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Feature Request - Referencing a Master .aep project file

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Mike ZimbardFeature Request - Referencing a Master .aep project file
by on Jan 5, 2014 at 10:57:34 pm

This is a feature request I've made to Adobe but wanted to see if the COW community would find it as valuable as we would in our studio.

This feature would create a master .aep project file that when it was imported into other .aep files would actually be a referenced file that could be modified independently of the project it was brought into.

Meaning that this master file could be imported into an AE project but it would still live independently and any changes made to the master AEP file would ripple through to any projects that it had been imported into. I think it would be an additional menu item under File>Import and might be something like "Import Reference .AEP File"

This is a scenario that comes up for us frequently. Suppose you a working on a job that consists of 10 shots and each of those shots has been created as a separate AE project file. So you have shot01.aep, shot02.aep, and so on. You also have built a 2.5d set called VirtualSet.aep and that set has been imported into each of the 10 shots. As AE works now if a client asked you to modify something in the 2.5d set, you would need to open each aep file that it had been imported into and modify it 10 times. With the feature request I'm proposing, you would simply open the master file VirtualSet.aep, modify the comp as needed, and then every AEP file that was referencing the master file would be updated accordingly. Instead of making the same change 10 times, you are doing it only 1 time.

Furthermore, this feature can really benefit studios where multiple artists are collaborating. One designer may have worked on a section of a project that is being handed off to another designer to be imported into a larger composition. Let's say the section is called section1.aep and the larger comp is called maincomp.aep. As client revisions come up the original designer can make the necessary changes to section1.aep and then when maincomp.aep is re-opened those modifications will be reflected. We feel having a master file that can be referenced within multiple compositions and modified independently will be a huge workflow enhancement for AE and bring about big time savings for our artists. Curious if others would see similar benefits.

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Walter SoykaRe: Feature Request - Referencing a Master .aep project file
by on Jan 6, 2014 at 3:06:57 am

This would be a good and useful feature, and a couple third parties have already developed some solutions:

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events

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Mike ZimbardRe: Feature Request - Referencing a Master .aep project file
by on Jan 6, 2014 at 4:43:59 am

Very interesting. Thank you Walter!!

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