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Converting HDCAMSR to DCP


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#1 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 03:51 PM

If I have an HDCAMSR tape that is 1.85 or 2.35 how is it converted to a DCP? Is the HD image uprezzed to the 2K size or does the HD image sit inside the large 2K frame? And the color conversion is a simple 2D LUT to go from Rec709 to XYZ?
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#2 Benjamin Kantor

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:27 AM

Below is a sample workflow (I work at a post house where we occasionally make DCPs):

1. Ingest the HDCAM-SR as an uncompressed Quicktime (probably a Blackmagic 4:4:4 codec, in our case).

2. Scale the image to meet the DCP 2K standard (for 1.85:1, it's 1998×1080, for 2.39:1, it's 2048×858). To be clear, the image fills the entire frame, there is no letterboxing or pillarboxing.

3. Export as a TIF sequence.

4. We use OpenDCP, which semi-automatically takes the TIF sequence and converts it to a JPEG2000 sequence in XYZ color, and then wraps it up in an MXF wrapper for delivery.
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#3 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:18 AM

Thanks. I would imagine the uprez to 2k would not be that noticeable? I guess it depends on what algorithm you use. What are your thoughts?
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#4 Benjamin Kantor

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:16 AM

Yes, from a scale perspective, we are talking about 9.4% to get it from 1080p to 2K, which I personally think is negligible. Also, if your film were playing in a theater off an HDCAMSR deck feeding to a 2K projector (like a Barco), it would be getting upsampled to 2K by the projector hardware anyway, so I don't know that there's a difference in the end result regardless.

If you really wanted to fine-tune the scaling algorithm, then something like B-spline is going to technically look better than Bicubic. However, it complicates the workflow. The four step workflow I mentioned before could probably be covered in 4 hours for a 2 hour tape, using just FCP or Premiere and a DCP application. Adding a B-spline step could more than double that time, as it would add a completely new, time consuming process in a different application (we would probably use Nuke or a Photoshop action).
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#5 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:22 AM

Ok great. Thanks for the help and advice.
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