18 Replies Latest reply on Mar 4, 2016 6:17 AM by Nic_Petersen

    How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?

    gigasaurus Level 1

      I've been using AE heavily for about 6 months, and it has this really pesky basic Windows UI problem that makes life quite frustrating. I work on lots of projects that I maintain sequentially numbered in their respective folders. Typically in Windows when you choose "Save As" windows defaults to the folder the current file resides in.  For some reason After Effects defaults to the last folder I saved a file in, which often times is not the folder I am in. So I end up with project files from projectA stored in the projectB folder.  This leads to version control problems when members of the team can't find the most recent version of projectA and so they start working on the previous version of ProjectA and later on ask me where all my changes are.  I want to believe that AE has a checkbox in preferences somewhere that says "make save-as feature operate like every other windows program" - but I haven't found it yet.  Does anyone have any advice on this topic?

        • 1. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          I want to believe that AE has a checkbox in preferences somewhere that says "make save-as feature operate like every other windows program" - but I haven't found it yet.  Does anyone have any advice on this topic?

           

          I think you are operating on wrong assumptions - a project is just a reference to other files plus some internal data, so it doesn't exactly make sense to maintain endless lists of absolute paths, given that you can import things back and forth in a million ways. What happens as soon as you import a project into another one? What, when you collect files? What happens when you re-import pre-rendered files? A "same origin" policy would be riddled with tons of issues to figure out the logic as to what the user actually wants to do and which path is the correct one.... I've never missed any such feature.

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
            gigasaurus Level 1

            Well when I'm in MyFolderA and I open the file MyFolderA\MyFile01.AEP and then I choose "File/Save-As" wouldn't you expect After Effects to default to MyFolderA as the place where its going to save the next file?

             

            In my experience, After Effects instead defaults to the most recent folder I saved a file in, which might be MyFolderB.

             

            Have you found this to be otherwise?

             

            Every other Windows program I have works this way.

            • 3. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              Actually not. Persistence of folder paths is dictated by the host program carrying it explicitly. Most 3D programs don't and are just as "dumb", as you would probably put it, for instance, as they only work inside their project structure. I guess it's a matter of being used to things and how features are implemented. I've explained my rationale, but if you think you would like to see it changed, then why not file a feature request:

               

              Feature Request Form

               

              Mylenium

              • 4. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                gigasaurus Level 1

                Sounds good.  The 3D program I use (3DMax) doesn't have this file saving problem so I guess AE is the first program I've ever encountered that behaves that way.

                 

                I guess I'll file a feature request.

                • 5. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  Cinema 4D, modo, Lightwave all behave like that. I believe even Maya doesn't always remember where its files are from, but it's been too long since I actually used it. This may have been changed/ fixed in more recent versions.

                   

                  Mylenium

                  • 6. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                    nicknameforme Level 1

                    I agree with you 100%.  I just wasted much time working on an older version of a file because more recent versions were misplaced due to the idiotic default Save As behavior.

                    • 7. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                      Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                      I agree with you 100%.  I just wasted much time working on an older version of a file because more recent versions were misplaced due to the idiotic default Save As behavior.

                       

                      Rather than just referring to the behavior as idiotic, you could submit a feature request to have the behavior changed.

                      • 8. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                        moley.tv

                        The problem is unquestionably as gigasaurus describes. Totally correct. After Effects save as feature does not behave properly,or like every other windows programme. When you choose save as it should default to the location where the current version resides. It does not. This is a flat out bug. End of.

                        • 9. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                          moley.tv Level 1

                          So Todd, maybe you should consider toning down the sarcasm and perhaps take some action on this bug that unquestionably exists in the software we are paying handsomely for. More support, less attitude please.

                          • 10. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                            Dave LaRonde Level 6

                            Oh, for heaven's sake.

                             

                            You open an existing project.  Before you do any work on it, you do a Save As.  You navigate to the place where you want to save it.  You give it an appropriate name.  You're done for the duration of the project.  If it takes you more than 20 seconds, I recommend a remedial computer skills class.

                             

                            Have I left anything out?

                            • 11. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                              nicknameforme Level 1

                              Dave,

                               

                              You are suggesting a work-around, not a solution.  Why would it be logical or expected behavior for the user to immediately save a file right after opening it. That's not exactly convenient. I don't have to do that on any other software.

                               

                              This file save issue is absolutely a UX failure.  If multiple experienced users are often finding themselves saving in the wrong folder (due to an illogical / nonsensical behavior of the software) and wasting valuable time, then that is a program flaw not simply user error.  I don't have this problem with other software.  It is bad design, plain and simple.

                               

                              And your work-around doesn't really solve the problem either.   Because if I switch to another project and then come back to the original project I have to do the "instant save after loading" all over again.

                               

                              Another example of poor design... if you upgrade After Effects, it leaves a ton of garbage files in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp\Adobe\After Effects with the older version number.  It never prompts you if you want to delete or clear out the old files. It just orphans the folder and can leave you with 150+ GB of wasted space on your C drive since every point upgrade creates a new subfolder in this location.  Bad design again.  Especially considering a lot of people are using SSD's now as boot drives and they don't have large capacities.  Then there's putting low contrast small blue numbers (a color which naturally recedes) on a gray background. Bad design again.

                               

                              I don't understand the apologist attitude.  Acknowledge the flaw.  After Effects does many things right -- but it's far from perfect.  This file save headache is just plain poor design and nothing else.  It's 2016, user's shouldn't have to be inconvenienced with such long-developed software. File handling should be sensible and predictable.

                              • 12. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                                Gutter-Fish Level 4

                                Have you ever heard the expression "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."?  If you are "often" finding that you save in the wrong folder you need to pay closer attention.  Maybe pin a post-it to your monitor to remind yourself that AE does not default to the source folder.  Would it be better if it worked the way you want?  Yes.   But if you find yourself REPEATEDLY saving your files in the wrong place that's your fault, not AE's. 

                                • 13. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  On a Mac you can arrange your finder windows to present you with convent options. It makes it much easier to get where you want to go and not make mistakes. A very well organized file structure and workflow makes it a lot easier also. I've been using the same file structure for years for all of my work. Because of multiple hot swappable arrays and the way I manage my files I never spend any time backing anything up, I just swap disks. I can find footage that I worked on 15 years ago and useless as the sep files are, I can find them too. There are notes on all projects and rendered footage so anything I have done in the last 15 years is just a pop the appropriate drive in and browse to the file away.

                                  Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 9.47.22 PM.png

                                  See my Projects folder right next to the DropBox. I put that there. That's my drive array for storing all of my projects. One click there, One on the job folder and I'm ready to save my work. There's also a handy little drop down where it says Sample Projects that shows you the breadcrumbs and the most recent places you visited. This makes it very easy to pay attention.

                                  Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 9.51.29 PM.png

                                  The system works for all paperwork, time tracking, job tracking, footage, everything that comes through my shop. If you are doing a bunch of AE work I would suggest that you develop and follow a bullet proof workflow for all projects that simple enough to always follow.

                                   

                                  I'm not saying that the UI can't be improved but for me and my workflow I haven't put things where I couldn't find them in more than 15 years.

                                  • 14. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                                    nicknameforme Level 1

                                    That expression "fool me once" -- pertains to dealings with liars, con artists and hustlers.   I don't think Adobe After Effects, a professional tool which costs upwards of $50/month should be in the same category.  I also don't think using Post-It notes is a very sophisticated nor reliable solution.

                                     

                                    Keep in mind, this problem only happens when switching projects.  Ordinarily when you save iterations, once you're already working with a project, the problem is not there. It's only upon the initial switch between project folders which is why I (and many others) aren't watchful for it.  More often that not, I'm just versioning up within a project, so the gotcha only happens when I switch.  And I usually catch it - but not always.

                                     

                                    It's a design flaw.  Not a single argument in this thread which defends it's existence or suggests ways to prevent it, has changed that.  It is not a logical assumption that a user would want to save a project in the last used "save" folder versus saving in the folder from which the latest file was opened. And it should be easily fixable.

                                     

                                    This thread is SIX years old.  Where is the follow through Adobe??? 

                                    • 15. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                                      Gutter-Fish Level 4

                                      The expression refers to the fact that ultimately we are all personally responsible to work within the parameters of our reality however unjust or illogical it may be.  I was not justifying the behavior, I was not being an apologist....I was simply saying it is what it is, and offering a very non-specific suggestion about how to avoid "repeatedly" misplacing your files.  It was practical advice in a sense.  Not nearly as practical as Rick Gerard's advice but I tend to be a little more abstract and jerky... "Give a man a fish, teach a man to fish"... sort of a thing.    AE's weird behavior is the fault of the people who programmed it & it's ultimately their responsibility to fix it.  I was just offering you advice based on the fact you said you were often and repeatedly misplacing project files.

                                      • 16. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                                        nicknameforme Level 1

                                        That is a complete misunderstanding of that expression.  It says "fool me once"... it is clearly referring to an instance where a second actor is intentionally deceiving the subject, and yes, about personal responsibility in that limited context.  Again -- it is not analogous or relevant to the behavior of a professional software program at all..    Unless you think the job of After Effects is to hoodwink its users into making mistakes and wasting their time.

                                         

                                        And then there's the grandiose language -- "...within the parameters of our reality..."   Where do you get this stuff?  More importantly, why has this thread devolved into an obscure discussion about user behavior instead of being about the logical (or more accurately, illogical) workflow of AE.  It's a software forum, not a self-help group.  The original title of the thread says it clearly:

                                        "How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?"

                                         

                                        Why is blame being deflected back on user's when it's so obviously a foreseeable (and now well established) problem, and therefore s User Experience design failure.  It's just ridiculous.  And I repeat -- the thread is SIX YEARS OLD and the problem remains.

                                        • 17. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                                          Gutter-Fish Level 4

                                          I think you and I just think differently.  Again my response was intended only as practical advice toward your stating that you are repeatedly and often misplacing files.

                                          I'm sorry if you took it as if I were blaming you for something.

                                          I hope Adobe gets their S together so you can stop misplacing files.

                                          • 18. Re: How do I prevent AE from saving .AEP files in the wrong folders?
                                            Nic_Petersen Level 2

                                            One of the program philosophies of all Adobe programs is this "If you did it before, you must want to do it again." That's always been my experience with any Adobe product, and while yes, it can be annoying from time to time, over all it keeps me working more efficiently. Why? Because more often than not, what I did before is indeed what I want to do again. That's how design goes - I think that we all understand that.

                                             

                                            If you're here to vent about the program philosophy, I get it, but that's not really the most efficient use of your time or this forum's. Follow Todd Kopriva's advice: submit the feature request and do your best to work within the Adobe Method until such time as your feature request is answered.