I never, EVER use a default location. Not ever.
That's because there are far more files associated with a given project than just an AE project file. It's best to organize your work by project... which means a default location is senseless.
Do...do you not have designated folders in your documents for each project you do?
I'm with Dave and probably any other person on the planet for that matter.
It doesn't matter how small the project for me, it's gets its own location. Period.
You would lose things left and right if you did not. So, to your question, you don't really want to change the default location. You simply want to always organize every project in its own folder.
Now - for organization, perhaps on the drive where you keep this, maybe you have something like a folder that says 2017 Projects, 2018, etc and within those, have separate folders. Or maybe you want folders with Movies, Commercials, Weddings, etc....and then folders within by project. Whatever works for ya but by all means, advice point number 1 is always have them in their own project.
Just another point, not to ramble but I do things for a particular brand quite a bit and since I do, I have a folder I call "Reusable Assets" because I know exactly where to find them throughout my separate projects. It would be comparable to having a sound effects folder that you draw from, etc.
1 person found this helpful
No matter what field or discipline of computer graphics this is CG:101
Before you do anything else you create a project directory & subdirectories.
Some programs (like Maya) help to automate the process by providing an interface
that lets you create & name your main directory & all your subfolders.
I wrote a simple .bat file to do it for me in windows. I go through this process before I even open AE.
"MD" is the windows system command for "make directory"
I typed the following four lines into Notepad & then saved it a .bat file.
Now I just double click like any executable file and it automatically creates a project directory tree.
MD "H:\projectsAfterEffects\Work\new-project\for upload"
It creates the main directory (new project) on my H:\ drive in my "work" folder which is in my "AE Projects" folder. It then creates 3 subfolders: Graphics, Audio and For Delivery. After I run that /bat file I give the main directory a project specific name .
Finally I open after effects, create a new project (using my work template which also is set up with multiple organizational folders in the project panel to keep all my assets neatly organized) & then immediately save it in the project directory I just created.
Now I can begin to work.