Ideal distribution format for DCP creation?

Anything and everything to do with DCP-o-matic.
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Ryan Gallagher
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Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2024 2:53 pm

Ideal distribution format for DCP creation?

Post by Ryan Gallagher »

As a projectionist, I'm only starting to wrap my head around mastering pipeline and distribution formats and all the nuances there.... We are starting to get a lot of event specific pre-roll content our FOH team commissions from production houses.

Beyond asking them to make F and S DCPs for us, is there an "ideal" media format to start from to avoid pipeline quality loses when authoring DCPs for a 2K DCI Cinema?

For example is ProResLT a higher bitrate/quality than 150mbs 2K DCPs? Or should we always shoot for ProRes422 or HQ etc.

Should we be asking for P3 color space and "Full Color" distribution files? Or is letting DCPoMatic handle the Rec.709 Video color fine?

On the audio front. Is per-channel PCM the ideal? Before we added fader automation to our playlists we tended to re-author with -6db or more when they deliver stereo files.

Recent example of a non-ideal deliverable: ProRes422 LT 1.40:1 Stereo content matted into a 1080p video container. (Of a project that was shot and edited in 4K or better). I ended up using their near 4K youtube MP4 deliverables because they were not matted and would downscale to 2K DCI formats better than upscaling the 1080p matted versions they had intended for me, but I know the youtube distribution targets probably were a lower bitrate than what 2K DCP should be.

Just looking for how we can communicate our distribution needs better. Any tips from pipeline pros appreciated!
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Re: Ideal distribution format for DCP creation?

Post by Carsten »

ProresLT should be fine, however, whenever using non Flat or Scope aspect ratios, they should try to deliver a 4k master. Adjusting aspect ratios for a 1080p pillar- or letterboxed container will not go without negative impact on resolution, and then ProRes422 is only 422 anyway.

Not easy to give good advice here. DCP-o-matic can handle most formats, so for a DCP, they should always output the best possible master. And at least an audio mix that includes a center channel for dialogue.

- Carsten
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