I know organization isnt the most exciting topic, but I could really use some advice. I am the only Motion Designer at my job so I am the only one who is going through my files. However I am having a few organizational issues and I was wondering what the is most professional, efficient way to organize your files? What method do you all use?
Currently I am putting everything in a folder with the project name but some of the names are overlapping and I dont want to run into any trouble.
Files that are named the same could pose a serious problem. Get into the habit of renaming those to something descriptive of the specific file. Organizing files is not always easy but it's specific to the project you're working on. I like to use the following folder structure depending on what's needed.
Each project should have its own folder in your 'Projects' drive. Inside that folder you should have various directories:
> 3D (all 3D elements provided by department)
> aeSaves (properly labeled ae projects)
> elements (downloads, templates)
> media (all my footage)
> references (any references provided by client, etc.)
> renders (dated folders with labeled renders)
You may need different folders for your work. Start with a folder structure and over time you'll have what works for you. Even though you're the only one working in the project, it's a good habit to label and keep things organized as if someone else was going to open it. It could happen..
[Mike Sevigny]"You may need different folders for your work. Start with a folder structure and over time you'll have what works for you. Even though you're the only one working in the project, it's a good habit to label and keep things organized as if someone else was going to open it. It could happen.."
This is all critical. And keep things organized as you go -- do not put off organization as something to be done at the end of a project. Filing assets/renders/etc. needs to be a habit that you do first, and that you do every time.
You owe it to yourself to try Adobe Bridge - it comes with the Adobe CS6 collections, as well as the CC products. Here's a link to an article I wrote for the COW a few years ago, but it's still relevant:
I use Bridge daily to manage thousands of files as a freelancer now - I also used it as art director at a broadcast facility to manage hundreds of thousands of files. But as Mike say above (and I reinforce in my article), organizing your project folders is the first step. The beauty of Bridge, to me, is the ability to create Smart Collections, which will update automatically as you add files which fall under the search parameters. It makes life much easier...
Oh, and by the way, Evan, there's a somewhat hidden feature in Bridge which will make you feel like Superman when you're trying to find the AE project that your output clips came from. It involves the Metadata used by Bridge - here's a blog post from my website (in dire need of updates...) which describes how it's done:
You are quite welcome, Evan. There's a little bit of a learning curve to Bridge, but the basics are very intuitive. Here's a video tutorial aimed a bit more at the motion graphics / video artist:
There's a fair amount on the tv.adobe.com, but it always seems oriented to the Photoshop user and photographer, yet Bridge is extremely powerful at managing huge amounts of files of almost any sort. And the newer CC versions of Bridge allow you to install it as a freestanding application, without having to have other CC licenses on your machine.