Hi all, first-time poster. Wanted to share an issue I ran into with After Effects in case anyone else has run into this, or I'm totally overlooking something, or I've gone completely bonkers.
Was attempting to transfer an AE project (using latest version) from Mac to Windows platform. After collecting files and transferring via FTP, I'd open on Windows and, upon opening in AE, a myriad of assets would show up missing. I thought I was doing something wrong with "Collect Files." However I traced the missing files all to one folder within (Footage) that had disappeared (kinda). The folder was there when I unzipped on the Mac, but not when I unzipped on the PC. This folder name in the AE project started with an asterisk (*) and, after doing some tests, I realized any folders with a * at their front would just not show up on the Windows platform. I removed the * and the folder showed up fine, all assets found.
I was aware Windows had stricter naming guidelines than Mac but I was taken off guard by this one! This is really an issue with Windows, not After Effects, but I wanted to share this in case it helps anyone.
Yeah, this gets a lot of people because Windows has a lot more reserved special characters, and for good reason. It's good practice to avoid naming your files or folders with the many of the special characters you'd have to hold "Shift" key to generate. To counter that point, parenthesis and underscores are ok, but others can cause the problems you described.