Are the curves in the graph editor not supposed to be standard Beziers with standard editing techniques?
They are, but AE differentiates between temporal and spatial properties quite strictly. Hence for the position properties you see the resulting speed curve, not the underlying spatial interpolation. for the otehr properties you can toggle betwwen value and speed, though. Furthermore, except for Auto-Bezier, the in and out tangents are always treated as separate. It's a bit odd, but you will have to get used to it for the time being. Maybe some day it will get the proper treatment...
Thanks for your fast response. The documentation is confusing since it doesn't mention that. I haven't tried using the graph editor for spatial interpolation, only temporal -- where editing the curve is probably more important.
As Mylenium cleartly explained, the graph editor can display a value graph or a speed graph for any chosen property. By default the Graph Editor is set to auto-select which kind of graph to show for each property. In other words, it will pick the one that arguably it's the most useful in most cases. Since one could consider a motion path -the vector path you get in the Comp panel to represent position- as the most natural way of displaying position property values, the Graph Editor defaults to showing speed when you select position.
Now, having control over speed is a great thing. But many people are confused because these handles don't rotate like normal bèzier handles do. Don't worry: they do not rotate, simply because as far as speed goes, rotating the handles doesn't mean anything.
More info on this in AE Community help's section Controlling speed between keyframes.
Another head-scrather is that the traditional value graph for position is limited in that you can't use normal bèzier handles in it because the XYZ values are tied together. New in CS4m you now have the ability so separate dimensions, ie get separate properties for position x, position y and position z. When you do that, you get the same vector controls in the Graph Editor.
Take a look at Separate dimensions of Position to animate components individually in After Effects Community Help.
No problem! I'm trying to leave solutions to my problems as well because you never know who may need them and when they'll need it.