The Conform Challenge

Uploaded by SmokeHowTos on 27.08.2012

In the previous videos, we looked at rebuilding sequences
where the media was in its original location as well as what to do if the media has been moved.
In both cases, Smoke was able to rebuild the timelines from other applications using slightly different steps.
Let’s now look at the third scenario.
In your NLE, you were working on a sequence that is running at a small resolution for performance and space reasons.
To add to this, the sources are mixed formats as well as mixed resolutions.
As in the other two scenarios, you export an AAF or XML.
Once again bear in mind that the media can live in a variety of locations.
So to illustrate this scenario, I’ll start off in the Mac OS finder.
My media is in a few different locations in a variety of folders.
The first location on this hard-drive contains a production folder.
In the production folder, I have a folder containing my AAF or XML file and another folder
containing half of my media for the conform.
The second location on a different hard-drive contains another production folder and two subfolders.
One folder is the movie media and the other folder contains my JPG files.
In the interest of time, I am just using two locations but you could have multiple locations
where you might have copied or relocated your media.
I am in the conform tab in Smoke and I have selected a folder
in the media library as the destination for the new sequence clip.
To begin, you click on the gear menu and choose to load a new XML or AAF file.
In the file browser, you’ll navigate to the location containing the XML or AAF file.
Double-Clicking on this file brings up the preview player and the clip information.
If you remember, I said that the edit was done in a small resolution for performance and storage reasons.
A good tip to note is that XML or AAF file remembers what was the resolution of the sequence.
Having said that, one known issue with some AAF and XML exporters is that they tend to write the incorrect bit depth
into their exported XML or AAF.
Smoke has the ability to correct this but this has been noted in most popular editing applications
and you need to look out for this.
Rebuilding your sequence at an incorrect resolution to your media will result in unnecessary resizing effects
being applied to the segments in the sequence.
I want to ensure that this new sequence will be rebuilt at full HD at 10 bit.
In “Sequence Import Options” tab, you find an option called “Sequence Resolution”.
“From file” will rebuild the sequence as it was in the previous editing application at the lower resolution.
Changing this option to “Select Resolution” allows you to set the formatting of the sequence.
If you know the resolution you want, you simply dial in the settings you will need.
If you are not sure, you could base the sequence’s formatting on the resolution of its source clips.
I’ll navigate to the media folder and select any of the clips.
These clips are mostly full resolution HD at 10 bit.
Clicking “Copy from Selected Clip” will set the sequence resolution to be the same as the selected source media.
A great tip is that this function is especially useful in certain instances when working with camera media
where the resolutions are not standard in Smoke.
This is happening more frequently with DSLRs and file-based cameras.
Once you’re happy with this, you can go back to your XML or AAF file.
Since the media has been moved all over the place, we will instruct Smoke to perform an absolute and relative search.
This means Smoke will first look for the original file locations and media according to the XML or AAF.
But Smoke will also look to see if any media is in the folder or sub-folders relative to the XML or AAF file.
In this folder, there is only the XML or AAF file.
However If we step up one folder level, you can see that there is a media folder
we would like to tell smoke to include in the search.
So the search needs to step up one folder level and search all folders from that point.
To do that, set the “Max Up Level” to 1.
This means Smoke will start scanning from the folder above the XML or AAF sequence folder.
Now select the sequence and begin the conform process.
With the sequence open, Smoke found a few of the sources from that media folder.
However, the ‘Event List’ as well as the sequence indications show that there are still many segments unlinked,
which basically means the media is missing.
Open options pull down for the ‘Event List’ and set to hide all linked segments.
So now you only see what is missing.
It’s a good way simply to focus on the areas that need your attention.
Now you will perform a search in the other locations for media that was used in the sequence.
Click the ‘Set Search Directory’ button at the bottom of the ‘Event List’.
In this browser, you can navigate to the other location on the second drive to find the folders containing the media.
There are two folders to search.
One contains the movies files and the other folder contains the images used in the sequence.
Hold down COMMAND and select the two folders.
Initiate the search and you will go back to the Conform interface.
Looking back at the ‘Event List’, what is interesting is that some matches have been found and others have not.
Right-Click on a matched entry and select “Link Found Sources”.
This will link all the matches to the sequence and leave us with the remaining entries that still need work.
Looking at the name column, most of these entries are JPGs.
You will also notice that the Frame-rate column has a list of entries that are all red.
Looking at the File name column, you will see that most of the entries are highlighted too.
When this situation occurs, Smoke is telling you that it has found a matching filename
but there is a conflict in the frame-rate in red, so it needs your attention.
Now you know the files are correct and it is just the frame-rate stopping a match from being acknowledged.
So all you have to do is go to the Match Criteria pull-down menu, and you can set what Smoke should be looking for to make a match.
At the moment it is File-name and frame-rate. So you can be more strict or less strict with the matching criteria.
Disabling Frame-rate, will make Smoke only search for media based on filename and straight away,
Smoke has now matched up all the JPG image files.
Right-click on a matched entry and choose “Link Found Sources”.
Smoke links the JPGs into the sequence and you are left with a few more challenges to solve.
Here is another instance you might encounter.
The status column for this entry says “Multiple”. So Smoke has found 3 matches for the same entry.
At this point, the ‘Conform’ section underneath the ‘Media Library’ becomes something you want to look at.
Normally the conform section just contains the found media from the searched location.
But it is also used to show all the potential matches for a selected entry in the ‘Event List’.
Now you need to identify which match is the correct one for the sequence.
You have two approaches you take.
The first approach is to manually choose your match and force your match to link the source clip
to the entry in the ‘Event List”.
You do this by selecting one of the source clips and through the right-click menu,
you can link it to the selected entry in the ‘Event List’.
The second approach, which is probably the most common, is to adjust the match criteria in the ‘Event List’
so that Smoke is stricter to find the correct match out of the potential matches.
Going to the Match Criteria pull down menu, there are a few more options you can try to find a match.
In this case, I will choose “Source Timecode” to see if one of the files has the specific timecode
that will match the segment in the sequence.
Smoke has found the exact match and you can link the matched media with the segment.
Now all the media has been matched except for the audio.
I intentionally left the audio out because I wanted to show you one more way
in which you can link media to a sequence.
The final method I wanted to show you is that you can also link media that you have already imported
into the Media Library.
In this case, here I have the sequence’s audio in a folder.
Now the ‘Conform’ Section and ‘Event List’ are not aware of this media just yet.
To make the conform tools consider this media, or any other media from the media library as a potential conform source,
you would right-click on the folder and set it as a conform search location.
Rest assured that this does not move the media around.
It simply sets the Media Library folder as a search location and considers the source clips as a potential match for the conform.
The ‘Event List’ now reports a match for the segment based on the match criteria.
Linking all with their respective matches connects the source clips with the sequence and the ‘Event List’ is now empty.
All the sources in the timeline have now been found.
With the conform tools in Smoke, you can rebuild sequences from other editors efficiently
whether the media is at an external location or in the Smoke Media Library.
Thanks for watching!