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After Effects Expressions Paperback – November 4, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0240809366 ISBN-10: 024080936X Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"After Effects Expressions offers a comprehensive resource guide that fills a niche like nothing else currently on the market. If you would like to add expressions to your bag of design and development tricks, this book comes highly recommended."--Tim Frick, Mightybytes.com

From the Back Cover

Put the power of Expressions to work in your animations with controls and efficiencies impossible to achieve with traditional keyframing techniques.

No programming skills are required. Foundation concepts and skills orient the new designer and serve as a handy reference to the experienced one. Basics of creating Expressions, variables, commands, and Expression helpers precede the leap into JavaScript and math essentials for more advanced Expressions that include randomness and physical simulations.

Full color illustrations display the scripts and the resulting effects, Pick Whip techniques, and sequential animations. Downloadable companion files include QuickTime movies of the demo animations, and AE project files that permit you to examine the Expressions.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (November 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024080936X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240809366
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #657,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Pick McGwirk on February 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I approached this book as one kind of newbie -- a web designer/programmer who is proficient at javascript and other scripting languages, but with little experience in After Effects. So, while I was comfortable with the scripting elements of the book, I appreciated the fact that various users of After Effects will arrive from any number of different backgrounds, and the effort taken to not scare off visual designers with lots of unfamiliar math and programming language were not a problem for me. Expressions is a clever pun of Adobe's in a way, using a word that we might take to mean "artistic expression" to fuel an approach to entering mathematical expressions, for underlying these dazzling effects is math. For those of us who are programmers, of course, the ability that Expressions gives to get to the actual math and javascript is a plus that increases our comfort level with our goals for the finished product.

This book does a good job of easing the burden of the math/programming for those who aren't at their most comfortable with these things, and does an equally good job of taking someone like myself, who is likely to be involved more in the programming side of a project while working with a designer, to become familiar with the parameters used by Expressions. This acknowledges, in my mind, that there are various of us in the food chain of producing content that may have to learn to touch a wide array of different programs (for instance, I had rarely used Adobe Premiere before last year, and it was one of my most-used programs in 2008 because of web projects that were heavy on video). That's why I think it is important for a book of this kind to be able to welcome various kinds of newbies... folks who may all be newbies in different ways.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A.C.E. on March 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
FINALLY! A book on After Effects expressions that speaks to EVERYONE! I myself am a published After Effects author and lecturer, but I have a dirty little secret: I suck at expressions. Badly. I fear them. I loathe them. And in all of the great forums, books, and training I've encountered, I've never found anyone able to speak at my level without being condescending, or assuming too much.

Marcus Geduld is totally the right guy for the job, as anyone familiar with the After Effects community can tell you. He's just amazing. His ability to make difficult concepts easy to grasp is second to none, in my opinion. I saw him speak at an After Effects certification seminar at NAB in Vegas a few years ago, and he spoke about AE preferences for an hour and I was on the edge of my seat like I was watching an episode of Lost or something!

I finally "get" expressions now. It will be hours of practice before I feel really comfortable using them. But the nightmares about a huge "if/then" statement coming in the night and eating me have finally stopped.

P.S. Did I mention that this book is hilarious? Well, it is. If you were like me and wondering if it would be a boring read, then you don't know Marcus Geduld! I think I had a laugh and an "a ha" moment on every page...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven F on July 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book is great so far. But the publisher did something incredibly stupid. They don't include a CD for the example files so you have to download them. But on their download website they don't provide a way of downloading everything all at once, or even one chapter at a time. You have to download EVERY SINGLE FILE separately! There are over 100 files. It's going to take me hours for something that should take one minute.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Bonano on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
First of all, this is not a book to teach you how to use AE. Still, the author does a good job at telling you how to use AE if you are still learning it. I have been afraid of expression for a while now, but knew deep down inside that some of the animations I wanted to do, couldn't be done without expressions. This book is easy to pick up and use. I haven't gone through the whole book and can easily just jump to a section I need to use and BAM!!! I have exactly what I was looking for. Project files are located on his website which kinda sucks, I was hoping for a disk to come with the book, but I can't complain too much. (Especially since I don't need those files anyway. I follow along with the book and type it all out from the get go so I can learn it anyway.

For those AE motion designers who have not yet allowed expressions to help them out, and for those who need an extra tool to help them finish that project, I recommend this book. A must have!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Geduldick on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Expressions or any type of code base scripting can be tricky for new users. In Marcus Geduld's After Effects Expressions he covers the foundations all the way up to what would come in handy for advanced users.
The files supplied on the DVD help you jump right in and following along with the exercises. Some advanced users at first may think some of the examples to be to basic but if you take what Marcus is explaining and apply it to more complex AE comps you can see the basic example really work in complex comps.

I happened to like the chapter on Expression Helpers with the character animation . With expressions and the Puppet tool in CS3/CS4 you have a huge amount of freedom in animating your work.

Most people shy away from learning expressions in AE for fear that it is to much Math but a lot of the mundane tasks for animations we do daily in AE can be solved with expressions. Towards the final chapters on Advanced Expressions Marcus breaks down using expression with 3D space(2.5D in truth) which at times you can get lost in your comps he explains the very complex is simple to understand terms.

My only wish is that he had used a little bit more complex or cleaned up reference files for some of the advanced cases. In all the book tackles a sometimes hesitant subject most animators/vfx artists don't like to mess with which is the code end of the application. If you are looking to get your feet wet with Expressions and Java scripting this is a much needed reference and practice book .If you are looking for some advanced expression training you can apply some of the end chapters to your existing knowledge base for well rounded scripting in After Effects. Great book for anyone using After Effects and wanting to learn more of what Expressions offer.
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