v9.1 Assimilate SCRATCH


Assimilate SCRATCH


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Assimilate SCRATCH

Complete Dailies & Finishing Toolset

The first real-time, client-attended toolset in the industry to deliver a consistent, integrated user-interface across both production dailies and CREATIVE DI. Real-time end-to-end workflow. Advanced tools for increased creativity and productivity.



‘There is nothing more expensive than an unhappy client’

With no job being exactly the same and ever-changing demands from clients, you need a tool that can adapt to the situation. Be it new media formats, deliverables, audio handling and syncing or completely new workflows – together with SCRATCH you can rise to any challenge.

Massively Different, Much Better

SCRATCH is the fully-featured dailies and archiving toolset used by professionals for color-grading / look-management, QC, metadata-management, and audio-sync to provide the deliverables for all cinematic dailies. Its speed and flexibility are its strengths that have made SCRATCH the backbone for the cinematic dailies and VFX dailies pipeline for many individuals and facilities.

Why Start From SCRATCH

  • Easily switch between a Dailies, Basic Review or the full-blown Finishing toolset at any time.
  • Support for all professional media formats; from camera RAW to traditional intermediates, to compressed and uncompressed finishing formats.
  • Live SDI Capture from a camera directly to manage on-set looks or green-screen testing.
  • Fast and flexible transcoding to any format in multiple resolutions in one go, including grades and burn-in titling.
  • Manage looks, import and export CDL or LUT and use the match-functions to ensure looks created on-set can be easily used further down the pipeline.
  • Quickly sync imported audio, based on the timecode/clapper/audio sync marker.
  • Capture, manage, modify, and append Metadata through the pipeline. Then provide fully customizable reports.

SCRATCH Finishing

Speed Matters – Creativity Counts

Never say no to a client. There is nothing more frustrating than having to tell a client every other shot that you need to send it to VFX because your tool only does the grading. Its ultra-responsive interface together with its broad scope of grading and compositing features make SCRATCH the most efficient and flexible finishing tool around.

Finish First

Finish over 1000 shots a day. Manage a zillion versions of shots and timelines. Add or remove planes, trains, and automobiles to a scene on the spot with your client sitting next to you. Now imagine this being a matter of just a few clicks.

Why Start From SCRATCH

  • Buy and learn one tool to use, from on-set throughout the post-pipeline.
  • Conform, Color, Vector Paint, FX Compositing and Finishing in real-time.
  • Combine a node-based and (video) layer architecture for unlimited creativity.
  • From real-time Bicubic Image Warper to easy-to-operate stereo-3D workflow.
  • An open architecture: Out of the box integration with AE or Nuke, XML Scripting, and Custom Commands to bridge to other specialized post-tools.

Project Management

  • Construct: manage and group multiple timelines and shot versions
  • Wide selection of project defaults and user settings
  • Easily manage thousands and thousands of shots in a single project
  • Media management as integral aspect of your project
  • Manage and switch easily between shot versions
  • Manage composite elements in Staging
  • Manage all shot metadata; camera metadata, dailies references, user colored annotations, etc.
  • Easy add/update metadata for multiple shots at any time using the Media Browser
  • De-construct a timeline to create a unique media set
  • Consolidate project media to move or archive a project
  • Switch between Toolsets: Finish, Dailies, Review


  • Single-view, dual-view, split-view, A-B view
  • Range selection and playback
  • Slip second view independently
  • Preview on dedicated video-io, or through DualHead
  • Playback of all VR-formats: Equirectangular, Cubic, Cubic Packed, Mesh
  • 360-mode playback of 360 and 180° VR media for both, mono and stereo
  • Audio Channel routing of up to 16 channels (input/output)
  • Loop, Bounce, Once playback modes
  • Playback speed (1x – 50x)
  • Playback Cache
  • Frame-, Clip-, Keyframe- and Notes-Navigation
  • Create quick reference snapshots
  • Customizable Viewport Layout
  • Perspective view showing layer in Z-space
  • Scene camera setup / animation for 2D and Stereo

Render & Cache

  • Create and manage an output tree with multiple resolutions, framerates, colorspaces, etc.
  • Manage output templates with all your standard deliverables
  • Render any output (range) on the fly
  • Cache single shots or the full timline


  • Create custom Metadata tags
  • Output file-naming and folder structure based on metadata
  • DIT-report generation (incl. selection of all available clip metadata)
  • Burn-in of all available metadata
  • Quick-Entry menu for updating Scene and Take
  • Pre-defined QC notes to be applied through hotkeys
  • Output templates and project defaults
  • High Quality input and output scaling
  • Background rendering
  • Hardware accelerated h264/h265 decoding
    Audio sync
  • Automatically sync audio, based on timecode for smart-slate shoots and automatically import scene/take info from BWF file header
  • Semi-automatic sound sync through Waveform analyzer and spike finder
  • Semi-automatic sound syncing with sync markers
  • Manual sound syncing with millisecond-accurate audio slipping


  • Support for reading and writing HDR10 metadata into mp4
  • Support for reading and writing VR-related metadata into H264
  • Export h264/h265 essence streams for (BluRay-) mastering
  • Create an output mastering tree using nodes to create versions of different resolutions, color spaces, framerates and even grades.
  • (De-)interlacer Node
  • Support for subtitle (.SRT, .STL) inside Burn-in Node
  • Full ACES support
  • Color Space management incl. PQ & HLG
  • Waveform, Histogram, Vectorscope, Curvescope


  • Easy Stereo Setup function to wrap shots in a stereo node for full stereo-workflow
  • Manage Stereo Convergence
  • Stereo Camera Scene setup per shot/scene; create single grading/comp layers in Z-space for both left/right eye.
  • Manage Stereo tool: quick switch between left/right eye or grade and comp directly on master-stereo node
  • Output any stereo pattern or separate left / right fifle sequences


  • Capture live SDI-signal from camera
  • Store looks incl. SDI metadata
  • Add grades, incl. keys, OFX-plugins, composites to your live signal in realtime
  • Stream the current live signal out to Facebook, Youtube, or a custom streaming server
  • Capture other live rtmp streams to comp into your own live stream
  • Optional: Capture and stitch individual live streams from ZCAM S1 (Pro) and K1 Pro cameras
  • Capture external (ambisonic) audio


  • Share projects between multiple systems in a single facility on shared storage
  • SCRATCH online project repository to work with multiple artists simultaneously on a single project from places all over the globe.
  • SCRATCH remote: connect multiple SCRATCH systems from all around the world for a creative grading session.
  • Stream SCRATCH output directly to a media server for others to live view your creative work.
  • Publish to SCRATCH Web, FB or YouTube to share content online and in a secure manner for review and approval.

    Format Support

          Source Media

  • Uncompressed media (DPX, TIFF, TGA, SGI files from digital, tape or scanned sources)
  • OpenEXR uncompressed 16/32-bit format support
  • Other image sequence formats: JPEG, JPEG2000, BMP, PNG
    Camera Formats
  • Canon C200/C500/C700 RAW (RMF & CRM), C100/C300/C500 MPEG2, XF-AVC MXF, EOS 1D/5D/7D
  • Panasonic AVC-Intra MXF, Varicam V-RAW
  • RED REDCODE RAW (R3D) support incl. Weapon, Helium, Monstro and Gemini 8K
  • DNxHD/HR and ProRes
  • Phantom Flex 4K .cine RAW
  • Cineform RAW
  • AVCHD (MTS & M2TS)
  • Kinefinity Raw (DNG & KRW)
  • Cinema DNG (incl. Blackmagic, AJA, AATON, Bolex, Kinefinity, Ikonoskop, Panasonic, Pentax and DJI)
  • DSLR Raw Photo formats
  • H.264 (MP4, MOV & MXF up to 10 bit 4:2:2)
  • H.265/HEVC (up to 12 bit)
    Encoding Formats
  • Apple ProRes (ProRes 4444XQ, ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 HQ, Proxy, LT)
  • Avid DNxHD/HR MXF,
  • DNxHD QuickTime
  • H.264 (MP4, MOV and raw essence stream in 8 and 10 bit)
  • H.265/HEVC (MP4, MOV and raw essence stream in up to 12 bit)
  • QuickTime files with various codecs
  • AIF, AMB, w64, WAV broadcast wave audio files (BWF): mono, stereo and multi-channel, ambisonic audio

Ancillary Device Support

  • SDI: AJA, Bluefish444, Blackmagic
  • Control Surfaces: Tangent Wave/Wave2, Ripple, Element, Arc, CP200 and Avid Artist Color
  • VR-Headset: Oculus, Vive and any Steam VR engine supported headset (also on Mac)
  • Support for (multiple) RED Rocket and RED Rocket-X acceleration cards
  • Wacom Pen

Editorial / Conform

  • Multi Layer Timeline editor (NLE)
  • Conform: CMX EDL, AAF, XML
  • Reverse Assemble
  • Load and compare conform with Reference clip
  • Export metadata including: CMX EDL, ALE, CDL, CC, HTML, CSV, XML
  • Support for many AAF/XML effects, like Pan&Scan, Timewarp, etc.
  • Batch-conform LUTs and CDLs based on clip metadata
  • Scene Detection
  • Flatten multi-layer timeline to single video track with video layers.
  • Timewarp / Retimer


  • Primary grade Lift, Gamma, Gain and CDL
  • Unlimited layers of grades; free-form and pre-defined shapes
  • 1D/3D LUT support: import / export
  • CDL and CTL support: import/export
  • Look management: Memory grades and Galleries
  • Panel Support: Element / Wave / Wave2 / Ripple / CP200 / Avid Artist Color
  • Masking
  • Vectors, Curves
  • Keyers: RGB, HSV, Chroma, Luma, Vector
  • Support for third party OFX effect plug-ins
  • Tracking: 1-point / 2-point and planar tracker
  • Fill / matte layers
  • Effect control animation + animation editor
  • Blend modes for layers and tracks
  • Realtime Bicubic image warper
  • Node-based compositing
  • Layer-based compositing in 3D-space
  • High Quality Pan&Scan
  • Vector Paint for scratch-, wire-, and rig- removal
  • Node-based caching of heavy composites
  • Action-/Title-safe guides incl. blanking
  • Support for Autodesk Matchbox Shaders
  • User-defined control surface mapping
  • (Directional) Blur
  • Color Channel Remapping
  • Control Luma weights and Print Light settings
  • Virtual Camera animation
  • Multi-sampling modes and motion blur for smooth animations


  • XML scripting for pipeline / third party software integration
  • SPA effect plug-in interface (next to OFX)
  • Custom Commands for pipeline integration
  • Integrated script for round-trip workflow to After Effects
  • Integrated script for round-trip workflow to Nuke

What you need to run SCRATCH on Windows or OS X today!


  • Windows 7 / 10.
  • OSX 10.9 and up.


  •  Any modern Intel or AMD processor. Preference for Intel i7 Quadcore equal or up.


  • Any modern graphics card. Preference for high-end graphics: NVIDIA Quadro / AMD FirePro. Note that on systems with standard Intel graphics, not all features might be supported.


  • Min 8Gb, Preferred 12Gb or more

SDI (optional)

  •  AJA, Bluefish444, Blackmagic

SCRATCH V9.1 – Release Notes


SCRATCH v9.1 requires a re-activation of your license. If you have a valid v9.0 license, your license is automatically updated to include the new 9.1 version. After installing v9.1 you re-activate your existing license key. Contact licensing@assimilateinc.com if you have any question on licensing for version 9.1. Also, note that this version is not backward compatible. You should not downgrade from this version and open a project in a lower version after it has been opened in v9.1. Do create a backup of your projects before upgrading and we advise not to upgrade in the middle of a project.

Media Formats

  • Increased render speeds through more efficient readback of the image from the GPU. The performance gains depend on the specific setup / current bottleneck.
  • RGB to YUV conversion is now done on the GPU to further improve performance for output to e.g. ProRes, DNx, and H264/5.
  • Support for multi-channel EXR where you can create a custom mapping to the RGBA channels in SCRATCH.
  • Added an extended control-set for ProRes RAW where you are able to select any of the available color spaces and transfer functions in SCRATCH with the debayer.
  • Added support for dynamic (per-frame) metadata. Currently only for ARRI Raw (e.g. camera roll and tilt, lens focus distance metadata items and more). As it is not fully clear yet what the impact on performance is, this feature needs to be enabled explicitly through the Advanced System Settings. Dynamic metadata shows up in the metadata stack and is included in EXR render. Note that in previous versions you needed to explicitly enable the option to write extended metadata in EXR. In this version, it is enabled by default, but can be switched off using the relevant Advanced System Setting.
  • Support for writing Cineform movie and dpx-c formats.
  • Support for reading Uncompressed 4:2:2 media with the regular QuickTime reader.
  • We added a Single Track/Multi Track audio option for QuickTime/mp4 (ProRes/H264|5) output. The Multi-Track option puts each audio channels in a separate track in the QuickTime. Also, you can now also set a specific audio channel layout in the ProRes encoder for the QuickTime output; mono, stereo, 5.1, etc. The ProRes and Cineform writers now also include bit-depth and sample-rate selection controls.
  • Including the latest version of the various camera- and device-vendor specific SDKs.ARRI to version with support for new upcoming camera models. Apple ProRes RAW SDK to version 20190607_12551 with fix for Intel UHD Graphics 630 and better overall performance. Oculus SDK to version 1.37.0. with support for the latest/ upcoming Oculus models.
  • The Legacy (32bit) QuickTime reader is now disabled by default. This way we prevent the “non-optimized” warning from OSX when starting SCRATCH the first time when it instantiated a 32bit element. However, you can still enable the reader from the Advanced System Setting.


  • We added a “New Timeline” option in the File Browser when loading media. After selecting the folder to load, this option opens a dialog where the user can set how to load the media (new timeline, timeline per subfolder, etc), apply specific framing and LUTs and do automatic audio sync with any audio anywhere in the selected folder. This will speed up the loading and managing of media substantially.
  • We added a Same-as-Source render option in the Render tab. There you can select any node from the output tree and select it to render each source clip with its original resolution, frame rate, and aspect. This works for almost any output format except for e.g. DNxHD, which in itself has a resolution restriction.
  • SCRATCH has a new/enhanced color-space management where the gamut and transfer function are separate entries. SCRATCH now includes a series of camera-specific gamuts and gamma spaces like Log-C, V-Log, Alexa Wide Gamut, etc. as native. Besides letting SCRATCH handle all the necessary color-space conversions automatically, you can also use the new Color space plug-in that you can apply on any level in your composite or output tree to do the necessary transforms. On top of this, there is also a new OpenColorIO plug-in to do any needed transform. This plug-in automatically hooks into your OCIO settings from other applications you might have or you can set it to a specific configuration file from the Advanced System settings. Using this plug-in ensures that certain conversions are exactly the same as done in other software that uses OCIO (note though that most to all of the transforms in SCRATCH color management are based on standard transfer-curves and gamut-chromatics).
  • MXF DNx output now includes the audio timecode (slip) in the metadata, which is properly interpreted by Avid Media Composer. The DNx writer now also adds a TapeID column with the audio file name if the source clip has audio synced/linked to it. This way you do no longer need to supply separate ALE files with your output to editorial to transfer this information.
  • SCRATCH now supports AVID Locators: either load them from an EDL or as a separate file (through the Import Conform in the Construct tab). To preserve any Locators when using a Placeholder conform, all notes/locators are preserved in the locator nodes.
  • Various metadata updates. Audio timecode was added as a standard element in the Metadata stack in the Construct, Edit, and ColorFX tabs. We also added a standard Circle Take item which can also be set in the Scene/Take updater panel and is available as #circled hash code for file-masks and burn-in. Circle-take info is also read from audio metadata that is used in sync as well as any comments from the audio file.
  • The Scene/Take updater dialog has two new buttons: Circle takes and increment scene number or letter.
  • A new Advanced System setting automatically sets a clip’s reel-id to the clip-name when loading media. This speeds up your dailies Avid workflow.
  • Conforming updates. An AAF/XML conform can now also use the direct file-reference in the AAF or XML file (rather than matching from an existing timeline or external folder). The EDL conform now auto detects and creates video tracks from multi-track EDLs. It also offers an option to update the names of the matched source shots to the EDL reel/name or marker-text. For the EDL export, we fixed an issue where dissolves that started in the A-shot were not properly written to an exported EDL.
  • We added an ‘[Original]’ entry with the timeline sort options to easily revert to the original order after sorting on e.g. name or scene/take. The original sort order is maintained over sessions and is, in fact, the order of the slots – including slot length and transitions.
  • We extended the quick keys for slipping video in the Editor and also apply them to audio slipping when in the Audio section of the Editor. The ‘<‘ and ‘>’ keys slip the video/audio 5 and 1 frame respectively. The ‘,’ and ‘.’ keys slip the audio/video with 1 and 0.2 frames respectively.
  • This update contains a new version of the SCRATCH-to-Nuke and SCRATCH-to-AfterEffects bridges, which allow for a smoother roundtrip to and back from that software. Support for multi-clip selections include clips from SCRATCH staging, an option to either load back into the SCRATCH Tray or as the version in the timeline, SCRATCH remembers opening a shot in Nuke/AE and will open the same project again when selecting the same shot again. To setup the bridges either use the first time SCRATCH Enhancement procedure or go to the Custom Commands in the Systems Settings panel and manually create a custom command. If you already have the bridges active from a previous version then use the Reset button in the Custom Command menu to auto-update the round-trip scripts.
  • 4 new standard output-templates were added for PIX/DAX/MediaSilo/Copra rendering.

Creative Tools

  • A new Hue-Saturation and Hue-Luminance Grid tool replaces the more traditional 6-Vectors in the ColorFX grading toolset. The Hue-Sat grid can be operated in different modes: Linear vs Log/Log2 and displayed as a (color) circle or rectangular grid. Note that the 6-Vectors are still applied if you come from an existing project. You can also still display the 6-Vectors controls rather than the new Grid control if you prefer, by adjusting the relevant setting in the User Preference panel in ColorFX.
  • An update on the Curves: you can now directly add and remove curve handles from the Curves menu and have an indicator to see what section of the curve is represented by the image that you are hovering over with the cursor.
  • In the LUT menu in the ColorFX tab, we added a LUT Cycler option to easily cycle/browse through other LUTs in the same folder as the selected (grading) LUT.
  • The motion estimation mode in the Re-timer was updated to increase both the speed and quality.
  • Animation Editor updates. The Editor now supports a series of filters to tweak your animation: LowPass, HighPass, Smooth, Reduce (the number of keyframes) and Noise (to generate random values). To manage all animation channels more easily, the editor now has filter options only show active channels or only the channels of the selected layer. Furthermore, you can now directly enter values in the editor by shift-clicking a keyframe. When selecting layer-vertices in the View Port, SCRATCH will now automatically select the corresponding channel in the editor and vice-verse. Note that SCRATCH will now by default only show the x and y of any vertex in the Editor. If you want to see also the in/out handle of each vertex then you need to enable to relevant Advanced System setting.
  • We added various keyboard shortcuts for managing animation keyframes while in the ColorFX or Edit tabs:
  • Ctrl + click parameter. If Animation Off: reset value to default. If Animation Manual/Auto: create keyframe with default value or if parked on existing keyframe, change to default.
  • Ctrl + Shift + click parameter. Create keyframe with current value
  • Holding Ctrl + changing parameter also creates a keyframe directly. If Animation Off: Set Animation to “Manual” and create keyframe. If Animation set to Manual/Auto: Keep it Manual/Auto and create keyframe.
  • Alt + click parameter = delete animation (all keyframes), but keep current value
  • Alt + Ctrl + click parameter = delete all animation keyframes and reset to default value
  • Shift + Alt + click parameter = delete keyframe under the cursor for this parameter
  • We added new effects plug-ins with the standard installation of SCRATCH: Denoizer, Grain, Diffusion and HighlightBloom. All of these effects are aimed to be simple and fast and usable in an environment where you need a quick grade. They are not aimed to replace more advanced third-party tools you might use in a finishing context.
  • We added the *.vlt extension for loading (Panasonic) 3D LUTs.
  • Increased accuracy of ACES CTL transformation processing without affecting the performance. Also, the generic XYZ-ACES transform used by the color management was updated to get similar results as applying an IDT transforms of camera-specific formats.
  • The Clarity parameter in the Numeric menu is now animatable.


  • New first-time-start setup screen to automatically setup matchbox shader plug-ins and after effects/nuke bridges.
  • The Flip/Flop Orientation controls have been moved to the Media menu. The Flip/Flop controls in the Editor are now applied to the Source-orientation and no longer update the framing to make things more consistent. Also, any flip/flops in a conform are now also applied to the Source Orientation instead of the framing.
  • Relabeling of the “Setup” menu to (more explicit) “Framing” in both the ColorFX and Edit tabs. The shot pipeline settings have been moved to the Config-menu in the ColorFX tab.
  • File-size is now interpreted and displayed in the correct units (Mb/Gb) in both the metadata stack and in the various reports that you can generate (which also include the total size of all selected clips). Furthermore, the standard reports have been updated to auto calculate file-size or render proxies when required.
  • Updated AJA SDK to version incl. support for io 4K Plus, Kona 5 and support for 4K-2SI (2 Sample Interleave) for AJA SDI output.
  • Updated BMD DeckLink SDK to version 11.1. which adds more frame rates and 8K display modes.
  • Allow starting dragging clips directly from the search dialog.
  • Added #sfolder hash code to get specific sub-folder of a source clip. Updated the #spath hash code; without parameters, it displays the full path, #spath[0] returns the relative path from the project media folder and #spath[1…n] returns the n subfolders of the source clip.
  • Allow adding custom data to the sync-player broadcast message. Set #code template in the ‘Sync Player extended data’ sconfig.
  • Quick keys updates and tweaks: the J, K, L keys did not work correctly when in the Canvas menu. Also the ‘i’ quick key is no longer used for the Canvas and now always sets the in-point for a range.
  • We added an option to directly install the Matchbox (shader) plug-ins collection from the System Settings menu.
  • Added function in the Media Browser – Grade tab to remove all empty layers from the selected shots to easily cleanup your grades. An empty layer is defined as only having a canvas – no grading or fill/matte definition.
  • We added a search option for the (ever-growing) Advanced System Settings list.
  • The “A-Relative” option in the paste-mask used with the Copy-Grade function is now enabled by default. This helps in a scenario where the source material was trimmed (using e.g. same-as-source render) and the in-points changed.
  • Option to add additional command line parameters with a custom command which makes it easier to re-use a script with different settings.
  • When xml script is pending to be processed with a project, the Refresh button now only processes the XML and not do the full project refresh. This way any roundtrip using the custom commands is much faster and direct.
  • To make it possible to do a fully automated scratch installation and activation, we added the option to pass ‘-lic xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxx’ as command line parameter. SCRATCH will start, activate the license and automatically close again.


  • It was not possible to use Unicode characters in the filename specification for the BWF audio export.
  • The ARRI Camera ID and Camera Index metadata showed incorrect values.
  • CDL values and comments from an EDL were not passed on to placeholder nodes.
  • Using decoder scaling with RED / Sony could render different results when using a linear vs a high order filter.
  • Memory management update where systems with a relatively small amount of internal memory could become unresponsive when working with (8k) images. Also SCRATCH is using a different version of the CUDA runtime on OSX to enable the new RED GPU decoding on older versions of OSX.

Play Pro Specific

  • The render-dialog in Play Pro now also has an explicit same-as-source option to render all selected clips to their native resolution, framerate, and aspect.
  • The Render can also include a standard burn-in overlay with source shot metadata.
  • You can now link and slip external audio to a clip in the Player tab.

Assimilate Scratch 9.0 Tutorials

Several tutorials went up recently for Scratch 9.0. This will give you a nice idea of what Scratch can do for you, from working with HDR, to Color Management, to working with Avid and Matchbox plugin shaders.



Learn how to remove an object and replace a sky in Scratch.