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Importance of Project Panel File Structure in After Effects

Why good file structure is important within the AfterFX project panel

Very often when designers create AfterFX projects they won’t organise the Project Panel and in the long term that can create a variety of issues and setbacks. This will also create more time spent on current and future projects costing time and money. Let me explain:

Within the project panel, folders can be set up and named, just as if you were in a finder window. If handing an AfterFX file over to a colleague for instance, ask yourself: “Will my colleague know which is the Main Scene Composition? Will he know what each pre comp does?”

This is similar to not naming layers in Photoshop… It will create problems further down the line when either yourself or a colleague has to do an update or an amendment.

After Effects Project Panel

Also, a great feature of AfterFX is the ability to import a whole file from another After Effects project, but this is where the structure of your projects is important: When you import another AfterFX project, all the internal structures are retained, therefore I recommend using a folder for all your assets, a folder for your pre comps and then place your Final Comps at the top level. Keep it simple. This is also a handy workflow technique for a studio where individual designers are working on segments of a large video.


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Posted by Ben Dale on 9th November, 2015