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Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects (With CD-ROM) (DV Expert Series) 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0879306069
ISBN-10: 0879306068
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If you have been using After Effects for years, have just started using it, or are considering using it, get this book. Written by Trish and Chris Meyer, perhaps best known for their monthly motion-graphics column in DV Magazine, Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects is the definitive book on using this powerful tool.

Every page is in color and is filled with tips, notes, warnings, and screenshots. The format is clearly not boilerplate--there is no wasted space, yet the book manages to strike a balance between being information-packed, easy-to-read, and enjoyable to look at. The only downside of this book is that it doesn't have a spiral or lie-flat binding.

Nine sections break down the features of After Effects in a logical manner, starting with basic animation and key framing, and on to layers, masks, mattes, effects, and rendering. Part 6's four chapters explain using After Effects with its sister applications, Photoshop and Illustrator, and Part 7 covers audio--an important but rarely discussed aspect of any presentation. Part 9 features a wide array of technical discussions, including field rendering and interlacing, 3:2 pull-down, working at film-resolution and widescreen sizes, prerendering, and using proxy files.

The CD-ROM gives 22 tutorials and includes project files. These lessons range from the basic ("Getting Animated" for After Effects beginners) to what falls into the "Oh, wow, I would never have thought of that!" category (a Matrix title-sequence look-alike). The CD-ROM also includes all the projects and source files cited in each chapter, plus tech tips covering 12 difficult and common technical areas--including alpha channels, the aspect ratio, and the After Effects rendering pipeline.

An artisan at the top of his or her craft often takes on the task of teaching others. Those working in the fields of animation, effects, motion graphics, and digital media are lucky that authors Trish and Chris Meyer are living by this rule. --Mike Caputo


"A 'must have' for aspiring or established motion graphic designers. Based on years of experience, Trish and Chris provide a wealth of information that integrates After Effect's powerful tools with creative and professional solutions." -- Steve Tiborcz, After Effects Quality Engineering

"I cant think of anyone more qualified to show you how to get the most out of After Effects than Trish and Chris Meyer." -- Steve Kilisky, Senior Product Manager, After Effects, Adobe Systems Inc.

Product Details

  • Series: DV Expert Series
  • Paperback: 477 pages
  • Publisher: CMP Books; 1st edition (May 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879306068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879306069
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,536,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
No matter if you are a very experienced Motion Graphics or VFX artist, or trying to break into the Industry, this book is a great tool to have in your arsenal.
I bought this book the second it was released, and it's been one of the best purchases I've made. I already own 2 other After Effects books, and this one is head and shoulders above the other two by providing complete, informative tips and suggestions for tools, including real world examples.
Also the writing style and layout is visually and interesting to read. So many of these books, are very dry, making you want to quit immediately, but not with Trish & Chris, they engage, the ready, and make it visually appealing too. In fact so much of the book is in Full Color (read every page) that I'm surprised it isn't more expensive, the printing costs alone must be very high.
There are lots and lots of projects that come with it. I haven't been through all of them yet, but those I have, were all top notch.
My advice to everybody, this is it, this is the one, go out buy it, and you'll be happy. I'm giddy over it;)
Barry Berman
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful and amazing book in both content and style. If you have ANY interest in After Effects you simply must get this book.
The tutorials are numerous, thorough, and well thought out. Besides just teaching you the mechanics of how to use After Effects effectively, there is a lot of good information on how After Effects works internally which helps immensely in understanding how to get the most out of the program.
The companion CD ROM is a treasure in itself. It contains enough additional chapters and tech notes to fill another book as well as lots of source material to practice with and some fully functional 3rd party plug-ins to play with.
In addition to having a great teaching style, Chris and Trish obviously have a lot of real-world experience actually using After Effects to create motion graphics for paying clients. So, as an extra bonus, you get the educational benefit of seeing their design aesthetic, which is pervasive throughout the book.
You can't go wrong with this one!
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If you are only going to buy one book about AE, then get this one. Is not only the best book on the subject - that I have read - but the best book about about any program I have worked with... And I have quite a collection. This two know the program like if they made it themselves. They are never patronising, they have a wonderful sense of humour at the right times, and best of all they manage to really teach you the program in such a way that you feel really really competent with it. A lot of extras includedin the cd, they went to the trouble of creating lots of versions of everything they talk about so you understand exactly. You also learned a lot about general stuff. Like video and film standards, vector and pixel art import methods and handling, etc... Nothing was overlooked. A really great book
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"Creating Motion Graphics" is quite possibly the BEST aftermarket book for any software product I have ever used. Other authors would do well to take note of the Meyer's exhaustive coverage of every conceivable topic. What makes this book stand out is its focus on the "real world" aspects of AE, and not page after page of boring, un-inspiring step-by-step "tutorials" that just teach you what buttons to push. To use an old cliche, this book doesn't just give you "fish" (like the Classroom in a Book and that terrible "Real World After Effects" by Sherry London), it teaches you HOW to fish. The sections on effects, for example, explains what each effect does, but they go further by showing you interesting and novel uses of the effect that aren't entirely obvious (such as using the Polar Coordinates effect to "radiate" a text scroll).
The Meyer's actually USE After Effects daily for "real" high-level projects, and as such they have uncovered all of the tricks, nuances and gotcha's of the product that most other people don't realize until its too late. CMG is like a compilation of all the great wisdom and tips from the AE mailing-list. Every page is filled with useful information.
The attention to detail is mind-boggling. Just yesterday, in fact, I was tearing my hair out over some wierdness with Time-remapping that I couldnt figure out, so I decided to read "the bible" and learned of a obscure time-remapping "feature" which wasn't mentioned in the AE manual, and which was causing my remapped footage to not matchframe properly. This is the kind of thing that you can only figure out if you spend thousands of hours banging away at the program.
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Format: Paperback
As one of the first purchasers of this book, I must address the few negative comments that are in this review section. A) This book is NOT just for novice or begining users. It is an extremely thorough reference. Our company owns every book available on AE, and this is by far the best. Very well laid out, and covers nearly every topic. B) The screenshots in the book are on the Mac Platform. Finally! Nearly every designer I know is on the Mac platform (and the Mac is what AE was created on), so it makes complete sense to the 90% of the AE users out there who are on a Mac. To address one of the complaints below: If you want to know how to use Cinelook, contact DigiEffects. This book is not a dissertation on how to use every plug-in. It IS an excellent example of how a book can teach both novices and even experts a few new tricks. Kudos to the awesome illustrations!
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