> In addition, after import, in the Comp panel, sometimes there are no visual differences between that display and the display in PS. But in individual style layers in the Timeline panel, things have changed. Most typically, strokes with gradients are changed either to a solid color (gray or red) or to a simple white-to-black gradient. How is it the display can show a gradient when the stroke layer shows a solid color?
After Effects includes the entire Photoshop rendering engine, so any PSD and its layer styles should render fine (i.e., just like in Photoshop). If it doesn't, please submit a bug report.
But After Effects does not include the entire UI from Photoshop for creating and modifying layer styles.
The layer styles feature in After Effects exists primarily to provide fidelity between what you see in Photoshop and what you see in After Effects---not so that you can add and modify layer styles in After Effects. The UI in the Timeline panel is therefore a barebones implementation that doesn't include many of the features of layer styles in Photoshop. As you observe, there are many cases in which the representation in the Timeline panel is much more simplistic than what is in the Composition panel.
This separation between the UI and the ability to render with good fidelity is most apparent with pattern overlays. See this video for a good demonstration of how to use layer styles in After Effects by tapping into these features in Photoshop:
> In CS5.5, when I import a PSD file with one or more text layers (retaining layer styles and editable layer styles) some of the layer styles change upon import.
How, exactly, do they change? A screenshot would be useful.
If it's what I'm suspecting, then the page that Mylenium points you to has the clue:
"When a layer style is applied to a vector layer—such as a text layer, a shape layer, or a layer based on an Illustrator footage item—visual elements that apply to the edges of the contents of the layer apply to the outlines of the vector objects, such as text characters or shapes. When a layer style is applied to a layer based on a non-vector footage item, the layer style applies to the edges of the layer’s bounds or masks."
When you convert between Photoshop text and editable text, you're changing the render order and also switching between raster images and vectors. This can affect appearance in many ways.
You raise a number of issues.
In the case of PS text layers that have strokes with gradients, AE converts those gradients to solid colors. Apparently the color chosen is gray for complex gradients (or, perhaps it's gray because the complex gradient starts with white) or red for all other gradients (even grayscale gradients...hmmm).
Second: the page that Mylenium pointed to does have some good info. But the paragraph you quoted is confusing. I don't know what it means when it says "edges of the contents of the layer" as opposed to "outlines of the vector objects." Are strokes edges of the contents? At any rate...I don't get it.
Third: I think the real issue here is that (I'm pretty sure) AE has no option to apply a gradient to a stroke. So, when such an stroke with a gradient shows up in a PS text layer, AE converts the gradient to a solid color fill.
Fourth: so...I'm not sure what I would put in a bug report if, in fact, AE is behaving as designed. The thing is, I'm don't know whether it is behaving as designed or if it should retain all layer styles.