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Jim Harvey reviews After Effects in Production by Trish Meyer & Chris Meyer 2nd edition for AE 6.5

COW Library : Adobe After Effects : Jim Harvey : Jim Harvey reviews After Effects in Production by Trish Meyer & Chris Meyer 2nd edition for AE 6.5
CreativeCOW presents Jim Harvey reviews After Effects in Production by Trish Meyer & Chris Meyer 2nd edition for AE 6.5 -- Adobe After Effects Review


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After Effects is one of the most powerful compositing/effects creation programs that one could want. I don’t think that there is anyone who fully utilizes all the power that the programAfter Effects in Production 2nd edition by Trish Meyer & Chris Meyer offers. With such a powerful program comes its major problem and that is trying to get the most out of the investment in the shortest period of time. Using the supplied manual will get you familiar with the toolset to a degree, working through the basic tutorials will get you a step further along. What you really need is someone to sit next to you and take you by the mouse and show you some of the more intense effects that can be created with this program. The CreativeCow is a good place to start, as there are many in-depth tutorials available that can kick up your work a notch or two. Using the Meyer’s book is a way to spend your money intelligently and get more than full value for the expense.

After Effects in Production is laid out in such a way that you will get an excellent grounding in many of the important functions that After Effects contains. Chapter 1 deals with Time remapping (among other things) which is a sticky subject if you don’t have someone who can clearly explain it to you. By creating a composition, the reader begins to get an understanding of what’s going on and more importantly, why.

Chapter 2 deals with parenting and creating a montage that is just slick as ice. In each chapter there is a sidebar that explains the main concepts of what is being explained and a list of ancillary items (plug-ins and the like) that may be necessary to complete the tutorial. The book comes with a companion CD that contains a number of plug-ins and demos that will make the projects easier and more enjoyable to complete.

All the good stuff is in this book. Chapters break down different tools and proceed to create compositions with them so that before you know it, you’re compiling sophisticated comps that use all the “difficult” tools that After Effects brings to the party. The chapter on motion tracking and 3:2 pulldown (which was written before the 24p craze hit) is worth the price of the book alone.

This book is so packed with information that you’ll probably find yourself going back to it long after you’ve completed the last tutorial. The Meyer’s literally touch on every important function that you can dig out of your copy of After Effects.

There are also some excellent case studies at the back of the book where some very creative and high end companies have been gracious enough to include some of their work which is dissected so that you can understand how things get put together and some interesting little tricks that you wouldn’t have though t of without them telling you about it.

In Conclusion

It's a no brainer to give this book 5 COWS. This is the book that all the others try to top. If you’re serious about working with After Effects, then this book needs to be in your library. As a matter of fact, if you ask some of the really top professionals, I’d wager that 99% of them have this book on their shelves.
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One word of caution, however; if you have the first edition of After Effects in Production, I’d strongly suggest that you think carefully about getting the second edition. The reason being that the book is identical to the first edition with just a few more pages devoted to some of the differences of AE 6.5. You will have to make the decision as to whether or not the additional pages are worth another $49.95. The tutorials are the same so you won’t be getting any new content in that area.

If you don’t have the first edition, what are you waiting for?
This NEEDS to be in your studio/office/home/bathroom. It is great reading, great information and will make you a better artist.

5 COWS (see warning above).


©Copyright 2005 Jim Harvey | Creative Cow
All Rights Reserved


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