Category: Technicians Toolkit Series

Rotary Contrast Dial DCPS

This Dials for Contrast DCP is an experiment – we need your feedback after you play it through a few times.

While one idea is to stress Extended Dynamic Range and 2020 systems, another hope is that we are creating a tool that will help a  non-technical person monitor the stability or degradation of their projection system quality. It is great if you have a radiospectrometer that you can set up every week, but who has the 20 minutes to take a reading of .001 nits?

It starts at the impossible to see blue dial at 1.5% luminance and goes to 0%. If you can see any of that, you have a great system, right? After 5 seconds a set of numbers and marks appears around the outside so you can make a note of where the luminance became impossible to see.

The same thing happens 3 times for blue at 3% to 0%, then 4.5%-0% and finally 6% to 0%. The theory is that even a fumbling xenon system should be able to show some color at 6% and be useful as the bulb fades.

After Blue comes the cycle Red, then Grey, then Green.

Oh, and there is an acoustic piano test that we are working with that is thrown into the different speakers. Composed and Performed by Jeff Mikusky.  We will have a low end section and some strings soon.

We presume that for some systems the 1.5% – 0% dials will be impossible to see, and for some systems the 6% – 0% dials will be so much light that it never disappears – making the dial unusable. First Question: is there a Dial Number that works no matter the system?…which when assembled in a DCP would be a good 40 second test? …is 10 seconds enough time or too much?

Also, would some secondary colors be interesting?

This is a new version. The previous version was created in Final Cut Pro…this one is 16bit/2020 TIFF files straight into the DCP creation tool.

Pass code: QA_b4_QC

The TIFF Files are at: Dials For Contrast TIFFs

A Dial of Red from 4.5% to 0% with tics

Trumpets~! [DCP]

We are not certain if this DCP is just pretty with 4 different views of Trumpets, or if they are usable for some unknown reason.

They are just the first of a series that tries to do for exhibition what MTF style pictures do for lenses. You can’t see from this picture, but there are red lines in there too. Therefore they are also part of the series that attempts to present slides and sounds that can be used by humans with no more tools than their vision and sound systems.

Built with 16 bit, 2020 TIFF files, that can be found here:  Trumpets~! [TIFFs]

Comments to CJFlynn at cinematesttools dot com

Passcode, as always is: QA_b4_QC

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Trumpets, White on Black


Grey Steps, Filled with Numbers

This DCP is one minute of 4 rows of 4K Grey Boxes. Left to right, each block is 10% less than the previous. Top to bottom, each block is 2.5% less than the one above. These should actually be easy to distinguish on any well tuned digital projector.

What is unique is that within each box is 3 rows of numbers that give the percentage of White in each box. So, the top left box says “100” 3 times. Each instance of 100 is different though. The top is 65353 (16 bits of white) x 1.0(the Box Number) x .9999 [=65,528], the next is 65353 x 1.0 x .999 [=65,469] and the 3rd is 65353 x 1.0 x .99 [=64,480]. The next to the right is the same but substitute the 1.0 for .90 [=58976, 58,923, 58,392], while the one below you substitute .975 instead of 1.0 as the Box Number [=63,890, 63,833, 63,258].

The trick is to see if these numbers show up on a screen. Obviously an experiment and we would appreciate everyone telling us of their experience…with thanks to you.

The new version uploaded on 1 August 2019 exposes one column from the right, until the entire piece is exposed in order to allow people to see without the glare from the whites on the left side. …oh, and it starts with 30 secs of dark so that the eyes can take better advantage of the dark.

The passcode is QA_b4_QC

The TIFF files are at: GreyStepScales TIFFs

These are the numbers that are laid on top of the squares…can your system produce differences for some or most of them?

Numbers above grey steps x 40

Grey Steps x 40

SMPTE 2095 Pink Noise and Tones – LCR+

This DCP is 5 minutes long, with the same SMPTE 2095 and tones repeated 5 times in each of the channels, Left, Center, Right, Right Surround and Left Surround.

Sorry; not available…a new version is made and in test…email to get a sample…editor at cinematesttools you know the rest

First is 30 seconds of broadband pink noise (Highpass filter cutoff frequency 10 Hz, Lowpass filter cutoff frequency 22 kHz).
Following that is 5 seconds each of 110 Hz, 220 Hz, 440 Hz and 880 Hz, 1660 Hz and 3320 Hz.

The audio is accompanied by slides of various black and white gradient ramps against various black, white and grey backgrounds, an attempt at a Munsell chart and several variations of colored dots on an alignment grid.
As always, the passcode is QA_b4_QC

And, as always, please let us know your ideas and needs for tech DCPs.

SMPTE Pink Noise and Tones – LFE

This DCP is 2 minutes long. It repeats the same SMPTE 2095 band-limited pink noise and tones 2 times.
First is 30 seconds of band limited pink noise (Highpass filter cutoff frequency 10 Hz, Lowpass filter cutoff frequency 500 Hz).
Following that is 5 seconds each of 27.5 Hz, 55 Hz, 110 Hz, 220 Hz, 440 Hz and 880 Hz.

The audio is accompanied by slides of various black and white gradient ramps against various black, white and grey backgrounds.
As always, the passcode is QA_b4_QC

And, as always, please let us know your ideas and needs for tech DCPs.

1 Minute times 6; SMPTE Pink 2095-1

Very simple set of 2095-1 SMPTE Pink Noise going around a 5.1 room, one minute in each channel: Left, Center, Right, Right Surround, Left Surround, then LFE. The LFE is last and is not filtered – suggestions on filter frequencies for a future version will be welcomed.

There is also no Fade In or Fade Out.

There are slides every 20 seconds that have a pink dot in a logical on-screen position to designate where the Pink should be coming out of. These slides revolve through 6 sets, all which start with a black slide with spots in a gradient white to 18% grey, and triangles in the center that are 95% and 90% black and a couple of subtleties that should be written up elsewhere. The second slide is a variation of different test panels used in other kits, and finally the system shows a selection of faces.

Suggestions to better this set and suggestions on fitting different use cases are welcomed. Just click on the Contact button above…or, on this Contact Form added for your convenience.

[This DCP has been made but hasn’t yet been tested…therefore, it is not uploaded yet…send a note to tell me to hurry it up…]

And, as always, QA_b4_QC

    SMPTE Rotating Pink; ProTools Files

    From these ProTools files the downloads New SMPTE Pink Noise Tones; 7.1 and 5.1 were created. Use the Code QA_b4_QC in the Password above to download.

    NB – There is a ReadMe that describes a ProTools bug that Jim Fitzpatrick found while making this file…depends on your software level of course, so just be aware if you make variations on these files:

    Just discovered a protools bug:

    I set the Pan depth to -4.5 and the rendered files are made that way, as you requested.

    However when I close and reopen the session, ProTools magically sets the pan depth to its default of -2.5 !

    This does not effect the files I sent to you…they are correct. This will only come into play if someone opens the Protools session to look at it or modify it. It will come up at -2.5 and have to manually change the setting to -4.5.

    From this you should gather that the pan law is at 4.5 as the tone is shifted from one speaker set to the next. There is a brief hold at each speaker before moving to the next, except from the final Left Front to the LFE. In addition, the LFE holds twice as long, and ends the set.

    If you come up with other cool variations of this file, please share them with us. We will post them with your comments, and if you send the tones themselves and a DCP, we will post that as well, with full acknowledgements, of course.

    Download passcode is QA_b4_QC

    What Means, New SMPTE Pink Noise…and How? – Python

    SMPTE ST-2095-1 is a new standard for Pink Noise. It took a great deal of work by a great number of clever people, a lot of listening and testing and tweaking. The cool thing is that it isn’t made with a lot of transiticators, but rather, with digits. This is THE Digital Pink Noise Standard.


    Pink Noise has been one of those things that has always been around, and people don’t think much about it. Flick a switch, and there it is. But it took a sophisticated circuit to do right, and it wasn’t always implemented the same…or even well. That is much less likely now because with the standard is a python script that is very easy to implement. Continue reading “What Means, New SMPTE Pink Noise…and How? – Python”

    2Pop 4K

    This DCP is made for playing with a device that wants a pop every 2 seconds.

    Just another tool, and exactly like the 2K tool, except…yeah, 4K.

    Someone with a 4K projector…please comment or send a Contact form to tell whether your projector looks good with the 2K or not. The 2K projector that I tested the 4K file on looked playing the 2K …the 4K added some jaggies.



    Finally, what is the Correct Password to Download? QA_b4_QC

    2Pop 2K

    This DCP is made for playing with a device that wants a pop every 2 seconds. Although the QuickTime sample below says it is 720p, the DCP is a cinema sized 2K file.

    It walks through the 6 5.1 channels L, C, R, Rs, Ls, LFE, then a pulse in all speakers.

    We must admit, we don’t remember the levels – if we had any sense we would have made the last two pulses at different levels??? Please, run it once at a lower level – Repeat the last sentence back and do not run this DCP if you don’t understand that.

    The password is: QA_b4_QC

    Here is a .mp4 of what the DCP acts like:

    New SMPTE Pink Noise Tones; 7.1

    Around the room, with a 3 dB pan law as the sound travels between the speakers; Left, Center, Right, Right Surround, Right Rear, Left Rear, Left Surround, then back to Left, then a long stop at the LFE.

    All done with the new SMPTE Digital Pink Noise algorithm at the proper level (that is, not -20 dB.)

    In fact, for reasons that won’t be stated here, the new SMPTE Pink is set for -18.5 dBFS. This is the level for this DCP, except that the surrounds are at -15.5 dBFS. That allows someone to listen all the way through the room.

    The length of the LFE is twice as long as the others.

    Download passcode is QA_b4_QC

    Let us know what you think.

    Oh, and the ProTools files to make these are at:
    SMPTE Rotating Pink; ProTools Files