Element 3D is a new plugin for Adobe After Effects, which enables you to render and animate 3D objects right within After Effects itself. I just bought this plugin myself, as a relative newbie, but am having a lot of fun playing around with it. It's easy to get started, even with someone like me, but I've barely scratched the surface of what it can do.

This is a great intro to the plugin by Schoolpost2009

This is also a great example of how it can be used. StellarLensProd skilfully pulls together a 3D model rendered via Element 3D, some real-world action footage from VideoCopilot's Action Essentials product (which I also recommend) and some dramatic colour correction using Red Giant's Magic Bullet Mojo. I think you'll agree it's pretty cool.

And to top it off, if you're interested in how the Helicopter scene was created, then check out this breakdown tutorial so you can create your own version.