Matchbox

The best thing since sliced picture.

Matchbox is a Change Management solution, aimed at anyone working in post production.

It compares two versions of a reel or episode and finds every cut change, VFX tweak or dialog slip. It reveals the differences, reporting on the damage, and then retimes your sound mix, compositing work, dialog scripts, closed captions, and anything else created to picture.

Matchbox inherits a lot from Conformalizer 4, our Emmy Award winning reconform tool for sound editors, but is a complete rethink of what Change Management can be. It's a completely new product, designed from the ground up using cutting edge tech and hand-rolled algorithms.

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Truly a vital change management tool which is essential to productive soundpost runnings. Creating specific reconforms based on actual dialog changes is not only a huge time saver, but can also catch things that an editor might miss.
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Martin Kwok, Dialog Editor/Supervisor - The Hobbit, Tintin, Mortal Engines
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I’m one of the fortunate few to have used all of The Cargo Cult tools from their early inception. To this day ‘Conformalizer’ and now its successor ‘Matchbox’ remain an essential part of my daily workflow.
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— 
Dave Whitehead, Sound Designer: Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, District 9
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With Matchbox I can instantly see what I need to focus my attention on, and (perhaps more importantly) what I don’t need to worry about. I can get critical information out to composers and others on the team, before they've even dowloaded their turnovers.
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Mark Willsher, Music Mixer/Editor: Downton Abbey, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings

Compare based on… almost anything

If you have any kind of handover from picture editorial, then you have enough. Matchbox can work with AAFs, EDLs, XML, change notes, as well as the actual reference video files and the guide audio.

Just dump it all into Matchbox and ask it to Matchup anything it can find. You can search the dialog guide audio, video tracks, audio tracks, the reference movie file, or any combination in between.

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Audible and Visible Diffing

Matchbox will hunt broadly, widely, even desperately to find matches for all the footage in the new reel. But then it switches gears, looking really carefully for any little differences within all those areas of matched footage.

You can then step through each purple Diff object, eyeballing (or earballing) each moment, and decide for yourself if it matters to you.

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Human friendly summaries

Sure, Matchbox can automate the reconform process, but for the humans in your crew, you first want to know what the damage is, in plain terms, and in a format you can understand at a glance.

Matchbox will summarise the changes, even bundling up the relevant information into an email you can share with the whole post team.

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Key features

Tracks VFX shots as they evolve
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Matchbox intelligently matches VFX shots as they evolve, so you never lose track of a shot simply because the lighting has changed. Matchbox will identify which shots have been updated, and even which elements within the shot have changed, using a visual delta and an optional overlay to highlight the changed areas.
Powerful Marker system
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Every time you compare two reels, Matchbox will create a set of automatically generated markers, which describe the cut changes in plain terms. If you find other changes such as new VFX elements, you can drop extra markers of your own, to remind yourself or let others in the crew know where to look. You can even send these markers to Pro Tools, Media Composer or include them in the Summary Email which matchbox generates for you.
Not reliant on pix dept. change notes
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A carefully hand crafted, perfectly accurate change note for every cut update is what you deserve - but you're not going to get it. And you're definitely not going to get a note for r3v10 to r3v16 at 2am on Sunday morning. With an AAF accompanying every picture handover you'll always be able to find the changes between any two versions, without making a call to the picture dept. You'll get it when you need it and you'll know it's right for your dept.
日本語 - 中文 - Français - Español
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Matchbox is localised in several different languages and we’re happy to look at adding more if you have a need.
Export for Media Composer
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Usually it’s the picture editor causing all of this disruption, and everyone down-stream chasing the changes. But Matchbox can help out around the picture dept. as well, providing a trustworthy double check of changes between versions, hunting down scenes from old versions of the film, and picking through new VFX shots with a fine-toothed-comb. It’s even possible to export Markers and Diffs to Media Composer so you have a nice reference right in your own timeline.
Broad support for modern file formats
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Matchbox supports importing of Video in most formats including DNx (even wrapped as MXF) as well as multitrack AAF (video and audio), XML, EDL, OpenTimelineIO, Broadcast WAV, Avid Changenotes and more as the toolset evolves.
Tailor reconforms to each dept.
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Dialog and Music editors no longer need to slavishly follow picture changes, mopping up dozen of unnecessary changes afterwards. Matchbox lets you base its comparisons on Audio or Video, and even allows you to isolate certain audio tracks from the AAF to use. The compositor might use just the reference video file, or the VFX editor might isolate just the upper Video tracks from the AAF. You can even get your hands dirty and manually edit the matches list - simplifying or healing over changes that you just don’t care about.
See changes in plain language
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If you do anything in post-production, you need to know what has changed, how badly, and what it’s going to take to fix it. Matchbox offers a human readable summary of the damage, giving you an immediate heads-up about how much time this update is going to cost you. You can fire off an email with the Summary, markers and the actual .matchbox file. The Post-Super can start finding time and budget while the Sound Designer is checking out how many bullet impacts have been added.
Reconform for Nuke/Hiero
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Now even a Hiero timeline can be automatically retimed to match the new cut. Matchbox will move every clip item, effect, nuke node and soft effect back into sync with the new cut. You can even rebalance material between rels or episodes by loading them together into a timeline at known locations.

System requirements

  • Mac OS10.12 or Win10
  • For Pro Tools integration - v12.0 or greater
  • Authorisation requires an iLok.com account

Legacy versions

Conformalizer 4.5

This build will run under a Matchbox iLok asset. Does not run on Mac OS Catalina or later.

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