Project folder structures?

How do you like to organize your project folder structures?

I know that this is super-specific according to studio and pipeline, but I’m looking for a little inspiration. I’m currently evaluating NIM – big thanks to Andy for your recent Logik Live! – so that means I’m also re-evaluating my pipeline overall with fresh eyes.

I’ll share first, with the caveat that I’m looking for change. This has worked well for our design and motion work, but as we incorporate more video and VFX work, our structure feels a little naïve. It’s missing some important organization and flow.

One of our “elements” (the base unit within our overall project folder, with one of these structures for each major deliverable) looks like this:

    • After Effects
    • Audition
    • Cinema4D
    • Illustrator
    • Photoshop
    • Premiere
    • Audio
    • Icons
    • Logos
    • Stills
    • Video
    • Ae Output
    • Au Output
    • C4D Output
    • Pr Output

How do you keep your folders neat, tidy, and organized?


FYI, zip files are allowed to be posted on this site. This is how I do it. But I’m like 98% Flame, 2 percent other apps, so, its much more IO and Flame centric. And its just me. So, likely unhelpful. (50.4 KB)

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Thank you, it’s very helpful! We’re not IO or Flame-centric enough.

Christoph Zapletal gives a really good and informative talk about naming of file structures along with a neat link to an app which can link your projects and files, in one of his Fxphd courses on Flame fundamentals. If you have a subscription its worth watching.


I am also very flame-centric, but one thing I try to do is keep the subfolders to a minimum.


I’d be happy to show you my project structure but they become quite personal and get tweaked over time.

I like it to have an obvious structure so if I am looking for ‘that thing’ then I know where to go for it. The IN OUT folder (IO) is frustrating because if I am looking for some tracking data. I want to find it in the [shot number]/camera folder not in some dated folder hidden away.

We add a few more here and there as we find ourselves wanting.

We have NiM and the shows folder becomes important for shot based work. NiM uses Assets and Shots.

I notice that both you and @randy use numbers. I haven’t seen that before. Is that just to order the priority not the alphabet?

Correct. I try to keep things at the top that i use the most and navigate to, plus it helps me a ton with muscle memory and navigating. I suspect that the artists would love it, but the sysadmins wouldnt.

Many thanks for the replies!

I will check out Christoph’s recommendations.

I agree with Randy on numbers for muscle memory/navigation ease for artists. I was also using numbers to try to make the pipeline’s flow for each element explicit (input before raw assets, raw assets before intermediates, intermediates before WIPs/finals).

We had also used dated subfolders for a long time, but I also found it too hard to find what I needed when I needed it and moved to a more-files-in-fewer-folders approach.

One thing I’m struggling a little with: organizing deliverables. We usually have many deliverables per job, so I’ve tried to keep deliverables in a sub-folder of their element folder (show- or shot-level folder in NIM terms). This is great from an element perspective, because everything related to each element, including finals, is in one folder. But it’s terrible from a job perspective, because our finals are not automatically collected in one easy-to-deliver place.

@PlaceYourBetts and @randy, you both seem to be using job-level deliverables folders. Are you only ever doing complete finishes, or do you also have to deliver shot-based work? If you’re doing anything shot-based, how do you manage where the outputs go?

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I normally deliver edits and occasional individual shots from an edit. So I use sequence publish when I need to supply them as individual shots.

One great thing about NiM is that you can echo your shot folders, or your assets, in any folder you like. This can give you the structure you need, anywhere. Combine that with your shot tokens and you can easily write an export preset which will enable you to bulk export and automatically sort into shot folders.

Or you can use the same tokens and just modify your NiM write node to render to your deliverables folder.

Still rocking the 20000s?

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20XXX = 2020
21XXX = 2021

How come nobody else does it like that?

Ah. I thought it was the NY job number. However, backwards dating is very very sensible. And also defacto I believe in Sweden or Norway.


Nordic is where its at.


I always thought that’d be a great band name.

‘Famous in Sweden.’

Small hill to die on @johnt


Bad coding like the millennial bug but I don’t care.

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Det vet du.

Wasn’t that Roxette?