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75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Advantage Over Video Tutorials
I am a Video Editor and After Effects Artist, but while I did study After Effects in college, I never used it in my career until recently. At my job, I was given tasks that required minimal After Effects knowledge. However, recently, I have been put to the task of more complicated work. Each time, I have been able to find a tutorial and seek help on forum boards or from...
Published on January 15, 2011 by L. Young

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The DVD does not work!!!
I was so excited about ordering this book and learning After Effects. I am sure that it has plenty of good information to offer, but I cannot get the DVD to copy to my hard drive. I call the Technical support number to get help for the DVD. Then I am given another number to another company only to find out if I want a replacement DVD, I have to buy another book. I...
Published 13 months ago by emerald


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75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Advantage Over Video Tutorials, January 15, 2011
By 
L. Young (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques, 5th Edition, Version CS5 (Paperback)
I am a Video Editor and After Effects Artist, but while I did study After Effects in college, I never used it in my career until recently. At my job, I was given tasks that required minimal After Effects knowledge. However, recently, I have been put to the task of more complicated work. Each time, I have been able to find a tutorial and seek help on forum boards or from co-workers. However, I really am tired of that. When I am given an advanced project, I am stressed, seeking an answer sometimes through the night or weekend. I am embarrassed to have to ask co-workers, and sometimes a tutorial does not address an issue that's tripping me up. So I seriously considered giving up on After Effects, but almost everyone wants an editor who knows After Effects now.

In college, this book was our textbook. Now as a working professional, I have purchased it again for myself. But now, there are a ton of After Effects VIDEO tutorials. I have gone through the Essentials training on Lynda.com and Total Training. Those are as close to a textbook as you will find, but they are fundamental. For cool stuff, I love Video Copilot, AE Tuts and others. But what I have found is that those tutorials to do 'cool' things are simply 'watch what I can do' videos by the artists.

This book is so detailed that I understand why it was a textbook in college. You really LEARN After Effects. I am now at a place where I am not going to watch some tutorial, make some eye candy motion graphic and toss it on my reel as if I am at a level I'm not at. I now want to really learn the ins and outs of this app, and this book will do that.

I advise those who are anxious to jump on YouTube and follow someone's advanced video tutorial, then claim to know After Effects to sloooow down. If you are actually serious about learning it, get serious and read this book thoroughly. Read the boring stuff, because it's those basics that will help you troubleshoot. Most video tutorials do not address many issues that you'll need to troubleshoot unless the instructor experiences that problem while he's recording.

In 2010, I thought that this book was too thick, and I didn't have time for it. A year later, I realize I could have finished this book by now. So in 2011, I am starting again from the top. If I come up on advanced tasks along the way, I will skip ahead for that task, but return to where I left off later because now I am serious about really, really learning After Effects. And this is THE book to learn from. It takes a while to read vs. watch, but just do it. In the time you would read a novel or watch TV, read this book instead and enhance your knowledge.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything there is to know about AE, December 15, 2010
This review is from: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques, 5th Edition, Version CS5 (Paperback)
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I'm new to AE. As anyone who has tried to use AE (or just about any Adobe product) knows, there are way too many features for anyone to be able to just sit down and figure the program out on your own which is what I had been doing before I came across this book. I totally agree with the authors' remarks in the introduction that they have "crammed in numerous Tips, Gotchas, and Factoids... as well as [warnings] about situations where [a given feature] will not work". The book has over 700 pages and I still think "crammed" is a good word. I have yet to find a page that could have been left out due to lack of interesting content.

As a new user, I really appreciate the sample projects that are included because I, like most people, learn best by DOING. For the same reason, I appreciate the wealth of screen shots. For newbies like myself, it is important to read the book from beginning to end and not skip around because many of the chapters assume you have already read the previous material and do not re-explain things (and that's a good thing, really). As I've already mentioned, it's a very large book, so I have quite a bit to go, but my understanding of AE grows deeper by the page. Thank you to the Meyers for helping me use this program. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some more reading to do...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book. Loads of material., July 6, 2010
This review is from: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques, 5th Edition, Version CS5 (Paperback)
This is without a doubt the best motion graphics book there is. This takes you though the many different tools of After Effects and shows examples on how to use them. It's pricey, but worth it. A very through guide to say the least. It also comes packed with a DVD of extras which are great, and not just fluff. Highly recommended.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible for After Effects, September 17, 2010
By 
AnarchyJim (san francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques, 5th Edition, Version CS5 (Paperback)
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If you're trying to learn AE or you're a pro and need a great reference, this book is pretty much it. The new edition covers CS5, but still contains all the great information that has made it any AE jockeys bible. The new edition is clear as always, easy to understand, and loaded with great tips and tricks.

Even as someone who's used AE for 14 years, I still find myself browsing this book remembering forgotten keyboard shortcuts, features, and occasionally having things explained that I thought I knew. It's an excellent resource.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exhaustive book with tons of walkthroughs, December 22, 2010
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This review is from: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques, 5th Edition, Version CS5 (Paperback)
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I had an earlier version of this book for a previous version of After Effects, so I knew I wanted to get this book now that I have upgraded to CS5. I learned so much from the first book and I'm glad to see this book is even better. If you are a beginner you can feel good about getting this book as they do start with everything you need to know to get your animations going. The various parts of the interface are clearly laid out and explained, and are accompanied with full-color screenshots. I especially like how they refer to all of the commands by starting with the shortcut key (P is for Position, etc). I also like how they group items from the preferences list with the section that teaches the corresponding function. That way you can set your preferences at the same time you're learning what to do.

The section on expressions is fantastic. I have always avoided expressions, except for wiggle, and now I feel like I can actually write expressions on my own with some certainty and speed. The section on blending modes is also really strong; some of the more unusual blending modes are explained in a way that I finally understand what is going on (and have learned a few better ways to stack layers to get what I want). There's also a great section on working with photoshop and some of the common problems there. Even if you have a good amount of experience, there's probably a greater understanding of the product that you can get from this book. You may not want to read it from beginning to end if you are an expert, but it is easily used to trouble shoot an issue.

Honestly, I've had fun flipping through it and catching some new techniques from the newer functions, and I've also used it to help me figure out how to do something that I was imagining. Awesome book that I recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear and comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about After Effects, October 21, 2010
This review is from: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques, 5th Edition, Version CS5 (Paperback)
I learned the basics of After Effects by following along on all the tutorials in Trish and Chris Meyer's After Effects Apprentice, Second Edition. It's an excellent place to start, as they are natural teachers, and write clearly and well, and find a nice balance between example and instruction. After playing around with AE for a while, though, I wanted a more solid grounding and a better understanding of the whys behind the hows, and the hows beyond the basics. I knew they had a more advanced book on After Effects, but wanted to wait until the CS5 version came out. I've been working through it for a few weeks now and I can say it was well worth the wait.

I had a chance to take a look at the previous edition briefly, and it's clear that, unlike some software guides I've looked at, they haven't just added a couple of new sections and called it a new book but have made significant revisions to cover the fairly extensive changes in CS5. I'm not sure it's enough to warrant a new purchase if you have the CS4 edition, but I'm quite happy to have the detailed coverage of new features like the RotoBrush and the DigiEffects Freeform plugin, or on taking advantage of the new 3d tools in Photoshop CS5 extended, that you get in this edition. This more advanced Meyer's guide to After Effects follows a similar trajectory to their more hands-on introductory book, starting with the basics and covering all of the major features in sequence. This one just covers much more along the way, and goes into the details of why things work, and what kind of options are available. Here there is a hands-on component as well - the book comes with a dvd that contains project files for each of the chapters that can be used to follow along and experiment as you read. The difference is that here it's less of a tutorial-style guide - where they give precise recipes for creating effects - and more like a classroom/laboratory, where they explain a set of features and along the way give you projects to work on, ready made for exploration. It's a richer, more comprehensive way to learn the program - though I will say that I'm happy I started out with the tutorials since they deliver so much new information that it would be easy to be overwhelmed without a basic familiarity with the program. Still, they do start from the beginning and you could start here from scratch. If you were just going to purchase one book on After Effects, this is the one I'd suggest.

This is a massive guide, that covers just about everything you could possibly want to know about After Effects - and most of what it doesn't cover (such as advanced scripting, and what you can do with literally hundreds of the effects included in AE)you can find in supplementary chapters contained on the dvd. (The dvd also contains chapters from a few other Focal Press titles, plus over 60 different presets that can dropped into your library and used within After Effects). Chapters build upon each other, so that a beginner would want to follow them in order, but this would be a nice reference for more advanced users who want to brush up on specific skills - especially for those who want to get quickly familiar with some of the new tools in CS5. The book is very well designed, with illustrations that make clear where to click or how things should look - and the main text flows naturally through each topic, balancing examples and explanation nicely, and avoiding digressions - but just when I have questions about how exactly some new tool or strategy they've introduced works, I find in the margins a helpful factoid or information box that sets me straight.

The book is divided into 45 chapters (plus the bonus chapters on the dvd), and each one could be worked through in an hour or two. The chapters themselves are grouped under broad topics, that cover basic animation techniques to get you started and up to speed, how to work with layers effectively, then modes and masks and mattes, and working in 3d space with cameras and lights, nesting and parenting and precomposing, text animation, effects and presets, keying and working with color, time and tracking, drawing and painting and puppet animation, working with audio, using expressions, technical details about file types and how they can work together, and advanced exporting techniques. It's an intimidating range, but what's nice is that the reading is not at all intimidating, since Chris and Trish Meyer explain things quite well. I've been working through quite a few guides to some of the Adobe Creative Suite software lately, trying to develop a broad familiarity with several of the programs. After Effects is by far my favorite program in the Suite and this is so far my favorite of the many guides I've worked with along the way. You can pick up some of this information in bits and pieces here and there on the internet, but this book brings it all together and organizes it and presents it clearly. It really is the After Effects bible; there are other great reference titles out there that focus on this or that feature of the program - on expressions or effects, for example - but nothing I've seen illuminates it all and brings it all together like this book. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it -- I guarantee you won't be disappointed., January 23, 2012
This review is from: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques, 5th Edition, Version CS5 (Paperback)
Simply put, this is the best book on Motion Graphics for After Effects. Nothing comes close. Buy it -- I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

I first came across this "book" a number of editions ago when it was split across 2 volumes, "the Essentials" and "Advanced Techniques." Thinking back I remember feeling dumbfounded. It's very rare to find a book that's written and illustrated so well. It's even rarer to find an individual that is both a sought after expert in his or her field, who also has an extraordinary talent for teaching. As if that wasn't enough, there was not one but two of these amazingly talented individuals authoring these volumes.

With this 5th edition that has been updated for Adobe CS5 the winning formula is the same. The book is jam packed with clear descriptive text, beautiful full color images, sidebars containing tips and a DVD containing extremely well organized example projects with yet more articles on expression and effects (checkout Chris and Trish Meyer's articles on Artbeats or Provideo Coalition (where you will find their blog).

The book seems expensive at $70, but it's worth every penny and extremely good value considering the content and depth the book covers (I've been using After Effects for ten years, and I'm still finding nuggets in this book). If you plan on using After Effects as part of a post production movie making, then you may find the coverage of rotoscoping, motion tracking and color grading a little light (and for this I'd recommend Mark Christiansen's excellent After Effects CS5, Visual Effects and Compositing, Studio Techniques).

As a study in Motion Graphics, I can't find fault with the book at all. If you are any way involved in After Effects and motion graphics, this books needs to be in you library. Enough said.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes!, November 21, 2011
By 
Gina Miller (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques, 5th Edition, Version CS5 (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A little background first. I am a video editor and 3D animator. I have used various editing programs through out the years including Final Cut (7 and the new X), Vegas, and Combustion. Early on I had learned Autodesk (now Discreet) Combustion with the Autodesk 3D Studio Max. At the time Autodesk was marketing them as sister products. Because I had learned Combustion on such a deep level I stuck with it, however it now appears dormant, still remaining in it's 2008 version with no foreseeable upgrades. Because of this I want to transfer over to After Effects which is why I have this book.

This is a great book. It is organized well with a lot of photos and includes a companion DVD. The authors go into detail so that whether you are a novice or a more advanced user of video editing programs there is something to be learned. For example, an in depth lighting section (what is ambient light vs. parallel light) and they even have a few pages on how to create 3D objects in Photoshop and import them into AE. They are definitely trying to approach all relevant topics in this book.

Of course they go over all the basics as well, the work area, animation, text, effects, keying, audio, rendering etc.

There are little tips in the side margins - for example in the keying section they suggest keying with a green channel unless you are filming a blonde who may key better against a blue background. These insider tips are an attractive feature.

I would recommend this book. It is one that I will return to frequently while transitioning to AE.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best... again!, November 16, 2010
This review is from: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques, 5th Edition, Version CS5 (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I used to teach digital video editing and motion graphics at the university level and I almost always had a book by Trish and Chris Meyer on the syllabus. These are the kinds of books that students almost never trade in at the end of the semester, choosing instead to keep them as a reference. This new book is no exception.

I've been using AfterEffects for almost twenty years, but this book not only caught me up on the new features in CS5, it also reminded me of some really good tricks that I had somehow forgotten over the years.

If you're new to AE and you go through the lessons step-by-step, you should have a pretty solid understanding of the how to use it effectively when you are through. For someone who's already familiar with AE, this book is definitely the one you want at your workstation for reference - it's well indexed, nicely organized, and very complete.

If I were teaching a motion graphics class tomorrow, not only would I be grateful that this book is available to include as a workbook for my students, I would spend tonight reviewing it to brush up on all of the aspects of AE that I don't regularly use.

I can honestly say that I don't know of a better book for motion graphics using AfterEffects and I'm really glad that's it's within arm's reach of my workstation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource!, December 27, 2013
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I ordered the Kindle version of this textbook, and it has been a great resource in teaching me After Effects again. I used CS3 back in college and hadn't used it since. Even without the previous knowledge of AE, this book is very user-friendly. Screenshots, keyboard shortcuts, and step-by-step processes make this a must-have! I have acquired a very thorough understanding of how the program works.

The textbook comes with a DVD that contains sample projects to follow along with each chapter of the book. Since I bought the Kindle version, it didn't come with a DVD. However, all I had to do was e-mail a copy of my invoice for the book purchase the company at the CrishDesign website and they sent me a link to download the same files from the DVD. Being able to use the book and the sample project files together has been incredibly beneficial. This set is worth the investment!
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