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>Is there a way to read extra alpha channels?
Only via Photoshop batch processing. If you can afford it, simply re-render with the multilayer file option unchecked. Other than that there is no way for AE to see additional custom channels in PSD files.
You can render out to a different format. Try RLA/RPF. They can include alpha, z-depth, and objectID, I believe.
This topic came up about two years ago, you might try searching the forum.
IIRC, the conversation was enlightening for several of us old timers who had never even heard of multiple alphas.
Closest I've ever gotten was using the four separate color channels to hold unrelated grayscale movies. Each was used to drive a different 3d parameter of Card Dance.
Try the "ID Matte" effect. Works for RLA/RPF rendered from 3ds max.
- Jonas Hummelstrand