Saving and Backing Up Work Guide
Things my job and college taught me about saving and backing up work:
- Iterative saves. ITERATIVE SAVES!!! Make a new save every work session. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Also make one once you complete an important step (save for final sketch, save for inking one character, save for inking bg, save for animating a hand, save for first pass of animation). That way in case you accidentally delete a layer or your file gets corrupted, YOU DON’T HAVE TO START OVER!! Also this is good for when clients go “oh you know what, I actually like the look of this one thing from like 4 exchanges ago, can you change it to that?” Also in case the power goes out midsave and corrupts the file. Note: Google Drive automatically does iterative saves for a lot of things (docs, images, spreadsheets, etc) which is SUPER nice
- If you work at company or are freelance that sends work files, please for all that’s good in the world, MAKE A SAVE BEFORE YOU MERGE YOUR STUFF IN A DRAWING PROGRAM! Some poor sap (possibly you) a year from now is going to have to tweek something and you are going to make their life an absolute hell when they find you’ve merged everything.
- Save on a portable hard drive or an internal drive. Back that drive up at LEAST once a year onto a different drive or onto CDs/DvDs/Bluerays.
- Save on Google Drive and/or dropbox. Have it on a cloud SOMEWHERE in case you need it. Especially for school projects because you probably will forget your portable hard drive at least once the day an assignment is due.
- If possible, keep your Operating System (Windows and/or Linux) on a SEPARATE harddrive from where you save your work. JUST IN CASE your OS gets corrupted and you have to wipe windows. So get two drives, one for OS and your programs, another for your work and other stuff you don’t want to get accidentally wiped.
- I know this is stupid and most people will ignore it, but have a naming convention for files. This way it’s easier to find in case something goes wrong or you have to find a file 2years later for whatever reason. A quick and easy one, Client_Project_Descriptor_#. Example: I’m doing a color piece intended for print with a rocket for SpaceX and this is the 4th time I’ve sat to work on it, I might do something like: SpaceX_PrintColor_Rocket_4. If you want something more specific for the work session number, you could do a time date stamp like YYYYMMDDHHmm (Year, month, day, hour, minute). There’s lots of variations, but that’s the easiest one I’ve done.
- If you think about saving, save. If you’re working with other people, just saying “SAVE” out loud when you think about it. In school and at my job, a lot of people appreciated the reminder. This is especially appreciated if you notice something in your cube/side of the room flicker (an indicator that the power is about to turn off).
- LEARN THE CORRECT SHORT CUT KEYS FOR SAVING! This is handy if your computer is hooked up to a power backup. Some places ONLY have the computer towers attached to it AND NOT THE MONITORS. So using the shortcut key, is very important.
- Learn where programs save automatic backups and/or temp work files. If a program crashes, DO NOT IMMEDIATELY OPEN THE PROGRAM OR RESTART YOUR COMPUTER IF YOU CAN. Google where the temporary files are kept, there may be a backup that way. This isn’t reliable and sometimes the file is partially corrupted, but this has saved my ass so many times with different programs
- Have a saving “ritual” when you’re done working. What I mean is: name properly, local save, cloud save, flattened/combine/viewable save (png, jpg, pdf, obj, fbx, ect).