What do you do when you lose all your saved work in After Effects?

The title of this blog post is not the original title I had in mind. The original title had words I prefer not to use in general let alone anywhere on social media (lol!) because well, they’re rude :P, But there is no other way to explain how I felt when I opened my AE project only to be met with an error message after error message. The worst thing ever was realising that my saved project (all the work I had done on the original edit I have been working on for days off and on) was just gone!

I work in tech, so I know from both years of work experience and countless hours of personal experience fixing things that unless a file is entirely corrupted, you can’t ever really “lose” data you’ve previously saved. There will be a back-up somewhere in the program, probably under cached files (most Adobe programs come with this folder).

The error message in question was pointing directly to a font file stored somewhere on my computer (not necessarily in the Adobe program I was using).

For anyone wanting to know how to fix this issue – the error message is;

“The font dictionary can’t be read” | error in After Effects

So I went researching for this error message, and sure enough, the Adobe forums had several fixes for the issue, all of these fixes manual, meaning that you would have to fix the problem yourself until the bug is patched by Adobe (assuming they even do patch the bug). I went through several attempts of Adobe’s instruction and failed a few times and only today was I able to fix the issue and retrieve my “lost” data without any errors. I realised that one of the fonts I was using in my image was somehow corrupting the original font installed within Adobe’s software. I went through and deleted every .lst file associated with a font on my entire hard drive (not just in the Adobe folder). I also removed the font I thought was causing the issue. It’s very possible this file alone was causing the error messages to appear, but without replicating the error, there’s no way to confirm this.

I’m just happy I got my edit back with all of the project data intact otherwise I would be feeling a little-defeated right about now and probably wouldn’t start over (I get this way sometimes lol). My plan today is to try and update the edit to what I want and then maybe start on the second edit I started working on yesterday.

The things we do for creativity 🙂

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