In Mistika there are multiple ways to perform the same operation. In this document we will describe the most used techniques in order to compare your reference clip with your conformed timeline. Mistika is a great system for comparing offline and online due to the flexibility of the workspace. The possibilities are endless.  


    In this tutorial you can see how to import your media and load your xml/aaf/edl. Then, we can start the comparison process. 

Setting up your timeline to compare

First of all, we will set up the timeline properly according to Mistika philosophy, in a way that we can easily manipulate the scale and position of the conformed clips in comparison to our reference. 

    In this part of the process, we have to take into account that the first result of our conformed clips will really depend on the kind of document we have been given by our editor. Actually, there are a myriad of issues that can happen in the process of conforming. There may be some scaling effects that are supported in xml, but not in aaf, and vice versa. On the other hand, there may be some rescaling or retimings that our edl did not fully translated to Mistika. Hence, setting up the timeline correctly is crucial. This technique must be applied applied to all the different ways of comparing offline and online that we will describe later on this document. 

    By now, we should have uploaded in our timeline the conformed clips and the reference clip. First things first, we place a framing effect on top of every conformed clip, and set the “Result size” parameter in “Project”, and the “Fit” parameter in “Crop to fit”. Now, with the propagate function we spread this configuration to all the framings. 

Now, let’s do the same with our reference clip:


    We can group the stack of the reference clip and the framing, since we do not need to manipulate the framing anymore. However, we can set a color grade effect on top of it and manipulate the chrominance in order to see more clearly the differences. Now, let’s put the reference clip on top of your conformed clips. 


    According to Mistika philosophy, there should be one effect for each clip. Therefore, it will be easier to navigate through them in the visual editor. That’s why there is a handy macro called split conform. With that macro, we can insert the same cuts that our conformed timeline has into the reference. To do so, we simply select everything and click on “Split Conform” in the Macro’s tab:

Now, we have the same cuts in the offline reference: 

    Finally, we can start to compare both of them. Each of the techniques described above have their advantages and disadvantages. Choose the technique that you find the most useful:

    1. Comparing with a Wipestripe effect

This is probably the most common technique. It is simple to set up and easy to use.  First, place a WipeStripe effect on top and pull down the evaluation range of your Wipe until both your reference and conformed clips are selected. Now, use the split conform feature again, in order to introduce the cuts in the wipe effects. You will see the wipe effect has an animation. Hence, we have to reset the values of it. To do so, go inside the visual editor, click on the effect and press “delete” on your keyboard. Now manipulate the parameters so you can use it as a crop effect. You can set the angle of the wipe as you wish. Normally, is set up to be a vertical wipe. Finally, propagate the values. 

    2. Comparing with the Difference Mode

The difference blending mode is frequently used when conforming due to the advantages it offers. Basically, this mode highlights any difference between two shots. If there is no difference at all, the displayed image will be completely dark. Therefore, it is  utterly useful when it comes to retimiming or scaling shots. You manipulate the time or the scale until the image displayed is dark. You can choose between two ways to perform this technique:

  • With a Comp3D effect: place a Comp3D on top of your reference clip and move the evaluation range down until everything is selected. Inside the Comp3D, create a second layer. Now your layer 1 is the reference and the conformed clips are layer 2.  Then, in the Attribute Blending of the second layer set it the parameter in Difference mode. The same way as before, use the split conform. You can fiddle the opacity of the effect rolling the Attributs Blend value.

  • With a Channels effect: place a Channel effect on top of it, pull the evaluation range down until everything is selected. Go to the Red, Green and Blue channel and set “Diff” in the Operation parameter of all three. 

However, this mode is only used when the offline reference and conformed clips are almost equal. If your reference clip has a lot of compression in comparison with your conformed clips, more differences will be highlighted. 

    3. Comparing side by side

If you use a Comp3D effect and position the reference and the conformed timeline in the two first layers, then you can position both of them in a very easy way to be side by side by manipulating the size and position within the layer parameters. Besides, you could place them side and side and even use the difference mode setting the reference clip on top of the conformed clip and activating the difference mode, so in that way you have the best of both worlds. 

    4. Comparing with a Stereo Mode

This technique offers more advanced functionalities. The Stereo 3D effect is one of the most powerful features in Mistika. Sometimes, it is used for quick comparison between shots, and hence, for conforming. First of all, set a Stereo3D effect on top of your clips and pull the evaluation range down until everything is selected. Use the split conform. Your layer 1 will be understood as the left eye, and the layer 2 as your right eye. Now, all the Stereo features are available for you to conform. You can use a difference mode, choose between the anaglyph display mode, black and white, side by side, top and bottom...etc. The advantages of this effects are that differences will be highlighted with red and blue colors, and you can easily bypass the two layers with the bypass left and right buttons.   



In order to speed up your workflow, you could use the same environment as a template for future projects. Instead of a template, you can save it as an FX Preset. If you save that preset in the Global Preset window, that effect or group of effects will be shared across all projects within Mistika. The Tab of FX is in the left side of the Visual Editor.


Another way to use presets are the dummies, a great feature inside Mistika that speeds up the workflow of any project. The Dummies are at the bottom of the Compose effects. They work like this: if you make a group of effects, take out the footage you've used, and replace them with dummies, then when you make a group of it, this new group will have a range of influence in which you can place new footage that will have the exact same values, keyframes, and animations you had earlier. 


We have created separately environments with each technique. You will find dummies, as described before, so you can decide which is your favourite way, and place your footage and offline reference. You’ll need to replace the Dummy 1 with your reference, and the Dummy 2 with your conformed clips and you’re good to go. Click on the names to download the files:

  1. Comparing with a Wipe effect

  2. Comparing with the Difference Mode

  3. Comparing side by side

  4. Comparing with Stereo Mode