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Mike Gondek reviewsTotal Training's What's New in After Effects 5

COW Library : Adobe After Effects : Mike Gondek : Mike Gondek reviewsTotal Training's What's New in After Effects 5
Mike Gondek reviewsTotal Training's What's New in After Effects 5



A Creative COW Training Product Review

Mike Gondek examines Total Training's What's New in AE 5
Mike Gondek
Mike Gondek
www.mikegondek.com
Orland Park, Illinois USA

Article Focus:
CreativeCOW leader, Mike Gondek, examines the highly respected After Effects training series from Total Training, now in a single volume overview entitled What's New In After Effects 5 featuring host and author, Brian Maffitt.

Let DVD bring in the new era of self paced training. Get 4 DVDs, a CD with all Project files and a printed program guide which bring it all together. With DVD you can review chapters without having to rewind, and scrubbing is much faster (32x on my my DVD).

The content again is so well organized and the chapters are:
  1. What's Different
    1. Integration & Productivity
    2. Masks
    3. Motion Tracker
    4. Preferences
  2. Parenting, Flash & Expressions
    1. Parenting
    2. Flash
    3. Expressions Intro
    4. Expresso
    5. My Favorite Expressions
  3. 3D Part 1
    1. 3D Space Basics
    2. Cameras
    3. Lighting and Materials
  4. 3D Part 2
    1. Advanced 3D
    2. Fun w/Parenting & Expressions
  5. New Effects Part 1
    1. Shatter Intro
    2. Shatter with Gradients
    3. The Corner Pin Camera
    4. Custom Shatter Maps
    5. Custom Maps with Alpha
    6. Realistic Shatter
    7. Troubleshooting
  6. New Effects Part 2
    1. Card Wipe
    2. Card Dance
    3. Colorama
  7. New Effects Part 3
    1. Radio Waves
    2. Vegas
    3. Wave World and Caustics
  8. New Effects Part 4
    1. Foam
    2. Fractal Noise
    3. Optics Compensation
    4. Paint (Better known as Vector Paint)

The numbers above are titles and the letters are chapters. Making all these chapters would make section you need a lot easier and faster. There are also legal warnings and credits you want to skip each time. DVD is new a new medium for training, hopefully companies will value the consumer's business and produce training DVDs that usability and consumers first.

You will learn more from these DVDs about after effects than reading the manual. I would recommend in the future for Adobe to skip printed manuals and just provide an html manual with search along with DVD training. The media cost has fallen, and you can cover much more with the motion and color you get from the DVDs.

After watching the AE5 update, I want to purchase the Total After Effects 4 series. Brian Maffitt unlocks hidden features of what is new in After Effects 5. Brian also speaks a language we can all understand, and doesn't have one of those bad cockney UK accents, that you hear at tradeshows. Software developers prefer to hold your interest with a funny accent rather than teach you how to use their software.



The new series coming from Total Training should only keep getting better, and it is going to be amazing to see what users will do with what you learn from Total Training.

I give it 4 and a half cows.
A filter called expresso written by Maffitt and his crew is provided on the CD which helps you with expressions. Expressions are powerful and require some coding, but you get a PDF with some prewritten code you can use on the CD.

You can follow along with project files, but I found Maffitt's presentation so well that you can do the whole thing by just watching. It is not an easy thing to do to capture computer screens well, and the production on this tape is great. Hope to see the next tapes done in OSX or XP so the type is antialiased and looks even better. If it was not for Brian's guidance and great speaking abilities, you would have to squint to see the settings.

Many of the New Effects content is similar to the Total Evolution tapes, see my review. Maffitt does a great job explaining vector paint which was actually a cult effects plug in.


Mike Gondek
5/22/2002


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