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project file too big!

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joel corwinproject file too big!
by on May 11, 2011 at 4:23:29 am

The AE project file I'm working in right now is just about 1GB in size. It takes over 2 minutes to save, takes up tons of room in my autosave vault and really slows down my computer when open. I'm only about an 8th of the way through the project and enjoy being able to copy paste from other compositions and go back and forth between shots etc. Any solutions to shrink the file size or remedy my workflow?

Thanks a bunch!

(CS5/iMac i7/12GBRAM OS10.6.6)


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: project file too big!
by on May 11, 2011 at 6:20:02 am

Hard to say without knowing the project, but here's a few ideas:
Do you need all your shots in one comp or can you work on each shot separately?
Remove unused items
Pre-render some of it and start a new project with the pre-rendered files.
Use proxies
For better suggestions post more details about your project.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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joel corwinRe: project file too big!
by on May 11, 2011 at 4:29:44 pm

Thanks for the response!

The project contains about 110 shots in 1080P that need some pretty heavy compositing. A lot of keying, lots of lens blurs, lens flares, liquify tools, 3D camera moves, and a lot of animation going on on the matte paintings—lots of pre-comps. Most of the shots have very similar compositing methods. So thats why its nice to be able to take elements from the other compositions within the same project. It would really stink to have to break up the project into separate files, just cause I could foresee spending a lot of my time closing, opening and saving projects to get elements from the other projects.

If I pre-render, can I not make changes to the compositions later on? I find that I'm frequently going back to previous shots to make changes especially as the shots evolve and I try to maintain continuity among them.

When you say "remove unused items" do you mean just source material unused in my project browser?

Do files in my project browser make the project file that much bigger? It'd be nice to figure out what i can look out for to keep the project smaller.

One day the project jumped 200mb in size and I have no clue what I did to cause that.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: project file too big!
by on May 11, 2011 at 5:24:16 pm

My advice- never keep all shots in one project. If you need to share items and filter settings or camera moves, create a master project and duplicate that for each shot you need it. One project per shot- otherwise you get exactly what you have: a huge file that takes lots of time to load and increased frustration.
Trim down your projects- keep only what you need. If you import another project to copy settings/layers, erase the unused items after you get what you need.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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joel corwinRe: project file too big!
by on May 11, 2011 at 5:55:59 pm

Ok, thank you. I'll keep my master project as just that and then create separate projects for the individual shots (or shot groups). This might take a while to set up, but will probably save me time in the long run. Thanks!


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