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COMMENT Mr MXF thinks... the future’s made of components! Bruce Devlin CLASS: Learning to speak IMF The recent SMPTE IMF plugfest that was kindly hosted by Fox in Burbank gave the vendors, users and content owners a chance to discuss the ﬁne details of the IMF standard and to get excited about where it will take the Post Production community. If you haven’t heard of IMF then you have not been standing within 500ft of me for the past year. IMF is the Interoperable Master Format and a standard from the SMPTE. If you’re a numbers collector then you need to remember SMPTE ST 2067. Most likely you will want to know why IMF is needed and how to describe your requirements. This little vocabulary class should help. IMF builds upon technology from both the Digital Cinema community and the MXF TV community to create a format based on individual media components that is optimised for the automated construction of multi-version, multi-lingual, multi-platform assets. The core element of IMF is the Composition. This deﬁnes the timeline of a speciﬁc version of a title. Everything in IMF revolves around the Composition. If you want to play it on a monitor then you play the Composition. If you want to make a new version then you create a new Composition. The Composition is deﬁned by the CPL (Composition Play List). This is basically an EDL that is written in a standardised way using XML. 30 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 121 January 2017 The CPL is constrained to cuts only editing but because it is optimised for multi-version distribution work and not compositing during the creative process. The CPL is metadata rich and includes content identiﬁcation using House Numbers, EIDR and virtually any approach required. The video and audio for an IMF Composition is stored in Track Files. There is a clue in the name. Each ﬁle stores the media for a single track and so you will ﬁnd the video essence in the video track ﬁle. You will ﬁnd two audio channels in a stereo track ﬁle and 6 audio channels in a 5.1 surround ﬁle. The CPL also includes an XML version of the metadata found in the MXF Track File. This includes descriptions of the video compression used, the number of audio channels, and most importantly the Multi-Channel audio labelling. IMF requires you to label which channel goes with which sound ﬁeld group (L, R, LFE, Ls etc.) and also which language the track represents (en, en-US, fr-FR etc.). In Post Production, you are likely to receive an original Composition and some Track Files. You will be asked to make a new Composition with a different language. The process of transferring the ﬁles is called a Delivery. The Delivery will delivery you an Interoperable Master Package or IMP. This is a temporary structure for delivery and not intended to be a permanent object. Think of it like the Fed-Ex carton that the content arrives in. The carton has a packing list