I recently purchase a The Videocopilot.net library (best deal) and it has saved my butt twice already.
As a freelancer, I come across with my clients a lot of spec work that translates to more work if the client likes there pitch.
This is a example of a project that in the 11th hour we needed to create a title sequence to set the tone. With a little help from After Effects Guru/comedian Andrew Kramer and a few basic tricks voila!
*(I was looking at my 2009 year in Review sampler and realized that what I posted is not so impressive if you don't know that it is a still image)
1. Original stock photo.
2. Mask out the clouds and feather it out.
3. Add motion clouds (VideoCopilot.net "Real Clouds") or Life before my new purchase would be to use an alternative technique (creating clouds in Photoshop, AE Noise particle clouds then 3D'ng it for perspective or the horror... go and shoot some clouds with a camera)
4. Then, one technique that I truly believe sells it and tricks your mind is the foreground atmosphere that is almost imperceptible. It doesn't make sense but it happens sometimes in life's chaos... Not going down that road. (I used VideoCopilot.net Action Essentials or create some floating particles with Particular or Partical World)
5. Color Correct clouds to match with stock photo. Contrast level is more important than Color matching but I always try to do both.
6. Added an adjustment layer to color grade the whole image.
7. Added Titles with a soft drop shadow to separate from background.
8. Added little dark solid with an inverted mask to create a vignette to focus your eye more on the text.
9. Final. (Given more time we could have done more but for a quick mock up not bad) Thanks Andrew Kramer
*Please Post a comment to help others or to add extra information or corrections.