I'm not sure I follow you. When importing a PSD or an AI file as a comp AE has always put all of the layers in a folder that shares the name of the PSD you've imported. Here's a screenshot from CS5 and CS5.5 beside each other. Same file imported, same file structure, same names.
They look pretty much the same to me. The only difference is the search bar at the top of the Project window in 5.5. It extends all the way across the Project Panel. All 9 layers and the Group 1 pre-comp inside the folder with the same name as the PSD file.
I'd love to see a screenshot of what you're seeing.
Make sure to import everything as a composition. there have been no changes on that end otehrwise as far as I'm aware, but of course you could still be seeing a bug, so re-check your steps. Also check your PS file whether it uses some specific combination of layer groups, smart objects, adjustment layers or something that may cause AE to not interpret it correctly...
I guess my question is, instead of or in addition to having a composition that contains everything in a PS folder, is there a way to have the nesting of folders in the project library (like photoshop does)? When you have a PSD file that is organized with folders (which is often useful for animation), you lose that organization in After Effects. As pointed out, not entirely lost since AE turns the folders into comps which contain all the layers but its not as convient and useful as having the nested layers in the project library. Imagine having folders within folders, it's just easier to access what you want in the way photoshop nests things.
I also believe it was in CS4 that After Effects worked this way.
Here are my examples if this wasn't clear earlier
In Photoshop Same File Imported into After Effects
> I also believe it was in CS4 that After Effects worked this way.
I'd be curious to see your screenshot of After Effects CS4 behaving differently.
If you want to request a change in behavior, please submit a feature request.
The thing you are calling folders in Photoshop are "Groups" not folders. Layer Groups have always been imported as compositions. These Nested or Pre-comps are added to the main composition in the proper order. They always have been. Always. The layers have always been imported with their layer names. If you open up one of these Nested comps you'll see the layers as arranged in the Photoshop Layer structure. IOW, open the Circles Comp and you'll see Shape 2, Shape 1, and Shape 3 just as they are in the Photoshop Layers panel.
I'm not sure why you feel the need to ReArrange the footage layers inside the "folder test Layers" folder. For me it's easier to find a layer if I'm looking alphabetically instead of trying to remember the order of layers from the PSD. The order of elements in the Project window has nothing to do with the way a composition is arranged. Opening the "folder test" composition would reveal a Background layer at the bottom, then the Circles, Squares and Triangles pre-comps. If you need access to the layers in these comps, just double click the nested comp and a new timeline and comp window will open up so you can manipulate the layers.
I hope this helps. If you can get CS4 to open up a PSD as a composition and end up with a different folder structure I'd love to see it.
As the otehrs already pointed out, AE has never behaved any different. the hierarchy in the project window bears no relation to anything that happens inside the compositions and that is what you do when importing PSDs as comps - you import their stacking order and thus the result of the layer blending operations to retain appearance and positioning. I'm not even sure what the rationale would be if AE tried to re-create the PSD structure in the project window, given that you can re-use any element as many times as you like....
...instead of or in addition to having a composition that contains everything in a PS folder...Yeah, I'd rather have tree hierarchy...
For me it's easier to find a layer if I'm looking alphabetically instead of trying to remember the order of layers from the PSDTastes differ.
Ps file layers structure hardly ever has no logic. As for me, it's simplier to find 'nail' being inside of 'thumb', which is inside of 'palm' etc.