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AE assets organization tips?

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Kurt JohnsonAE assets organization tips?
by on Feb 10, 2012 at 2:42:34 pm

Hey good people,

I thought I'd tap the community for some experienced advice regarding organizing assets. I have an animation sequence I'm starting that has been developed and very nicely laid out by a graphic designer - so everything is in Illustrator. Yay. The .ai file depicts all the screens indicating how the client would like the animation to proceed.

I'm trying to determine what the smartest, most efficient way to get the assets into the project will be, short of just dropping a giant .ai file into the project window. None of the layers in Illustrator are adequately named, so I'll surely go through and clarify what's what before moving anything in. But, since the designer is trying to simulate movement with static images, there are tons of redundancies, and dropping the whole .ai file in will result in multiple iterations of assets that in the end will only be used once, but animated to cover the tracks of the clones.

The only other option it seems is to pull things out of the .ai file piecemeal and try to reconstruct the project one bit at a time. The first approach seems like overkill and too much clutter, the second seems too minimal and doesn't take advantage of what has already been mapped out in the larger file.

Any suggestions on strategies for how to approach this? Thanks!


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE assets organization tips?
by on Feb 10, 2012 at 4:31:40 pm

I'd begin by getting a big, strong cup of coffee, duplicating the original Illustrator document, and modifying the duplicate to remove redundancies. Take lots of time and proceed with great care to make sure you don't delete the wrong thing, and to ensure everything's in a proper layer for AE work.

Art folks rarely see the value in naming layers in Ilustrator; it's EXTREMELY frustrating. It's also true in Photoshop. How to you tell which "Layer 0" or "Layer 1" is which when there are a dozen of each?

Here's an additional thought: would it do you any good to create new Illustrator documents based on the animation? Can you reduce the number of layers if there's a "Scene 1", "Scene 2", etc.?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Kurt JohnsonRe: AE assets organization tips?
by on Feb 10, 2012 at 4:38:03 pm

Ha.. Dave, thanks. I've already had the coffee. Much more and I'll be the only thing getting animated today! It's a weird mix of good and bad, good artwork, a layout that is nearly a blow by blow guide for what's needed, and a huge stack of unnamed redundancies. I think I'll try to slim down a copy of the .ai file as suggested. In this case, creating new documents would almost be adding another layer of redundancy on top of the ones I have yet to remove.

Thanks! (By the way, I used to listen to a "KGRC" radio out of Hannibal MO when I was a tyke. Your signature reminded me of it!)


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