After Effects just crashed when I accidentally hit the down arrow instead of the right arrow, and I had to restart it. When I did, I found I'd lost my entire day's work (about ten hours of it).
But I saved EVERYTHING, and I saved it often. Why have I lost everything? Is there any way of getting today's work back? I'm frantically trying to finish an assignment for university, and now it'll be impossible to hand it in if I can't recover my work now - it's due in in just eight hours, and there's no way I'll be able to redo it all and more in that time!
Please, please, please help!
But I saved EVERYTHING, and I saved it often.
But did you save incrementally, creating multiple files of your steps along the way? If not, then you may indeed be facing utter disaster. Even if the project file is somewhere on your system (Did you do a search for *.aep?), it may be damaged beyond recovery. The only otehr alternative might be auto-save, assuming you used it...
If you have activated autosave, you can find the autosaved project in your project directory, in a subfolder called "blablabla (autosave)".
The autosave feature is new to CS4, and is disabled by default.
BTW, as Mylenium told, it's mendatory to create incremental saves for you project as if anything goes wrong, a crash can corrupt your file.