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Andrew Kramer's Serious Effects & Compositing: Video Training for AE 7

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Andrew Kramer's Serious Effects & Compositing: Video Training for AE 7
A Creative COW Training Product Review

Jim Harvey reviews Serious Effects & Compositing: Video Training for After Effects 7 by Andrew Kramer

Jim Harvey Jim Harvey
JHV Digital
New York, USA

©Copyright 2006 Jim Harvey and Creativecow.net. All Rights Reserved
Article Focus:
In this article, CreativeCOW.net contributing editor Jim Harvey reviews Video Training For After Effects 7: Serious Effects & Compositing, hosted by Andrew Kramer .

One of the hazards of doing a lot of reviewing is that you sometimes get "Too smart for your own good" and can miss a trick here or there. That's exactly what happened to me while I was reviewing Andrew Kramer's Tutorial DVD. I was completely baffled that there was no way to rewind the tutorial to replay a section. No matter where I looked, there was no rewind button. How could anyone be so silly as to NOT include a way for people to review a tutorial? I had to get to the bottom of this! I got on the horn to Andrew Kramer himself (always go straight to the top!) and caught him in his car on the way to Las Vegas for NAB. "Hey Andrew, why didn't you include a rewind button in the tutorials? That's not a good thing guy!" "Well Jim, what screen resolution are you using? 1024 x 768? Uh Huh. Did you happen to read the "README FILE" I included in the program...the one that tells you what to do if you're running a low rez monitor setting (ouch!)? No? Ok, well here's the scoop..." Andrew proceeded to explain to me that the controls were indeed there but I had to set things up a little differently if I wanted to use 1024 as my resolution. He did refrain from calling me any names for which I was grateful. I changed my settings (I upped the resolution so as not to appear cheap) and low and behold, all those missing controls magically re-appeared.



The moral of that little story is: READ THE DOCUMENTATION that comes with your programs (you remember RTFM don't you?)



Ok, with that out of the way, I got into the meat of this new training set. Right off the bat, this tutorial stands out as being a little different. The interface is very clean and at first, I thought I was looking at a web page. On the left hand side of the screen, you have a "Table of Contents" from which you can choose a specific chapter to view.

Chapter 1 deals with what's new in AE7 and gives a nice overview of the added features and abilities of the new release. Andrew also gives some tips on basic preference setup so you can follow along and start with your presets already tweaked.


Fig1. Clean interface greets you when you start Andrew Kramer's Tutorial Package.


Chapter 2 covers some information on basic color keying and shows you how to perform a clean key with footage that isn't quite perfect. Andrew explains how to do edge adjustment and some plate matching so that your keys will look as good as possible.



Chapters 3 through 7 concern themselves with the creation of some specific special effects. From 3D silhouettes, to some very nice advanced compositing effects, muzzle flashes without the need for plug-ins, explosions and so on. Andrew takes special pains to go through every relevant detail when working with green screen footage. His attention to detail is spot on and makes your understanding of the process much clearer.


Fig 2. Compositing, Green Screen footage and some tricks make an explosion come to life.


Chapter 8 is split into two parts as it deals with DVD menu creation. This section in itself could have been a complete tutorial set. Very well done with some solid techniques presented for you to learn.



Chapters 9 and 10 cover a nice effect that you can use in your demo reel or production as well as some very good information on Selective color correction. Andrew has really got a handle on the new AE7 and presents his projects in a pleasing and easy to work with manner. While you may never need to make a floating address plate, the concepts that Andrew brings forward can be used in many different ways. As is always the case, you supply the idea, Andrew supplies the tools to achieve it.



Andrews's web site www.VideoCopilot.net also has a host of other tutorials that you can access. He also has a set of plug-ins that you can get to change up the looks of any of your footage.



I was impressed with the clean design of the tutorial package as well as the content. I think that Andrew hit the nail on the head with this package. It's a good starting point for someone just getting into After Effects while still offering some good ideas and techniques for intermediate users. Power users won't be finding a lot of meat here, however. (So, go and write your own tutorials, will ya?)

In Conclusion

I'm giving it a solid 4 cows because I'm expecting more from Andrew in the future. If you're just starting out with AE7, add another half Cow.

4 cows.


©Copyright 2006 Jim Harvey | Creative Cow
All Rights Reserved


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Comments

Re: Andrew Kramer's Serious Effects & Compositing: Video Training for AE 7
by shiva shanker
hello sir i want 2 know about plugins matte and ext.

shiva


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