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Comps going off line is a bug, although I am usually able to re-link it.
Make sure you are creating comps in the "same" AE project. Leave AE open when replacing footage with AE comps. They will load in the same project which should make re-linking easier.
(can't believe I spelled Effects with an "A")
Thank you for your quick response - I appreciate it. I thought it was a bug as I am also able to recreate the issue on another machine. I started out creating all the comps in just one AE project. I ran into two problems doing it that way:
1. AE would totally crash once I hit near 10 or so clips in one project. It would then never reload that project file without immediately crashing.
2. When the bug happens, I have more clips go offline than when I use multiple AE projects linked to just a few clips at a time, rather than a bunch of clips to just a single AE project.
This is probably the most stressful period in my life and having this issue come up, unresolved, is costing me time, money, and health. I now have to completely hault post production and hold yet another meeting to figure out if it is worth the trouble to continue with this workflow and required effects. This is the one time I need CS5 to be solid and it's not. argh....
I feel your pain. I've had several problems with this too on MacOS - dynamically linked AE clips becoming unlinked or replaced with OTHER clips.
This is completely unacceptable, and I will look into switching to a different suite when I'm done with this project.