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organising comps / project window etc

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chris brett
organising comps / project window etc
on Mar 8, 2014 at 11:37:32 pm

I'm really rubbish at keeping project files tidy and well organised - mostly because not sure of best method.

This is starting to give problems in complex work with numerous animated assets so am looking for a good tutorial or two.

Anyone got any recommendations please ?

--------------------- chris --------


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Mike Sevigny
Re: organising comps / project window etc
on Mar 10, 2014 at 3:30:37 am
Last Edited By Mike Sevigny on Mar 10, 2014 at 3:41:28 am

hey Chris,
I haven't seen any tutorials on keeping things organized but it starts with your actual folders and trickles into AE and other software from there. Depending on what type of work you're doing (Motion Graphics / Compositing) you should have certain folders created when you start.

In your OS create a 'Projects' folder or 'Projects' Hard Drive. Within that you should have all the projects you're currently working on named appropriately. Usually this will be an acronym for the show/job or company. For example: Beauty and the Beast would be a folder called 'BATB'. Avoid using spaces; use underscores. Within that folder you want to separate episodes or different projects for that company ('BATB_101' or 'doraSpot')


Once you're there.. You'll want to break up all the elements you're anticipating into folders. How many folders depends on how complex the project/episode/shot is. The way I do it is how I've grown accustom to but is certainly not a standard anywhere.

aeSaves - Any versions you save for the current project should be saved in here and clearly labeled & dated.
media - - raw media, untouched and never altered.
trackingSaves - matchmove/mocha projects, same as aeSaves
trackingMedia - any media rendered to use as a utility layer. Anything to do with image based mattes or media w/contrast to track later, proxies..
renders - renders with dates & proper versions.
references - Everything anybody sends you to reference and everything you find and think would be helpful. is nice to quickly pull down references for later.
elements - This is a bit of a catchall for things that don't fit into the rest and isn't worth a folder.
3Dmedia - this folder can get very large with all the passes you'll get from the 3D depo.
paperwork - You'll have to sign and return documentation, you'll get shot lists, excel sheets, set data..

That's how I do it.. Simply put though, you should name your folders the way you would want to receive them if someone sent you the project. Start somewhere and refine your process in and out of After Effects over time.

Within After Effects is the same thing.

Mike Sevigny
TorusFX Inc.

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chris brett
Re: organising comps / project window etc
on Mar 10, 2014 at 10:47:49 pm

Many thanks for the feedback on this -

- no 5 minute fix I see -- more a state of mind ( and quite a bit of bed-time reading ! ) ...

.................... much appreciated --

----------- best regards ------------chris


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Todd Kopriva
Re: organising comps / project window etc
on Mar 10, 2014 at 6:58:03 am

Mark Christiansen has a lot of good tips here:

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog

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