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After effects 2018 extremely slow importing kilobyte sized project files

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Rachel Kodner
After effects 2018 extremely slow importing kilobyte sized project files
on Jul 31, 2018 at 6:02:54 am

I take one Ae project file, which has next to nothing in it, maybe a solid or two, and save it off as Project File #1. Then I open project file #2 and drag in Project File #1. After Effects tells me "Importing selected items... Opening project...84%...." Then it sits on that for 30 minutes easily. And this rainbow wheel begins to spin. Key details you probably want to know that factor into this equation:

-Computer: iMac 27 inch (Late 2013, 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5 with 8 GB memory).
-OS: MacOS High Sierra 10.13.6
-After effects version 15.1.1 (build 12)
-All files are saved on, and running off of a 500 gb SSD external hard drive with 120 gb of space left
ae project file size: 407 mb

I've tried closing all other applications running, which is just chrome. Even when I leave chrome open, the computer almost just about locks up. Why does this import of an AE project file take so long when it has next to nothing in it? I've purged memory and disc cache. I can't figure this out.

And then once it’s finally done importing, I hit save it tells me it’s going to take over an hour to save. that number slowly reduces but it’s such a slow process, that it’s impossible to get anything done at this rate. Is my computer too old to be handling this new version of after effects? Both project files just contain flat animated solids. Nothing flashy or ram intensive.


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Walter Soyka
Re: After effects 2018 extremely slow importing kilobyte sized project files
on Jul 31, 2018 at 2:20:32 pm

[Rachel Kodner] "ae project file size: 407 mb"

This is a really big AEP file. Is it possible to reduce that project?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Rachel Kodner
Re: After effects 2018 extremely slow importing kilobyte sized project files
on Jul 31, 2018 at 2:40:31 pm

Let me try


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Dave LaRonde
Re: After effects 2018 extremely slow importing kilobyte sized project files
on Jul 31, 2018 at 2:52:04 pm

Rotobrush and Warp Stabilizer really bloat file sizes. It really matters what you're doing in the project. The apparent simplicity of the project can be misleading.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Rachel Kodner
Re: After effects 2018 extremely slow importing kilobyte sized project files
on Jul 31, 2018 at 2:50:03 pm

I'm confused why its so big: all thats in it is Solids. animated solids. I just deleted a 146 mb voiceover file from within the project file. saved the project file and its 403 mb now.


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Walter Soyka
Re: After effects 2018 extremely slow importing kilobyte sized project files
on Jul 31, 2018 at 3:33:24 pm

[Rachel Kodner] "I'm confused why its so big: all thats in it is Solids. animated solids. I just deleted a 146 mb voiceover file from within the project file. saved the project file and its 403 mb now."

Project files do not store assets like audio files directly. They just store pointers to those assets. Removing a single asset will not have a significant effect on project file size -- unless there are a lot of effects or keyframes on layers referring to that asset (which will be removed when the asset is).

As Dave says, there are a couple effects that can store a LOT of data in the project file. Beyond those, comps, shapes, masks, keyframes, etc. can all add up, especially if you're doing a lot of duplication.

The easiest way to pare a project down is to select the layer or layers that you wish to keep in the Project panel, then run File > Dependencies > Reduce Project. This will delete everything from the project, except your selection and whatever is required to render it.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Rachel Kodner
Re: After effects 2018 extremely slow importing kilobyte sized project files
on Jul 31, 2018 at 3:41:58 pm

Just to test one of your theories.... I'm taking a 308 KB (KILOBYTES!) project file and dragging it into a BRAND NEW EMPTY AE project file just to see if the import time is slow. Starting this test at 11:41am. It only took a few seconds. So perhaps that proves your theory, that, its the actual size of my normal project file that I'm dragging it into that is slowing things down?


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Walter Soyka
Re: After effects 2018 extremely slow importing kilobyte sized project files
on Jul 31, 2018 at 3:52:26 pm

[Rachel Kodner] "So perhaps that proves your theory, that, its the actual size of my normal project file that I'm dragging it into that is slowing things down?"

Yes. Basically, I think (but don't know for sure) that when you import one project file into another, Ae needs to parse both project files in their entirety and make sure there are no collisions between item IDs. In other words, the delay is not caused by processing the new file you're importing, but rather by processing the old one that will contain it.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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