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Now that you finished a project all the way through the rendering process, your mind should be on one other topic and that is archiving. See, the process of archiving will help you remove the files that After Effects has referenced that you did not use in your final project. And when you do this, then you can actually copy that file or folder to a piece of archived media and then delete anything else that you didn't need. This will save you time, searching through files, and it will actually save you plenty of hard drive space.
In this project here, let's double- click in the Project panel to make sure we have the AA_Output_Comp selected. Now we could sit here and go through each of the pre-compositions and try and figure out what QuickTimes we used or what Illustrator files, et cetera, but there's a much faster way. Before we start removing things from the project, let's take a look at all of the project files that are referenced. With my mouse over the Project panel, I'm going to select the Tilde key which in the upper-left corner of your keyboard under the Escape key.
That will maximize my Project panel. Now, if we click on a folder and Shift +Click to select all of the folders, hold down Command on the Mac, Ctrl on the PC, and open the triangle for one of the folders. Now in here, you can see I have a lot of Illustrator sources. I have my pre-comps, I have a QuickTime pre-render and I have some QuickTime video files. Now rather than having to go through all of this, if you want to save anything out of a project that's involved with a specific composition, you can select that composition in your After Effects project and go up under File and go to Reduce Project.
I don't want to do that with this because our final project was this Output Comp. So I'm going to select the Output Comp and go to File > Reduce Project, and then I'll get a menu that pops up and says After Effects: 12 items that were not used by the selected items have been deleted. You can undo if desired. So I'm going to click OK and now, if you notice, okay, I still have my Illustrator files, but I only have one QuickTime file which is my pre-render and only one layer Solid.
Now if we double-click our Output Comp again, we'll open up our interface and you can see I have my Output comp and my Pre comp and that's pretty much it. You can do this function also when you're archiving in the actual archiving process. So I like to go up under File with my comp selected and just say Collect Files. Now here, it says your project needs to be saved first. Do you want to save it? Just for the sake of having the original archiving project for you to go through this process, I'm going to save this as a different name which you will not see in your exercise files. Okay.
So now I've saved this archived version, I can go to File and choose Collect Files and here I could choose, do I want to collect everything in the project or just for the selected comps? See, if I chose just For Selected Comps, I could then select Reduce Project, which will do the exact same thing that we just went through a few minutes ago. Down here in the lower left, it tells me exactly how much data will be collected, as well as any effects that are used. This report is really helpful because when you collect your file, you could then move it to a different system and on that different system, you would definitely want to know exactly what effects were being used.
So when I click Collect, we can just choose the Ch_07 folder, and notice it will automatically name it the name of your project and then add the word folder at the end because it's going to create a folder. So let's click Save. Now it's going to make a duplicate file of anything that we referenced in this project and then open that project. Now I'm just going to jump to the Finder, so you can see what it looks like when it's actually collected. Navigating from my Desktop to my exercise files and then Ch_07, here you can see I have my sample folder and within that folder, I have my After Effects project, my Footage, any sources that I have which happened to be an Illustrator file, my pre-rendered QuickTime and then, of course, this text document.
And if we look at the text document, here you can see the comps that were collected, the number of files, where it was collected from, and then sure enough, it lists all the plug-ins that you're using. So if you were to send this to another system or archive it, you can just archive this entire folder with everything contained within and you can see that everything has been nicely archived efficiently with only the pieces of footage that you used.
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