First a snapshot is never a backup of a VM. Is just a state and should never be used as backup.
Secondly, you clone, backup, or copy VMs with snapshot(particularly a OVA or OVF file). The source will never have a snapshots in it, all disks will be consolidated.
Third, you can just do the changes in the source VM, and then export to a OVF and you have an updated file.
Hope this can help.
Am I correct in my understanding that when I snapshot the running source VM that the Base vmdk file is frozen
My question was can I then copy that base vmdk file without the deltas and update my OVF directory created previously.
I am trying to update my backup copy without shutting down the source VM
sorry If my question was not clear.
You can use a tool to update the OVF file(adding or removing files unpack the OVF file) and copy that vmdk file to it, but when you try to apply that OVF will not work. Since that vmdk is not consolidated.
Thanks for the explanation