, have produced the first Digital Cinema Distribution Master (DCDM) of a major motion picture that conforms to the specifications of the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI). The DCDM was then used to generate a Digital Cinema Package (DCP), ready for distribution.
"Serenity" was used by Universal Pictures to test the workflow required to create a DCP. FotoKem created the DCDM directly from 2K digital intermediate files, while Doremi Labs assembled the files along with the audio into a digital cinema distribution package. Christie provided the DLP Cinema projector for the tests.
The DCI specifications are the result of collaboration between seven major studios – Disney, Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. – to develop uniform guidelines for the digital projection of motion pictures. Three years in development, the final DCI standards were published in July of this year.
The successful completion of the DCDM and the DCP on "Serenity" in compliance with the DCI standards marks a major milestone in the move toward all-digital projection for motion pictures.
"Serenity," currently in theaters in traditional film prints, was utilized for testing by Universal because a digital intermediate had been created at FotoKem and the original 2K scans were readily available for conversion to a DCDM. Chapman, along with Bill Schultz, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Film Services at FotoKem, designed a hardware/software pipeline for making the conversion into XYZ color space as it has been defined for digital projectors. "The challenge was converting to the digital cinema color space directly," said Schultz. "We developed a very fast method of transferring the color intent of the movie into the XYZ color space while maintaining the full bit depth and the full spatial resolution of the movie."
FotoKem then delivered approximately 132,000 16-bit tiff files, each representing one frame of the film, to Doremi Labs where they were converted to JPEG2000 files and wrapped with the audio into a Media eXchange Format (MXF) file on the Doremi Mastering Station. This final encrypted file represents the Digital Cinema Package ready for distribution to theaters equipped with Christie Digital projectors. "Our mastering station ensures the accuracy and integrity of the final product while providing the highest level of security for the studio's assets," said Camille Rizko, President of Doremi Labs.
While films have been digitally displayed in the past, "Serenity" is the first to be projected in the JPEG2000 format said Brian Claypool, Senior Project Manager, Digital Cinema, Christie. "The Christie CP2000 Digital Cinema Projector can reproduce up to 35 trillion colors which make the images you see on the screen simply stunning. We're projecting a JPEG2000 master in a 12-bit 4:4:4 DCI XYZ color space, using a dual link HD-SDI interface from the server to the projector. 'Serenity' is the first movie to be projected in such a manner."