Reformat issues timeline

I don’t remember if this has always been the case but reformatting my conforms to 1x1 and 9x16 dimensions that we always have to do these days gives me grief!! It’s so time consuming when you have lots of gfx layers as they all have to be manually fixed. Changing color source nodes with bfx setups for end cards and the like. It’s quite annoying that this hasn’t become more automatic. But the real bug here is that often empty layers in my timeline will have invisible resizes that screw up the reformat dimensions. Super weird. If my positioner is on a layer that I’ve resized nicely, pan and scanned the clip etc if I go up a layer even if that layer is totally empty it can automatically resize my image weirdly. The fix is to trash it and bring in a fresh layer. It’s all very inconsistent and time wasting! Has anyone come across this too? Any better workarounds to prevent this? I’m on Linux 2021


@bryanb Do you have a link to your Connected Conform presentation. I think it may help.

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Hiya Theo

Agreed that depending on the complexity of the conform, reformatting can be pretty tricky at times. To clarify, when you talk about reformatting your conforms, are you referring to the idea of reformatting them or the actual “Reformat…” button on the right click menu? I ask because I’m not sure what you mean when you talk about empty layers on your timeline and invisible resizes. But if you told me that that was the result of using the “Reformat…” button, I could believe it, as I think I’ve used it all of one time in my life. I’m skeptical about exactly what is going on when that progress bar fills up. And as a connected conform person, using the “Reformat…” button severs my connected conform connections, so that’s a hard no from me!

I’ll second what Quinn said, and say it might be better to copy and paste the edit into a new properly formatted sequence. I’ve even had success just dragging and dropping the whole edit into the new sequence, which is possibly the same thing as a copy and paste. In these scenarios, a Resize node is the preferred resizing node because it deals with (when using crop edges) values relative to the sequence resolution, as opposed to action which deals with values relative to the individual clip. The only issue with this workflow I’ve run into is a bug where depending on the complexity of the timeline, your Resize nodes will have to be “refreshed” in order to fix the aspect ratio from getting messed up. I’ve found checking the aspect checkbox on and off fixes that, but maybe that’s for another discussion!

The long and short of it is I think it all depends on the complexity of the timeline, and maybe to not use that reformat button. If you are able to use resize nodes using crop edges in the original 16x9 sequence, then plopping that into a 1x1 or 9x16 is, in my experience, a real breeze.

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Yes - the workaround I use it to make a new (blank) sequence at the resolution you want. Then copy and paste all of the segments into the new sequence. Instead of processing all the reformatting, it applies resizes to make the segments fit. You might have to do some manual adjusting to those resizes.

This is also the way to do it to maintain the Connected Conform connections.


I reformat the reference then copy and paste my entire layered timeline form my 16x9 on top. Reformatting does not play nice with TLFX.

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nice! thank you!

surely this needs to be fixed!. ridiculous.

Haha. I’ve been doing hard-resizes this whole time. I didn’t realize you could paste the timline. Definitely better.

But yeah, why can’t a reformat do that? I’m so scared to use Reformat these days. Haha.

Depends on the creative for me. If it’s a social only deliverable that’s designed for it, I build to spec. If it’s a social version of a primarily live action spot, just build it 16x9 with a crop, do your repos, update your gfx, throw some sharpen on the 9x16 version, resize/crop on final export, and move on. So much easier, no reformatting trickery, such a nightmare. If you’re worried about resolution for the 9x16, work at a higher 16x9 resolution. Even the “build to spec” die hards are still blowing up HD footage in the 9x16 anyway :man_shrugging:


I 2nd this!

I try to always build timelines to spec as well.

It happend too many times that later on there was a change on some timeline,
and then me or another artist forgot to resize when exporting.

And nowadays I create the bfx with already in mind that I can later on copy and paste the bfx setups to other formats. (So never use the background clip and background resolution straight into Action, else it will screw things up when copy pasting.

Also sometimes I just create a batch setup with all the socials and reformats.
That way its easier to reuse media.

To be honest I never use the Reformat button/option.
It never gives me what I want.

I’m 100% with @vfxjamie on socials. They’re snapchat ads getting mp4 compressed down to 500 Kb, not Lawrence of Arabia. It’s just not worth the headache. Work in a 1920x1080 sequence and then crop edges resize on export up to 1080x1920. If it’s an all gfx spot with very sharp lines you might see the uprez, but otherwise? Nah.

i might look at this Live epidode! thanks! if there are good work arounds or tricks. ive been using connected conforms for a while now and they dont seem to work very well after reformatting a whole sequence with GFX layers, etc et al. i am going to reformat the base offline first then copy and paste from now on. It sounds like this will solve all my issues. My problem with flame is exactly this. our jobs and become less and less creative over the years and its always been whoever knows the workarounds for ALL these idiosyncrasies are the flame artists that are effective in their work. thats not the way it should be, but of course im preaching to the choir here! Thank you Flame community!

I’m with Jamie and Brian. I’ve been using the resize option after the fact. I usually have 16x9, 1x1, 9x16 timelines built out with repos and just resize for the final output. Sometimes I’ll use a burnt in letterbox at ratios 1 and .58 (since you can’t input .5625) to guide myself on the edges. That way you aren’t worrying about the bfx being inconsistent or having multiple versions of the same batch effect. Usually, I’ll have our gfx person provide 3 different resolutions just to be safe, if not just resize accordingly. I think I’ve had 1 client within the past 2 years comment on the 9x16 looking fuzzy, but a quick and slight sharpen works. Most CD’s only care about the 16x9 versions anyway. Hope that helps solidify the process.