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Digital Cinema has got expensive.

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Alastair Walker
Digital Cinema has got expensive.
on Feb 27, 2010 at 1:58:18 pm

Hi,

Has anyone had much experience with exporting to Jpeg2000 DCI compliant file with FCP? I have just finished my short 30min film and I am hiring a cinema equipped with a Dci spec Barco projector. I have used these before but never exported a Jpeg2000 file.

I usually can wrangle a freebie 35mm reel from Deluxe labs off the back of neg cuts and inter neg from various post houses. However, I am going to do this one using Jpeg2000 so I can use this instead to meet festival criteria. (I hope).

So after a few phone calls I was shocked at the price to encode to this file type. It is cheaper for me to purchase MainActors Jpeg2000 codec! After a few more phone calls to fellow film makers, most need government (uk) exhibition grants! So much for digital cinema. So my inter neg companies cannot do deals on this as a 30minute film takes 30minutes to encode and all the prep, loading, etc is just too time consuming.

I do not want to play this at any other quality- otherwise what is the point. I have seen people shoot on 35mm and play back on a HD D5 deck at 1080p to these projectors. I feel that is pointless and a total waste of money and equipment.

So, I am plan to turn up with my Mac and play the Jpeg2000 file. That is the cheapest way I think.

1) So has anyone done this before and can give me some advice?
2) Should I still export cineon files as frames? If not, what codec should I use an a digital inter? I only have FCP 5- Pro Res 444 not an option here.
3) Has anyone used Mainactors Jpeg200 package?


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gary adcock
Re: Digital Cinema has got expensive.
on Feb 27, 2010 at 6:20:23 pm

[Alastair Walker] "Has anyone had much experience with exporting to Jpeg2000 DCI compliant file with FCP?"

the Jpeg 2K for projection codec is not part of the FCP install. So the third party codec would be the only option within FCP to encode that file. I have not heard of a Festival that requires DCI spec Jpeg2000 compression for delivery.

I know that a number of these festivals are now delivering content compressed as Apple ProRes and output via Kona/ BMD/ Matrox cards direct into the projector-This is how we have delivered the highend demo content from companies like RED, ARRI, and Sony at NAB every year as part of the Director of Photography Conference.

Question- Jp2K compression is used so the file can be loaded on a DCI server and include the appropriate DRM / Copy Protection needed for protected distribution.
Why encode to this for a one-off presentation when a tape deck or KiPro rental would be much less than that D5 and allow you to output your file as baseband video direct into the projector - at an even higher quality than using JPG2K and the associated hassles.






gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows for the Digitally Inclined
Chicago, IL

http://blogs.creativecow.net/24640


http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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Russell Lasson
Re: Digital Cinema has got expensive.
on Feb 27, 2010 at 9:29:47 pm

I've been doing digital cinema mastering for the past two years. I need to warn you that getting your file to play on a digital cinema server is more than just getting the right codec. I've worked with several people that have been under this false understanding that if they just export a QT file in the JPEG2000 codec that everything would work. That's just not true.

Using the right compression is only part of the equation. The JPEG2000 files then need to be properly wrapped in MXF and other files prepared (cpl, pkl, volindex, assetmap). It is possible to do it on your own, but you should be prepared for a lot of trial and error in getting through it. You'll also need access to several open source tools and be very comfortable using Linux. It really isn't an easy process unless you have a full dci authoring system. If you're really interested in a DCP, then contact me and I'll see if I can work with your budget.

-Russ


Russell Lasson
Colorist/Digital Cinema Specialist
Color Mill
Salt Lake City, UT
http://www.colormill.net


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Alan Okey
Re: Digital Cinema has got expensive.
on Feb 27, 2010 at 11:59:19 pm

http://www.quvis.com/?Action=Products&SubAction=wraptor


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Russell Lasson
Re: Digital Cinema has got expensive.
on Feb 28, 2010 at 3:04:11 am

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4179/is_20081209/ai_n31116405/

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/othercities/wichita/stories/2010/02...

Russell Lasson
Colorist/Digital Cinema Specialist
Color Mill
Salt Lake City, UT
http://www.colormill.net


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Chris Borjis
Re: Digital Cinema has got expensive.
on Mar 1, 2010 at 5:58:57 pm

Alastair, since nobody yet mentioned it I will.

I do A LOT of Blu-Ray authoring for clients that screen at festivals.
I would argue that a properly encoded BD-R disc will yield a picture
quality equal to an HDCAM tape at roughly half the cost.

You could easily bring your blu-ray player into the theatre
and have them plug it into the projector there...lots of people have
done this. It's highly cost effective, simple and looks fabulous.

just thought I'd throw that out there...



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Russell Lasson
Re: Digital Cinema has got expensive.
on Mar 1, 2010 at 6:24:27 pm

Like Chris says, Blu-ray is a good alternative. Many people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a DCP, Blu-ray, ProRes or HDCAM playback. I've know a couple local films that have even done a limited release in digital cinema theaters on Blu-ray or other alternative playback devices.

The most important thing if you're not using a DCP in a theater is to make sure that things get connected right. With digital cinema projectors, usually it's pretty easy to get the picture looking right. The bigger challenge is getting the audio from your playback source patched into their system correctly. Often times this requires unplugging part of the existing system to get it to work right. This is where you need to bribe the theater owner or projectionist because as soon as you ask them to start unplugging their system, they start getting very uncomfortable.

It's obvious that you shouldn't break the bank to get this done, but whatever you do, make sure it will work wherever you need to play the film.

-Russ

Russell Lasson
Colorist/Digital Cinema Specialist
Color Mill
Salt Lake City, UT
http://www.colormill.net


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Paul Moore
Re: Digital Cinema has got expensive.
on Mar 24, 2010 at 7:25:26 am

have you found encore to be the best bluray authoring software for your work?


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