The Setup Panel


The Conformalizer setup panel is split into two sections. The first group of settings are those used internally by the program while importing and comparing lists. The second group are settings relating to the audio session or database file that you plan to conform.


Conformalizer settings


List type :
This setting determines the type and framerate of your lists.
It is important to have this set correctly so check with your picture editorial department if you are unsure of the EDL type.
Note that setting this to "PAL Film" (25fps) will result in a 24fps change EDL once the comparison is performed. For true 25fps workflows choose PAL Video.

Also keep in mind that 24fps EDL/XML is perfectly fine for 23.976 projects - they are effectively the same from the point of view of the Conformalizer.



Healing:
This sets the degree of healing applied to the change EDLs.

Aggressive healing will join together any consecutive events whose positions, relative to each other, have not changed between the old and new versions.

Forceful mode will heal like aggressive except that it will first check any gaps between events to see if there is a real clip in the new list. If a real clip is found to reside in this gap, forceful mode will refuse to heal. This is useful in the case of a shot swapped for another take of identical length.

Normal mode will heal any adjacent events (clips actually touching), but will never heal over a gap.

Careful mode does not heal at all. It will give you a shot-by-shot list of everything it could match between old and new cuts. This mode is useful when looking for updated VFX shots, which will be flagged with a red colour.

In most cases aggressive mode is perfectly accurate but you may wish to reduce the amount of healing in order to see in detail where the changes have been made in the newest version of the picture. For example, if the picture editor has replaced a shot with another shot of precisely the same length, aggressive mode will heal over this area as if there was no change. Forceful and normal modes will leave a hole in your session signifying the change so bear in mind that this will happen with any shot that has had a name change (e.g. live action replaced with VFX).



Smart VFX tracing:
This enables smartVFX mode and specifies the VFX naming convention
By specifying the VFX naming convention, you can have Conformalizer find and match VFX shots which have been updated between two versions of picture. You specify the position of the 'scene', 'shot' and 'version' information and the characters separating them. The 'prefix' field and the third separator are not essential but you may need them depending on your specific setup. All fields are case sensitive.

If this setting is enabled, Conformalizer will check that the 'scene' and 'shot' numbers are identical and if the version number is different it will match the two shots as if the were they same but flag the matched shot as an update. Any 'healed' events in the change list will turn red if they contain an updated VFX shot. In this case you may want to turn off healing in order to see exactly which shots are VFX updates.

As of V4 it is possible to show only VFX updates by using the compare shortcut OPT-CMD-K, followed by SHIFT-CMD-N then DELETE.




1hr reels or continuous:
This option ensures long-form PAL Film EDLs are loaded correctly
Because of the speed change necessary in PAL Film projects, it is important for Conformalizer to know if your EDLs are meant to be interpreted as one long continuous cut or as a series of reels beginning at separate and distinct hour codes. In continuous mode, all EDLs must be imported together in one action and they will be loaded as a cut which begins from the timecode of the earliest event in the lists. In '1hr reels' mode, each event will be speed changed using it's hour code as the 'zero point'.

For example: a 25fps (fast) EDL which begins at 01:00:00:00 and contains an event at 02:00:00:00
In '1hr reels' mode - 02:00:00:00 will be interpreted as 02:00:00:00 and 02:00:07:17 will be interpreted as 02:00:08:00
In 'continuous' mode - 02:00:00:00 will br interpreted as 02:02:30:00 and 02:00:07:17 will be interpreted as 02:02:38:00

Since version 3 Conformalizer converts PAL Film EDLs to 24fps on import. Previous versions made the conversion after comparing.



Clip name or labroll:
This determines which type of 'source' name is used.
The labroll setting uses the 'reel', 'tape' or 'labroll' information from the picture editing application. Clipname, predictably, uses the clipname information. When your preferred option is not available for an event, or the value is blacklisted, Conformalizer will use the value from the other option.

E.g if an EDL event has no tape name it may present a labroll of 'AX' - as this is a permanently blacklisted value, Conformalizer will look to the clipname instead.

In most cases the clipname option is the wisest choice. Clipnames are usually a lot more meaningful as they often carry the scene, shot and take numbers, as well as the VFX shot and version. VFX vendors may also use a completely unique tape name for each rendered shot which has no relationship to other versions of the same shot. Choosing to use clipname will ensure that all VFX shots can be traced accurately.



Timecode or feet + frames:
Determines whether Conformalizer will display it's lists in timecode or feet + frames. Because the underlying time format is base on a 24hour clock, the feet + frames values also display an hour-code value in brackets.

Editing in feet + frames is not currently supported (as at v4.0.0).



Labroll blacklist:
This allows users to specify certain labroll (tape) names as being invalid, forcing Conformalizer to use clipname in these cases.

In addition to these there is a hard-wired blacklist containing the following values:
AX
BL
CLOCK
LEADER



Find and replace on import:
These find/replace pairs will be applied to any EDL or XML data imported into Conformalizer. The files will remain unmodified but the text itself will be imported with these modifications, before Conformalizer begins scanning for events.

This is particularly useful for tidying up inconsistencies as the project progresses. E.g. removing the .mov from clipnames, removing department specific characters from VFX versions, standardising suffixes on different types of media.

Remember that you can replace a text string with '' (nothing) if you wish to remove that string entirely.





Session/file settings


Conform type :
This determines how and what you will conform. The Pro Tools session option is a realtime conform of the current open session. Conformalizer will either perform all edits or one at a time, waiting for your approval before continuing with the next edit.

The two "file" options allow you to conform a tab or comma separated file containing time code values and other database fields. this is useful for conforming dialog and FX databases (see the "conforming databases" section for details). The "all events" switches have no effect when conforming database files.



Conform speed:
Conformalizer relies on Pro Tools to execute the edits in the change EDL and consequently, if the load on your Pro Tools session is particularly large, you may need to slow down the conform process to avoid errors. You will know you are having timing problems if you see Conformalizer repeatedly trying to enter values in the Pro Tools timecode fields.

Pro Tools can become sluggish with very large region lists, demanding plugins or dense automation (especially VCAs) but there are a number of things you can do to minimise your session before conforming:
Reduce the number of undos (to something like 4).
Switch to an empty video track.
Deactivate any tracks with heavy-load plugins (e.g convolution reverbs).
Thin all automation before conforming.



Conform frame rate:
This sets the frame rate of the session or database file you wish to conform. It is important to set this correctly and make sure that your session is set to the same framerate.

If this rate is different to the timebase of your change list, Conformalizer will convert the timecodes for you before conforming.

Keep in mind that converting timecode values like this can create rounding errors of up to half a frame per value (up to one frame for a conformed Pro Tools region). It is usually better to set your session to match your change EDL before running the conform.



All events - clip by clip:
With Pro Tools conforms, Clip by clip mode will pause on completion of each event and wait for the user to execute the next event. This gives you the opportunity to check each event before continuing with the conform.

All events behaves as advertised.



Copy data - cut data:
With Pro Tools conforms, the usual workflow is to leave a copy of the original material elsewhere in the session and let Conformalizer copy/paste regions onto an empty stretch of timeline. In some situations you may prefer to cut these regions instead, leaving behind everything which has not been carried over into the new version of the reel.



Add cut markers:
Enables a separate routine at the end of a conform, where markers are added at every cut point. The makers are named with a single dash character.

This routine can be run separately from the menu item of the same name.



Automation cleanup:
Enables a separate routine at the end of a conform, where potential automation snaps are removed. The routine will first select any gaps in the conform and execute a 'cut' command to create a glide across the gap for all parameters. It then makes a 2 frame selection over every cut point and executes a 'Cut Special - All Automation' to create a glide across the cut point.

This routine can be run separately from the menu item of the same name.