Migrate Adobe After Effects projects

  • Tutorial
Hello, Habrludi!

After a short saga of transferring Adobe After Effects projects from one computer to another, I want to share my experience so that people know what they can expect.

At first, the trivial task turned into a small quest - the files of the Adobe After Effects projects (.aep) do not store the relative paths to the materials used in the project (footage), but the absolute path.

Which means that simply transferring the folder in which the project itself and all the involved materials are stored is not enough. An attempt to open the file in this form was a failure: Adobe After Effects CS6 began to issue by mistake for each file that was not found, and after a couple of dozen of these files, it completely refused to work. I also don’t roll absolute paths through a text editor, I tried it. After various futile attempts, I had to go back to the original computer and Google. Google suggested that the good Adobe came up with a special function for transferring projects:

Function Collect Files (Collect Files). How to use it. There are many lessons.. This is certainly good for one project, but what about a whole bunch of honest hard-won projects? It turns out that for this, Adobe came up with a special menu item - Consolidate All Footage. You

drop all your projects into one, select this item from the drop-down menu, and Adobe After Effects removes all duplicates of the materials used, and binds all the links to the one that remains. copy.

And I was already beginning to rejoice and was about to sacrifice the great Adobe bull-calf to the great Adobe, but there it was. This system would work well for spherical projects in a vacuum, but I had dozens of projects that were mutated copies of each other (these were the backgrounds for television shows, if anyone is interested.) Due to the large nesting of compositions, projects were easier to clone and modify than to create copies of each composition within a single project. If you transfer all projects as separate, then all the footage used in each project would be duplicated N times (Collect Files takes the folder hierarchy not from the file system, but from the organization within the project, as a result of which for each of the .aep files a separate folder was created with all the materials used). The Consolidate All Footage function should have managed to do this, but it connected the nested compositions from different projects, which were not supposed to interact with each other in any way, although they looked identical. It turned out porridge with which it was impossible to work.

As a result, transferring a couple of projects is not so difficult, but it is not clear what people with dozens of projects have to do. One can only hope that Adobe will eventually learn the power of relative paths, and there will be a holiday on our street.

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