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error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path

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Joe Danielserror message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 8:48:03 pm

Hey guys,

I am having this weird issue.I have After Effects projects and assets that were created on a Mac from a client, put on an external drive, and copied onto the desktop of a pc to start using.

Well I open the project, it gives me a message that it has to convert it, yadda yadda.

Once opened there are like 370 missing files. (mostly .png's)

So normally, in the past, you could point one missing files to the new location, and all the other ones would be found.

Not the case here. I get a weird message (see image posted below)




Any thoughts?



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Dave LaRondeRe: error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 8:56:12 pm

[Joe Daniels] "Any thoughts?"

Take it off the desktop and put it on your hard drive, where you don't have to eat up what might be limited space on your system drive with gazigabytes of media files?
You know, the hard drive separate from the drive containing your system and application files, and reserved solely for user files?

That drive?

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


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Joe DanielsRe: error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 9:20:16 pm

Dave,

I have tried running it off the external drive initially, and was getting that error message, so I figured "Why not copy the millions of gigs of footage locally?!" And I am getting the same error message.

HELP!



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Dave LaRondeRe: error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 9:29:18 pm

Getting the files off the desktop -- aka the system drive -- would have been an easy fix. Now it gets tougher.
Are you running the most current version of AE 10, a free update?
Could there be third-party plugins used in the project files that could give your copy of AE fits?
Could your network's firewall be blocking certain types of media files?
Might the client have used Automatic Duck or something like it to create comps in AE, and now the resulting media pointer files don't know where to point?
Could there be missing codecs on your machine?

If you can't tell, I'm just doing the AE version of throwing cooked spaghetti on a wall to see which strands stick.

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


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Walter SoykaRe: error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 9:42:13 pm

Do the files have any strange characters in the names or path?

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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Joe DanielsRe: error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 9:58:06 pm

there are alot of underscores _ in the file names. For example:

product_sample_version2.png



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Walter SoykaRe: error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 9:59:42 pm

Underscores shouldn't be a problem. Can you open all the PNGs in Photoshop?

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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Dave LaRondeRe: error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 10:12:56 pm

[Joe Daniels] "For example: product_sample_version2.png"

Yup, I think Walter's on the right track: there are a couple-three file name characters allowed on Macs that aren't on Windows machines. Your example above, however, is good on both OS's.

I don't know the list of Mac-accepted and Windows-verboten characters, but you wouldn't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out the most likely offenders. Characters like +=*? immediately come to mind.

This could be a right royal pain. If you change a no-no character to an accepted one, Windows may allow it, but AE can't find the file anymore. Heaven help you if a bad character happens to be part of file names found in image sequences. Ugh.

Anybody know of a good renaming utility?

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


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Joe DanielsRe: error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 10:22:59 pm

there are folders with bullet point things in front of the name, etc.

What I did do was copied one of the png's to my desktop and tried pointing the missing file to that and it found it.

So my question to you guys is...

Do I just start creating my own file structure, like create a folder called PNG and search the drive for all PNGs and dump them there...then a folder for PSDs, MOVs, etc?

Now on a coworkers mac he can open these fine (grrr). I read somewhere that the person with a working version can go to File, Collect Files and collect files all in one place or something? I have never used this feature, so I am not sure if something like this would work?



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Walter SoykaRe: error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 10:25:54 pm

[Joe Daniels] "there are folders with bullet point things in front of the name, etc."

That'll do it -- that's why I asked about the filename and path. AE needs to parse the whole thing to get to the file, and it saw something it didn't like and got terribly confused.


[Joe Daniels] "I read somewhere that the person with a working version can go to File, Collect Files and collect files all in one place or something? I have never used this feature, so I am not sure if something like this would work?"

Yup -- see Collect files in one location [link] for more.

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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Dave LaRondeRe: error message in AE CS5 when trying to point missing file to new path
by on Jan 27, 2011 at 10:33:15 pm

[Joe Daniels] "Now on a coworkers mac he can open these fine (grrr)."

Ain't that the sh*ts?

Any chance this guy would let you use his machine? Or at least use Walter's collect files strategy, so you could reorganize on a project-by-project basis? If the organization of the footage currently is a bit helter-skelter, you'd stand a fighting chance at discovering the offending file names on your Windows machine after reorganization.

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


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