I've looked and looked, and I think I'm missing something obvious, but here goes--
1) I want to import a jpeg-- usualy of a logo, cut it up into pieces (mask?), and then animate the pieces-- usually so they end up back in the original logo shape. I have a basic understanding of masking, keyframing, and animating the pieces. I feel like I am missing a step that will be really obvious in hindsight, but I can't seem to find the answer on my own.
2) On a related note, I'd like to take the jpegs and make them into vector graphics (in order to scale up in size later). I'm guessing that is done in Illustrator first?
3) Finally, I'd like to create a shape and have text constrained (fill up) inside the line of the shape. Think of the Harley Davidson logo with "Motor" and "Cycles" text filling up the inside of the 'shield.' Can I do that within AE? Or is it easier in another app first, then import?
I have Adobe Creative Cloud with CS6 Windows versions of Ae and Pr. And I use Photoshop Elements quite a bit. I could install Illustrator (or another CC app) if that helps. Some pointers in the right direction or even specific instruction would be wonderful.
Help is appreciated!
As you already guessed, Illustrator is your friend. While you might get there eventually drawing tons of shapes and masks in AE as well, AI makes the process easier, in particular the cleaning up or creating geometry with intersecting shapes. Text on paths can be done in both programs - in AE you simply draw a mask on a text layer, set its mode to "None" and assign it as a path in the Advanced options of the text.