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Adobe After Effects CS3 Professional Studio Techniques 1st Edition

20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321499783
ISBN-10: 0321499786
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Christiansen designs, directs and teaches about video and computer graphics for films, television, and live events. Working at the renowned special effects studio, The Orphanage, he has created shots for numerous Hollywood films. Mark has also directed, produced, and designed live-event videos and created graphics for television documentaries.

Mark has done extensive work directly with the After Effects development team on documentation and training, and has also created popular training classes on After Effects for In addition to two previous editions of this book, he wrote After Effects 5.5 Magic (with co-author Nathan Moody). He has spoken at SIGGRAPH and NAB and blogs at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Adobe Press; 1 edition (November 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321499786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321499783
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,699,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

These books reflect a passion for helping people create images and films that resonate emotionally by feeling real. I've worked on films, worked with filmmakers, taught artists and helped design and market software intended for filmmakers. After Effects has been a channel in which I've been comfortable thinking creatively and solving visual puzzles since I started with the software way back when.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Sean Kennedy on January 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in doing visual effects for any level of filmmaking, then you absolutely should have this book. After Effects has been used on everything from the smallest home movie to the biggest blockbuster motion picture, and Mark shows you how to get the absolute most out of the program.

I'm a visual effects artist who has worked on major films ("Sin City", "Evan Almighty", "Night at the Museum", "Golden Compass", etc...), and I work at one of the biggest VFX studios in the world. Alot of people in this industry believe After Effects is used only for motion graphics. That is completely incorrect, and this book will prove to you that After Effects is just as capable as any node-based compositing program, and in some instances even better. I personally have used After Effects on movies like "Austin Powers Goldmember", "Meet the Fockers", "Superbad", and tons more. I can't even begin to imagine how much time I would have saved if I had found this book prior to the last edition.

If you're an intermediate or seasoned AE user, no doubt you will still find amazing tricks and tips in here. I stood in a bookstore perusing the previous edition, telling myself I wasn't going to buy it, but after the 3rd or 4th time saying to myself "Wow, I didn't know you could do that in AE!", I took it to the cashier, bought it, and couldn't wait to get home to my computer to try some of the things out. I wasn't disappointed, and you won't be either.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Torres on January 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
After Effects CS3 Professional is the book to get if you A) Love yourself and B) want to do visual effects. Now in it's 3rd Edition (AE 6.5, AE7 were the first two editions), this book is the most complete for getting the best out of "compositing," which is what you do when you take 2 elements and layer them together.

Too many books give a page or two to Greenscreen, and then it's just a basic 1 click. Nope. Of all the training material I've taken in (and I've taken in everything in print), this book excels at explaining the process clearly so you can apply it to your own shots.

If you're doing composites now and think they don't look right, or considering adding ANY effect to your movie, or want to work in the field, then GET THIS BOOK ASAP. I would buy this BEFORE I bought After Effects software, so you can understand WHY you're doing what you're doing with After Effects (and why AE is a good answer, though not the absolute only answer given some other compositing apps. It's the principals that matter). Frankly, I had to read a lot of photoshop AND after effects and digital compositing books over 5 years to understand what AECS3 Studio Techniques explains in one volume. This book is the go to resource for visual effects/compositing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Dinkins on March 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
After Effects CS3 Professional Studio Techniques came in the post today from I've already read it. It's incredible and is blowing my mind. It's for a somewhat more advanced level of After Effects user, but someone who is just getting started should be able to understand it easily. The first couple of chapters explain the interface in great detail. If you're moving from something like Apple Shake, or another compositing program over to AE, this book will certainly help.

The gentleman who wrote it was a compositor on "Pirates of the Carribean" and "The Day After Tomorrow" (God, I love that film) and works for The Orphanage (the same company that developed the Magic Bullet plug-in sold by RedGiant Software [I recommended that plug-in highly]). It has a wealth of info on just about every required standard plug-in in the After Effects interface, and a few that aren't standard. If you've ever wanted to know everything "Levels" does or how to read it's Histogram properly, or if you wanted to know how to draw color curves accurately and properly (something that I've never had the hang of before and I'm sure many of you realize can go devastatingly array), then this is your book!

Probably one of the neatest things is that it explains (in detail) the nature of the transfer modes and exactly what they do, something I'd never really seen done before.

The most important thing in the book is that it explains the 32 Bit HDR and Color Management for CS3. In fact, chapter 11 is completely dedicated to it. It also has a detailed chapter on just motion tracking techniques that is mind numbing! Some of the biggest topics it covers are Color Correction, Color Keying, and (the infamous) Rotoscoping/Paint.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Basulto on January 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mark's new book is a must have for the independent filmmaker. I was (am) a huge fan of the previous book but this one has taken its place on my work desk. The book is not simply a rehash of the previous book but is a fresh take on needed foundations and advanced techniques to become a power AECS3 user.

The forward, aptly titled "Who Brings the Sex" is written by FX Superstar and founder of The Orphanage Stu Matschwitz. After reading this you are instantly fired up to get going on advanced studio techniques taught by Mark.

If you have the basics of AE down and are ready to inject some Barry Bonds steroids into your AE path GET this book. It will excel you to new heights. the book came at a perfect time as my last one is in tatters from usage! Cheers!
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