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Moving composition from one project to another...

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Stephen Barrante
Moving composition from one project to another...
on Mar 24, 2008 at 10:35:09 pm

I have a situation where I have two separate after effects projects and would like to move one of the composition (with all assets that belong to it) into the other .aep.

I thought I could copy the composition, open up the other project and paste. But no luck. This is something I do regularly in flash, and those files are just as complex. And since most of these assets are references to the real media, I figured that would just work. Not so much. The problem is many of the assets are very similar or the same in both .aep's. So, it became apparent to me after the fact that I should have just created two compositions in the same project.

Any advice?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Moving composition from one project to another...
on Mar 24, 2008 at 10:49:07 pm

I don't know any easy way to do it. In the past, I've had to do the following:

Pick one project to import into the other. Duplicate it, remove everything from it you don't need, and save it. Then import it into the other project.

Using the footage from the main project, replace all the footage in the comp in question that the two projects share. Move the unduplicated footage and the comp in question into the main project. Then get rid of everything else in the imported project.

That's the dangerous way to do it. I'd be REALLY glad to hear about a better way.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer

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Aharon Rabinowitz
Re: Moving composition from one project to another...
on Mar 26, 2008 at 2:43:20 am

I might be missing something - it's late and I am wiped out - I'd open a blank comp and import both AEP's into it (You can choose File > Import > File, and AE project is one of the options).

Then twirl everything down until you find the 2 comps you want to keep.

Select File > Reduce Project

Everything not related to these 2 projects will be removed.

If you have any duplicate references to the same file, this next step will clean that up:

File > Consolidate all footage.

Then just reorganize the stuff in the project panel.

If you need to understand this better, check out these 2 tutorials:

Importing Projects:

Cleaning up your projects (in a tutorial on multi machine rendering):

Aharon Rabinowitz
Email: arabinowitz (AT) yahoo (DOT) com
All Bets Are Off Productions, Inc.
Creative Cow After Effect Podcast
Internet Killed the Video Star: A Guide to Creating Video for the Web

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Alex Tsakiris
Re: Moving composition from one project to another...
on Mar 27, 2010 at 1:14:58 pm

perfect... many thx for sharing this.

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Keith Neuendorff
Re: Moving composition from one project to another...
on Dec 10, 2010 at 8:23:35 pm

On a somewhat related note...

Using the import (as suggested in one of the above referenced tutorials) is a good way to move Compositions between projects to make them "behave" better and not cause AE to crash.

My specific case was that I had a project that kept getting more complex and ended up where it would not open successfully on my laptop (a decent Core2 Duo Windows machine but with only 3Gig of RAM). To fix this I opened AE with no initial project and did an import on the project that would not normally open. AE complained a bit with some popups but did succeed in opening the project. I cleared out about half of the compositions and media, saved the project under a new name. I repeated this to recover the other half of the compositions and now all of the projects work nicely again.

One nice additional tip is that if you start deleting compositions from an imported project, I suggest clearing out the Render Queue because AE complains and then sometimes crashes the next time it tries to open the project when it finds references to previoiusly rendered items in the Render Queue that no longer exist in the Project.

Keith Neuendorff
Tiny Robot Media
Austin, TX

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Daniel Oliveira Prins
Re: Moving composition from one project to another...
on Jun 21, 2017 at 5:24:03 am

Use save comp as project script. And import your project into a new project.

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