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After Effects - Gigantic Project Management

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Philip Davies
After Effects - Gigantic Project Management
on Aug 10, 2011 at 10:42:05 am


I don't know if there is a solution to this, but here it goes.

I am working on a large project with multiple scenes and hundreds of assets. When I began working I had an individual project for each scene, which I worked to completion.

Since I am editing the final movie in after effects (it requires multiple transition effects which I can't do in any other package) I have had to import all of these separate projects (each individual shot) and placed all the master comps from each project onto the timeline. So, one gigantic project consisting of about twenty other projects, all imported into my project window.

Now, there are minor animation changes to several shots but my workflow has come crashing down to zero because of the gigantic master project I have had to create. I want to work on shot 7, for instance, but I can't go back and open the Shot 7 project and work from there because any changes I make will not reflect in the master Project since it's already been imported.

So, my question is, am I doing this wrong? Is there a way to reference other projects in a master project where they will update my changes to these projects if I go back? Re-importing these projects each time has created problems, but is that the only way?

Long question, sorry.

TLDR - I have too many projects in one giga-project.

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: After Effects - Gigantic Project Management
on Aug 10, 2011 at 3:34:23 pm

I believe that there is a free script which will allow you to save Comps out as separate projects. Yup...I found it:

This is one way to go. Another way to go would be to render your various elements as you go along, and setup the render so as to import the rendered element into AE when the render is done. It will require some organization on your part to keep track of what goes where, but that should speed up you project considerably.

The script above could be a last resort, if you're really getting slowed down. Once you output each Comp as it's own project, you could then render off those elements by project, and import them into a final "master" project, where you do your transitions. Good luck!

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: After Effects - Gigantic Project Management
on Aug 10, 2011 at 7:45:18 pm

Not knowing the creative and client requirements of your workflow (eg. does the client want to be able to change stuff to the last second...), I can not give more specific advice, but it would be best to work on smaller projects- take them 2 by 2 and finish the transitions in between, then render the pieces and put all the final together in a master comp.
Also, rendering low rez files from those smaller comps and using and editing soft to check the audio and the visual flow of the project will help make decisions without having to render the whole thing from one comp.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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