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!