After Effects is a lousy tool for creating animated gifs. It's like bringing a pneumatic hammer into the living room to put a thumb tack in the wall.
If you must use AE, then render a png sequence or an Animation Codec Quick Time with an alpha channel, bring those files into Photoshop or Fireworks (or about a zillion other image editig apps, and create your animated gif there.
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What Rick said - simply use other apps for the GIF and only render an image sequence from AE. There are so many of them...
Im having the same thing but the problem is, i dont have photoshop! the only photo editing program i have is Serif photoplus x4. could i do it with this?
Download the free 30-day trial version of Photoshop and use that.