Not sure what you are asking. If you're really looking to practice, then what should it matter? You could mask everything manualyl for days and might still derive some sort of satisfaction from it and get a good tummy feeling for being good at what you do. It's really too unspecific. If you need info on specific techniques then please explain. Otherwise I'm afraid it could quickly become one of those unproductive "Everybody & their mum giving advice" threads.
I'm not sure what I'm asking but I think I'd like to know which technique would be "best" or most suitable for my purpose without spending days and night, if its possible.
without spending days and night, if its possible.
Welcome to After Effects.
While it is a powerful program, it takes time to learn and some effects will take time for even seasoned professionals.