If you need to get your film ready for a film festival or to be played in a theater, you most likely been asked to supply a DCP ( Digital Cinema Package ) or you have to pay the festival so they can convert it for you. A great free alternative is to use DCP-O-Matic. For this all you need is to download DCP-O-Matic which is the best free software to make your own DCP. The software isn’t quite straight forward to use, so it is advisable to watch the tutorial video to learn how to use the software properly.

Download DCP-O-Matic.

Why use DCP-O-Matic?
The great thing about DCP-O-Matic is their DCP are good for festival and theater uses and it allows you to make 2k and 4k DCP, while other free option might limit you to 2k resolution. Also it has built in tools for if you want to show non DCI aspect ratios, it can help cropping the footage correctly to fit into the DCI aspect ratios correctly.

DCP for Free

DCI aspect ratio
For theather display there are 2 main aspect ratio you need to remember. Which is Flat 1.85:1 and Scope 2.39:1 as these are the most common screen sizes. But it is often specified by the festival or theater if you need to specifically one of the aspect ratios, as some theater are old and might only have an older project that is made to project a certain aspect ratio.

The ISDCF name is a standardised naming convention, that allows users to directly read specific information fast from its naming. Like which language the movie is, resolution, if its a feature or short, when it was made and more. It is suggested to use the ISDCF naming also if you are sending out trailers or preview video file, which can be generated with DCP-O-Matic.

Rendering DCP is slow
Sorry to say, but most DCP exporters are just slow. With my MacBook Pro M1 Pro it render 13 frames per second and if you have a feature film to render out it take quite a while. There is nothing you can really do about it then just wait out.

Why not use Wraptor in Premiere Pro?
Wraptor does not work on Apple Sillicon computers, unless you are using a Windows computer with Premiere Pro. However the other issue is that Wraptor in Premiere Pro only allows you to export a 2k DCP and not 4k DCP while a lot of new theaters does allow higher resolutions. Another problem is that certain theaters has issues with the package coming out of Wraptor as if its not up to current standards as the plugin hasn’t been updated in a long time. While DCP-O-Matic is getting regular updates and have comply better with Cinema standards.

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Make DCP for Free with DCP-O-Matic

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- Awarded Cinematographer , Photographer and Graphic Designer.

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