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WIP - Platform Theme for Hacks & Fan-Made Category

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So I decided that I want to start making theme videos for the community and my first project is to make a theme video for the Hacks & Fan-Made category. Ultimately, I want to make themes for games in the lesser paid attention to categories, like MSX, Amiga, etc.

I have no experience in video editing or the like and I'm now two days in to using Adobe After Effects (thanks again @SentaiBrad and @Zombeaver for your input on software options). I have figured out how to create compositions and add images, scale them, move layers around, export them, yada, yada, but I'm not sure how to go about doing what I hope to do with this theme, so I guess I'm hoping for some pointers (even if it's just, "go watch this YouTube video").

I have attached a mock-up of what the theme will basically look like, thought it might be too many characters or I just need to group them together more.

What I would like to do, if possible, is:

Animate the background

Make the halo around the text pulse like a glow

Have the characters transition in and out of the screen via fades, ripple/watery effects, etc.

These things I'm not sure how to do.

Also, I have found the rotation tool in After Effects, but is there a perspective tool to reshape the video screen so it will fit that bezel I'm going to use?

I'm currently recording gameplay clips to use and will add some cool music to go along with the theme.

Any advice, tips, pointers and, of course, suggestions are welcome. If I'm being too over-zealous with anything, you can tell me that too :)



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