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Without buying plug-ins?
Well... you might be able to do something with fractal driven displacement maps.
But ZaxWerk's 3D Flag is going to look way better.
Well, again, I am not in the position to buy new plug-ins. I just want to be able to make a simple, cartoony flag with a logo on it, and to make it flap a little.
I've got a little tutorial, not on a flag per say, but it should get you started.
You'll find the tutorial and an AE project here. I hope it helps.
If you have trouble downloading the project just right click on it and select save link as....
I agree, displacement maps is way to go. create some Fractal Noise in a pre-comp, stretch it out a little in one direction. Then use that comp as a displacement map in your main comp. In addition, use duplicates of the comp to create the shadows in the grooves and the highlights for that silky feel. this can easily be done by adjusting contrast, blurring/ sharpening them and offsetting them to simulate perspective. Use Tint and Tritone to colorize them, if need be. as a last step, use Bezier Warp to bend your flag into shape.