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Re: layer order: You may have some invisible stuff inbetween which could throw AE off track. Removing those invisible elements may improve matters. Also check your layer naming. Give your layers respective names to enforce correct ordering. Short of that - could be a bug, could be not. I'm doing not enough work with AI to gauge this.
Re: changes in size: This may hinge on the use of compound paths and clipping masks. There are a few known issues with this, some of which have been addressed in the 8.0.2 update, but not all of them. I'm afraid only CS4 will fully resolve the matter, so in the meantime you will probably have to find different ways to deal with it. One thing you can attempt is to disable the "Preview" option for at least one of your critical layers. This will enforce a different treatment of the file and AE will re-calculate the bounding boxes instead of using the info stored in the file for the preview.
cheers for the speedy responce mylenium, really do appreciate it.
Layer Order: Im going to re-check and re-name some layers to better names, but in terms of 'invisible stuff', i did a test with around 25 simple squares in illustrator, imported it into after effects and the layers came out 1,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,2,21 etc etc.
it seems to be doing the windows xp numbering system where it takes the first number and gives it priority until that first number is increased. is there no way of changing the ordering style in AE? or is that something that was put in CS4?
Also forgot to mention when i import everything as compositions without cropping, everything remains the same size but the layer issue remains, but as you know the layer will have the footage dimentions.
still working on that issue.
thanks for the help though. as mentioned, its much appreciated.
I thought i solved the problem just now but it seems i havent. :( thought i had something there...but maybe the lack of sleep is kicking in and im importing the wrong files.
changing the save type to cs2 helps the layers stay in the right order but the shape dimention is still changing when imported. 1 down...1 to go!
Ok i found a workaround with this. and have solved all my issues.
I saved as a CS2 file to combat the layer order issue, and then in my file i went to the ones changing dimention, and litterally traced the same object on a fresh layer. and that solved my problem. :) so all is well.
thanks for the help