Stoc.Xchng - download free royalty free photos! I used these to use some photographic elements in my background images.
I also looked up some After Effects 3d text tutorials, on youtube like this one:
There are probibly even better ones out there if you look. I just type in "How to... blah and blah...in insert program name here" and just browse what comes up. I was manipulating type in after effects this weekend and youtube was a handy resource for that. Take atvantage of the nice folks offering up thier tips for free! ;)