Adobe After Effects is a complicated animation and compositing program that cannot easily be learned in a few steps. The best way to learn the program is to start simply, learn the basics and build from there. After you create a composition and import files into your project, you will begin to organize files in your timeline to begin compositing. You may also find you need to rename some layers to keep your work organized.
1. Locate your first file in the Project panel and click on it with your mouse. From here you can drag it directly into your timeline. Repeat for each layer that you want to bring into the timeline.
2. Select the layer you want to rename by clicking on it with your mouse. Press “Enter” to activate the text name of your layer. You can now type directly over the original name of the layer. Press “Enter.”
3. Note that this only changes the name of the file footage within the timeline. It does not change the name of the file in the Project panel, nor the name of the footage as it is saved elsewhere on your hard drive.