Asset Management for Team Animations

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As a senior project manager, two of my biggest concerns are asset management and project setup. My team is ready to begin animation next week, so setting up our project hierarchy is what I’m dedicating most of my brain-space to at the moment.

I’m trying to decide if I should create one giant project folder that includes every asset in our animation (organized into subfolders, of course), or if I should break it down into individual, self-contained projects for each scene.

Here’s what I’m thinking:
On one hand, having a large project will guarantee that every scene is referencing the same files, without needing to duplicate updates into separate sub-projects or break the local references by linking outside a project. I want to minimize the chances of human error, and this seems like the best way to ensure that everything is always consistent.

 

On the other hand, having smaller sub-projects would allow for a much easier time rendering locally, without needing to drag an enormous project folder to the desktop every time we want to use a machine. I’m worried that storing everything in one place will cause problems due to the sheer volume of data sitting in one project folder. Does the render farm try to load the entire project folder, or only the files referenced within a scene?

 

I emailed our adviser Nick and asked for his opinion, as he has tons of experience working in large teams and may be able to provide some valuable insights. This will be a major topic at our weekly meeting next Wednesday.