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Now I know this composition looks perfectly fine right now and that's just because the After Effects project can actually find all the external files that are linked to it. But on occasion, you'll open up a project and not be able to see any of the files or some of the files will be missing. And it'll be kind of terrifying because they'll look like color bars. And the first time I ever saw that, I panicked. I don't want you to panic, so just kind of follow with me as I mess this up and then show you how to fix it.
So first thing, with my External_ Files here, I'm just going to open up my Photoshop document and if you right- click on any file, you can always say Reveal in Finder or in Windows Explorer. So when I reveal that, here's my Photoshop document, I'm just going to do something kind of scary, and drag this to the Trash. Do not do this on your system. But when you do that, I can come back in here and then right-click on here and say Reload Footage.
And it's saying it can't be found. And then, these are the color bars that you will see. You can make footage offline, like if this is something you're trying to do, you can right-click on a piece of footage and then say Replace Footage with a Placeholder, and if we just click OK, it'll do kind of the same thing. But basically, any time you run into this problem, you can always re-link the footage. Since I didn't actually move the Illustrator file at all, I should be able to right-click on it and just say Reload Footage and it goes back into the Finder and finds it, but sometimes that doesn't happen.
So if you right-click on it and go to Replace Footage, I can go to File and then navigate to my Footage folder in my exercise files, and under Illustrator here at the top, just to remind myself what it is, it's saying it's the Blades layer of kineteco_02. So let's select kineteco_02 and choose Open, and then it's going to say, okay, is this all layers or can I choose a layer? So select Choose Layer and click and choose Blades.
Now the only other thing you want to look at, is the actual dimensions of the file that you're reconnecting. Now as I look up here in the left side of my Project panel, I can see it's only 281x242 pixels, and I know that I would never create a composition that small, so I'm going to choose Layer Size for my footage dimensions. Now when I click OK, that will be re- linked and it populates just perfectly well. We can do the same exact thing for this Photoshop document, but if I click here and say Replace Footage and go to File, I would obviously need to move that back into my Photoshop folder.
So let me cancel this really quick, and in my Finder I'm going to pop open the Trash and drag my Eco_Shapes layers back up into the Photoshop folder. Now when we jump back into the Project panel, I can right-click and try Reload Footage and--nope, okay, I'm going to have to Replace Footage. I can go to my File Options here and navigate in my Footage folder to the Photoshop folder, choose Eco_Shapes. And unlike the last time when I re- linked, After Effects did find the other missing item.
A lot of times if you have multiple items within one folder that are missing, you can re-link and it will find all of the subsequent files, so you don't necessarily always have to right-click and find those files. Now one last thing, on occasion, when you open After Effects projects, you'll get an error message saying that it can't find certain items. If there are a lot of those items and you have a lot of folder structure in your Project panel, if you click up here and start typing the word missing, any file that's missing will actually popup here in your Project panel.
And you can right-click on those and go through the same process that we just went through when it comes to re-linking footage.
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