Create an Original Version IMF in SDR (Netflix Del. Spec 4.0)

Create an Original Version IMF in SDR (Netflix Del. Spec 4.0)

The purpose of this tutorial is to introduce you to the main steps of making an Original Version SDR package according to Netflix 4.0 Delivery Specifications. For details on how to perform certain operations, please refer to MIST user manual.

In this tutorial we have the following sources from Meridian open source files:
  1. A video track in DPX 12 bits RGB UHD Rec709 24fps
  2. A stereo audio track in PCM 24bits 48kHz wave file.
  3. A 5.1 audio track in PCM 24bits 48kHz wave file.
The files used for this example are not exhaustive. Source material must be of a quality that is equal to or greater than the one required by Netflix. 

I. Create a new project

Click the NEW button from MIST main menu to create a new project. This new project will be the Original Version of our IMF package for Netflix:

II. Import files 

Import or drag and drop the source media into the MEDIA tab of the Command Panel.

III. Place media on the timeline

Depending on the settings you set for the audio configuration in the Project  ( `F1` ) properties, an audio layout already exists in the timeline. You can delete it by right clicking on Layers Control Box  then delete
In our case, the 5.1 is already present. We need to add an audio layout for our stereo tracks. To do this, click the A + button at the top left of the timeline and select Stereo:

Select your media from the MEDIA tab and drag them to the timeline to place them on the desired track. If you use the copy / paste function, remember that the media will be placed on the active track and at the playhead location.

If your audio layout is divided into individual tracks, select them in the desired order and hold down the left mouse button to drag them to the timeline and magnets to the mouse cursor. Right-click on the timeline to access the Composition Operations menu and select Replace Stacked at Cursor:

Once the media is in place, you have to define the duration of the composition. To do this, use the hotbox of the timeline with `Ctrl + right click`. From the Composition tab, select the desired method:

Do not forget to save your timeline regularly.

To check for sound on your audio tracks, you can display the waveform audio via the Composition Operations menu ( `Alt+right click` ):

IV. Configure composition settings

The settings chosen for the Composition are determinant and must correspond to the desired IMF export. 

Composition Settings are accessible from the Command Panel:

  1. In the GENERAL tab, name or rename your composition. For playback and processing reasons, make sure the selected mode is COMPOSITING:

  1. Choose your output resolution and frame rate on the FORMAT tab compliant with Netflix specifications. In our example, UHD-1 in 24fps:

If the frame rates of the media and the composition do not match, the media in question will be displayed in red in the timeline.

Color Management
Currently an SDR IMF for Netflix must be in Rec709 with BT 1886 as EOTF. 
If all your sources already match this constraint, you can choose the NATIVE mode from the CMS tab. If this is not the case, select MTCMS and set the color space settings of the timeline according to Netflix specifications:

If the MTCMS mode is chosen, do not forget to characterize your sources in the GRADE panel:

Whatever method you use, make sure that the color scaling of your source is correct. MIST always works in FULL and the color scaling of the IMF is defined when exporting, depending on whether you choose a YUV (HEAD) or RGB (FULL) output. For more information, please read the article About Color Range in the Knowledge Base.

You can use the histogram ( `Shift + H`) to help you by activating the SMPTE and RGB options to be able to locate your signal and determine its color scaling:


Once your timeline is ready for export, we strongly recommend that you use the monitoring tools and scopes to make sure everything is in order. 

V. Export the IMF package

To export our IMF, we need to access the Master Delivery Panel panel by clicking on the DELIVER button at the bottom left of the timeline, then select Interoperable Master Package in the list of formats.

in the GENERAL tab, for Specification choose Netflix.

As Version, you have the choice between ST-2067-21 2016 or ST-2067-21 2020. Both are currently accepted by Netflix.

VIDEO parameters are automatically set when selecting the Netflix Specification.

For AUDIO, check that the language of your audio layouts and the mapping of the audio channels are correct. For clarity, you can also rename your audio layout by changing the name in Title:
Double-click on the title to enable the editable text field.

In the OUTPUT tab, when all previous settings and adjustments have been made, click the BROWSE button to set an export path.

You can also create a Mastering Report of this export.

Then click MAKE as soon as you are ready to export.

VI. QC of the IMF package

Once the IMF is exported, we advise you to open it at least once before sending it. To do this you can import the IMF package as a new project from the main menu of MIST or import it into the existing project MEDIA tab via the Import function.

If you use the IMF Import function from the start Menu, you will be able to validate the package.

When the IMF import panel opens, click the BROWSE button at the top right to select your package. As a result, the metadata is displayed in the CONTENTS tab and allows you to check the properties of your package:

In the VALIDATION tab, it is possible to perform tests to determine the integrity of the package and the applications to which it refers. Click on SELECT ALL then EXECUTE

In our case, the failed tests relate to applications that are not relevant to our package. It is therefore normal. In addition, tests displaying a warning do not affect the proper functioning of the IMF but draw your attention to certain points:

By clicking SAVE, you will export a PDF or XML version of this test with more details about the test performed.

Now click on the PHOTON tab. This is a tool used by NETFLIX to validate packages. Click on EXECUTE and wait for the end of the test.

Once the package is validated, you can click OK to import it. The package is now displayed in the MEDIA tab of the command panel. A double-click on the Composition of your choice will load it on the timeline.
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