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Tutorial: Exporting for Digital Cinema with Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014

A key concern for any producer is to ensure that the work you produce will play back on as many platforms (online, mobile, broadcast) as possible. Until recently, delivering content in digital cinema environments was the exclusive province of high-end facilities with specialized equipment. But with the release of Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014 and its Wraptor DCP plug-in, DCP has become just another export option, putting digital cinema delivery well within the reach of any Adobe CC user. Here's how you can add it to your offerings when your clients or projects demand it.

Exporting Your Project to DCP Using the Wraptor Plug-in

Adobe and Quvis have teamed up to build the Wraptor plug-in directly into Adobe Media Encoder. It's a very simple process. I won't walk you through any aspects of the edit, since when we're talking about creating a DCP, our workflow really begins at the export stage for creating the final output file.

The footage used in this example is a multicam sequence produced by provided by Viewfinders TV and features Greg Howlett (you can see him at the keyboard in Figure 1) performing a concert from a few years ago. There are 3 cameras, all filming at 720p. I'm going to export the timeline as I normally would, bringing up the Export Settings window shown in Figure 2 (below). But now in the Format drop-down, shown in Figure 2, you can see that the options now include, down at the bottom, Wraptor DCP.

Figure 2. Choosing Wraptor DCP as the Format option in the Export Settings window. Click the image to see it at full size.

Under Basic Video Settings, when you click the Video Dimensions drop-down, you'll see three format options that represent standard formats for digital theaters (Figure 3, below). Which one you choose will depend on the resolution or aspect ratio of the equipment used by the digital cinema where you're film will be shown.

Figure 3. Choosing Video Dimensions.

For the three different options, you'll get different cropping. With 2048x858 (Scope), for example, Adobe Media Encoder will need to export a very wide image, and you'll lose a lot of vertical space, as shown in Figure 4 (below). In this example, I'm going to go with 1998x1080 (Flat), because it's the closest option to the original aspect ratio of the footage I'm working with. The codec, as you can see in Figure 4, is JPEG2000; frame rate is the same as the source; field order is the same; and the bit rate is set to 250Mbps, although you can change that parameter if you need to.

Figure 4. Choosing the 2048x858 (Scope) will produce a wide image and crop your image vertically. Click the image to see it at full size.

I don't have a 5.1 soundtrack for this project, only Stereo, so I'll choose that from the options in the Audio tab, but note that you can encode your DCP with 5.1 if you're working with a 5.1 surround source. The other parameters--Sample Rate (48000 Hz), Sample Size (24-bit)--are in the background. You don't need to choose any other audio settings for your DCP output.

Just as with any other export from Premiere Pro, make sure you're saving your output where you want it to go (Figure 5, below), and click Save. Note the .dcp file extension.

Figure 5. Save to the location of your choice, as with any other export.

Back in the Export Settings dialog, click Queue to launch Adobe Media Encoder. Hit play, and your encode begins (Figure 6, below). All in all, this is a 4-minute timeline that's going to take about 20 minutes to encode, which should give you an idea of the time involved in creating this format.

Figure 6. The Wraptor DCP encode/output begins in Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014. Click the image to see it at full size.

 

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