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AE Collect Files feature

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AE Collect Files feature

Postby momoffduty » Thu May 19, 2011 9:14 am

I like to make templates for some of my projects and in the past have done this the long way by copying all the files and swapping the assets & photos for place cards in AE. For a recent project I wanted to use 3 of the 6 segments I used in a previous project and brought that project into the current project. Ended up copying the assets from one project to the others folders and then in AE swapping out layers, at times 100+ layers. And then deleting the project I brought in. Time consuming.

I ran across the Collect Files in AE and was wondering if anyone has used this feature?

For example, I have an AE project that has 6 slideshows. I only want to use 2 of those slideshows in a new project. The Collect Files has an option to collect For Selected Comps. If I understand correctly, a new project will be created with just those selected comps and Only the assets in those comps will be copied to a new folder location that I choose? What will the file structure look like? Will it reflect my folder structure in AE? If so, should I move the BG folder (for example) temporarily into the Slideshow folder before running Collect Files?

My folder filing system in AE looks like this:

Slideshow A
Slideshow B
Slideshow C
Slideshow D
Slideshow E
___Photos for E (sub folder)
___Coms for E (sub folder)
Slideshow F
___Photos For F (sub folder)
___Comps for F (sub folder)
Graphics static (some used in all of the slideshows)
Animated Flourishes (some used in some of the slideshows)
Animated Frames (some used in some of the slideshows)
BGs (some used in all of the slideshows)
Audio (one each per slideshow)
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Re: AE Collect Files feature

Postby Bob » Thu May 19, 2011 12:57 pm

If I understand correctly, a new project will be created with just those selected comps and Only the assets in those comps will be copied to a new folder location that I choose?


I've used Collect Files, but not the Selected Comps option. I haven't had a need to use that option yet.

Collect Files is essentially an archiving function that will create a standalone portable project at the specified location. If you use the selected comps option, it will contain only those comps and the assets they use.

What will the file structure look like? Will it reflect my folder structure in AE? If so, should I move the BG folder (for example) temporarily into the Slideshow folder before running Collect Files?


The file structure will be the same as in your AE project. It will have no relationship as to how the assets were originally located on the computer. Organize the assets in AE the way you want, you don't need to move anything temporarily or otherwise unless you want to do that.
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Re: AE Collect Files feature

Postby momoffduty » Thu May 19, 2011 1:20 pm

Bob wrote:The file structure will be the same as in your AE project. It will have no relationship as to how the assets were originally located on the computer. Organize the assets in AE the way you want, you don't need to move anything temporarily or otherwise unless you want to do that.


So if in the AE project assets are in folders then when everything is copied the folder will be copied too? I like to keep things organized the same way on the hard drive. Thanks.
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Re: AE Collect Files feature

Postby Bob » Thu May 19, 2011 1:52 pm

Collect will give you a folder containing the project file and a footage folder. The footage folder will contain the assets arrainged in the folder hierarchy you defined in your AE project. It stays organized.
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Re: AE Collect Files feature

Postby momoffduty » Thu May 19, 2011 2:18 pm

Thanks for the explanation Bob. :)
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Re: AE Collect Files feature

Postby momoffduty » Sat May 21, 2011 1:37 pm

Thought I would share an update on this feature.

The Collect Files for Selected Comps only is wonderful for template purposes. Took a mere few seconds to copy. The comp was from a previous project that I wanted to use in a current project. Saved the file that was generated in the current project's folder. Opened up the copied project and changed the name (Save As) so not to be confused with the previous project since the name of the copied AE project is the original name. I could have opened this project up in the current's project AE, but wanted this to be separate AE project.

Swapped out the photos. It did take awhile to customize the new project only because I added a dozen keyframes. The old project had a section of video and the new project had all photos. But, other than that it takes short time to customize into a new project.

I have made a few templates before, but it was slow going since I manually copied the project & assets in Windows. Then in AE I had to swap out the assets that were connected to the old location to the new. This feature of Collect Files is very helpful in creating templates. All I have to swap out will be the place cards for the photos or video.

And the bonus is a text file that lists the assets, fx, & font style.
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Re: AE Collect Files feature

Postby Chuck Engels » Sat May 21, 2011 6:40 pm

This really sounds great Cheryl, I will have to see if that feature is available in CS3 :)
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Re: AE Collect Files feature

Postby momoffduty » Tue May 29, 2012 11:18 am

Ran into a problem with the Collect Files feature. I used this feature to save certain comps from previous projects as templates. In a recent project I used a few of the templates and modified. Now when I try to save those modified comps as new templates the File>Collect files exports the Comp I want plus a few more that have nothing to do with that segment and a some assets that were not in that comp and even assets that were not used. I did have "For Selected Comps" in the UI panel.

For an experiment I went to a different AE project that had a lot of comps than none were created from templates and the For Selected Comps works as it should.

It appears that a project created from a template confuses the program. It should work since the template is its own project with all of the assets. :-k
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Re: AE Collect Files feature

Postby momoffduty » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:17 am

Update again. AE gets confused when creating a 2nd generation Collect Files.

My project consists of 5 New Titles & 2 Slidshows that were templates from a previous project. In a previous project I saved the 2 slideshows via the collect files to create my templates. I copied the project Template folder which contains the Footage Folder & the AE project to the new project folder. Imported the template AE project as an asset into the new project.

I only wanted to make a new template of the the 5 New Titles. Selected the 5 Title Comps and ran the Collect files feature to create a template. AE copied almost everything in the project.

Tried it this way: Did a Save As of the new project and named it Working Copy for Template. In that Copy deleted everything I didn't want which was fairly easy since each Slideshow assets & Comps were in their own Bins. The titles & assets were in their own Bin. As an experiment I did leave a folder of clips in the Project Panel to see if AE Collect files would not copy those since they were not in the Title Comps. Selected my Title Comps in the Project panel and ran the Collect Files for Selected Comps and it worked as it should and did not copy the Clip Folder.

I could have easily deleted all the extra stuff the first go round in making the Template. It seems that when you import a Project into a new Project as an asset, AE gets confused on the Collect Files for Select Comps.
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