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Some tips on using subtitles in Fraunhofer Easydcp


You can use Cinecanvas XML subtitles in a 24 fps Interop DCP in Fraunhofer Easydcp.
You can also use SMPTE 2010/2014 subtitles in SMPTE 25 FPS DCPs in Fraunhofer Easydcp.

I worked with the creator of Subtitle Edit to get it to support SMPTE 2010/2014 subtitles.

You can also burn in the subtitles from Interop/SMPTE XML files in Easydcp Creator 2.2.

Interop XML

The old XML standard
You need a font that is not bigger than 640 kb

Place the font with the XML subtitle file.
Easydcp will place it in a special subtitle directory on the DCP.
You need your subtitles in the cinecanvas XML format with 24 fps timecode.

Interop Example

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<DCSubtitle Version="1.0">
  <LoadFont URI="Arial.ttf" Id="Arial" /> <Font Id="Arial" Color="FFFFFFFF" Effect="border" EffectColor="FF000000" Italic="no" Underlined="no" Script="normal" Size="42">
    <Subtitle SpotNumber="1" FadeUpTime="0" FadeDownTime="0" TimeIn="00:00:01:000" TimeOut="00:00:03:000">
      <Text VPosition="8" VAlign="bottom" HAlign="center" Direction="horizontal">test</Text>
  </Font> </DCSubtitle>

SMPTE 2010 / SMPTE 2014 XML

SMPTE ST-428-7:2014 is compatible with both SMPTE 2010 / SMPTE 2014
SMPTE 2010/2014 XML must be used when making 25, 30 FPS SMPTE DCPs.
You need to rename the font as a UUID number that is referenced in the XML, the font will then be packaged with the XML in an MXF file when generating the DCP. The font can be larger than 640 kb.
The MXF can be encrypted.

SMPTE 2010 Example

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<SubtitleReel xmlns="" xmlns:xs="">
  <AnnotationText>This is a subtitle file</AnnotationText>
  <EditRate>24 1</EditRate>
  <LoadFont ID="Arial">urn:uuid:129101d5-da74-4f3a-9680-b315446f13c8</LoadFont>
    <Font ID="Arial" Size="40" Weight="normal" Color="FFFFFFFF" Effect="border" EffectColor="FF000000">
      <Subtitle SpotNumber="1" FadeUpTime="00:00:00:00" FadeDownTime="00:00:00:00" TimeIn="00:00:01:00" TimeOut="00:00:03:00">
        <Text Vposition="8" Valign="bottom" Halign="center" Direction="ltr">test</Text>

Some tips:

Remember to save as UTF-8.

Use a text editor like notepad ++
Use a text editor like BBEdit

Normal font size is 38-42.
These works with Flat and Scope movies.

Fonts used are usually Arial and Microsoft sans serif. Some use Helvetica neue .
Color is usually white FFFFFFFF. Some use a warmer white to match the white point used in the movie.
Position from the bottom (Vposition) is usually 7 or 8. If it is too low it can be cropped.

With letterboxed full container movies that will be shown with a Scope preset on the projector, you need to either convert to 2048×858 (Use Scope letterboxing in Easydcp). Or you can use higher height values like 22 and 28.

If there is only one line it is at 7/8

You can generate a unique UUID for the subtitleID here:

Some subtitles tools:
Subtitle Edit
Can change the frame rate. Convert most subtitle formats to interop or SMPTE 2010.

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Some info on 5.1 movie theatre sound mixes

This is a good resource for info on 5.1 mixes:

Often a stereo sound mix for TV uses limiters and compressors and has less dynamics than a theatre mix. This is because it is mixed at a 79 dBC per channel instead of 85 dBC per channel.
A movie theatre mix is also mixed with 20 dB of headroom.
A TV mix converted to a 5.1 movie theatre mix will have lower dynamics. The best option is to go back to the stems/sources that were used to make the TV mix and mix it again at 85 dBC per channel.
I recommend having all movie theatre mixes done at a professional film mixer that uses the 85 dBC per channel standard.

If you are converting a stereo TV mix to 5.1 mixes for DCP use I recommend using Pro tools and an upmixing plugin. You can match the dialogue normalization level, but not the dynamics of a proper 85 dbC movie theatre mix.

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Some best common practice DCP color space workflows part 1

See also:

Some best common practice DCP color space workflows part 2

How to make 3D LUTs in Nuke PLE

Easydcp Creator 2.2 includes a color transformation from P3 DCI WHITE to DCDCM X’Y’Z and lets you make custom transformations.
See this post

Updated for clarity.
This is an example of a best common practice VFX color space workflow used at Sony Dreamworks:

Color Space (Wikipedia)
3D LUT (Wikipedia)

“Color and Mastering for Digital Cinema” has some examples of DCP color space workflows:

Glenn Kennel says in “Color and Mastering for Digital Cinema” that the standard DCP workflow (in 2004) is to retain the film look on the digital version of the film instead of using brighter colors that are only possible with digital cinema. A similar 3D lookup table (film stock emulation 3D LUT) that was used to grade the film on a P3 projector can be used when making the DCP.

Arri Alexa whitepaper:
Arri has some suggestions for color space workflows using their Alexa Digital Video Camera. They suggest you can use a bleach bypass 3D LUT on dailies if that is the look you intend to use on the final product.

Some thoughts on low budget DCP color space workflows:
In “Color and Mastering for Digital Cinema” the author explains how the 2.6 gamma 12 bit, DCI XYZ color space standard of DCPs was made for the standard Digital Intermediate workflow of 2004 which uses P3 projectors for grading.

Now you have more options when choosing a workflow: You can use filmconvert and 3D LUTs with software like Fraunhofer Easydcp +, After Effects, Nuke, and Davinci Resolve.

It is now cheaper to use similar workflows to the ones big-budget productions used in 2004. But big-budget post-production workflows have access to a P3 reference grading projector.

This is still expensive.

Even if low budget productions intend to directly convert to DCI XYZ from Rec 709 and retain its white point, color space and gamma the greys would seem darker and your picture seems more washed out because of less luminance (14 Fl) in the cinema than on your monitor. A computer monitor or TV could have double the luminance of cinema projection. That is why what could look like a film look on your monitor could look less like film when watched in the cinema.

In the Alexa white paper, they suggested watching material shot with the Alexa with a bleach bypass LUT and this attraction to the look from 35 mm seems to be common in DCP color space workflows.

This attraction to the look of 35 mm is also seen in the choice of using film camera optics with ND filters to get a shallow depth of view in low-budget films.

For a good-looking DCP that looks more like Hollywood films shot on expensive cameras and graded on p3 projectors, it seems low-budget filmmakers should also try to mimic the projector-based grading workflow.

Even though they can not afford to view the material in the full dynamics of 12 bit or in P3 color space, a projector that is calibrated for 14 Fl could help.
Using first a 3D LUT from LOG to rec709 on a cheaper rec709 projector and then later using a 3D LUT from LOG to P3 on a more expensive P3 projector could be an option.


The future of DCP color space workflows may be brighter colors and cooler white, even though most workflows now mimic the look and feel of the less bright colors and warmer white of 35 mm projection.