1 person found this helpful
You're asking a lot of questions. There are a bunch of techniques required for a bunch of elements in your bunch of shots...
First of all, the VFX you're talking about can all easily be created in After Effects without 3rd party plug-ins. The twinkeling stars can easily be created directly in AE or by creating a couple of layers in Photoshop, adding some noise, then threshold, then animating the two layer's scale over time.
The Genie using the puppet tool is also a fairly straight forward project but you'd create the original artwork in Illustrator or Photoshop.
The video insert is easily created in AE using scale and or masking with either 2D or 3D layers. I'd suggest that you go through the Getting Started materials Todd put together first, then breaking down each shot or effect into a simpler question and hitting Google for AE tutorials on Star Field, Stars, or Night Sky. My first search brought up this Stary Night tutorial. I put it up just to show you how easy it is to find things help. Not all tutorials are great. Not all even use the best techniques, but they'll at least give you an idea of how to get started.
This star field was created in Photoshop by creating a image with a black background, adding a bit of noise, then threshold, then a bit of lens blur and a gradient over the top with it's blend mode set to color. It took about 30 seconds. I was going to search my hard drive for some star fields that I made about 6 months ago but it was faster to just make a new one.
Make two of them that are slightly different, bring them into an AE timeline, set the blend mode of the top one to screen and animate the scale of the top layer and you've got an amazing flying through space star field in less than two minutes. You just have to learn how to use the tools and then experiment a bit. FYI, it's rumored that John Knoll made the star fields for Star Wars using the same noise + threshold technique and then moved a camera over a print, then did it again to double expose the film. (That's what screen mode does by the way - kind of creates a double exposure).
Thank you for your patience and your very helpful answer. This gives me a great deal of direction and understanding. Much appreciated.