Reconform - so promising so not working


I tried to use reconform on many projects for the last years. It would be so so wonderful if it would work ! but i think this is way to ambitious.
Not to critic steinberg here.I don’t know if that would ever work because of aaaall what’s involved in video editing.
you can ask editor to be very very carefull not to rename rush, make sure edl are updated at each version try to keep up with anything that could maximize your chances to make reconform work there’s always a change you’r not aware of.
i tried again on this movie that is reedited for a new broadcast. i can’t even use anything from reconfrom. i thought maybe some bit here and there. nothing. i have to manually scan my stems and try to find all like this.

so … depending on “oh we had another editor and probably the rush have been relabeled” or “oh this new editor is actually on premiere not avid (changed labels)” or “hey this edl starts at 10h, the other one at 1h… no wait the 2pop is wrong so the offset is blabla…” and what i got today : “oh yeah but we added some commercial breaks and anyway we reedited all the movie from that version to 42min changing sequences order we forgot to keep and edl of that and… good luck now”

it never ever works. Well it does if the editor is in your studio and you supervise that all versions :stuck_out_tongue: and that edl have all the tracks needed etc…

Do you guys have this working ? do you send some sort of to do list to the editor so you make sure reconform works ?
what type of rules should we ask for ?

I’ve only done it once and my situation was a 1hr show that was “locked” and then had to change due to unforeseen circumstances (Covid + national politics). So the production company had one editor for that show and people that were on top of things and the second they said the show would get delayed and recut I told them what to do based on the info in the Nuendo manual. I got the ‘original’ edl plus the new cut and reconformed. It worked well enough and gaps and anything odd was found pretty easily looking at a new AAF that came with the EDL (along with ref pic).

So it’s worked for me the time I tried it.

In one sense it’s a bit of a non-issue. I asked for EDLs a few times before and didn’t get them because either they didn’t have time or the editor didn’t receive the request… or they didn’t know what to do, it wasn’t possible or they didn’t get it. Either way I didn’t get it, so I did what I had to do and charged hourly for that work. So in one sense that’s all fine because I’m actually getting paid either way. I just communicate to my clients that if they want to save money then saving time is one way to do that, which in turn means they need to do some work on their end.

I really think that a lot of the problems we run into in audio post stem from the fact that in today’s production/post-production landscape there are a ton of editors out there who aren’t on top of things. It’s cheaper that way… at first…

Perhaps search for Fredo’s or Erik’s posts on this to see if they have a good set of “rules” they request from editors.

EDIT, I just needed to add: BOLLOCKS, it is so working if you have a professional workflow.

I do this all the time, as does all users of our sound post teams on a regular basis. Every show we work on gets at least one re-edit where we use Reconform to get the changes. Often there are multiple edit versions as we go along working on sound.

YES, for this to work really well you have to work with professional editors and assistant editors (normally its the assistants that make it work, not the editors themselves).
YES, to be able to rebalance (move stuff between multiple versions) you have to understand quite a bit more than just loading EDLs and rarely do you have anyone to help, its up to you, the sound person to figure it out both what has actually changed and how to create a suitable workflow for the current scenario.

Changing source and destination TCs is a minor issue, but still annoying. Just use the TC offset to align the EDL TCs between versions when importing the EDLs into Reconform. You may have to try once or twice until you get it right.

For EDLs to work fully for reconforming they do have to be consistent. Either the roll name or the clip names have to be setup and exported the same way for each version. if it isn’t, then you need another “tool” than reconform to help you out. That tool is the assistant editor. If they can’t be bothered exporting properly then you HAVE to charge the production quite a lot of money so they understand that if they don’t do this properly, it will cost them a lot of money and time.

If there is NO way to get proper EDL’s there IS a new program available, I have not yet tried it out yet, so I do not know if it contains export tools that make it a usable third party tool for Nuendo users, but it is the first multistage/multilevel compare tool available from any developer. Its 639USD and can be found here:
Again I do not know if it has a Nuendo friendly workflow. but it can compare picture, EDLs, stems and AAFs to find changes.

For us, we just make sure that we always get the EDL’s we need, and yes it does work pretty well, but with the limits of basing the reconform on the picture edit. That is not always super helpful depending on the type of show and how it was edited. But it has been the only workflow available up until Matchbox arrived, and it is what we use on at least a weekly basis.

it is so working if you have a professional workflow…

i don’t know what field you work in but as a freelance in documentaries there’s not one movie that has a “workflow” similar to the other one. Not even judging if it’s professional or not. Maybe if you work on site, with a production that has employees with all tools on site doing one project only … ok. But in documentaries there’s not a single movie that does not have a story of editor changing, director changing, i mean come on.
i did 15docs for this year so far. The director has been kicked out by broadcast on 2 ; Editors change in the middle of the project : 3 ; Films fully reedited after post production with same delivery date : 2 ; Films in languages i don’t speak 12 ! With time zones >8hours : 7 ; Director coming back on project they previously been kicked from : 1

so i’m just saying… to do 4 or 5 cuts here and there ok. But then i don’t need reconfrom i do it manually if stems are good enough. I (would) see reconform as a deeper tool when the SHTF. So i’m looking for guidances on how to maximise the chances. As i’m not a video editor i don’t know what part can be at risk. I guess renaming the files is ! But then i’m sure some operations on video editing can create new file name and don’t use the rush anymore like the DOP would do for exemple. anyway…

A pretty regular situation for us is a hundred or so edits per episode/film. Sometimes a lot more, 200+ is starting to be heavy lifting, 30-50 is normally minimum.

I haven’t done a documentary in years now, we do scripted drama and feature films. Yes documentaries Are generally less organised especially as they are often edited by the films creator rather than a actual editor, and I guess they often do not have the budget for proper assistants.

However. That in no way means that reconform in Nuendo doesn’t work. It means that getting the right exports from the editor is hard because of their lack of knowledge. That’s not the same thing.

For a reconform to make sense it needs to have some resemblance of the previous edit. If it doesn’t you have to use other means of recreating the edit.

Our assistant editors are mostly assigned to one or two projects at the time. And yes when they are new the more experienced assistants and us who know what they need to deliver educate and define how a turnoverof material including EDLs should be done.

I don’t mean to say that documentary filmmakers aren’t professionals, but I have yet to meet one that is also highly knowledgeable in the technical aspects of how to deliver.

Unfortunately I can’t really help you to much in terms of giving you an education or a brief of what to ask for as that differs widely between NLEs and sometimes between versions as well.

The important thing when dealing with picture EDLs to help in reconforming is to export them the same way every time. If you don’t it isn’t going to work.

Same format and same export settings
The editor whoever is in charge of editing needs to know how to be organised and the best thing is to flatten the actual edit to a single video track for export. It makes life easier.

Again the roll name needs to be exported consistently and it’s helpful if the clip name is as well. Nuendo compares either roll names or clip names and TC in/out when doing a reconform.

Also it is important to understand what reconforming isn’t.
It’s not rebuilding the new edit, it is recreating the new edit according to what is used in the old and new version EDLS you have been given.
For example. If you get a EDLs with multiple tracks you will have to compare them between each other in multiple ways. Nuendo wasn’t made to do that. To do that you would need EdiLoad or Matchbox. Dedicated third party programs that only deals with this type of things.

The Nuendo solution works great if you understand it’s limitations and how to work inside them.

And the sad truth is that to get it all to work with EDLs someone needs to figure out a workflow and make sure it is followed at all times. There’s no way around that.

And yes renaming the files is in almost all workflows a no no, however if they do rename the files they normally do not rename the roll names. The roll names are the name of the tape/card of the recording media and is is set in the metadata of the files. This never changes during production and is needed for when the picture conform is going to be done prior to the final grade. If both the roll names and file names and or clip names are all changed they are making their fellow post teams work impossible to carry out.
Changing it all is definitely the sign of a non-professional regardless of how competent they are at creating a documentary.

To add to what ErikG said (all true and valuable information), no matter how well everybody handles this in the process chain, there WILL be additional work that will have to be done manually.
Every change / cut to a different scene will need to be checked, because sound may lead into the cut or out of it with long fades etc…Also automation is a potential problem.

Reconforming a session is a pain in the backside and you will need to have some time for the process, but that is not Nuendo’s fault, the reconform tool is actually really good and reliable. I have used it a lot. It is a good idea to have Ediload at hand for some manual EDL tweaking.