davinci Resolve and Easydcp Player supports Interop/SMPTE DCPs. And can export DCPs to Prores Quicktime files with P3, rec709, or custom color/gamma encoding.

Both can play DCPs with offsets on audio and video and reels.

In Davinci Resolve you can enable P3 in the viewer and view DCPs in P3 colorspace on newer Macs. See this post for more info.

Some limitations:
-They need fast computers, Both can play 2K DCPs on a modern quad-core CPU PC.
-Your DCP will look and sound different in a movie theatre than on your typical PC. DCPs can be 12 bit 2.6 gamma. while computer screens are usually 2.2 gamma 8 bit.