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DCI Announces completion & Availability of “Stem” Mini Movie for D-Cinema Testing

Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI)

has completed post-production work on the Standardized Evaluation Material (“StEM”), which will be used for a wide variety of digital cinema testing programs. The “StEM”, or “Mini-Movie” project was a collaborative effort between DCI and the American Society of Cinematographers. The “mini-movie’ is now available in several formats to other companies and organizations to use in a wide variety of compression, projection, transmission and other test bed applications.

DCI began this project by identifying what would be needed to test various aspects of the DCI technical specification. “We established two primary criteria,” said Howard Lukk, DCI’s Director of Technology and the project’s post-production executive. “First, we wanted elements in the image that would be technically challenging for the compression test. Second, we wanted the original images to be captured on film from which we would digitally scan the completed “mini-movie”.

A world-class team of ASC cinematographers artistically designed and filmed the “mini-movie” during a two-day shoot last August on the back lot at Universal Studios. More than two hours of film were captured in both 35 MM and 65 MM formats. This footage featured a number of scenes with a variety of lighting conditions, colors, textures and other variables of photographic definition including confetti, rain, fog and others. During the carefully managed post-production process, the thousands of feet of film were edited down to the ‘2-minute “Mini-Movie,” which was processed and scanned at 6K horizontal resolution to retain the richness of the details in the film images. It was then down-resolved to both 4K and 2K digital formats, which DCI will use in its testing. An HD version is also available, as well as a

35MM answer print version.

There is no plot in the completed “Mini-Movie,” but the wedding scenes, shot during daylight, at night, during rain and in other variable settings, will serve as a robust test of image quality for digital projectors, compression systems, and other elements of a digital cinema system. The “Mini-Movie” also includes a 30-second segment of 4K CGI material from Walt Disney’s “Treasure Planet.”