After Effects is very helpful when it comes to tracking down missing fonts, effects and assets or footage as they call it. I'm going to explain how to track down all three of those elements in this lesson.
To set things up I've kind of messed with my system a little bit. I created a project in After Effects that used a specific font and used an effect from a third-party provider and then used some assets. Then I saved that project and closed it.
And then to start messing with things first of all I deleted that font. But all is not lost, I've got that fonts install file right here. And then I deleted the effect, but again I've got that effect here, tucked away inside this folder as well. And finally, now I'm going to change one of the file names.
So, I'm going to go over here to my folder here and go to this folder and change the name of this file I'll type and change at the end just to make sure that we have changed it. And I'll close this. And so now it'll be interesting to see how After Effects deals with all those changes.
So, I'm going to track down that project file by going over here, going down to here and scrolling down to the bottom of my collection of projects here to this one here, missing-fonts-effects.aep.
Now three things are going to happen. First one, this project contains a reference to a missing effect. You need to install the following effect to restore this reference. It's a particular effect called "BCC Water Color" from Boras effects. So, I'll click OK.
Now it says it's missing a font, the font family Academy Engraved Let Plain,that's missing, OK. Now it says it's missing an asset, that's because we just changed the name of that one file. OK.
And this is what you're going to see when you open it up. The missing asset becomes color bars inside your comp. It's also a color bars icon right here, a thumbnail and it will be a thumbnail over here in the Project panel when you track it down. Now I put the assets and the comps inside folders here because that's the normal way that you work when you want to organize your workspace. It also concealed where some of these missing things are because I wanted to make a little bit more difficult just to show you the normal process to track things down.
Earlier in the course I showed you how to relink to unlinked assets and they're all showing up here on the left-hand side with those little color bar icons. But here it's kind of tucked away a little bit. It's easy enough to find. I just open up assets and lo and behold there it is, but let's use the other method to track it down.
And the way you track it down is by just typing in the Search bar here. Type in missing or just type in mis and pretty soon these guys are going to show up. And you can find Missing Effects, Fonts and Footage.
We'll start off with Missing Footage because that's the easiest one to work with here. I'll click on Missing Footage and it shows me that okay, this is the one thing that's missing. It'll track it down right away and show you the thing that's missing. So, let's relink to that by just double-clicking on it. Going to our Working Files, going to PhotoSpin-assets and double-clicking on this. That relinks to it under the new name. I can spread this out a bit - you can see the new name right there changed like that.
All right, that took care of that. Let's just back this up a little bit by backing to Missing again. Let's track down Missing Fonts so when I click on that it'll show me the only thing that has the missing font. There are two text layers here but only one is a missing font. If I double-click on that it shows me just this missing fonts file down here. That's because missing fonts shows up here and shows me only the things where there are missing fonts. That's the Sample text.
If I click on that and go to the Character panel which I had open already, it shows me the name of the font. And it has square brackets around it meaning that After Effects has replaced it with some default font. So, to take care of that you can either replace it with a font that you think is similar or go get that font.
Now in this case this is called Academy Engraved Let Plain. So, in this case I just did a quick internet search and found that font online which I could download for free. Now if I couldn't find that font or if I wasn't willing to pay for it I could then add in my Search field something like replacement and I would find fonts that are very similar to that font. In this case though I did find that font and I downloaded it and here it is.
And now I can install it. I can right click and then just say Install. I just double click on it and take a look at it. There it is and Install here. And now it's installed. I'll close this down. All right back here in After Effects you'll notice a couple of things. After Effects recognizes that you installed that new font. It shows up here inside the Character panel, the square brackets are gone. But you notice the text hasn't changed. That's because the text is retaining the default font that was applied to it when you opened up this project.
To change to the font that it's supposed to be just select the text. To do that just double click on the layer here, that selects the text. Move to the Character panel and notice now it has the square brackets because now it's looking at that original missing font down here at the bottom.
Let's scroll up to re have it alphabetically to the Academy Engraved LET there and click on that and there is the new font. I'll click away now to accept that. Now I'll do Control Z or Command Z to undo it because we're going to close this thing down later anyways so not save the changes.
Let's go back here now look for missing effects. Back this up a bit here. There's Missing Effects, click on that. And the one thing that has a missing effect is this comp. So, I double click on it and it shows me that missing effect.
Actually, it says Missing here and it shows me that one missing effect. It's called "BCC Water Color". Well it comes from a company called Boras Effects. This can happen frequently when you work with someone who works with that effect let's say in a different office than yours and they have purchased some third-party effects or plugins and you don't have those. But you can either buy them or try to find something that's similar.
So, BCC Water Color that makes something look like it's a watercolor painting. We can go over to Effects & Presets and maybe find something that might be similar to that. I would go over here for example and going down to let's say Stylize.
Under Stylize I might be able to look for something like Posterize and it would be kind of like the Water Color effect but not exactly. So, I'll do Control Z or Command Z. Instead you can go buy it, right? Or I can get a trial version which is what I did. So, I'll minimize this and there is that folder where the trial version is and there is that effect.
To install it's very simple. I'm going to right-click here and say Copy or I could do Control C or Command C and I'm going to go to where After Effects is installed. So, the Main Drive here, Program Files, Adobe, Adobe After Effects, Support Files, going down to Plug-ins, long ways to go, right, and Effects and there are all the effects. I right-click here and say Paste and I'll say yep I've got administration privileges and now I've added that to that group. Close that down. So back in After Effects nothing has changed. That missing effect has not magically showed up here. But we'll take care of that in just a moment.
So up to this point we've found the missing font, the missing effect and I've relinked to a missing asset. So, what I want to do now is close down After Effects and not save this project. I don't want to save it for a couple of reasons. One I don't want you to change the original file inside your working files folder and two I want to reopen it in its original state to show you what happens here on my computer.
So, I'm going to shut this guy down now. I'm not going to save it. And I want you to take care of something before I reopen this. Go to Working Files, go to PhotoSpin-assets and rename this guy to the proper name, get rid of that hyphen and that "changed".
And now I'm going to open up that project file. So, I'm go to back to Working Files and then go over to After Effects projects then going down here to missing-fonts-effects.aep and let's see what happens. No messages, that's a good thing.
The effect if we go here is on this particular clip. Right there, go to Effect Controls and there is that effect, now properly named and properly loaded up. We go back to the text right here. And I'll go down to the Character panel here and you see that it says Academy Engraved LET but it has not shown up here yet. Kind of a little bit of an anomaly here but we'll fix that.
I'll just double-click on this text layer to select it, over here I'll select something other than Academy Engraved LET just the one right below it there. Now I'll go back to Academy Engraved LET let's go up to the top and clicking on that and there we go, I've made that change.
And the linked assets, the "abstract-waves.jpg" thing is properly linked. So, there you go, that's how you track down missing fonts, missing effects and unlinked assets and how you fix those issues.
- Open your file in After Effects, and in the Project window type ‘missing’ into the search window.
- Click on Missing Footage, Missing Fonts, or Missing Effects.
- Click the missing items to relink.
- Download and install any missing fonts.
Contributor: Infinite Skills, Jeff Sengstack
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