James Rafferty
Multimedia Coordinator

The importance of being organised (multimedia project workflow)

Hey Adobe educators, it has become increasingly apparent to me that whilst software training is obviously essential the importance of being organised and structured in your projects is often overlooked. I Always try to impress on staff and students the benefits of organising your projects correctly (for your own workflow and for collaborating with others) and was wondering if anyone out there has produced any specific training or resources addressing this issue?

** UPDATE **

In support of this topic I have uploaded some sample Video Project Folder Structure Templates in teaching materials here:

Happy Editing.

  • Audition

    Audio recording, mixing, and restoration.

  • Adobe Creative Cloud

    Creative apps and services for everyone.

  • Adobe Premiere Pro

    Edit media in its native format and create productions for film, TV, and web.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • After Effects

    Create motion graphics and visual effects for film, TV, video, and web.

  • Bridge

    Centralized desktop access for all your files and assets.

  • Illustrator

    Create beautiful vector art and illustrations.

  • InDesign

    Craft elegant layouts at your desk or on the go.

  • Character Animator

    Turn 2D artwork into live, animated characters.

5 / 5 • 11 Ratings

Comments (17)

Write a reply...
or Join for free to view all comments and participate in the discussion.

Catherine Lindsay

Posted on 12/5/17 7:55:26 PM Permalink

In game production, we all used JIRA, a software by Atlassian, which enabled us illustrators to organise and view hundreds of components in a project which had to be illustrated, record our start and finish times daily on each thing, ​as well as production departments to interact with it and later make estimates based on totalled up time recorded for each component's completion. I hated it at first but when you have to drop one thing and switch to another at a moment's notice it came into its own and enabled us to spin many plates in the air without losing track. It actually expanded my capacity for organisation in the long run, which is what you want.

James Rafferty

Posted on 12/5/17 10:44:51 PM Permalink

JIRA looks interesting (I'd never heard of it before) thanks for the comment. This seems very useful for team collaboration and managing large volumes of assets but not so for my workflow (given I manage the entire video workflow process). I;ve recently started using which has enhanced my ability to receive feedback and get input throughout the approval stage of production.

Catherine Lindsay

Posted on 12/6/17 1:05:17 AM Permalink

​Thank you James, yes it is interesting and a great tool for business as well, as jobs can be costed out for the current project and estimates made for future projects based on the recorded time spent on job components. There are some YouTube videos on it, if you do a search for JIRA or Atlassian. An interesting point is that Sydney guys started Atlassian, which I only discovered after a year using it. Their offices were only a few blocks from mine!

Bill Crosbie

Posted on 12/5/17 7:52:17 PM Permalink

​In the past I used a corporate style guide that showed not just the artistic details and limitations on logo size, typographic choice etc, but also file naming conventions and directory structure. I tried to get my students to see that in a work environment it isn't your individual preference for naming that matters, it is making sure that the team can find and utilize your work.

​I keep thinking that one thing I should do is either automate the creation of the project directory structure for intro students, or have a script walk their directories and flag them if they haven't created a hierarchy according to the project specs.

James Rafferty

Posted on 12/5/17 10:33:13 PM Permalink

Is it possible to see this structure and naming conventions? Sounds interesting and useful.

Alan Kent

Posted on 12/5/17 6:04:44 PM Permalink

​I came across this *after* writing a blog post on ​how I was organizing my project, from more a project management point of view. I would love to understand better “best practices” for linking Ai/Ch/Au/Ae/Pr projects together.

For example, is it best to have multiple AE and PR projects say for each scene, then do final stiching together of the final generated video? My laptop takes 1hr to do final media generation for 1 min of animation (!). I am thinking to start a new PR project per scene so I can generate smaller video files, then just append them in a final PR project when all done. Is that a good approach? Would that impact the recommended directory structure?

James Rafferty

Posted on 12/5/17 10:40:20 PM Permalink

I don't think having multiple projects will help given you can have seperate comps (AE) or sequences (PR) for your individual scenes and then combine together in a master edit comp/sequence. The dynamic linking functionality of Adobe allows you to utilise the different application files inside each other without the need for rendering ir out (thus allowing you to make further changes). This obviously will slow down your workflow if you are using large files but works perfectly in most projects. Given your laptop is 'slow' you might find that creating the elements in the specific application, rendering out then compiling in PR (for a final video) will allow for a speedier edit process. Maybe give both a go and see which method works best on your current laptop. I'm off to read your article...

Alan Kent

Posted on 12/5/17 11:59:19 PM Permalink

​I will experiment a bit more. I can preview quickly in CH and its very responsive. But when I dynamically link in AE or PR it seems to re-render all the scenes, and take a LOT longer. It feels like I have something set up wrong, but I have not tracked it down yet (which is why I was curious about recommended setup instructions).

James Rafferty

Posted on 12/6/17 12:54:32 AM Permalink

I don't have too much experience with using CH in projects but from what I can see online (and from using dynamic linking) it shouldn't need to render the scenes, try this:

Use Dynamic Link:

Launch After Effects. Drag the scene from the Project panel in Character Animator to the Project panel in After Effects and then right-click it and select New Comp from Selection. When you use Dynamic Link, any changes you make to the puppet in Character Animator will automatically update in After Effects.


Alan Kent

Posted on 12/6/17 2:26:39 AM Permalink

Thanks for the suggestion. That is what I do (plus a few other variations). For example, I have my CH scene around 10 seconds long, I hit play, it runs through it all real time (no lag, very minor jitter).​ Great experience. I then create a new AE project, drag the scene from CH to AE (sets up dynamic linking), then right click and create composition from selection, and play the composition. Each frame takes one second to render (CPU 100%, 3GB free memory, no disk I/O). (This is in "fast draft" mode.) When it finishes 120 seconds later, you can preview nicely. Maybe this is just necessary delay - its just the instant realtime performance in CH is great, so why does moving over to AE takes x10 longer to render? (The final media encode is taking around 60 mins for 1 minute of animation.) I was hoping I was doing something wrong, so I can get it all going faster.... For example, if I touch the puppet file I assume AE will suddenly try to rerender everything - I cannot check the one scene I was trying to get right quickly.

James Rafferty

Posted on 12/6/17 2:55:21 AM Permalink

I can't say 100% but I assume after effects is having to compress all the layers in your CH file down into a flat video for playback, similar to how CH exports final files when you are done with your animation. With any dynamic linking it loads the current state of the linked file and if you make a change it needs to go back through and re process all the frames. It is time consuming sometimes (depending on the file complexity, I know even on my fast computer it struggles with massive sessions.

If you are happy with your final CH animations you'd be best to let them all render out overnight so you can use them as footage, it will make things much faster in the final edit stage.

Jonathan Furtado

Posted on 11/21/17 9:33:58 PM Permalink

​Post Haste is one of the only apps I know of that helps in this arena. I do a lot of complete filmmaking projects with my class. Their number one problem is organization.

Anthony Musca

Posted on 12/6/17 1:35:55 AM Permalink

post haste has really caught my interest, is it free? the download page doesn't say anything about cost​. I really can see it being useful in my last year of study next year, for the massive 2 month assignments we normally get

James Rafferty

Posted on 12/6/17 2:02:51 AM Permalink

Yes it appears to be free, I've installed it and there has been no call to purchase.

scott woods

Posted on 10/31/17 12:39:18 AM Permalink

​This is a common issue with my students, thanks for the resource very helpful.

Zane Sadat

Posted on 10/29/17 2:54:46 AM Permalink

Timely discussion James.. I’ve been dealing with this a lot and love to hear others point views? Also thank you Cameron for the link! Look really helpful! ​

Cameron Dunlop

Posted on 10/29/17 1:35:30 AM Permalink