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Phil Thompson

DCP vs FCPX Pro Res 444 export

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Hi All

 

We're booking a cinema to show our film and I'm wondering what the benefits from DCP are over exporting a master file Pro-res 444 from FCPX and playing that? Are we taking big quality differences. really don't want to pay the DCP cash. any ideas?

 

Phil

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The main difference is not likely to be the compression, it'll be the difference in colour space.

 

I have honestly never side-by-sided it, but I suspect that unless you are astronomically picky or are after any very strange or extreme colour effects - which something tells me you aren't - the ProRes will be absolutely fine.

 

Just make sure they project it something like properly. If you've finished it on computer monitors, you may find that if they project it as 709 it looks a bit crushed.

 

P

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DCP is more likely to playback smoother on the server then Pro Res on a computer.

 

Today, you can make DCP's for free using Blackmagic's DaVinci Resolve.

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Hi All

 

We're booking a cinema to show our film and I'm wondering what the benefits from DCP are over exporting a master file Pro-res 444 from FCPX and playing that? Are we taking big quality differences. really don't want to pay the DCP cash. any ideas?

 

Phil

If you will not be able to work with the projectionist before the show, make a DCP. They'll understand that. Anything else will require altering the projector menu, and not all projectionists know how to do this properly or at all.

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Pro Res looks perfectly fine on big screen as long as you have a competent projectionist. It also would need something to play off e.g a Laptop - and can be a little bit fiddly to set up. I did a screening off pro-res using my laptop at my local odeon and the "projectionist" looked on confused as I had to pull out the non sync CD player cables to get audio from the laptop into the cinema sound processor. Easy enough - but commercial cinemas may not have a skilled projectionist any more.

 

Your average multiplex probably couldn't cope with prores, but more and more cinemas have the resources to screen alternative content. If they are happy to screen a pro-res then that would be easiest option, I've screened my work off prores in several cinemas and it looks perfectly fine. But as Tyler states its probably less robust, if you running off a laptop that could crash or overheat Vs a dedicated cinema server.

 

If they ask whats a ProRes? Then you have your answer, start looking at DCP

 

DCP is probably safer and as stated above it shouldn't cost you anything to make - the free version of resolve with do it, the latest version of adobe premier will do it and you can also get http://dcpomatic.com/ which is a free as well.

 

The only issue with DCP's is some cinema servers are picky about the format e.g it has to 24fps on a specific disk format - EXT 2/EXT 3. You might get away with other frame rates (e.g 25) and disk formats (e.g NFTS) but its dependant on the cinemas server.

 

If this is the premier its probably a good idea to have a back up so if your using a laptop to screen a prores, I'd try and have two laptops and two copies...

 

A good cinema should allow you to do a technical rehearsal, even if your screening off DCP its worth checking it. That would give you a chance to ensure gamma, audio levels, audio sync etc... are ok.

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Thanks for all the responses.

 

I looked into the EasyDCP option within Resolve and it appears that you need to register or you get watermarks/quality degregation after 10 seconds etc.. Dcopomatic painless?

 

p

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DCP O matic is not the most intuitive but its free and by all accounts works, I've not used it myself but I've heard that lots of people do.

 

Personally I've been using Adobe Premier CC to make the DCP and that worked fine for a local screening. I think there is a 30 day free trial thats the full version

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