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Are you viewing the animation presets with Bridge?
In AE version CS2, there was a convienient (help) menu option to view the animations. Looking for that (or something like that) in version CS3.
There is also a PDF containing the same info.
Are you talking about effects or animation presets? With the exception of the Time effects, there were no animated previews of effects in After Effects 7.
There is a gallery of animated previews of animation presets on the Adobe website:
These are actually the presets for After Effects 7, but someone mistakenly incremented the version number to 'CS3'. This gallery for After Effects 7 does not exactly match what's installed with After Effects CS3. Some animation presets were removed because of bugs.
But, as David suggests, the best way really is to use Bridge. Using Bridge, you can browse and preview the animation presets and actually apply them from within the same interface. And you're actually previewing what's on your system, in case you've added or moved a bunch of animation presets. The gallery on the website doesn't, of course, adapt in that way. That's the reason why we didn't update the gallery for CS3; we thought that everyone would naturally prefer the Bridge method.
I'm actually not getting any animated previews of the After Effects animation presets in Bridge either. In the preview window, I'm only getting an icon, and it seems to have something to do with my GIF assocations (it's a GIF icon). Are the previews stored as animated GIFs?
I tried removing the GIF association to my image viewer and associating with Bridge instead, but it didn't help.
They are animated GIFs and are handled via Quicktime, which means that you need to install/ re-install QT correctly. This should get it working.
Thanks a bunch Mylenium, that worked!
It works even with "Quicktime Alternative Lite", for those of you who don't want the whole regular QT package.