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Mike Gondek reviews After Effects Classroom In a Book (5.0)

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Mike Gondek reviews After Effects Classroom In a Book (5.0)



A Creative COW "Real World" Book Review



Mike Gondek reviews After Effects Classroom In a Book (5.0)
Mike Gondek
Mike Gondek
Orland Park, IL USA
C2002 Mike Gondek and CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
CreativeCOW leader, Mike Gondek examines Adobe After Effects 5.0 Classroom in a Book published by Adobe Press.


The team that wrote this Classroom In A Book did a much better job in proofing than the Premiere team at Adobe. Some examples can take a while to render, and you might get distracted or lose interest, especially in the beginning of the book. The PCs will usually finish rendering first before the macs if you teach this in a classroom. As great as the Mac people are, they may feel a little behind and uncomfortable, so it may be best to put everyone on a PC if they have no objection in a classroom.


Precomposing: Some the lessons in the beginning get into precomposing much to quickly, A newcomer to After Effects will not appreciate the power and beauty of precomposing, unless they have done a few lessons without precomposing first.


Text: Lesson 5 covers numbers and basic text, which I believe would have been better for lesson one. There is no sample of path text, and that is a popular request and attention grabber for after effects students.



I personally think it is easier to write a tip & tricks book for After Effects rather than a Classroom book or survival guide. AE is so massive and it is difficult to cover everything, and not make it repetitive for previous CIB owners.

I give AE 5 CIB 4 out of 5 cows.


Skill Level: This CIB has something for everyone. Obviously if you are new to After Effects, the Adobe CIBs are a good start. Even After Effects 4 gurus will learn Expressions, Cameras, and maybe some new tricks such as linking a graphical representation of sound frequencies to a path using Audio Spectrum. The first chapters are not as exciting, but they are used for the grand finale of 3D compositing in the end.


Content & Pace: After Effects is a huge program, and it is difficult to cover it all in one book that does not look like Leo Tolstoy's War & Peace. You do 11 lessons in the book which are really one entire project, and it should take you 2 days to 3 full days to do this book. They sneak in some important concepts such as time remapping, so the examples do cover important foundations of After Effects which need to be in the book. The ending of the book looks good, but after 2 days it seems that this is a lot of work to get only one final product with a good portion of the time taken to render your lessons.


Final Thoughts: Adobe makes the right choice in rewriting new material for the 5.0 classroom in a book so that previous AE CIB owners will benefit from the new lessons. The Premiere CIB still has the old movie style boy on the bike example which is getting old.



Mike Gondek




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