The right technique depends on the footage. Here's a simple rotoscope short tutorial that may point you in the right direction.
You may need to learn about tracking, how to use Mocha, how to create a procedural matte, use Rotobrush... it all depends on the footage. Without seeing the footage or at least a screenshot of a frame from the footage it is pretty hard to point you to the right tools and workflow.
The UI and the tools in AE are a lot more complex than Photoshop. If you are new I'd start here Basic AE and learn some of the basics first. I've only seen a couple of people in my 20+ years using AE that successfully jumped in to AE without training and accomplished anything.
Thanks - unfortunately it's not straight up rotoscoping - I need to hand draw over the footage - so the rotobrush and mocha isn't helpful
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I want to paint and add new elements so I need the footage for reference
if you want to paint with a regular brush or soft brush, you have the paint tool in Ae that also has a write-on feature. what kind of elements? maybe you can show us a reference of sketch art of want you are set to accomplish.
if you want to straight up paint over a video like the work of RUFFMERCY on Vimeo, then you can do what he does - import the video to photoshop and paint on a blank video layer using onion skin and other cool feature that photoshop has for rotosoping on video (and After effects does not)
there's also this plugin: Paint & Stick 2 - aescripts + aeplugins - aescripts.com
Thanks! Ruffmercy videos are great - what I'm doing is much simpler. I'll look into it. I saw Paint and Stick in a tutorial but didn't realize it was a plug-in. I'll check that out as well. Much appreciated
Great. come back if you have more questions or tell us what worked for you. maybe show us too.