Premiere Pro/​After Effects Q and A with Maxim Jago

by Bill Cassel on November 29, 2012

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v2b trainer Maxim Jago, nice guy that he is, recently took time to answer a subscriber’s ques­tions related to his Pre­miere Pro and After Effects courses. Since there may be oth­ers out there who have the same ques­tions, we thought we’d post the ques­tions and Maxim’s answers for you here.

Q: What is the best way to orga­nize the var­i­ous files and fold­ers when edit­ing with Adobe Pre­miere Pro and After Effects?
A: Pre­miere Pro and After Effects don’t par­tic­u­larly mind where your media is. As long as there’s a reg­u­lar file path with a file­name on the end, the appli­ca­tions will work with it. The only thing to con­sider is whether your dri­ves are fast enough to play back the media you’re using. The faster the drive the bet­ter. If you can get a good SSD (solid state) drive for your media, you’ll likely feel the dif­fer­ence. Be sure to con­sider your own need to stay organized….

Q: Is it rec­om­mended that pre­view files remain next to media files?
A: It doesn’t impact per­for­mance, but it can cer­tainly impact orga­ni­za­tion. If you know the files are in the same loca­tion as your project, it’s easy to delete them later. If they are all mixed up with other projects, it can be more com­plex sort­ing out what you need to keep and what you don’t. Because ren­der files are flat­tened ver­sions of Pre­miere Pro sequences (it’s a lit­tle more com­plex in After Effects), you just need a drive that can com­fort­ably play a sin­gle stream of your media. That’s because even if you have ten lay­ers of video on your Time­line in Pre­miere Pro, when you ren­der, you’ll actu­ally be play­ing one layer that looks like the com­bi­na­tion of all the others.

Q: How does one set up Pre­miere Pro’s options for file man­age­ment to be most effi­cient and orga­nized?
A: There’s a lot of per­sonal pref­er­ence here. I like to keep all the files asso­ci­ated with a project in the same loca­tion, so it’s easy to archive and remove later. The options are in the Project set­tings (there’s not much else in there, so hope­fully you’ll find it pretty easy to navigate).

Q: Dur­ing edit­ing, when is it safe and/​or rec­om­mended to clear the cache?
A: Tough ques­tion. I do it when­ever I feel like it. If I feel I’m get­ting poor per­for­mance, or I just want an excuse not to keep edit­ing for a few moments, I’ll clear the cache. The cache files can take up a fair amount of hard drive space too — another con­sid­er­a­tion that might lead to click­ing that button….

Q: Are there some caches that should not be deleted, and some files that can be safely deleted?
A: All ren­der files can be safely deleted, and all caches can be cleared. Any ren­der files you were depend­ing upon to play back effects will, of course, need to be ren­dered again. Apart from the time you’ll wait, no harm will be done (in theory!).

Q: After com­plet­ing a project, what files do I need to keep even when hard drive space is lim­ited, and what files are safely dis­carded?
A: There’s a Project Man­ager fea­ture in both Pre­miere Pro and After Effects that will han­dle some of this for you. How­ever, rel­a­tive to the cost of pro­duc­tion, I think the cost of mul­ti­ple hard dri­ves for backup is a wor­thy invest­ment. That is — I don’t delete stuff!

Q: How do you archive files?
A: This is a huge prob­lem that no one has an easy solu­tion for. The best afford­able solu­tion today might be to get mul­ti­ple large, cheap hard dri­ves and go for an over­abun­dance of hard­ware over a super-​​expensive secure sys­tem. Buy three cheaper dri­ves, make three copies of every­thing, and store them in dif­fer­ent locations.

Q: What is the work­flow for archiv­ing a pro­duced Pre­miere Pro video? What about After Effects files?
A: Again, check out the Project Man­ager. Ulti­mately though, if you have stored all of your orig­i­nal files in one loca­tion on your hard drive, you can just make a copy of that whole folder. Simple!

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