In After Effects 12.1 and later, a new layer is placed directly above the currently selected layer in the Timeline panel; if no layer is selected, the layer appears at the top of the stack. In previous versions of After Effects, new layers always appeared at the top of the stack. The following text replaces the first step in each of the respective sections. In each case, return to the original text at step 2.
1. Deselect all layers in the Timeline panel, and then choose Layer > New > Solid.
1. Deselect all layers, and then zoom out to see the whole image.