How to export DCP with Adobe Media Encoder

Today I’m gonna walk you through how to
export a DCP from Premiere Pro and Media Encoder 2014 from Adobe. Adobe released a
new update for all of their creative cloud applications last week, and one of
the new features is exporting a digital cinema package. Now if you’ve been mostly
a streaming media producer, you may not be familiar with this format as a
producer but you are definitely familiar with it as a consumer. If you’ve ever
gone to the theater in the last few years and been in a digital cinema, you
are looking at a DCP. A DCP is not necessarily one file. It’s actually a
group of files that is created by the post-production house or a specialty
house that is that has a niche creating DCP files of people’s films, short films
or Hollywood big budget blockbusters whatever the case is. If it needs to go
in a cinema that’s digital, you have to have a DCP. So creating a DCP has been
sort of a black art over the last few years. A lot of people don’t really
understand it. They don’t know how to do it. It’s not been a very simple process
unless you had very expensive, specialized software or you paid a lot
of money to someone else who had the capabilities to create these for you.
Some people have taken to programming them themselves and using a terminal to
create all the necessary files, XML and MXF files. But Adobe and has teamed up
with a company called Quvis that makes a piece of software called Wraptor. And
Wraptor has been in the market for a number of years and has been used quite
a bit by a lot of the big Hollywood firms to create their DCP files for
their for their big-budget films. In researching DCP, I read that some
Hollywood budgets will allow up to $20,000 just to create the DCP when
they’re ready to export. And that may not be a big portion of their budget, but it
gives you an idea of how important this aspect of the final output of your
production is when you’re trying to put something on a big screen like that.
You may be wondering as a streaming media producer, why you
would want to create a DCP in the first place. One of the reasons could be you
want your content to be able to be on as many screens as possible. Of course we’ve
had this with first televisions and now mobile devices. And of course theaters
have been around for a while, but traditionally you haven’t been creating
streaming content for theater screens very often. But in this case, you have the
capabilities. Let’s say you have a corporate event where there’s some large
audiences that are gonna need to go to one place, maybe a local theater to view
something that was pre-recorded at the headquarters building. Or it could be you
have something like I have which is this live concert footage that was recorded
and then it was a big hit and they want to show it into theatres around a
certain, maybe a big metro area or around different cities. So you can now create
content that will be compatible with all these different digital cinema systems
and display it the way you intend it to. So Adobe and Quvis have teamed up to
build the Wraptor plug in directly into Media Encoder. And it’s a very simple
process, so I’m gonna walk you through it. I don’t need to spend a lot of time
showing you this timeline, because the timeline doesn’t matter a whole lot
since you’re only talking about exporting a final output file. I have a
multicam sequence that I did. This footage was provided by Viewfinders TV
and a friend of mine Greg Howlett who you see there at the keyboard. This is a
concert he did a few years ago. There are three cameras. They’re all at 1280 by 720.
And it is a progressive framerate. And I’m going to export my timeline, just like I
normally would. It brings up our export window that you’re used to seeing. But
now under format when you drop that down at the very bottom you’ll see Wraptor DCP
as an option available that was not there before.
And then under video, there are three different formats that are standards for
theaters. And this will depend on the theater and the system that they have:
what resolution or aspect ratio they’re using. For the three different formats
you’re going to get different cropping as you can see. Scope being very wide, and
you’ll lose a lot of vertical space. But I’m gonna go with flat
just for the sake of this demonstration because that’s the closest to the same
aspect ratio as what I have. The codec will be JPEG 2000 and then the framerate is
the same. Field order is the same. The bitrate right now is set to 250, but you
can change that if you need to. The audio: I do not have a 5.1 soundtrack. I only
have stereo, so that’s what I’m gonna choose. Everything else is in the
background. You don’t need to set it any other options. I’m gonna make sure my
output is going where I want it, and that’s where I want it to go. So I’m
gonna tell it to queue and let Media encoder launch. And it’s ready to go. Hit play. All
in all this is a 4 minute timeline that is going to take about 20 minutes or so
to encode. So that’ll give you an idea of the time involved in creating this
format. And I won’t bore you by sitting here and making you watch the whole 20
minutes of this encode, so I will fast forward in time and come back in just a
moment. And once your encoding is completed you can take it to the theater
and have them check it there or a much simpler route would be to download one
of a number of different DCP players that are available for Mac and PC. One of
the ones that worked for me was Easy DCP. And as you can tell, it is a demo version
so this is your free trial that you get to play around with. The trial
fortunately is not a limited by time or anything it just only allows you to look
at the first 15 seconds. So this is the one we just encoded right here. If you
look in the folder you’ll see a number of different files. They all serve
different purposes in making the DCP work, but your audio and your video file
are the ones you’re most concerned with because you want to make sure everything
plays correctly. So you choose that folder, and it’s going to see what it
needs. In there it’s going to ask you if you want to play one, or if there were
multiple different tracks in there, it would allow you to choose
several different ones. So we’ve got the same framerate we asked for. There’s the
resolution. I am doing a color transformation to make sure that it’s
displaying like what we’re expecting. So let’s see how it plays. [MUSIC] Everything seems to be nice and smooth.
So the last thing we want to check is to see how the color renders. So
I’m going to side by side our original here try to get approximately the same
location in the timeline maybe somewhere around there. And we can sort of look at
both together. So our color rendering is quite accurate compared to what we have.
In our nonlinear editor, everything looks good here. I can tell you that the the
audio is fine. I checked it. It is stereo. Now one little caveat I have to add in
here is that I’m running a slightly modified version of Adobe Media Encoder.
The GM, the gold master, that shipped on Wednesday of last week or Thursday
depending on when when the update showed up for you in your Creative Cloud
shipped with a sort of a flawed plugin for the Wraptor DCP encoder that’s built
in. When I talked with Adobe and Quvis about this issue, they assured me that
the patch is there. It’s available. The 2014 updates had already passed by the
time they had this plug-in ready. sSo they shipped it to me.
I just added it into my media encoders contents, and then it used that
new version and it fixed the issue that I was having before. The color rendering
and compression of some of the blocks did not look right. There were some
strange things going on, but hopefully you won’t have to wait for very long for
this to be patched. But I can tell you that it is fixed. What you’re
looking at right now is what it will look like as soon as they do issue that
patch. So that’s creating a DCP with Adobe Media Encoder and Adobe Premiere
Pro 2014. It’s very easy. It may not really apply to you, but if it does
you’ll be glad to have it.

4 thoughts on “How to export DCP with Adobe Media Encoder

  1. Question, are all the text files created with the dcp export needed in order for the audio and video to play properly?

    I erased everything out of the folder except the audio and video mxf.

    It wasn't recognized in the movie theater server.

  2. as a DCP professional I cannot recommend Wraptor, epsecially in the free version. Because it is Adobe, gamma shifts are likely, it's fast – i give it that (faster than easyDCP for me) BUT the syntax is faulty. i cannot get by without warnings and errors on a DCP server, which means, playability is a gamble. every freeware has this problem, only openDCP (in IOP only) writes 100% valid, DCI conform code (meaning package files, not visual conversion per se). the best way is to use the new RESOLVE 15, it has everything built-in, even in the lite version (they licensed KAKADU J2K which gives you 100% DCI conform DCPs strought out of Resolve 15 without paying a penny!) you will want to invest in "DCP transfer" (mac only) after that tough to sleep better at night.

  3. Hi I'm new to premier I normally edit in fcpx I edited a clip that is ment to be played on a big screen I was told I need to get it to them in dcp I have premier but I never use it does anyone know a way that I can convert it to DCP through premiere or is there another format that works within the same contacts pls help times a factor?

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