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Most tutorials using third-party plugins can be adapted for use with the built-in effects.
This search turns up a ton of stuff.
I was thinking you could use a precomp with some layers with Vegas along with a couple of instances of CC Cylinder to make them swirl around the guys along with some CC Particle World.
Thanks very much for taking the time to help. You know, I reach for Google without even thinking, but it never occurred to me that I might search the Adobe site. D'oh! ;-)
I understand what you mean about adapting from other tutorials. I've been learning a ton from the excellent tutorials on Video Copilot. Many don't use their products, but even the ones that do have a lot to offer for those of us just getting started with Afx.
I'd seen the Red Giant TV one, which I'll now look at in a new light, and I'm also poking around through the rest of the links in the search results you offered.
Have an excellent weekend!
Having worked for a couple of decades as a professional developer using Microsoft technologies, it's common knowledge that MSDN is pathetic, the online help for Visual Studio is even worse, and Google is indeed your only friend.
The entertaining part is that often you can search the MS sites until your fingers are numb and still not come up with what you're looking for. Then you search Google (and not even using the site: keyword), and right there at the top is the article you're looking for - located on the MS site you just searched.
That's probably why I've instinctively reached for Google instead of using a company (any company)'s own site search. If Adobe is superior in that regard, it'll be a pleasure to use. Besides, we wouldn't want you tech writers to get lazy on us because no one was appreciating your work.
P.S. Don't tell my developer friends, but I actually do RTFM (and the CS4 manuals are written much, much better than many I've encountered).
I hang my head in geeky shame...
I have been consistently surprised at the quality of After Effects help in recent years. It has far surpassed expectations and is making all other help files pale in comparison. The links to external tutorials and info is invaluable and the welcoming of additions from the user base is to be commended.
The Adobe Community Search is, at its core, a Google search engine. It's merely been customized to only search places that have consitently useful resources.