Select a bunch of layers in the Project panel in the order you want them to appear in the timeline, use create new comp from selection or drag to an existing timeline, decide how long you want each layer and move the CTI (current time indicator) to that point, select all layers, set the out point of all selected layers by pressing alt/option +], right click or go to the Animation menu and choose Keyframe Assistant > Sequence Layers.
For more instructions type sequence layers in the search help field at the top right corner of AE and study up on this AE basic feature.
Never mind this, I see how it works Thanks Again
So if I wanted to control the time/frames that the layers get distributed over I would have to put them into their own composition set the desired length.
In other words the "Sequence Layers" tool will distribute the layers across the entire length of whatever composition they're in?
No, sequence layers distributes the layers based on their in and out points and it has options for overlap and cross fade. If layer one is 2 seconds and layer two is 8 seconds and layer three through seven are 1 second and you set the overlap to a half second (in frames) then the total length of the layer sequence would be 2+8+1+1+1+1+1 or 15 seconds minus a full second for each of the 5 overlapped segments for a total of 10 seconds. If the comp was only 8 seconds you would have to extend it to see the entire sequence. There is no automatic way to uniformly fill a 10 second comp with 20 layers. You would have to trim them all to a half second and sequence with no overlap.
Yes once i played with it I saw that....I basically have to decide how long I want the sequence to be then do the math, divide the length I want by the number of layers and set length of each layer to that number.
Thanks again for your help.