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Collect Files to include comps referenced by expressions-may have been asking for this for decades!

Engaged ,
Nov 16, 2023 Nov 16, 2023

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Very simple to implement, though ideally as part of a wider update to Collect Files.

Currently if you reduce project and collect files for queued comp only, and comps needed for expressions is not included.

It would not be difficult to include an expressions check into the process and would prevent a lot of future problems.

 

other things useful:

Attempt fix/workaround to prevent over 256 character filenames

Many Many sub-folders and filenames causes issues on Windows.

 

Option not to include sub-folders for PSD/AI layers.

Option to match finder/explorer file structure vs project folder structure

Just anything to stop every source PSD going into it's own folder just because the layers are in a folder!

 

and get rid of the tiny subject character limit in this forum, it isn't a tweet

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correct answers 1 Pinned Reply

Adobe Employee , Nov 16, 2023 Nov 16, 2023

The current way Collect Files works doesn't lend itself to scanning expressions across comps to find associated comps. Not impossible, but it is more difficult than just a line or two of code. We'll add it to the list to see if we can do something about it though. 

 

The 256 char filename length is on the list of things to fix across AE in general, not just for Collect Files. 

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 16, 2023 Nov 16, 2023

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The current way Collect Files works doesn't lend itself to scanning expressions across comps to find associated comps. Not impossible, but it is more difficult than just a line or two of code. We'll add it to the list to see if we can do something about it though. 

 

The 256 char filename length is on the list of things to fix across AE in general, not just for Collect Files. 

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Engaged ,
Nov 20, 2023 Nov 20, 2023

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DON"T FORGET ESSENTIAL GRAPHICS!!!!!

I see that also not collecting properly are sourcefiles loaded in by essential graphics.

This leads to major major major problems!

I don't think many people realise this is a thing, and I can only assume the team haven't realised how bad it really is.

How can I bump this up the priority list?

At the very least a warning when collecting files that anything linked to by expressions and esssential properties will not be collected.

Because otherwise people think they are archiving a working project when they are not.

I just collected a project and opened it to make sure it worked, but the essential properties references files, while they are in the project, have not been duplicated into the collect footage folder.

I am not sure anyone but me would have spotted that.

I only did it because I would rather not work 20 hour days trying to rebuild files for people

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Engaged ,
Nov 20, 2023 Nov 20, 2023

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Thanks for responding Jenk. SOunds like time for e complete rethink then, because project archiving either has to work, or not. Unless you prevent importing projects (Go on you know you want to!)

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 20, 2023 Nov 20, 2023

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The workaround for now is to just collect the entire project rather than specific comps and then strip out the pieces you don't need. But we understand that's not ideal. I've created a bug ticket internally for more discussion with the team. 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 20, 2023 Nov 20, 2023

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The right way to Collect Files or even Reduce Project is to select the Main render comp in the Project panel. Do that, and every comp that shows up in the flow chart will be included, and unused comps will not. Expressions should not reference any composition not nested in the Main comp. They will still work, but they won't work when you create a MOGRT, they won't work if you import the Comp as a layer in Premiere Pro, and they won't work if you save the Main comp as an After Effects Template. Ensure that everything in the main comp, including expressions linked to layers in other comps, is in the flowchart. 

 

Making a request to have Collect Files or Reduce project include comps that are not nested in the Main comp is a really bad idea. A better request would be for a warning to appear when you include something like:

comp("Controller").layer("Controller").effect("Opacity")("Slider");

in any expression to throw an error if the comp is not nested in the main comp. I could go for that kind of warning.

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Engaged ,
Nov 24, 2023 Nov 24, 2023

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Good reminder from Rick about nesting any referenced comps in the main comp, and collecting from selected comp maybe is different to Queued comps. 

Discovered today that DeClutter,

 

That's DECLUTTER

 

(the script every single after effects user should be forced to use on every single project before going home)

 

will sort any comps with footage referenced by the Essential Properties Media Confuser into the Main Comps folder to remind you to collect them as well. Not sure if that always works, or if it looks for expression linked comps as well, but it is a good extra stage to catch a few more dangers. 

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