Normally, I'd say go with the layered PSDs, as it's much easier to manage and there isn't any system drag as a result. However, I believe I've uncovered a bug when it comes to updating multi-layered PSDs imported as individual layers or as sequences. You can read about and see my screen caps in this thread: CS5: Bug with Photoshop documents?
I can't get anyone else to confirm the problem, so it's entirely possible that it's isolated to my computer, but I'd approach it with reservations. Note that there are no problems actually importing and editing layered PSDs; it's just that if you're bouncing back and forth between PS and PPro to make changes to the PSD, you might not get the results you're after in PPro.
So, I guess that if this bug is fo' real, you might want to skip importing the layered PSDs as sequences/layers, and import them as flattened images, instead.
I'd recommend creating layered PSD file for use in After Effects, if only because managing one source file is easier. There should be no performance hit for doing so. In fact, I can conceive of there being a slight performance hit to doing it as 12 separate PSDs.
Colin seems to be suggesting that you may have reasons to do otherwise for Premiere Pro, but I haven't been able to reproduce the issue that he mentioned.
If I understand your needs, I do similar with Layer Comps from PS.
Hope that helps,
I will try the layered workflow because its an easier Photoshop workflow in this instance (and also see if I get the issue that Colin is reffering to).
Assumeably from the responses...a 24mb 12 layer psd file is managed as 12 x 2mb psd's in PPRO and AEFX
Actually, After Effects handles PSDs pretty much the same way that Photoshop does. After Effects contains a "headless" version of Photoshop within it. That's how After Effects can render layer styles, 3D object layers, and everything else that Photoshop has; it's using a subset of Photoshop within itself to do so.
Are you using all 12 layers at once, as one comp? Or do you just need 12 "individual" graphics? If it's the former, I'd suggest importing as a sequence, which will create a sequence (duh) with all the layers in the same relative order; you can then use the layers individually or use the entire comp as a single element like any other nested sequence. I routinely work with 6-12 layers, without an issue.
If it's the latter, and you just need 12 separate pieces, go the Individual Layers route: all the layers will be individual clips in a bin, named the same as the PSD, without the sequence. Either way, it's pretty easy to manage.
As long as the updating issue I'm having doesn't affect you, keeping all the elements in one file will probably make life a lot easier when it comes to asset management. Plus, I find it's a lot easier to maintain the look and design of elements when you can easily copy and paste styles and effects within the layers of a single comp.
The project is "Earth Zooms" ( see previous thread)
I have 5 of these to do in AEFX and I also will be doing mockups in PremPro.
I am unlikely to need to go back to PS on these at all because I am setting them up in PS in such a way, there will be no need. Thats why layers is the easier workflow...and also, it nicely groups the files required for each Earth Zoom ( eg Earthzoom New Zealand.psd, Earthzoom Switzerland.psd.... etc)
So effectively . Each layered PSD will have12 layers that will be 12 layers in AEFX Comp and as a (mockup) sequence in PPRO
Sounds cool. As you've suggested, do your mock-ups in PPro using the imported PSDs as sequences, and then you can send the sequences to AE using Dynamic Link, where you can tweak them and take advantage of things like subpixel accuracy and motion blur. I find it a lot easier to do my rough animations in PPro, where you can get realtime playback (even pre-MPE, for the most part) and then do the finals in AE with all the bells and whistles. This is a type of workflow that no other NLE can even dream of offering.
This time I need to have the layers individually in AEFX because thats the only way the technique works...so... I wont be able
DL to/from PPRO
Sequence in PPRO is just for the rough cut and timings so it is really a two part process for each of the earth zooms. The AEFX version will be in the final edits. Good old "intermediate" clip.
I wont be able DL to/from PPRO
Sure you will; just select all your PSD layers, right-click, and select Replace with After Effects Composition. The layers in PPro will be replaced with the single AE comp, of course, but what opens up in AE will be a comp with all of your PSD layers in place, along with any animation you created in the PPro sequence. I do this often, and it works great--saves you from having to redo any of your animation work.
The PPRo initial edit will only be the psd source images in a sequnce with a cross dissolve between them.
ie. A simulated Earth zoom and no animation
The AEFX earth zoom requires a lot more than that to make it work. eg stitched frames in motion, cloud layers etc...
Iintermediates really will be the most flexible workflow this time.