I have the following illustration and I want to start with the dot in the middle and have the circle layers as though they are spiraling out from the dot in the very center (without using a wipe-like effect). Technically, each dot in each circle would appear in clockwise order and when a circle completes its appearance, the next outward circle of dots would beging to appear in similar fashion. Any ideas on ways to do this quicks (rather than manually animating the appearance of each circle)? If not, any other ideas on how to creatively animate the appearance of all these dots from the center dot (in a way that is not tedious)?
For this method to work you'd need your layers to be vertically ordered in the way you want them to appear (whichever is on top goes first, the one underneath goes next, etc).
You could set up your animation on one layer, then copy/paste that data onto all the other layers, so they all animate in at exactly the same time. Make all your layers 2 frames long by selecting all, moving 2 frames past the in-point, and press opt+] (alt+]). Next you right click on the layers (still all selected) --> Keyframe Assistant --> Sequence Layers... Tell it not to do any overlap, click OK. Now go to the end of your comp and press opt+] to extend the clips again.
Of course, the "2 frames" is a guess -- make that gap as long as you want it to be....