Since After Effects CS6 no longer has the option to import a PSD file with "live photoshop 3D" option, what are other alternatives or plugins that I can use to accomplish what this tool used to do? I have seen Video Copilot Elements and it looks to be something that I can use to replace what was once free in CS5 however I wanted to know if there are any other programs or if adobe is going to be bring back this feature in CS6.5 or CS7? Thanks
I don't know if there are any plans to bring back Photoshop 3D to AE. It was awfully clunky and basically unusable.
You have a couple of 3D options. Element, as you mentioned, the Zaxwerks suite of plug-ins. Conoa, I think Borris FX still has some 3D stuff that will approximate what you can do in Photoshop 3D providing your 3D elements are pretty basic.
After Effects integrates with C4D and Blender (free and open source) quite well. Frankly, I use Blender for 90% of my 3D into AE stuff and it works great. The renders are faster, the integration is good, and I've not had any complaints. Check out Blender.org.
If all you need to do is a quick 3D text extrusion you can get away with a pretty amazing looking graphic using just Shatter. Here'a a look at that process.
This 3D film was created entirely in Blender.
Its director will be discussing it one week from Friday in San Francisco, at a Marriott before a nice gathering, open to the public.