Best project file management practices?

Hi, just getting into UE5 and was wondering what some of the best project file management practices are that people use? I’m using UE for production / 3D animation purely, so had to get used to the concept of levels, maps, etc.

Should I be saving “levels” out separately for each angle I want to work on? In some cases the environment looks better with a few things turned off at one angle, vs another shot where certain objects on looks fine, so I’ll save Level V1 and Level V2. I also tend to tweak lighting iterations a lot so I’ll save lots of versions of same scene with completely different lighting parameters. Does re-saving this level thing waste an enormous amount of disk space vs some other way people manage their levels or project files with?

Hey there @WHOBASTANK3000! Welcome to the community! That is a name I haven’t heard since the late 90s!

So for animation, I wouldn’t recommend saving out extra levels for just different shot angles. If you are using 5.1 you can have folders inside your outliner and disable/enable whatever you want to see while you’re setting up your scenes. However, I would still use Layers (if you’re using world composition) or Data layers if using World Partition to sort what you want on the fly. Data layers are a bit overkill for animation, but they are ingrained in my workflow at this point. If storage space isn’t a problem and you don’t back your project up frequently you could continue using levels, as they are a clear delimiter but as you guessed they are lots of redundant information in that you could just hide/disable whatever you’re not using in between!

Thanks for the reply haha, I figured as much. Following off of this vid, when you “convert” the level to a World Partition in order to use data layers, is there anything you can’t do anymore conventionally pre-convert like camera animation keying, bokeh, post effects, lighting adjustments, character insertion, adding / changing textures, etc - is it basically baking the scene? Unreal Engine 5 Tutorial - Data Layers - YouTube

I would recommend if you are on world composition, stick with it just because the layer system is integrated with the rendering suite while I don’t believe data layers have the same functionality (while very similar). I had to do a bit more research on it this morning to verify that.