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Multiple project organisation

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Tim TetlowMultiple project organisation
by on Jun 4, 2016 at 2:13:48 pm

Hi all

I just wanted to get some opinions on the best way to organise working with multiple projects for one client.

So to be more clear. I have recently begun working with a team who create short animations. These tend not to be too complicated and so each project isn't too big - unless they are working with video. But to me thats irrelevant. I was surprised to see the way things are organised but before I go and suggest an alternative I just want to throw it out here.

So the set up is this: Each client has one after effects project file. This one project file contains multiple jobs (saved as compositions). So you would have pretty much one years worth (or more) of projects/jobs all saved in one AE file. The jobs may need regular updating, changing of content but I see no benefit to essentially using one AE file to organise a years worth of work. That seems crazy to me. If you were to lose/corrupt that one single file, all the work from the year could be lost. It would make more sense to have a folder for each client, and a folder containing an AE file for each job etc.

Does anyone else have experience of working with this kind of arrangement?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Multiple project organisation
by on Jun 5, 2016 at 6:42:33 pm

I wouldn't use an annual project. I'd use a monthly or quarterly project. Clients like to make changes, and this will help you keep things straight.

"Oh, but not MY client!"

Yeah. Right.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Walter SoykaRe: Multiple project organisation
by on Jun 6, 2016 at 6:12:13 pm

My projects tend to include multiple deliverables, so I've built my project structure around that assumption. I create a folder for each deliverable within a project, and I aim for one AEP per deliverable. I track projects by clients in my project tracker, not in the filesystem. I let the project folder itself be my top level of organization.

I find that "one file per client per year" idea terrifying from a data loss perspective, too. Check out my notes on AEP safety:

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

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Tim TetlowRe: Multiple project organisation
by on Jun 8, 2016 at 8:50:44 am


That's great thanks for the link!

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Joe ClayRe: Multiple project organisation
by on Jun 7, 2016 at 9:41:27 pm

That, uh, sounds crazy. Unless you're doing only a couple of projects your file is going to get huge and complicated—not to mention the single point of failure as you have mentioned.

I did a hefty group of large animations for a client and over that time we perfected a system to work as a team.

I've got a client folder in my dropbox. I make individual folders for each project and a main folder for the group, if there is one, for common elements. Then I have my AEPs with a master file and sub-files for sections of the project so multiple people can work on it at the same time.

If you're curious about any more of it, I happened to have made a video on the topic showing my workflow.

Joe Clay

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Tim TetlowRe: Multiple project organisation
by on Jun 8, 2016 at 8:52:30 am

That's for the info. Actually being able to work as a team on one project will be of great use for us here so that will be really useful info.

Thanks very much

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Joe ClayRe: Multiple project organisation
by on Jun 8, 2016 at 3:03:10 pm

No problem! I hope it helps!

There's also a script you can use to update new versions in a project, but for the most part our approach is easy enough to swap out manually. I usually don't have more than 8 or 9 comps in a master. And the script lags with complex AEPs since it has to check everything in them. So manually became faster.

Maybe one of these days I'll write a script that fits my workflow to autoupdate my masters...adding to my teuxdeux list now. :)

Joe Clay

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