Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Making a DCP, post 2

I was knocking at the door of digital cinema today, but sadly I was not let in.

With gracious assistance from Dave and Dave at our local digitally-enabled theater, and ongoing Linux help from Josiah at Hampshire, I was actually able to plug a properly-formatted USB hard drive into a Doremi DCP-2000. But I clearly don't know enough about making proper Packing Lists because the ingest function on the DCP-2000 did not detect/recognize any of my files. Time to go back to the spec and the forums and see what I missed about those critical packaging steps (If you want to know more about packing lists and other DCP components, you can find the Digital Cinema System Specification at the Digital Cinema Initiatives website).

Curiously, I felt like I was hacking for the first time in years. Sitting in the dark projection area of the theater, we were studying DCPs that were shipped to the theater on hard drives to try and ascertain how they were different from the ones I had made. Even though we didn't figure it out, it was fun to tweak the package and try the disk over and over again while flickering light from the films illuminated our work. I kind of felt like I was in a sub. It was a long, narrow, enclosed space. The low-frequency drone of the many fans and the many spinning 35mm projectors drowned every other noise out. And just through the little window next to the digital projector, you could see the world of Pandora in its kind-of-like-the-bottom-of-the-ocean glory.


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
I am curious as to what software you used to create your DCP? Here at Doremi Cinema we have a software called CineAsset that takes various kinds of multi media files or image sequences and wraps them into a DCP that can be ingested into any cinema server.
If your interested for more information hit me up and I would be happy to help.

Best regards,
Dan Hammond
Director of Technical Services
Doremi Cinema
Burbank CA USA

Chris Perry said...

Dan - so far I've been using all open source tools, from openjpeg to asdcplib to opencinematools. I linked to most of them in my previous post. I'm trying to iron out this pipeline so that I can publish it for the benefit of others who may not have the resources to buy software or pay someone to create their DCPs.

Thanks for telling me about your product, though. I see that you built it upon FFmpeg and have made the code available from your website. I'm curious: did Doremi customize the FFmpeg code and if so, is there any documentation of the changes that were made?

- chris