Connected Conform: What am I breaking?

Hi all,

We’ve finally got 2022.1 installed on a test machine, and I am kicking it around on a real job to see if we’re ready to dump Lustre for grading in Flame. With the addition of the ColorMgmt matchbox the grading tools themselves seem like they’re there. However, previous efforts to grade in Flame ended with me hand copy+pasting mass quantities of timelineFX from one sequence to the next, which absolutely cannot be how it goes from here on out.

I suspect the solution lies through Connected Conform. I’ve got it sort of working, but keep managing to break my Sources and Shots Sequences when I add a revised cut after working for a while. My mental image of what the workflow looks like is: conform the first spot, then start grading. A revised cut shows up, so I create Sources and Shots Sequences, then bring in my revised cut. I conform the revised cut, then Update both the Sources and Shots sequences, eventually doing a “Sync Connected Segments” from the Shots Sequence to magically propogate my 55 little Image nodes onto the unsuspecting new edit.

I can get this to work if I pretend I’m a demo artist. I bring the first AAF in, link it up, create the sequences, then bring in the 2nd AAF, link it up, update the sequences, and it all works like magic. The problem, as always, lies when ugly reality intrudes. This is one of those stock-o-matic pandemic jobs where most of the footage is from getty, shutterstock, pond5, and old client videos. Getting the conform to where I can even start safely grading is half an hour or so of YOLOing a “File Name / Handles” Match Criteria, and then a ton of hand adding of timewarps and slipping to deal with the pastiche of framerates. It’s in here that I suspect I’m breaking something under the hood, but I’m not sure what, and I honestly don’t see a way around this, as I need the conform lined-up before I start any creative work. At this point, when I bring in the next edit and attempt to update the Sources and Shots Sequences, they double in length with duplicate shots, half linked to my first edit and the other to my second. No bueno.

Any idea what I’m doing wrong? If there are any experts out there that want to slide into my DMs and check out what I’m doing on Zoom/screenshare, there’s a bottle of booze with your name on it!

I can think of several ways to get this working. I’ll suggest this one but tell me if it doesn’t sound straight forward and I can suggest another.

I would get your single edit working and matching the offline.

From here I would lock all tracks not wanting to be included in the connected conform. Audio and offlines, keep those locked and they will stay clear of this next step.

From here go back into conform tab and create shot sequence. Those shots, not locked, will make a new edit called shot_sequence and all shots will get the link symbol :link:

If you like you can ditch the shot_sequence. It has done its job. (reading this back reminds me that you can manually create connected shots without using the conform step)

For any new edits you can match out your shots that have the link symbol :link: and use that reel and those linked shots as your conform source.

If you conform a new edit from these linked shots, those links should remain.

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When you link the media, is your “conform search location” a folder in your flame project or are you linking to clips that live on the server? It should be looking at the same sources folder in your flame project every time you conform. That’s bc every time you import a clip, that clip is assigned a new ID, thus, breaking the connected conform.


I’ve been playing with this a lot lately because turnaround times are getting really silly these days.

My Top Tips:
Rename shots in the source sequence. This probably goes against the manual but I want to see the number of different shots and not have two versions of the same shot with different timewarps.

You might end up with two or three shots in the shot sequence with the same name but different timewarps but to me that’s great because I try to avoid doing Kronos more than once.

It also means that when it starts to get iffy, you can match out all sources and conform from that to fill in any blanks which happen on occasion. Flame hates timelines with different timebase sources.

The source sequence is also where i’d probably try to do my grade. Id probably do this because thats how tk have always done it and it seems to me the least amount of work doing it on the c-mode.