I think I have it. I selected on option on the layer to continuously rasterize the AI file and the rendering is now sharp. If any of the experts would like to weigh in on the subject I still would appreciate any advice.
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> Can't find any training on line that discusses how to import AI files.<
Not going to argue with you about that but there are more vector and Illustrator importing tutorials than I can count including the resources that came with your copy of After Effects not to mention the help system that came with your copy of Illustrator.
Rasterizing is how it's been done for more than a decade. Using vector art in AE is covered in the online help system and in all early exposure and beginner's introductions to After Effects.
Todd will probably stop in with a link to the Getting Started in AE series of help files. Well worth the investiment.
See this FAQ entry:
Angie and I spend a lot of time on working with vector files in this series: