Countless times over the past several years, either myself or a co-worker has wondered “Why the hell do I have to re-import this entire After Effects project every time there’s a change?” Apparently, Chris Roe was thinking the same thing.
If you ask me, a good post-production product needs three things: ease of use, speed and great customer service. Project Sync has all three. The idea behind this Adobe After Effects plug-in is simple: import an existing project into your current working project, click Sync and your projects are now in sync. It’s as simple as that.
Let’s explore it a bit more. From your working project, import the master project from which you would like to use elements, comps, layers or the entire project.
Once the project is imported, click on its folder and sync it back to itself in Finder or Explorer. I emailed Chris about automating this feature and he said he’d look into it.
Once the project is synced, you see a Sync folder in your Project panel. I’m assuming this is meant to be ignored, as I haven’t needed to do anything with it yet.
At this point, any changes made to the external project will ripple through to the current project.
After a certain amount of time, designated by the user in the Option settings, After Effects will look for any changes and notify you with an iOS style notification window.
If you click on Manage, another window pops up that allows you to manage the synced projects.
So there it is, a simple app that does what most people I know, think should be a permanent feature of After Effects.
One last thing that I’d like to mention is Chris Roe himself. At the time of my install, Chris had yet to create a CS5.5 installer which is what we are currently running at the office. Chris promptly returned many emails from me regarding the manual installation process and even jumped on a chat service to walk me through it. He was extremely patient and helpful the entire time. Chris also stressed that he welcomes any ideas as I continue to put Project Sync through the paces.
I strongly recommend picking up a copy of Project Sync as soon as it becomes available. You’ll wonder how you got along without it.