Here’s a short check list to insure your get the best you can out of AutoDCP.
- Depending on the aspect of your movie, make sure your source is of the right resolution. Here’s are the important numbers
- 2.39 Aspect (most hollywood films are shot this way), your source file should be 2048×858 in resolution
- 1.85 Aspect (many feature films) 1998×1080
- 1.77 or HD (many festival films and or commericals are done this way, mostly because almost all cameras now shoot this way) 1920×1080. One word of caution, this format is actually not considered part of the Digital Cinema Initiative ‘official’ spec. However, again many theaters know how to arrange the screen for this format, just double check with your projectionists and festival. If you are trying to distribute the film to the major film houses, this format is often not supported (except possibly for commericals or preshow material).
- Don’t letterbox your content. This is probably the most common mistake, namely you have a 2.39 aspect movie inside of a 1920×1080 display (ie with black borders). This problem is typically because the editor did not export the content at full resolution, but rather what their editing timeline was set to for editing purposes. Typical editors work in a 16×9 aspect (1920×1080 resolution) computer monitor, for 2.39 aspect shows the movie is therefore letterboxed. For theatrical release you do not want letterboxing, so have the editor export the movie at the full 2.39 cinema aspect, with a resolution of 2048×858. Or for 1.85 shows, export it at 1998×1080.
- Make sure the framerate is either 23.98 or a true 24 fps.
- You must have one audio track and exactly one audio track. Inside of that track you can have either 1 channel, 2 channels (stereo), or 6 channels (5.1). If you want to make a DCP without any audio, just create a silence mono-channel track.
- The resulting DCP is a collection of files in the named folder. Copy the folder and all the files without changing any of the names of the files to an external media. Do not use media which is a mac format. You can only use media which is formatted Linux EXT2, or in many cases NTFS.
- When uploading your content to Dropbox, don’t use a web browser, instead use the dropbox native app for either windows or OSX (download it from your dropbox account and install it on your computer). Using the native app lets you simply drag/drop files as if they reside on your local machine. The app then processes the transfer in the background (sync’s your local folder to your Dropbox remote folders). Trying to use a web browser to move files is very unreliable, specially for transferring folders and or large files, this is a known difficulty with Dropbox, ie everyone uses the Dropbox app vrs a web browser to sync big files.