Following on from our look at X2Pro for Final Cut X, we thought it would be a good idea to provide an overview of what conforming and re-conforming is all about and suggest some tools that would help. Also you might find an interview with Mike Wabro on the whole subject of conforming.
Podcast With Mike Wabro On Conforming
In this podcast Mike Thornton discusses the issue of conforming with Mike Wabro
- What is an EDL
- The history of conforming
- How do OMFs and AAFs relate to the conform workflow
- What is the difference between conforming and re-conforming
- Conforming with Ediload from Sounds in Sync
- Conforming with Titan from SynchroArts
- Addition features in Ediload v2
Conform or Assembly
This is the process of imposing the edits made by the picture editor using a guide audio track onto multi-track source audio files so we can use the invidual mics but not have to select the appropriate takes etc manually. There are two key players in this area.
Ediload v3 from Sounds in Sync
EdiLoad conforms location audio, re-conforms Pro Tools sessions, imports edit data from Pro Tools sessions and exports a variety of files to aid the sound post-production process.
Titan From Synchro Arts
Titan has been around for ages and has been constantly improved over the years. Both applications have their strengths and weaknesses and as Mike Wabro says in our podcast interview above, it will depend on various circumstances as to which one he would use.
Re-Conform (make changes)
So the so called ‘locked picture’ proves not to be so and the tool you need is a device that will compare the two video EDLs and produce a set of changes that can be imposed on the Pro Tools session to trim, expand or move sections of the session to match the picture changes. Change Notes can be OK on simpler projects but are often make way to complicated by loads of video effects noise that completely swamp the relatively simple picture edit changes. So there are programmes now that compare the two video EDLs and work from that. The 4 main players in this sector are Conformalizer, Reconformer, Virtual Katy and EdiLoad. These produce their own form of change note and then implement that in Pro Tools.
EdiLoad V3 From Sounds In Sync
Since version 3, Ediload has become both a conforming tool and and a reconfirming tool in the one package. EdiLoad v3 contains a new 'Compare' window which allows users to find the difference between vision lists and create a list of picture changes. This was previously performed using the EdiTrace website. Watch our show & tell review to see how it could work for you.
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Reconformer from Slothsound.com
Reconformer has been rebranded as it used to be known as Conformer. It is probably the least well known of the quartet, however it is gaining favour with some folk and has some nice features like copying deleted material and putting it at the end of the session so you don’t loose it, in case you need to ‘borrow’ content from the deleted section. Also it has a ‘floating window’ option that sits on top of Pro Tools and allows you to manually re-conform tracks interactively.
Conformalizer from The Cargo Cult (formerly known as Maggot Software)
This product initially seemed to generate mixed responses with some folk finding it limited and other really liking it, but Justin has worked hard and fast and now has a large loyal following. Conformalizer directly reads XML files from FCP (and supports the v2XML files) just fine, especially when it comes to working around tricky EDLs and VFX naming methods. It catches all the swaps and moves that can be easy to miss (or hard to figure out) when you doing it by hand with no change note. Justin iis very proud of the VFX tracing and that you can load 2 picture files and view the differences. He also has a ‘find’ feature to search old edls to help locate deleted sections.
One of Virtual Katy's major strengths is keeping track of all your EDLs for each of your projects. It has features built on to help handle the vex noise and handle major changes enabling you move complete sections from one place to another. It supports Pro Tools 10 and Pro Tools 11 and the project aspect of VK is the feature makes it a winner for some folk. Shot tracking from version 1 to release is a serious issue on large projects like a film, where scenes and shots could move around the movie. Most of the others don’t have this feature.