I love these little pieces of poetry:
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I can't see the example video due to restrictions on the network where I work, but when you talk about putting yourself in front of animation it is one of two things, either keying or rotoscoping, and, from your description, I think rotoscoping is your guy.
Although, if you're new to AE, I really wouldn't suggest starting with something like that. You really should start here. AE is not the kind of beast that you can learn by fiddling around with it. You really need a solid foundation before you can work with it. It's a walk-before-you-run kind of thing. The (free!) resources that link gives you are aimed at beginners in AE and will help eliminate a lot of the frustrations often encountered by AE newbies.
The cassette tape is not used to create the images, those are drawings, conventional still-frame animation. Nothing unusual here. At least not at the beginning, didn't see much of it.
Ah I see thanks for the advice on needing a foundation - tis a shame I work best when I can fiddle and work things out.
Here's a link that's should work if you so wish to check it out anyway. Hate when Youtube doesn't let you watch stuff because of where you live.
Oh yeah I know that the cassette hasn't created anything hence why I've drawn up some still frames for animation... the bit im struggling with is the method to re-create the illusion of moving it around into various words / photos with my hands.
This looks like a bit of real tape manipulated and time re-mapped combined with illustrations expertly composited into the scene. This isn't a one click, one layer solution. The shot requires a background plate, a plate with the tape manipulated by an artist that has either time remapped or shot as a stop motion animation, a layer that contains the animated illustration, and a layer that contains the actors hands. Each of those, including the background plate may require more than one layer.
So in the end, this isn't an effect, it's a composite that is comprised of animated and live action elements. I'd suggest you google Stop Frame Animation, Layered compositing, Rotoscoping, and cell animation. I'd also guess that these individual shots to days rather than hours to put together.
Hope this doesn't discourage you. VFX is hard work.