Apparently they now offer integration direct from FCPX.
Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com
I presume this is the same as the easyDCP package inside Resolve in that it requires a license to export. Although this seems to be a license per project.
I have made the decision to outsource DCP authoring. Managing the non compliant cinemas is the problem, not the software to make a compliant DCP which I have been doing using the free OpenDCP. I use resolve to create the jpeg2000 xyz files.
to shine a little bit more light on this from a fellow professional DCP-creator:
easyDCP PUBLISHER is a stand-alone app similar to their CREATOR but also has the PLAYER built-in, which is – in my opinion – huge. it does however require a specific app to fee content – in this case it's FCPX-bound. it creates a watermarked preview and after purchasing your conversion you will end up with your final DCP package. so it's about 250 bucks per feature film, roughly about 10% of the one-time cost for easyDCP PLUGIN for resolve (which i'd still prefer).
it really depends on how many DCPs you are creating and mastering – honestly the PLUGIN for resolve is still your best bet (besides the CREATOR, but i really miss having a project and timeline there) if you do it as a service and job. however, if you are a filmmaker and just want your film to be sent to festivals you will probably only need it once a year – it's here where this really shines! there are many 3rd party DCP services out there, but easyDCP is by far the best-trusted and most HQ service out there. until now it was not really a choice for non-professionals though.
so, PUBLISHER offers kind of a pay-per-minute service and the app itself is free, you can even export a preview DCP and watch it for free (with watermark) but you do need an account to purchase the final DCP which has a base price and then per minute. easyDCP is still the fastest converter as well and subtitles actually work!
openDCP with J2Ks from resolve is your best FREE workflow though. it's slow, yes, but colors and quality are top notch (thanks to resolve). openDCP's interop code is compliant as well (SMPTE not so much) and subtitles work with interOP as well (given you have them as XML already). it's more work – in both cases though you need a transfer tool to format a drive to EXT2, hash check and clone. this is where DCP TRANSFER comes into place. sadly they also switched to a pay-as-you-go model now and this becomes very expensive if you have lots of DCPs to do. i was lucky to have bought their initial one-time license (without updates).
"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
I've been a heavy EasyDCP user since 2012 and I can tell you that after around 100 DCP created exclusively using their suite and never being rejected by any theater or QC company, I wholeheartedly recommend their suite.
Easy to use, clear instructions, great videos on their website explaining each software and amazing support. It's not cheap, but it has paid itself over many, many times over the years. I can say it was the best software purchase the company has ever done while I was there.
Besides a dcp what other costs are now involved to get you content to a theater?
Do you send the dcp directly to a distributer ? Do they make print to disk?
you need a hard drive (most expensive but best common practice is investing in a CRU interface – you will still need a hard drive). that gives you a master copy. for any other print you need to clone* this master copy (again, another CRU if you want the best practice).
alternatively, also smaller, standard drives are ok – but, remember, cinemas only feature USB2 in most cases or eSata only (a lot faster though!). so either buy an eSata/USB encasing/interface for small 2.5' laptop hard disks (and the hard disks) or use USB memory keys, which pretty expensive. in general you can say 1 minute = 1 GB for a solid DCP, so that limits your choice for small memory sticks. they are more resilient though and do not break that easily in the mail BUT they tend to get lost quicker.
and then there is sending the drive to the cinema. you can do it yourself, or use a logisitcs partner to do it for you. some even lend you all the drives, that's usually best practice if you have to send out lots of DCPs. you pay a lot less and do not have all the work, you just give them one master copy on whatever medium. they clone, hash-check and deliver ext2 CRU drives to the cinemas directly.
there are also other ways:
or smaller programs, say up to 20 minutes (around 20GB) you can ZIP a DCP folder and send it to cinemas. if they are willing to download it. that circumvents their system and whatever they are using they usually get it to work – but some cinemas only have DCP servers to read CRU drives. so communication is key. important note: ZIP files over 4GB are buggy, be sure to use a dedicated ZIP app like KEKA (mac/win), otherwise you will end up with broken files (especially stay away from the built-in ZIP features of your OS, be it win or mac). cinemas usually have outdated software and systems. you should also deliver a checksum (MD5) for your ZIP file so that the recipient can check if it was downloaded correctly.
there are also some onlne services which let you transfer feature film DCPs vial p2p (aspera or similar) to cinemas. depending on internet connection, cinemas might accept that. those services are still cheaper than making your own clones but more expensive than having a logistics firm mailing your disks. then again: no wait time for mail, cannot get lost and so on...
bottom line: if you can, outsource and get a professional to do everything for you! if you only need 2 DCPs it's fine but keep in mind if something is successful, your work and costs will grow exponentially.
[Sebastian Leitner] "in both cases though you need a transfer tool to format a drive to EXT2, hash check and clone."
One of the reasons I prefer to subcontract this to a DCP pro is the experiences I had with cinemas in Australia. Firstly almost none of them could read ext2 or 3 formatted drives. They all wanted NTFS so they could ingest though their Windows based theatre management system. I found constant issues with an inability to read anything but Interop @ 24fps. Tech support in cinemas was weak too. Very often they had difficulty describing why they were having problems and in many cases refused to install simple free software to read ext2/3 formatted drives on their Win machines.
So for me the authoring was the easy part. Managing the vagaries of non compliant cinemas is a full time job I didn't want or need. So I am not going to buy a license for Resolve.
i master DCPs professionally for distributors, filmmakers and festivals. i feel you! i get many broken DCPS (often created with freeware non-compliantly) to repair. interOP is still the only worldwide standard, has been like this since 1999 when they introduced it. so everything gets conformed to 24p, 2K surround
the resolve plugin is very similar to any other easyDCP product. in every case you end up with a solid DCP – the transfer and cloning is not included anywhere, so resolve is still the bigger bang for the buck (by far if you deliver lots of DCPs).
however, a cinema needs to comply to DCI regulations as well and that would mean ext2 drives! i know about this windows-pest in cinemas, they are just lazy. but all the big movies come as ext2 in CRU drives. honestly, in my experience in Europe and the US, professional serivces ONLY deliver ext2 and everybody has to be able to read it.
yes, authoring is usually the quicker part – man people do not see this. after having created a valid DCP the "real fun" begins. my suggested tool does most of the work however. one should get the easyDCP player, a vital piece of software, that can hash-check, preview subtitles and sync. also in the free version (which is limited to 15s playback but everything works). one should also get a cloning station which can (no matter the file format) clone a disk without a computer on its own.
the easy DCP converter and player doesn't seem to play/convert the official DCI white, only D65. since I need a calibrated professional render, I submitted a ticket, never heard back. I'm assuming they are not implementing this DCI standard?
D65 is the official (old) standard. easyDCP does everything just right. they are doing everything by the books, that's what made them successful.
huh? an old DCI white? the christie projectors themselves are also calibrated D63 SMPTE-RP-431. Is there any old reference to this? even if it used to be standard 10 years ago, i don't see how its useful for modern projectors. I know the old film bulbs were D55 a long time ago.
cinema has not changed much since 1999, DCI interOP regulations are still worldwide standard, so is the white point. easyDCP does everything right and is the number 2 solution for most (clipster being in first place for pros – if you have that kinda cash)
Unless I missed it, no one here has mentioned DCP-o-Matic. Also free, also on Mac and Win.
I've used it to make many a DCP even for theatrical release. But trailers and shorts mostly. I have a friend who's used it to make even encrypted DCPs for full length features for previews in cinemas.
I've used Open DCP too, but DCP-o-matic lets you interactively adjust frame size and aspect and crop media delivered with hard mattes, and rearrange sound track numbers. And other features like trim source, adjust sync between video-audio-subtitles.
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
yes, dcp-o-matic has great features and options (which can be a problem for beginners though) but from a professional point of view it has its draw backs:
very show and occasional color/gamma shifts
sytax does not pass easyDCP player test, and some cinemas might get a warning (probably still plays)
working with subtitles has many bugs
like with adobe, features are not everything. speaking of adobe, there is wraptor for DCP built into media encoder. it's rather fast but has zero settings. code and quality are questionable, often does not play or has picture problems, no subtitle option.