This is a weird problem I've run into sporadically for years, across two jobs and numerous versions of Photoshop and After Effects.
The Gist- After Effects imports a PSD file as a composition but the contents of the PSD file are of an earlier version than the currently saved file.
The Details- I create a layered Photoshop file. While refining the file it has undergone several iterations, different numbers of layers, different groups of layers. The file has been saved multiple times during this process but always overwriting the existing file.
Finally when the file is approved all of the messy layers are cleaned up, merged, or condensed to leave a tight and efficient file to import into After Effects.
The problem is that when the file is imported into After Effects it is not the condensed version but rather the older messy version with extra layers and groups. It's like After Effects has accessed some legacy version of the file.
Of course I've checked and double checked all the obvious possible user errors and there is only one file on the hard drive, I’m not confusing two different saved files.
The fact is Photoshop loads one version while After Effects loads an older, outdated version. I've tried saving the file under a new name, copying it to a different hard drive, restarting my computer all without changing the outcome.
Most of the time the import process works flawlessly but maybe once or twice a year this problem pops up.
It’s not a show stopping problem but it’s very weird.
Does anyone have any idea what’s going on?
For reference here are screen caps of how the same file looks in PS vs imported into AE.
Your file is being imported as an image sequence (the layer icons have stacks of images rather than one). In the import dialog, uncheck "Photoshop Sequence". After Effects is likely seeing version numbers at the end of your file names and assumes they are frame sequence numbers.
Thank you. That's what's was happening.
For some reason I thought when you chose to import a psd as a composition that the sequence option would be disabled and I never noticed that it wasn't.