I am currently cleaning up a media database at a company. The database is in extreme disarray because of a relative constant fluctuation of freelancers (like myself) working there. As most of us know freelancers tend to have short-term interests and tend to work as fast as possible, often with little sympathy for the next person who may have to work with a project or in a system. ... OK that is for a different discussion.
My challenge is to restructure a server filled with footage assets and projects, redundant (... in a bad way) and scatterd and all over the place.
I have begun to do this by locating the "important" and/ or currents Ae project files. These have been copied to a central location and "Reduce Project"-ed. I am now going through the individual projects and "Reveal in Finder"-ing their assets individually and then moving (not copying) those assets to a new centralized location.
I am not using "Collect Files" because many of the assets are large and this would result in further duplication of already duplicate assets.
1.Question: is there a function to collect files by moving them rather than copying them to a new location in Ae?
My plan is to separate the used assets in the general system from those that are not being used. Once I have the active assets in one place I can basically remove everything else from the main system.
Doing this in a safe and orderly manner is time consuming and somewhat tedious.
2.Question: Does anyone know of a script or can suggest another form of automation that could help with this?
I also wanted to share two bits of experience so far while doing this job.
While cleaning up the projects one tool in particular has been very useful; "TidyUp" http://aescripts.com/tidyup/ by Alan Eddie
This script is the first step in getting Ae projects built by several different people over a span of time into a type of standard structure. Very helpful.
I am also begining to understand how Ae re-links footage in the finder. It appears that Ae will find footage in two sub-folder hierarchies below an asset that has been found. that means if I re-link a .mov in a folder, Ae looks for other missing footage in two sub-folder below that root folder. Ae will not look "up" to any folders outside of that root folder (is that right?). Because of this I have been moving the used footage to folders with an as flat as possible folder structure as possible. That means one root folder (footage_all), several project folders (projectA, projectB, projectC), and in those folders only assets, or folders with image sequences. Assets that are used in more than one project get put in the root folder (footage_all).
Any comments or suggestions would be welcome.
God, i'm struggling with the same exact problem too. If you find a solution, please do let me know