Jerzy Drozda (maltaanon), in his usual understated way, introduced Youveelizer his plugin for integrating UV Mapping in After Effects via a Pixel Bender plugin. It’s a really nice, tightly integrated plugin/workflow/training in the maltaannon style.
If you’d like to explore the UV Mapping concept in a developer style with a little less hyperbole, take a look at AE: Projecting a Movie onto a Complex Surface where David van Brink walks you through his experiments and includes a sample AE project.
Pixel Bender is really exciting. A very accessible kernel-style image processing platform without the baggage and overhead of digging into the AE SDK. There is also a useful subset of the kernel language that works in Flash, like these 3D Normal Mapping experiments. Give it a try.