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Going back some years, I had essentially the same question, as you do. What I cannot recall is when that question was asked, and then many here gave me tips. That might be important for a Search, as I feel that it was before the Adobe Forum changes to Jive. Those older discussions might be long gone now.
Trying to reconstruct what I did, might not be exactly what I used.
In the end, it was a combo of Transitions and Effects. Part of it had a white Color Matte on Video Track 1, below my "dream footage." I also use Feather Edges, and Distort>Ripple w/ Opacity (revealing the white Color Matte, when lower Opacity is chosen). I cannot recall which Transitions I might have incorporated, and cannot find any notes from that old Project.
At the time, I explored BluffTitler, Pixelan Spice Master and also ProDAD's Heroglyph, but cannot recall if I used one of those.
If I can find the archived version of that old Project, I will explore it in detail, to see what was used. In the end, I did most of the "dream sequence" work in AE, and think that I used some Expressions, that were provided by an AE guru, for the final work.
Good luck, and hope that a few of the contributors to those threads, have better memories, than I do. I recall that Jim Simon contributed to the Project in this forum.
Thanks, Hunt. Perhaps I should ask this question to the AE forum as well. Thank you.