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From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)

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George Roberson
From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 2:18:33 am

Hi,

I have a few questions converting/exporting files from FCP7 to make a DCP file. The FCP sequence setting is 1920 x 1080 in HDTV 1080i 16:9 aspect ratio. The raw footage was shot in Canon DSLR 24p. The final DCP file is going to be used in Film festival exhibition. The movie is 100 minutes long.

1. Will the DCP file keep the same aspect ratio? Some say after converted to DCP, Conversion of 59i interlaced material to 24P progressive definitely causes visible motion distortion. Is this true?

2. Which kind of sound system is ideal? Stereo or 5.1? I heard somebody say DCP can NOT go with stereo, is that true?

3. I notice there is some software that I might be able to do it myself although I am a total newbie on this. How do most people do this? Hire a post production company?

Thanks so much!!!
George


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Garrett Sergeant
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 3:23:05 am

George,

You've got yourself a few unique problems here that you'll need to solve before you can begin to think about a DCP, but hopefully we can sort through them point by point.

1) A DCP must be 24 or 48 frames per second in order to meet DCI compliance standards. From the sound of it, you may have edited your film in a 29.97 timeline with 23.98 native material. If this is true the best thing you can do is recut your film in a 23.98 timeline. It is tedious and fraught with its own complications, but as you say, converting from 24 to 30 and back to 24 will simply make your hard work look awful. No need to change anything about the resolution of your project. It will play back at in its native 1920x1080 on screen.

2) DCPs certainly can and are formatted with stereo tracks, but a minimum 3-channel mix is recommended for theatrical environments. The reason being that stereo mixes split up the dialogue between your left and right speakers causing an echo in a room as large as a theater whereas 5.1 mixes tend to bias all dialogue to one center speaker. A 5.1 mix pays for itself in the long run, but it is not necessary for festival bound DCPs.

3) There are certainly software packages that will allow you to make a DCP but they can be tricky if you are unfamiliar with the process and unfortunately may not work at all. You should not attempt to use such tools yourself unless you can thoroughly test the DCP in a screening room or theater. There is also the issue of hard drive formatting which can be particularly frustrating unless you are familiar with Linux.

I encourage you to check out our website:
http://www.simpledcp.com
to learn more about the format. We'd also be happy to advise you further over the phone.

-Garrett
Simple DCP
simpledcp@gmail.com


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Nick Meyers
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 7:11:05 am

that all seems like very good advice.

the answer to point 3:
" I am a total newbie on this. How do most people do this? Hire a post production company?"

is pretty much YES

however, if you want to continue on your own, give yourself LOTS of time for trial and error,
and don't even bother with the full 100 minutes until you are on top of the process.

do you have a short promo or trailer for the film? use that.


nick


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Rafael Amador
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 10:08:42 am

[George Roberson] "The FCP sequence setting is 1920 x 1080 in HDTV 1080i 16:9 aspect ratio. The raw footage was shot in Canon DSLR 24p."
That makes no sense.
If your footage is p24 (p23.97) you edit on a sequence with the same time base.


[George Roberson] "1. Will the DCP file keep the same aspect ratio? Some say after converted to DCP, Conversion of 59i interlaced material to 24P progressive definitely causes visible motion distortion. Is this true?"
Not true, but picture quality will lose.

[George Roberson] "3. I notice there is some software that I might be able to do it myself although I am a total newbie on this. How do most people do this? Hire a post production company?"
That's the solution.
This article is interesting for you:
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/lasson_russell/digital_cinema.php
rafael


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George Roberson
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 11:59:20 am

Hi Rafael, thanks for your input. Why do you think the picture quality will lose? I thought DCP is standard 2K, no?


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George Roberson
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 11:48:06 am

Thanks EVERYBODY!

I don't know why you think my timeline is 29.97 p. I am pretty sure my raw and current final cut is 24p.


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Rafael Amador
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 2:34:24 pm

[George Roberson] "Why do you think the picture quality will lose? "
Deinterlacing is a process where you have to discharge half of the lines of the original picture and create half of the lines of the new Progressive frame.

[George Roberson] " don't know why you think my timeline is 29.97 p. "
Well, you said so on your post

"The FCP sequence setting is 1920 x 1080 in HDTV 1080i 16:9 aspect ratio. The raw footage was shot in Canon DSLR 24p."

rafael


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George Roberson
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 2:37:59 pm

Sorry I am quite a newbie. I think you are right it is 30p. The material I got after color correction and before exporting to DVD is 30p. Will that be a big problem? Or I should go back to raw footage?


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Rafael Amador
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 4:04:21 pm

If you are going DCP, yes.
As Garret mentioned, DCP standard is 24 or 48fps.
No idea why your stuff is 30fps.
Even for NTSC DVDs, p23,98 is OK.
Makes no sense to go p24 > p30 > p24.
You will get crap.
You should have done everything p23,98.
rafael


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George Roberson
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 4:06:38 pm

I guess the 30p is for export of DVD/NTSC?

But is HDTV format all 30p maybe I was wrong with my format


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George Roberson
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 4:11:02 pm

I went back check my FCP7 file - it says
Frame size: 1920 x 1080
Aspect ratio: HDTV 1080i (16:9)
Pix aspect ratio: Square
Editing timebase: 23.98

Does that mean it is 24p instead of 30p?


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Rafael Amador
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 5:50:43 pm

[George Roberson] "I guess the 30p is for export of DVD/NTSC?"
No need.
When you have p23,98 fps, you make a p23,98 fps DVD.
The player puts out 29,97fps.

I went back check my FCP7 file - it says
Frame size: 1920 x 1080
Aspect ratio: HDTV 1080i (16:9)
Pix aspect ratio: Square
Editing timebase: 23.98

Does that mean it is 24p instead of 30p?
Is 23,98.
rafael


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George Roberson
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:01:24 pm

Thanks!

Now I am a bit relieved :) So I guess I don't need worry about motion distortion or quality loss after converted to 2K DCP.

Now the decision will be:
Should I make a stereo or 5.1 surrounding for the final DCP product. I heard some say for high end festivals there will need to be 5.1 - is that the case? Or maybe I should wait until notice from film festivals.

Thanks again Rafael!


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Rafael Amador
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 3, 2013 at 2:28:13 am

[George Roberson] "Now I am a bit relieved :) So I guess I don't need worry about motion distortion or quality loss after converted to 2K DCP."
You edit a HD video with the best quality you can and then you give the stuff to a company specialized in DCP mastering. They will take care of rest.
About the audio, sorry, but I can't help you.
rafael


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Michael Gissing
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 3, 2013 at 3:34:58 am

5.1 should be possible for most festivals if they are using DCP equipped cinemas as this is the standard for cinema. That is why 5.1 is the DCP default.


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George Roberson
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Jul 3, 2013 at 3:46:57 pm

Thanks!


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Alex Coppedge
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:42:57 pm

Sorry to post a new question on this thread, but it's a DCP question using Doremi Cine Export. Has anyone had issues with the output coming straight from the FCP timeline via Compressor? I'm creating DCPs with the Doremi software with ProRes 422 HQ files at 2K (1998x1080 or 2048x858) in 24fps. We convert to XYZ through the software, but when the DCPs get to theatrical, we aren't getting the true colors of the film and it often looks washed out.

I've spoken with Doremi but haven't gotten a great answer to the best workflow. I'm considering trying to a TIFF sequence that is already XYZ converted, but wanted to see if anyone has found a great workflow with the Doremi's Cine Export.


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Noam Osband
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Aug 26, 2016 at 3:35:26 pm

I find myself now in the same boat, needing to make a DCP from a FCP 7 project. Has any new software come out in the last few years that'll let me do it from home easily?


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Michael Phillips
Re: From FCP to DCP (digital cinema package)
on Aug 28, 2016 at 9:19:43 pm

You can try this one:
http://service.autodcp.com/

They have a free watermarked process you can test for yourself.


Michael


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