I'm looking to create an "exoskeleton" effect on footage of a digger. Imagine live action footage, freeze-frame (maybe) and then background goes black with the exoskeleton of the digger being built in, all with VO explaining how the pneumatics work etc. Then revert back to normal live action footage and digger continues doing its thing.
Hopefully I've explained it! Does anyone know of any templates/plugins/etc that will help me achieve this?
Are you talking about an exploded view, where everything comes apart? If so, AE can't do it natively. You will need to use a 3D app like Cinema 4D or Maya; you would need a 3D model of the digger, with each piece set up to be animated on its own. You can do the final composite in AE, but AE does not have the ability to model or animate 3D objects.