I want to create an anime/action style of background in photoshop and later bring it in and animate it in After Effects. I want it to have the action lines/ect. to make it look as if something in the foreground is flying through the air... Any suggestions?
What I created once when I did something like this was:
I created a proper contrasting gradient for my character in PS.
Went into illustrator and drew a VERY long/wide graphic. I placed drawn lines intermittently throughout this.
Took the both of them into AE, and animated the lines moving from left to right over the course of time needed to be on screen, over the gradient image.
Tips to remember for anime's sake...
The lines DO NOT need to move fast. Frequently "action" lines are moving at a fairly even pace. Usually, it's the character itself, moving slowly against the lines that creates the "urgency" of the scene.
Also, since this portion does not take place in any bearing of reality, don't be afraid to have your character move around a lot, vibrate, or some other associated movement to go with the scene.
I can recommend you just our right copy/watch any episode of Dragonball Z, Pokemon, or Sailor Moon if you can. These are the gold standard for imitatable japanese art styles. And since each of them is nearly a decade old or more, it's fairly easy for you to one-up the original.
Newer animes tend not to do this as often anymore since all the animation's being done on computers, it's not a big thing to do detailed backgrounds anymore.
Another recommended anime is FLCL (aka Fooly Cooly) which airs on Sat nights (1am EST) on Cartoon Network. You can see a much more modern computer animated take on this look. This week's episode is a prime example.