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For me, starting film sound post with a locked picture cut is practically unheard of these days, even on lower budget films. And big budget and/or VFX films tend to make picture changes right through the predubs and the final mix. So what do you use to conform your ProTools session to new picture cuts?

I'll add my answer below but am interested in any other apps and/or strategies to deal with complex sessions...

I use Conformalizer http://www.maggot.co.nz/software/conformalizer.shtml

My approach is to always work in a single PT session with all six reels (eg R1 @01.00.00.00 R2 @02.00.00.00 etc) so I select all tracks including video, markers & audio & then cut/paste all six reels so R1 starts @07.00.00.00

That way I can tell Confommalizer to source the material starting from 07.00.00.00 and it recuts it back into sync via the changelist EDL to 01.00.00.00

Apart from conforming the audio into the new sync, it is also VERY valuable to cut the QT track, as then you can switch between the new QT and the old conformed QT tracks & visually verify any sync issues or VFX updates....

It also means if any material got lost between the cuts, I can skip down to 7+ hours & review how it used to be and access the original material...

I know some people use Virtual Katy or EdiTrace - any experiences? Not sure what else is available/works well? FWIW Conformalizer works incredibly well!

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Does Conformalizer play nice with PT8? The last I had read it was only confirmed as supporting 7.4. –  Steve Urban Aug 28 '10 at 16:31
    
its rock solid w PT9! –  user49 Oct 2 '11 at 19:34
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7 Answers 7

Virtual Katy works very well for us in the feature film side of things, although for many years we used Change Note Assistant with good results, as well.

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conformalizer is compatible with PT8. there was one version of PT which broke conformalizer (and the others) but this issue is resolved in recent versions of conformalizer and subsequent versions of PT.

conformalizer has some neat tricks for keeping track of VFX shots as they get updated as well as giving you the option to tweak, add and remove change events while seeing the two picture files locate to the right spot right inside conformalizer. there's also a new feature which visually compares the two pictures and shows you the smallest difference between the two.

please get in contact if you have any questions or feature suggestions - I'm always keen to hear users thoughts and to prove that conformalizer is the most powerful and reliable re-conform app available.

justin webster maggot software support (at] maggot.co.nz

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Thanks @Justin! –  Steve Urban Aug 29 '10 at 23:30
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Titan works great.

Sometimes I use it in combination with Virtual Katy. Surprisingly sometimes one works better than the other depending on the material.

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I use EdiTrace and it works great every time.

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I've had mixed results with virtual katy. Its much more stable now than in the early days, but it still requires a level of competence and thoughtfulness from the picture editor that isn't in abundant supply on some of my projects. In those cases I'm forced to conform by hand (and yes I love that I can cut the quicktime for reference)

The biggest issues that I've had with VK is that it can't differentiate sometimes between a VFX shot that has been added but didn't change timing with an actual picture edit. This means lots of unnecessary breaks during the conform, and adds dramatically to the margin of human error IMO. Again, this could be the picture editor's fault. :)

Also, previewing and changing the conform to remove these types of issues isn't incredibly intuitive or straighforward in my experience. I'm interested to hear how conformalizer works for you, because i've read good things about it.

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I haven't had to deal with this at all (and I really couldn't, being Sonar based) but doesn't Digital Performer 8 have a way to automatically do this if the film side is using Final Cut Pro?

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These are all wonderful answers, but first and foremost, what I use for conforms is the opportunity to obtain more money from the producer ;)

Sorry, I couldn't help myself... needed to address the giant elephant in the conforming room so-to-speak

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