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I answered almost this exact same question earlier. 1000 Illustrator layers is going to overwhelm AE. That's all there is to it. The more complex the layer the more overwhelming. A 1000 layers sequenced is a 1000 frames. You need to break up your project into manageable sections or possibly find another approach. You can even cause a failure with one AI layer if there are enough vertex paths in the layer. I've seen that warning plenty of times in my career and there's always a way around the problem if you go back to illustrator and simplify the concept.
The only reason to convert AI layers to shapes is to use shape animators only available to shape layers through the little Add button at the top right corner of the column in the timeline. If you don't need to use any of those add on's then theres no reason to convert to shapes.
I seem to recall that the other question was about animating thousands of pieces of a map falling into position. If this is something similar there are zillions (ok, well maybe dozens) of easier ways to do that that don't involve thousands of layers.
I imagine that, just wanted to be certain that of it, that it was not because my laptop, thank you.
But converting AI layers into shapes to use shape animators is't the only reason, for me any way, it's a good way of loosing animation work if you miss place the AI file or you want to readjust a simple line.
Thanks again Rick.
If you are loosing files you must get your workflow in order. There's no reason to ever loose a file. Everything I do in on a redundant raid and I've been using the same job control numbering and filing system since 1969 when I started work on my first feature film. Never lost anything. Not even 5 frames trimmed from a work print and taped to the side of a moviola because the trimmed frames were numbered with a marker and the shots were all stacked in a tray with numbers.
Converting AI layers to shape layers has only a few gains but there are many losses. You can't do this with a shape layer:
That's what Ctrl/Cmnd - e (edit original) is for.