Using Ganging to Compare Two Movies

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the May, 2004, issue of
Larry’s Monthly Final Cut Studio Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

I was recently doing some on-lining (converting a Final Cut project from low-resolution video to a high-resolution master) when I discovered a really neat trick that I want to share with you.

Here’s the challenge: I’ve noticed, when using Media Manager to convert a project from off-line quality to on-line quality, that the clips in the on-line version often drift by a few frames from the clips in the off-line version. Also, the audio will sometimes drift out of sync with the video. In a 30-minute documentary, consisting of literally hundreds of edits, I needed a fast way to compare the off-line version with the on-line version.

Here’s a fast way to make it picture-perfect.


1. Before running Media Manager, create a reference movie of your off-line edit. Open the sequence you want to on-line and go to File -> Export -> Quicktime movie.



2. The export dialog box will open.



3. If you are on-lining on the same system you off-lined, UNcheck “Make Movie Self-Contained.” Otherwise, leave this checked.


4. Give your off-line reference movie a name and save your movie.


5. Create your on-line version (see the article: Tips to Improve Your On-lining.). Capture all media. Relink everything in your new on-line sequence.


6. Open your off-line reference movie into the browser of your new on-line project.


7. Open the off-line movie into the Viewer.



8. Position the playhead of the Timeline, which contains the on-line version of your movie, on a frame of video who’s position can be precisely determined, for example, the last frame of your slate.



9. Position the playhead of the Viewer, which contains the off-line version of your movie, to the exact same frame of video.



10. Select “Gang” from the middle pop-up menu in the Viewer.


11. Select the Timeline and press the down arrow key. Notice that your Timeline moves to the next edit AND the Viewer follows EXACTLY in sync. This makes it very easy to quickly step through every shot in your on-line and make sure it matches the off-line version exactly.

I’ve used this technique several times now and it works flawlessly at spotting shifted scenes.

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