I have a series of PSDs each having a layer mask with a default opacity of 100%. In PS, I change the "Density" of the layer to about 15% in order to get the desired result. Incidentally, the layer mask is also on an an inactive Alpha channel.
My question is that when I bring the series of PSD's into AE as-is, the layer mask comes in as Black. There doesn't seem to be a way adjust the density of the mask like in Photoshop. I've tried using an alpha layer and track matte, but no luck. The main PSD file has the layer mask turned on by default apparently, with no way to change it.
Maybe I'll have to set up an action on the PSD files?
AE doesn't see layer masks as separate channels, it only uses the calculated pixel opacity. You simply cannot use this method. Rasterize your stuff to separate layers.