Create A DCP for Free

One of the regular topics that arises is that of the current challenge of creating DCP files for Film Festivals. So I thought I’d offer a quick tutorial to take you through the process I’ve used for the last year or so. This works for 2D or 3D DCPs and technically if the DCP Server and Projection System supports it it should also work for high frame rate, or even 4K DCPs.

Before we start what is a DCP? Well Wikipedia informs me that “A Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is a collection of digital files used to store and convey Digital cinema (DC) audio, image, and data streams.” So now you know too.

And with that done lets get down to it.

CREATING A STEREO 3D DCP FOR FREE

NOTE: This works for Standard 2D DCP Creation too.

In this example I will be using Adobe Creative Suite CS6, plus OpenDCP which is available as a free download.

I’m going to present this in a very simple to follow sequential list. If you know how to do the step, feel free to jump to the next step.

  • STEP 1 – Export a TIFF Sequence of the left & right edits
  • STEP 2 – Export audio as individual 24 bit mono files
  • STEP 3 – Convert TIFF to JPEG2000
  • STEP 4 – Convert JPEG2000 sequence to picture.mxf
  • STEP 5 – Convert WAV to audio.mxf
  • STEP 6 – EXPORT THE WHOLE THING TO DCP

DIY 3D DCP STEP 1

From either After Effects or Premiere Pro export your final edit for your LEFTview as a TIFF sequence.

NOTE: For this TUTORIAL we are assuming you have converted your footage to run at 24P – not 23.976 nor any other framerate. We are not dealing with the conversion process here.

Select “Export > Media” (Control M).

In the Export Settings

  • Select TIFF from the Format drop-down
  • Select  HD 1080p 24 from the Preset menu

If it’s in 2D you’re done for this step so move on, if it’s 3D  follow the same steps for the RIGHT View.

You should now have a LEFT TIFF sequence and a RIGHT TIFF Sequence.

DIY 3D DCP STEP 2

Now we’ll use Adobe Audition to export audio as individual 24 bit mono files. In this example for simplicity we are just using a stereo audio file.

Export your complete stereo mix from Premiere as a wav file.

  • Open this mix in Adobe Audition and
    • From the Edit Menu: Select Convert Sample Type
    • Check that the Sample Rate is 48000Hz (48Khz)
    • In the dialogue box: Select 24 From the Bit Depth Menu
    • Press OK

  • Right Click the Audio File in the FILE Panel
  • Select Extract Channels to Mono Files

This has now created a LEFT and RIGHT 24 bit audio File.

Save both of these files.

DIY 3D DCP STEP 3

Now let’s move into OpenDCP to Convert TIFF to JPEG2000.

On the JPEG2000 Tab.

  • For standard HD 1080p renders select the Cinema 2K Option
  • Select your frame rate – 24 is preferred
  • Select your input directories where your LEFT TIFFS are located
  • Select your input directories where your RIGHT TIFFS are located
  • Select your output directories where your LEFT JPEG2000 files will be exported
  • Select your output directories where your RIGHT JPEG2000 files will be exported
  • Click Convert.
  • Go and make a cup of coffee.

DIY 3D DCP STEP 4

Let’s convert the JPEG2000 sequence to the picture.mxf file

On the MXF Tab.

  • In the TYPE drop down select JPEG2000 (if it’s not defaulted to that)
  • In the LABEL Drop down select MXF Interop
  • On the FRAME RATE drop down select your frame rate
    • (NOTE: 24 is considered the standard some systems may not play other frame rates.)
  • Select your input directories where your LEFT JPEG200o files are located
  • Select your input directories where your RIGHT JPEG200o files are located
  • Select the directory you wish to put your compiled picture.mxf file
  • And give the mxf file a suitable name – HINT: I usually try and keep “picture” in the file name
  • Press Create MXF

This now puts all your JPEG2000 files into one very large .mxf container

DIY 3D DCP STEP 5

Let’s convert the WAV audio files to the sound.mxf file

On the MXF Tab.

  • In the TYPE drop down select WAV (if it’s not defaulted to that)
  • Select your input directories where your LEFT WAV files are located
  • Select your input directories where your RIGHT WAV are located
  • Select the directory you wish to put your compiled sound.mxf file
  • And give the mxf file a suitable name – HINT: I usually try and keep “sound” in the file name
  • Press Create MXF

This now puts your Audio WAV files into one .mxf container

DIY 3D DCP STEP 6

Let’s create the final 3D DCP.

On the DCP Tab.

  • Firstly use the Title Generator
  • This is a bit of a long topic so probably best if you work it out based on your options. OpenDCP help can help if you need more details.
  • More details regarding the Digital Cinema Naming Convention can be found here (Thanks to “Digital Dave” for the link)

Now complete the other fields

  • Set the Rating
  • Set the Kind of DCP
  • Select the Picture directory containing the picture.mxf file
  • Select the Sound directory containing the sound.mxf file

Click Create DCP…

AND CELEBRATE – YOUVE MADE A DCP!!

Edinburgh-fireworks-skyline-3d-thumb

For speed and simplicity I have skipped subtitles and 5.1 audio mixes. I’m sure from the basics here you can work out those final pieces. I hope this tutorial has been of help. Do please get in touch and let me know one way or the other.

Now you have your DCP how can you play it back?

This has been a problem for some time with generally only expensive software or hardware doing this, however heres another little Enhanced Dimensions hint for you: Stereoscopic Player. This player will play the first 5 minutes in demo mode or if you’re willing to splash out the very reasonable 39 Euro you’ll have the fully functioning software. You do need a reasonably powerful computer and it has to be a Windows based PC to play the files but on my PC it plays like a a dream!

And finally…

The Short 3D Film I’ve used in this tutorial is our award winning Situation Vacant starring Amanda Marment and Nick Cheales – if you’d like to see it in all it’s glory you can currently still check it out on YouTube. If you want to know more about me or Enhanced Dimensions you can follow us on YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn and make sure you bookmark this site! Thank you. 🙂

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