I've got an .AEP file for a project we've been working on for 9 months (feels a bit like having a baby). The file is currently about 350mb big and takes about 90 minutes to open. It's well backed up and stable to work with.
I've tried to separate out a single comp in the project which just contains a few text layers and no AV layers. I've reduced the project so it just contains the single comp. However, when I save it the file is still 250mb big and it still takes 90 minutes to open.
I can only assume that the project has somehow picked up some 'orphaned' project items that I can't get rid of. I've tried each of the following with no luck:
1) Importing it into a new project.
2) Exporting it in different versions and even XML.
3) Copying and pasting between two instances of AE.
I've just exported the project as an .AEPX xml file. Having a poke around, there appeared to be a lot of pprf nodes within the node which didn't appear to relate to the project structure I was expecting. So I deleted them.
I re-imported into AE. It came in successfully. I saved it out and my original massive file is down to 8mb and it opens instantly.
Thanks, Walter, for a nudge in the right direction.
Now I'm going to make my car go faster by randomly removing bits of the engine...