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Renaming and Removing Items

You can't rename a footage item in the Project window or even give it a temporary alias (as you can in Adobe Premiere Pro, for example). Don't worry: You can rename it when it becomes a layer in a composition. (In later chapters, you'll see how this naming scheme allows you to give unique names to each layer while still tracing their lineage back to a single footage file.) You can, of course, name folders and compositions in the Project window.

Just as important as organizing the elements you need is disposing of the elements you don't need. You can remove individual items, or have After Effects automatically discard the items that haven't been used in a composition.

To rename folders or compositions in the Project window

  1. In the Project window, select a folder or composition.
  2. Press Return (Mac) or Enter (Windows).

    The name of the item appears highlighted ( Figure 3.33 ).


    Figure 3.33 Select a folder or composition and press Return (Mac) or Enter (Windows) to highlight its name…

  3. Enter a name for the folder or composition ( Figure 3.34 ).

    Figure 3.34 …and then type a new name in the text box. Press Return (Mac) or Enter (Windows) again to apply the new name.

  4. Press Return (Mac) or Enter (Windows).

    The new name of the item is no longer highlighted and becomes the current name.

To remove items from the project

  1. In the Project window, select one or more items.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Press Delete.
    • Click the Trash button trash.gifat the bottom of the Project window ( Figure 3.35 ).

      Figure 3.35 Click the Trash button at the bottom of the Project window to delete selected items.

    • Drag the items to the Trash button at trash.gifthe bottom of the Project window.

      If any of the items are compositions or are being used in a composition, After Effects asks you to confirm that you want to delete the items ( Figure 3.36 ).


      Figure 3.36 After Effects warns you if you attempt to delete an item that is in use.

  3. If After Effects prompts you to confirm your choice, click Delete to remove the footage from the project or Cancel to cancel the command and retain the footage in the project.

    The footage is removed from the project and all compositions in the project.

To remove unused footage from the project

  • Choose File > Remove Unused Footage ( Figure 3.37 ).

    Figure 3.37 Choose File > Remove Unused Footage to remove items that aren't used in a composition.

    All footage items that aren't currently used in a composition are removed from the project.

To remove duplicate footage from the project

  • Choose File > Consolidate All Footage ( Figure 3.38 ).

    Figure 3.38 Choose File > Consolidate All Footage to remove duplicate items from the Project window.

    All duplicate footage items are removed from the project.

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