Saving, Organising, Opening and Closing Project Files

Explorer ,
Jan 09, 2020 Jan 09, 2020

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I have 2 questions and if anyone can help I'd be very grateful;

 

1. Is there a way you can change the preference of where Character Animator files get automatically saved?

2. Is there a tutorial on how to organise your files and closing a character animator project properly before you open a new one?

 

I've been using CA on and off for a few years now and have watched hundreds of hours of Dave's tutorials and I'm still so confused about saving project files and why some end up randomly placed elsewhere on my computer and how can I change this, also

When you have a project opened I'm always concerned I'm going to lose my work or 2 projects will get placed in the same file, so I Quit CA and open CA again with a new project, which I know is a bizarre thing to do but I don't know how to do it without a fear of losing my work.  I don't know how to close a project and open a new one without the 2 opening in the same project. I'm confused about having more than 1 project open at the same time in the same window and how this all works.

I've been wanting to ask this question now for a very long time but thought maybe it's just me and I'm too dumb to work it out but more than a year has passed and I'm still confused about this and I'm so frustrated now.  Please help!

 

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LEGEND ,
Jan 10, 2020 Jan 10, 2020

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This is my understanding.

  • If you import a PSD or AI file, it keeps a link to the original file so you can make further changes - this is the main cause of files in a project not being copied into the project directory tree (oh, probably true for audio files etc you import as well)
  • If you select "gather media" from the menus, it makes a copy into a "Gathered Media" directory inside the project directory
  • If you import a puppet, it always makes a copy of everything
  • When you create a new project, you can select where the project is created at that time

 

In terms of how to organize a project, I wrote up a blog post when I was starting out in case useful talking about what I decided to do at the time. It might give you some ideas https://extra-ordinary.tv/2018/02/08/project-structure-update/

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Explorer ,
Jan 10, 2020 Jan 10, 2020

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Thanks Alan, appreciate this.

I think the main thing is that CA automatically saves files in my documents > Adobe > CA  and then when you open a project it saves this automically, then you have a list of a million CA saved projects listed numerically and unless you open these files you don't know what they are.

Yes, I've saved projects and placed them in a folder and I understand it's best to put the .psd/.ai file into that same folder, but the whole thing to me is still confusing.

When you open a puppet, then another puppet, then another puppet, you can have all these different puppets in the same project even though they may not relate to another, so what I've been doing is physically closing down CA and reopening it, which I find a bit ridiculous but I don't know what else to do.

I'll have a look at your link, appreciate your help.

 

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LEGEND ,
Jan 10, 2020 Jan 10, 2020

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I create a project per video - Eg per episode in the series. When I start on next episode, I export the puppets and import them into new project. I always use the create project option where I get to name the project and specify the directory it goes in, never those default numbered projects (expect for experimenting). But yes, those numbered ones crop up after crashes etc. They are confusing after a while.

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New Here ,
Jan 21, 2020 Jan 21, 2020

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still this program doesn't make sense at all, I had to restart recreate the same puppet 10 time cause the CH creating million of folders and I dont know where my files are saved, it create "gather media" folder where it save few thing, but when I using the puppet that auto saved in the above folder everything is lost, behaviours and the puppet is all distorted! whats the point in creating this folders??? this software is crap!!!I'm sorry but its extremely confusing!!!!

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Participant ,
May 20, 2022 May 20, 2022

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This thread is years old, but maybe this will still be helpful to someone new...

 

How Ch deals with the source artwork (Photoshop) files it's using to make puppets can be confusing at first, especially if you haven't come across something like it before (I hadn't). You can Save As... an existing project wherever you want, as long as you rename it. And in the saving, the Ps artwork files will be gathered up and placed alongside the project file in a new Media>Gathered Media folder. As long as Ch knows where the artwork is, everything's fine, and the establishing of a Gathered Media folder is a way of helping Ch know where to look:

txtx_0-1653108048392.png

You can manually point Ch to artwork, though, by clicking this blue link in Ch's Record or Rig mode:

txtx_1-1653108090478.png

After Effects and Premiere Pro Collect files (why not call it Gather?) in a similar manner but, from what little I know, only manually. But it's vital all three apps know where the source artwork (or video footage) is.

 

My first, strongest recommendation for all of this, no matter what apps or how many you're using for your project (maybe you also have sounds edited in Audition) is to look at it from a bird's eye view and organize your project into folders & subfolders that will keep any or all of these apps in line, as well as your own brain in a creative space. And use this folder structure as a template to use every time.

 

The best templates for this I've read online are from multiple professional video editors, like:

 

https://www.techsmith.com/blog/youre-setting-up-your-video-project-wrong-7-subfolders-you-need/

 

It's not difficult, really. And you can alter it to suit yourself, but keep in mind that those you may share your project files with (or yourself in five years) will need to make sense of it as well.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 21, 2022 May 21, 2022

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Good points @tx tx 

To make it easy, use a free tool like Post Haste.

https://www.digitalrebellion.com/posthaste/

It automatically creates the files and file structure from a template.

Either use those supplied or make your own.

Did I mention it's free?

 

Best regards, Euan.

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