First check the color space. It must be RGB. If that does not work just save it as a PSD. It's a better format for AE anyway.
It is RGB, AE won't import CMYK at all will it? At least CS5 doesn't.
I can 'save as' in PS with 'Save Transparency' on and that file goes into AE fine.
I was more curious than anything.
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It might have been something to do with the Tiff Preview stored in the file. Tiff's can be finikey
Ah intesteresting... thanks Rick. I know to check with PS if there appears to be a missing alpha in future.
TIFFs can have any number of custom channels. If the Alpha is not the only custom channel in the 4th place, AE may confuse matters. This could easily happen if you have saved a selection and in the process created a channel in PS, use layered TIFFs or some odd saving options for the TIFF...