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Folder Structure

This is usually something I can be quite good at up to a point. That point being that something has drastically changed or I had to be quick to dump files and results in me being lazy and not being able to organise data until I archive everything and start the folder structure again.

So with that, you should be able to understand that video editing is a nightmare to have organised and it really does not have to be. Just simple folder management would solve this. Just need to know what you would be managing. What do I mean by this? Well, the first time I started to use premiere pro I had all the files in a folder called projects. Then, when actually working on the project, I just started linking videos and audio files from the folders located on my PC. This works very well but improvements can be made.

Now I have a Synology NAS and it is the perfect device to backup and store large files that I use to work on. It is also a great central location to read/retrieve files from. I wanted to be able to edit my project files from any machine without having to transfer files, which at the time I thought was not possible.

My setup now is pretty good. My i7 has 1TB SSD which can be used for project data files. The project folder is synced to the NAS using the Synology Cloud Station Drive. This acts as a backup and also using the Synology Cloud Station Drive, I was able to sync in real time the data to my second machine. The issue I had was I could not do the same with the laptop as the project files require certain folder paths. I have found a way around this issue but I might as well describe my new solution.

With the increase of creative work I will be doing in Premiere Pro and After Effects, I need a folder structure to keep up with me. Having a solution that is automated to a point that I would no longer have to worry if a file is not in the appropriate folder is brilliant. It would allow more time to actually work on the projects calmly and be able to archive my projects in a more organised manner.

So without further ado, below is the folder structure that improves my productivity.

Project Folder – This is the root folder (Synology Cloud Station Drive points to)

  • 01 Project Files
    • 01 Premiere – save Premiere Pro Project Files here
      • ‘Name’_v.001.prproj – This is the naming scheme for a project each iteration that has had many changed done to it will be saved in ‘Name’_v.002.prproj and so on.
    • 02 After Effects (save your After Effects Project Files here)
      • ‘Name’_v.001.aep – This is the naming scheme for a project each iteration that has had many changed done to it will be saved in ‘Name’_v.002.aep and so on.
    • Additional folders such as “03 Photoshop” may be added in the future if I decide to use additional programs in future
  • 02 Media – This folder will house media files that are being used in current projects. They will be automatically synced to a folder on the NAS
    • 01 Video
      • Background
      • Characters
      • Foreground
      • Masks Potential
      • – There will be additional folders to separate the type of footage by categories. This will make it quicker to find the video I am looking for. Additionally, I will include a shortcut to the NAS that will allow me to retrieve footage that I might have removed.
    • 02 Audio
      • 01 Recorded Audio
      • 02 Music
      • 03 SFX
      • – There will be additional folders to separate the type of audio by categories. This will make it quicker to find the audio I am looking for. Additionally, I will include a shortcut to the NAS that will allow me to retrieve audio that I might have removed.
    • 03 Images
      • – There will be additional folders to separate the type of images by categories. This will make it quicker to find the image I am looking for. Additionally, I will include a shortcut to the NAS that will allow me to retrieve the images that I might have removed.
    • 04 Graphics
      • Light Leaks
      • – There will be additional folders to separate the type of graphics by categories. This will make it quicker to find the graphics I am looking for. Additionally, I will include a shortcut to the NAS that will allow me to retrieve graphics that I might have removed.
  • 03 Exports
    • 01 AE Exports – For exported After Effects comps
      • 01 Masks – Lossless exports of masked footage
      • 02 Twitch
      • 03 Twixtor
      • 04 GFX
      • 05 Edit
    • 02 Rough Cuts – 001, 002 grouped by development phase
      • ‘Name’_pre-alpha.001 – Extremely Basic
      • ‘Name’_ alpha.001 – Extremely Basic
      • ‘Name’_beta.001 – Working Progress
      • ‘Name’_delta.001 – Share to Focus Group
    • 03 Final Exports – Watermarked
      • ‘Name’_v.001 – Share to Google Drive. These will be versions and revision exports of the final product with watermarks.
  • 04 Documents
    • 01 Image archive – Screenshots of how the edit was done
    • 02 Video Recording – Video recording of the time-lapse of the edit
    • 03 Document – How the project was done.
  • 05 Final Assets
    • I use this folder to place all final video assets, such as the final video export, thumbnails, closed captions etc.
  • 06 Dump Files
    • For quick edits and random trial and error.
  • 07 Internet Source
    • Testing something that came from the internet. Not to be mixed in with my work as we don’t want confusion.

There are additional things I could look into using that would help me organise my files. The application DropIt is a software I use to sort my files on my PC automatically. I can repurpose that to have files copied to NAS locations and automatically sorted from the top level into the correct subfolders, such as sorts video files dumped at the top level in the subfolder videos.

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