Walter’s Field Notes on Safeguarding After Effects Project Files

  1. Keeping only a single copy or version of your project file is bad practice. You might accidentally delete the file. Your hard drive might fail. Ae might crash and corrupt the project. You might make a change you later decide you don’t like, but unable to roll back to where you were before. Back it up!
  2. Get in the habit of using Increment and Save. Often. Increment and Save automatically appends a version number or increments the existing version number at the end of your project file name. When you increment and save “My Awesome Project.aep” the first time, you’ll keep the original file and get a new “My Awesome Project 1.aep” file. When you increment and save again, you’ll keep both the original and version 1 and get a new “My Awesome Project 2.aep” file. If anything goes wrong, you have previous saves you can use.
  3. Check your auto-save settings. The default settings are to auto-save every 20 minutes, and to keep the last 5 auto-saves. For safety’s sake, you might consider auto-saving more frequently, or keeping more auto-saves.
  4. Keep file versions outside of Ae, too. Dropbox and Apple’s Time Machine capture and store multiple version changes of the same file. If anything goes wrong, you can use these to roll back to a previous version of your AEP.
  5. Do all your Warp Stabilization in a separate project file. The image analysis is saved into the effect and thus into the project file, so the AEP gets way too big to comfortably deal with. Big files are slow to save, and this will discourage you from incrementing and saving as often as you should, and it will frustrate you when auto-save interrupts your flow.

Posted by Walter Soyka

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