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Clean Up Your After Effects Projects for Archiving

Danny Greer

Here’s a simple trick for removing elements that have made their way into your After Effects project but aren’t being used.

When you’re furiously working on a project it’s all too easy to let After Effects organization go by the wayside.  When you finally do come up for air you’ve got unnecessary files, too many compositions and sometimes, complete disorder!  Luckily there’s a quick After Effects trick that can have your projects back in order in no-time flat.  Creative Cow contributor Kevin P. McAuliffe shares this lesser-known feature that will quickly clean up your Adobe After Effects projects by discarding elements you aren’t using.

When you’re cleaning up an After Effects project, and especially before archiving, you’ll likely want to have one master composition and all the files that are associated with it.  If you didn’t end up using a particular graphic or video that made it’s way into an After Effects project than there’s no reason for archiving it.

The trick for cleaning up your After Effects project:

  • Highlight the composition you want to save.
  • From the menu bar choose File > Reduce Project.
  • After Effects will confirm the number of items deleted.

When using this feature After Effects will only save the selected composition and the files that you used in it.  For a demonstration of how to clean up your After Effects projects check out Kevin’s video tutorial:

Whether you’re looking to clean up your projects for a more streamlined work environment or you’re tidying up before archiving, this is one function every After Effects user should know!  Thanks for sharing, Kevin.