This might be an OS issue and not related to After Effects but I thought I would give it a shot here.
I have a project that was created entirely with still images (almost 200,000) shot with a Canon 5D. I converted the CR2 (RAW) to jpegs and edited the project in Final Cut Pro using those jpegs. I then used Automatic Duck to send the FCP project to After Effects where I used the Batch n Replace script from aescripts.com (thanks Lloyd!) to replace the jpegs with the CR2 files for color correction. The problem I'm running into is the script creates a new project where the CR2 files have replaced the jpegs, however everything is offline. The images for each sequence are sorted into folders so I go to the first image in a folder and tell AE to replace it with the proper file. AE thinks for a bit and finds and replaces all of the other images in that folder. Depending on how many images are in a particular folder, it can take anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours for AE to finish. It took over 4 hours for AE to relink a project with 10 shots/images sequences containing over 12,000 images.
All of the AE project files are shared via Dropbox with the other Mac Pro in my studio. I opened one of the projects on the other computer and tried to relink to the CR2 files on my RAID over the network but I had to do each image one by one. Is there a way to relink the files over the network the same way as if they were on my own computer?
Are you trying to improve the situation so when you switch between computers you automatically reference a different set of CR2 files (i.e. same names & types, but different locations) without them being missing? Or are you trying to speed up the long delay when it finds the files automatically?
To solve the first problem, make sure the relative path between the project and the source files remains the same when you open the project compared to when you saved it.
...I converted the CR2 (RAW) to jpegs and edited the project in Final Cut Pro using those jpegs. I then used Automatic Duck to send the FCP project to After Effects where I used the Batch n Replace script from aescripts.com (thanks Lloyd!) to replace the jpegs with the CR2 files for color correction....
FCP defaults to forcing the image's horizontal & vertical resolution to the edit timeline's (aka sequnce) settings. How did you resolve that particular obstacle?
Thank you all for responding.
Ideally we would be able to work on two computers, sharing the project files via Dropbox. As it stands now, we do have the same file paths on each computer for the images, just the work hard drives have different names.
Computer 1: Hard Drive A: Project Folder: Project Stills: CR2 files
Computer 2: Hard Drive B: Project Folder: Project Stills: CR2 files
It does take a long time to relink the files but I think that is in large part due to the nature of the project. Do you know of a way that could speed up this process?
And it was a project with 12,000 still image footage items
The jpegs exported form Lightroom are 5616x3744. FCP has a frame size limitation so I would make a sequence set to 4096x2731 and place the jpegs in there. Think of those sequences as quicktime files. I would use them to do the edit in my 2K sequence. Once the edit was in AE, I would resize those 4K sequences to 5616x3744, tweak my edit/frame/scale as necessary.
That article is pretty interesting, espceially since we have been talking about trying out the Blackmagic camera, however, working with quicktimes isn't an option for this project for various reasons. If we were strictly editing on 1s we could do that but we often change parts of a single shot to 3s or 4s and will hold on a single image for a moment. Going back and making new quicktimes everytime we wanted to make a change like that would probably be more time consuming than the issue we are having now. And storage for 5K quicktimes would be an issue as well.
When I wrote that first post, a deadline was approaching fast and we were worried we wouldn't make it but we did. Now we have some time and are looking at ways to make this process as efficient as possible. We are in the color correction and compositing stage so everything is mostly going to be done in AE.
The whole project is 40 minutes long and we have each scene as its own AE project. When they are all combined into the master AE project, the file size is 1.5 GB and it takes over an hour to open. Ideally, we wouldn't need to open that project very often, really only when we are doing exports. Is there a way to bring that file size down while still retaining the RAW images. Is there a way to somehow proxy the scene projects in the master project? Do you know if Adobe is working on ways to improve working with CR2/RAW in AE?
I know this a weird workflow and not really what AE was designed to do, but without spending $100,000+ at a high end post house, this is the best workflow we could come up with, while still retaining the RAW information. We tried working with TIFFs but the sheer volume of images we have and each TIFF image averaging 100 MB it was too much of a storage burden. If anyone has any suggestions to help with any of this or someone from Adobe can shed some insight, I will be forever grateful.
If you place the project file in the same dropbox folder as the source frames, the relative paths to the files would be the same on both computers, and then the files should never be missing when you open the project.
If you can switch to using still sequences instead of individual file import, AE will run much, much faster.
We don't keep the cr2 files on Dropbox since there are several terabytes of them. Relinking doesn't seem to be much of a problem now working between the 2 computers. Occassionaly some files will go offline but everything seems to be okay for now.
Unfortunately, when you use Automatic Duck to go from FCP to AE, it imports them as individual files. And image sequences would only work on about a third of the sequences in this project. I think we're just going ot have to slug through this.
Thanks for your help.