Create an Original Version IMF in SDR

Create an Original Version IMF in SDR

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

In this tutorial we have the following sources:
  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. In case of doubts about the quality of your sources, please refer to the technical specifications of Netflix in force.

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 

When the project is created, from the timeline, we can browse through the Windows file browser to drag and drop the media into the MEDIA tab of the Command Panel.

III. Place media on the timeline

When you have finished importing the media necessary for the project, you can access the Timeline ( `F3` ) to place the elements on it. 

Depending on the settings you set for the audio configuration in the Project  ( `F1` ) properties, an audio layout already exists in the timeline. If you want to change it, you can delete it by right clicking on it and 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 composition set up in the previous steps, corresponds to what will be our Composition Playlist in our future IMF package. It is very important to take the time to solve it. 

To access the settings of the composition, right-click on the Timeline background then Settings:





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





Choose your output resolution and frame rate on the OUTPUT tab according to the Netflix specifications. In our case, it is UHD in 24fps:





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

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





If the MTCMS mode is chosen, do not forget to define 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. 
To do that, press `Alt + right click` on the viewport then go to the tab SCOPES and choose the tool according to what you want to check.

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.

MIST has three templates that are kept up-to-date and meet the IMF specifications issued by NETFLIX. Depending on your sources, choose the one that suits you. In our case, we need to choose Netflix SDR RGB 444 in the Template drop-down list:




When choosing a template, many settings through the tabs become inaccessible. However, some parameters require your attention. 

For example, 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.

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

Because we are exporting an Original Version, no other type of package or other method is available.

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 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. It is wise to do it on your side before sending. 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 Library and from the timeline you can select the composition of your package by selecting it from the drop-down menu:






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