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Reviews Written by
Brian M. Stoppee "M2 Media Studios, Inc." (Northern Virginia (West of DC))
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
THE Best Educational Resource on Premiere Pro CC
, December 8, 2013
We go back to Adobe Premiere 1.0, released in 1991, when it was a Mac-only app (good point relative to this review). Adobe brands the latest version as "Premiere Pro CC." If you carefully examined the June of 2013 release, you'd see that it was version 7.0. The only way you can get Pr CC is through having a Creative Cloud subscription, in which case, you'd now have at least Pr 7.1 (as of this writing). Adobe started renumbering the versions after Premiere (no "Pro") 6.5 when they added the Pro suffix and dropped the Mac version, for a while. This is actually Premiere's lucky 13th full version, excluding the dot releases along the way (such as Premiere 6.5 or Premiere Pro CS5.5).
We mention the history because there was a time when we fell out of love with Premiere, especially when it was no longer available for our Macs. For a while it was a bit slow and clunky, but by the April 2011 release of Pr 5.0 (CS5) it was a little rocket with a new interface and we started to fall in love all over again.
That sounds like a happy ending to a long story, but we missed many versions along the way. We normally study each new version's features very carefully. We missed out on a variety of important features as they rolled-out. The best way to master this stuff is incrementally. That's where the Classroom in a Book comes in.
Classroom In A Book (CIB)
Adobe Press, also known as Peachpit, made a big change to CIB from the CS5 edition of Premiere Pro, to date. They brought on the new writing team of Richard Harrington and Maxim Jago. To be completely up front, we are Adobe Community Professionals (ACP), as are Richard and Maxim. We do come across one another from time to time as we do for probably the majority of the working educators for creative professionals.
Three versions after reigniting the Premiere romance, it still feels like we're catching up on mastering the thing. In the past two and a half years it also feels like we have explored every Premiere book and video on the planet (well at least the ones in English). So, if you want to fast forward to the closing credits, we'll tell you right now that this is not only the best edition of Pr CIB but easily the best book or video for the app.
Who Needs This Book?
There are a few new audiences for Pr. 1.) Many feel that Apple dumbed down their once iconic Hollywood super star, Final Cut Pro (FCP). This caused those who didn't want FCP X to flock to not only Premiere Pro, but to the rest of the Adobe DVA (digital video audio) apps as well: After Effects (Ae), Audition (Au), Media Encoder (ME), Prelude (Pl), and SpeedGrade (Sg), all of which are mentioned in this book, along with Bridge (Br), Illustrator (Ai) and Photoshop (Ps). 2.) Next, as of September, there were over 1 million CC subscribers and 25,000 more coming on board, each week. Most of them get all the DVA apps as part of the CC subscription. 3.) Lastly, it's very difficult to find a dSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera which doesn't do HD movies. Somehow all of us dSLR people need to do something with all those movie clips we're shooting. 4.) There's something of a fourth audience for CIBs in general. Though there's a group of dedicated Adobe employees trying to improve their user manuals and help screens, the PDF manuals are either marginally okay, borderline lousy, or don't exist at all. A few days ago, when we complained to one of the Adobe product managers about there being no user manual for her app, she told us to tell people to just get CIB. Though Premiere Pro 7.1 has a 552 page manual, which tries to confusingly also serve users of versions 5.0, 5.5, and 6.0, it is not a learning tool. The manuals and the CIB series are two very different animals.
Why An Adobe Professional Needs This Book
That said, as ACPs, we strive to know as much as we can about all 15 of the core CC apps. So, this review is pretty much our personal journal of what we discovered as we methodically made our way through the book's lessons, doing our best to learn all we can. For that reason, you'll see page references and a chapter-by-chapter breakdown on the book's contents.
Chapter 1 - Touring Adobe Premiere Pro Creative Cloud
This is for Pr newbies. If that's you, carefully study this first chapter. It's an overview. For those of you coming to Pr from FCP or Avid, these are must-know topics. If
Non-linear Video Editing p 8
is a completely new experience for you, don't struggle through this chapter and feel like you're doomed to never grasp all that Pr has to offer. Pages are dedicated to assisting you in understanding overall editing
Workflow p 10-13.
From the time Pr launches and you see the
Welcome Screen p 14
things begin to baffle newbies. The subsequent chapters will guide you through all the basics and much more. It's very difficult to find a concise visual guide to the Pr UI (user interface) which underwent change with each of the last 3 versions (recently it's been tweaking). One of the best (if not THE best) explanations of each
Panel's Functionality p 14-17
is here. Each section includes annotations. If you are new to Pr, this chapter could take more than an hour. Don't just breeze through the
Workspace Customization p18-21.
You'll need to be proficient with this, guaranteed. If you've been working in Ae, Au, Br, and/or Pl. You know a good chunk of what the Pr workspace is all about. Give the chapter 2 hours if you need to. Just be sure to absorb it all. Regardless of your level of expertise, it is essential that everyone knows everything in this chapter.
Chapter 2 - Setting Up A Project
Don't let setting up the project be a deal breaker for your mastering Pr. If you take this chapter slowly, it will not overwhelm. The lesson's progression is well designed to eliminate as much of the app's inevitable intimidation factor. Little explanations of things like the
Timeline p 26
and the functionality of the
Welcome Screen p 27
help. The nature of editing motion requires a great deal of technical jargon to be thrown your way. These are common communications "craft editors" use. The sidebar on
Rendering p 28-29
is a good example. Annoying references to
Graphic Acceleration p 30-31
pop-up all the time and are explained nicely, here. The ongoing need to respond to Pr's call for
Format Settings p 31-33
make this chapter a desktop reference guide. Even some of the most seasoned users of other Adobe CC apps can get lost and confused about Pr. Since this is very reference oriented, if some of this does not appear to pertain to your workflow, there's no need to study it. We understand the need to prepare those readers coming from a Avid or Final Cut Pro world. But, for dSLR shooters, none of those pages are of any value. Every reader should understand
Codecs, Bit Depth, Render Quality, and Audio Options p 42-44
(if only to help with your living room's sound system)!
Chapter 3 - Importing Media
It's nice to learn about the Media Browser panel. It's quite popular. We mostly use Bridge, instead. Some of the most seasoned Pr users need the
Prelude p 50
one pager. This chapter will be very reference-oriented for many. The discussions of video tape have a limited audience.
Chapter 4 - Organizing Media
On the other hand, it's easy to get anxious and give into the desire to start doing cool stuff. That makes sense. Premiere is just as much a creative hot spot as InDesign or Dreamweaver. All three apps are a place where assets come together and are manipulated into serious cleverness. So, thinking that organizing stuff is boring makes some kind of right brain sense. However, breezing-through this chapter is a big mistake as it is in the other two apps. That's where we rely on Br for organizing assets for all our CC apps. In Pr, it's all about getting things into the
Project panel p 68-71.
We drag things into the Pr Project panel from the Br Content panel. But, once it you drop things in the Project panel, make sure that where those assets are located and how they are named are as solid as can be. Knowing about how
Bins p 72-75
work is fun. That goes back to the days of big reels of film. We've never done a project big enough to need bins. Br users will want to read about
labels p 76.
That fits right into the Br workflow.
Hidden in this chapter is some essential understanding of Pr's hidden power. There are a variety of
playback controls and monitor modifications p 82-86
which take you from getting by to unleashing Pr power. Study these pages backwards and forwards (playback pun intended). There's more industrial-strength know-how on
manipulating clips p 87-90
before the creativity is allowed to kick in. Study this.
Chapter 5 - Essentials Of Video Editing
The name of this chapter is deceptive. It sounds as if you know the basics you can skip it. WRONG! Richard and Maxim have packed must-know stuff into this chapter:
1.) Source Monitor p 94
2.) Loading a Clip p 95
3.) Second Monitor p 96
4.) Multiple Clicks p 96
5.) Source Monitor Controls p 97
6.) Selecting a Clip's Range p 97-100
7.) Project Panel Editing p 100
8.) Create Subclips p 100
9.) Timeline Navigation p 101-102
10.) A Sequence? Conforming? p 103
11.) Sequence in a Timeline p 104
12.) Tracks? p 104-105
13.) Targeting Tracks p 105
14.) Ins and Outs p 106-107
15.) Time Rulers p 106-107
16.) Customizing Track Heads p 108-109
17.) Editing Commands p 109-115
a.) Overwrite Edit p 109-110
b.) Insert Edit p 110-112
c.) Three-Point Edit p 112-113
d.) Storyboard Editing p 113-115
e.) Still Duration p 114
Chapter 6 - Working With Clips And Markers
This is another must-master chapter. As with the previous one, don't stop working on this until you understand and can easily perform every single sentence.
1.) Program or Source Monitor? p 120-121
2.) Adding Clips to Timeline in Program Monitor p 122-125
3.) Resolution Control p 125-127
4.) Markers p 127-132
5.) Sync+Track Lock p 133-134
6.) Timeline Gaps p 134
7.) Select Clips p 135-137
8.) Move Clips p 137-140
9.) Extract/Delete Segments p 141-142
Chapter 7 - Adding Transitions
This is where it starts to get fun and this book does an excellent job of showing how simple it can be to polish a sequence. We also appreciate how it provides some direction on best practices. This more than a how-to book. But, on a step-by-step basis, the how-to is there:
1.) Edit Points and Handles p 149
2.) Video Transitions p 149
3.) Single-Sided Transition p 150-151
4.) Transitioning Between 2-Clips p 151-153
5.) Transitioning Multiple Clips p 153-154
6.) Sequence Display Response p 155
7.) A/B Mode Fine-Tuning p 156-160
a.) Effect Control Panel p 156-158
b.) Inadequate Head/Tail Handles p 158-160
8.) Audio Transitions p 160-162
Chapter 8 - Advanced Editing Techniques
At this point in the lessons you may have invested 5 hour to as many as 8 hours of your time, depending on your level of expertise. It's assumed that you've gained a sufficient comfort level to do more heavy lifting and you're ready to deal with some more involved concepts. This is a good place to be in your Pr development. These lessons become more focused. Don't just complete the projects; be sure you are well-versed in all of what's being explored to the point that you can apply all of it to your own projects, now and in the future:
1.) Four-Point Editing p 167-168
2.) Retiming Clips p 168-174
a.) Changing Speed/Duration p 168-170
b.) Rate Stretch Tool p 170-171
c.) Time Remapping p 171-174
3.) Replacing Clips and Footage p 174-178
a.) Dragging in a Replacement p 174-175
b.) Replace Edit p 175-177
c.) Replace Footage Feature p 177-178
4.) Nesting Sequences p 179-182
5.) Regular Trimming p 182-184
6.) Advanced Trimming p 184-191
We want you to carefully study this section and fully understand each concept.
a.) Ripple Edit p 184-186
b.) Rolling Edit p 187
c.) Sliding Edit p 188-189
d.) Slip Edit p 190-191
7.) Program Monitoring Trimming p 192-197
a.) Trim Modes p 192-193
b.) Methods p 194-195
c.) Dynamic Trimming p 196-197
d.) Keyboard Trimming p 198
Chapter 9 - Putting Clips In Motion
We use motion effects a great deal and have studied everything we could get our hands on. To get extremely good at this takes a great deal of exploration. This chapter does not coddle the reader. The authors try share a great deal of learning opportunities in a relatively limited number of pages, so this is very challenging. The books says this chapter can be completed in 50 minutes. If you can do that, great. However, don't feel bad if you spend an entire morning, carefully studying this and come back do some extra credit, after taking a break. Here's our breakdown on what points you have to walk away with:
1.) Adjusting Motion p 202-207
a.) Motion Settings p 203-206
b.) Motion Properties p 206-207
2.) Changing Clip Position, Size, and Rotation p 208-215
a.) Position p 208-210
b.) Motion Setting Reuse p 210-211
c.) Rotation + Anchor Point Changes p 211-213
d.) Size p 214-215
3.) Keyframe Interpolation p 216-220
a.) Temporal vs. Spatial Interpolation p 216
b.) Interpolation Methods p 217
c.) Motion Ease p 218-220
4.) Effects Relative to Motion p 220-226
a.) Drop Shadow p 220-221
b.) Bevel p 221-223
c.) Transform p 223-224
d.) Basic 3D p 224-226
Chapter 10 - Multi-Camera Editing
This is an extremely impressive feature set added to Pr, recently. Admittedly, it does not appeal to all users. However, what was once a very limited market has expanded dramatically in recent years due to the availability very affordable HD cameras. This chapter is a very complete overview. We have been meaning to work with this. It's perfect for setting up multiple cameras and letting them roll during our educational segments. Then we can cut from camera to camera. It makes us feel like we're back at NBC News playing director, just without the need to say, "Standby Camera One... aaaannnnd One."
Chapters 11+12 - Editing And Mixing Audio + Sweetening Sound
We're a bit surprised that better than 11% of this book (54 of the book's 470 pages) has been devoted to these two chapters. It seems like an old page-allocation relative to the days when Pr was sold as a standalone application rather than as component to the fully CC suite of desktop apps. This includes the fabulous audio app, Audition, which direct links clips and sequences from Pr. We understand that there are some users who are required to learn all aspects of Pr. Our feelings would not have been hurt if these chapters were PDFs on the DVD or distributed as internet downloads.
We don't know of anyone who uses the audio features of Pr, anymore.
Chapter 13 - Adding Video Effects
Some people claim that CIB is for beginners, a theory we have been, for the most part, rejecting for years. We doubt the majority of the Pr's users know how to do everything in this chapter. It's packed solid with some very challenging projects which impressively include Ae.
Chapter 14 - Color Correction And Grading
SpeedGrade is a relatively new addition to the CC family having just come on board for CS6. Since Adobe acquired Sg, they've have made huge leaps and bounds forward in constantly improving the app. Since this book for Pr 7.0 was published, Pr 7.1 has been released. The 7.1 release includes changes made to Sg 7.1. These are opportunities to do fabulous Sg color correction through a Pr linking feature set.
This does not mean that chapter 14 has been rendered useless. The principles in the chapter are extremely valuable. We would strongly suggest the Sg CIB.
Chapter 15 - Exploring Compositing Techniques
This is a great chapter which swims effortlessly through a sea of green screen educational misinformation. It does not profess to be the complete work on the topic. It's more of a primer. Nevertheless it's quite complete and accurate in what it covers.
Chapter 16 - Creating Titles
We create quite a bit of text for our Pr projects. Not all of it happens in Pr. Some of it is far superior when created with Photoshop or Illustrator, especially when that text is included with the Ai and Ps graphics. Many of us have expressed to Adobe's Pr team that titling in this app reminds us of something from the 1970s or 80s, at best. If you are coming into Pr from one of the many other CC apps which handle type in a far superior and more familiar manner, do not feel that you are the one who is baffled. Anything about this feature set which seems odd comes across that way because it's... well... odd. There's nothing CIB can do to make the app better, but the authors have done a great job of explaining in the most complete and understandable manner.
Chapter 17 - Managing Your Projects
This chapter is important to the volume. We would not have minded if it went into Chapter 4. It seems redundant, here.
Chapter 18 - Exporting Frames, Clips, And Sequences
If you were hoping that the final chapter would be a breeze after you've carefully made your way through over 400 primarily challenging pages, we hate to disappoint, but you might need a breather before working on this one. Exporting your work can get a bit mind boggling. We have had some of the technology press contact us with questions about some of these things. They're not easy. If we could move the audio chapters off to PDFs, like the next one, we'd allocate a huge chunk of pages to Adobe's Media Encoder app. Understanding ME's power is essential to completing a project. Doing it within Pr is not best practice workflow.
(Chapter 19 - Bonus PDF Chapter on Encore CS6)
There was a time when Encore was essential to what was once called the "Production Premium Suite" apps. However, Encore CS6 was based in the Flash swf format for the internet, something which has dried up and disappeared and the now very limited world of DVD authoring. Nevertheless, it's nice that the chapter is not forgotten for those who still need it. We have used Encore recently, so it's not dead. Adobe just needs to replace it with an HTML5 component to an existing CC app.
As we've already stated, this is THE best educational resource on Premiere Pro CC. Could it be best? To some, maybe not. To us, yes. It has plenty of room for improvement. Yet, if it's the best there is, it deserves 5 stars.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Still the Best Dw Learning Tool We Know
, November 10, 2013
We have studied over 100 Classroom in a Book (CIB) volumes including all 5 of them for Dreamweaver (Dw). The first one for CS3: Dw 9.0 was simple and incomplete. The second one (CS4: Dw 10.0) was challenging where it didn’t need to be. When Jim Maivald took over the Dw CIB series for CS5: Dw 11.0, the learning doors flew wide open. However, this edition (Dw CC: 13.0) is admittedly the most difficult of the 5 for us to work with. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with this edition, because, there’s no book on Dreamweaver which we can recommend more highly than this. The challenge is with something otherwise fabulous: Adobe keeps updating the app with new features. That’s what Creative Cloud (CC) apps are supposed to do. Adobe has promised to make them better and better, every few months. However, following lessons to the letter, in CIB or any other structured lessons, are made a little more difficult by that. The same is true for the current CIBs of two other Adobe web-based apps: Muse (Mu) and Edge Animate (An). We put this out there at the top of this review.
We’ve been designing websites for eighteen years. Our first client was NBC News.
If you’re wondering why a couple who are both Adobe Community Professionals (ACP) and have been in web design for so long bothers to study CIBs, word for word, it’s all about those ongoing changes that we mentioned.
At this point it’s appropriate to note that as ACPs we interact with plenty of people at Adobe and many of our fellow ACPs are authors and presenters. From time to time we run across Jim Maivald, this book’s author. He’s a Facebook friend of ours. Though we have never met or even talked on the phone, it’s not as if he’s a complete stranger to us.
Since we do plenty of consulting and produce our own online learning, our reviews are our personal journals which we use as a reference for when we need quick access to information, so what follows is something of a journal of ours, as we worked through this.
CHAPTER 1 - CUSTOMIZING YOUR WORKSPACE - For a web design newbie, this might be the most important chapter in the book at the very moment they open the thing. We fully realize that many come into design for the web with certain trepidations. We go back to beta testing PageMaker 1.0. Apps were simple then. Today, if you’re fresh and new at any of these, CC apps like Acrobat, After Effects (Ae), Audition (Au), Dreamweaver (Dw), Flash Pro (Fl), Illustrator (Ai), InDesign (Id), Photoshop (Ps), Premiere Pro (Pr), and SpeedGrade (Sg) seem like monsters in themselves. That’s before you consider they are powerful tools to create for a huge, complex, and, with good reason, a technically intimidating industry.
That said, the 19 pages of this first chapter are extremely attractive and easy to follow along. The teaching methodology is top-shelf tried and true. If you know even a little about Dreamweaver, you’ll breeze through them in a few minutes.
However, if you’re in the newbie group, you’ll look at most of these pages and think, “What the ____.” but you’re not allowed to do any page breezing. Study this stuff carefully. Even if you have been working in apps like Ai, Id, and Ps, you need to rethink how much of the Dw workspace operates. It’s not like the other CC apps. The familiar tools and panels are very different.
CHAPTER 2 - HTML BASICS - There was a time when you could hide the user from HTML coding. Adobe created Muse from scratch, for those users, knowing full well that doing the heavy-lifting of today’s web/mobile design cannot happen without getting your hands HTML dirty. This chapter does its best to be as gentle as possible with the reader. It’s a mile-marker chapter. If you’re not HTML-tested, you might want to set aside a couple hours for this. Should it leave you feeling set back, take a break, come back the next day. If it still seems daunting, rethink if Dw is right for you. Ask yourself if Mu is a better possibility. If the first chapter made you think, “I can do all of this in Design View,” please know that you might be able to get by that way for a while. That’s primarily how we work. However, we now touch up code a little everyday. 3 or 4 years ago we could go a month without looking at Code View.
This chapter is also important in helping you to understand what the Design View is doing when it’s generates the source code for you.
CHAPTER 3 - CSS BASICS - Macromedia launched Dw 1.0 in December 1997. It was considered a late-comer. Adobe had PageMill 1.0 on the streets November 1, 1994 (we got on board right away), two weeks after Netscape 0.9, arguably the original browser, went to public beta. A company Adobe eventually acquired, gonet, released GoLive 1.0, June 1996. PageMill and GoLive were very designer oriented. Dw was vilified by many as being too tied to coding and eventually chastised all the more for the strapped-to-blandness rigors of cascading style sheets (CSS). Eventually, PageMill was discontinued, GoLive started to do CSS and replaced PageMill, and of course, Adobe acquired Macromedia and GoLive was discontinued. Eventually, all us PageMill/GoLive users learned to value of CSS and how to use it creatively. If you’re coming into Dw from Id, try to think of Dw CSS as Id’s Paragraph styles.
We mention all of this because CSS3 seems like something else you might be able to skip. Websites need to play nicely with web browsers. Using CSS is both the best way to do that while opening yourself up to a fabulously exciting array of powerful opportunities to make sweeping changes to entire websites the way Id does to huge documents.
Dw CIB uses all the best conventions for teaching CSS. Then it goes a few steps further employing visuals and concepts which are better than most we’ve seen. It takes the reader through an excellent explanation of 1.) what CSS is in Overview [p 50], 2.) the difference between Formatting for HTML and CSS [p 51-52], 3.) HTML4 vs. HTML5 Defaults [p 53-55], 4.) the CSS Box Model [p56-57], 5.) Class Attributes [p 58], 6.) ID Attributes [p 58], 7.) Formatting Text [p 59-60], 8.) Cascade Theory [p 61-62], 9.) Inheritance Theory [p 63-66], 10.) Descendant Theory [p 66-70], 11.) Specificity Theory [p 70-72], 12.) Code Navigator [p 72-74], 13.) CSS Designer [p 75-77], 14.) Formatting Objects for a. Width [p 78-82], b. Height [p 82-85], c. Margins and Padding [p 85-88], d. Positioning [p 88-90], e. Borders and Backgrounds [p 90-91], 15.) Features and Effects [p 92-93]. (And if you think you can master everything you need to about that, in one sitting, you’re nuts.)
CHAPTER 4 - CREATING A PAGE LAYOUT - Don’t say, “I’m not a designer; I don’t need this chapter.” If you are going to make just one web page, you need this chapter. Also, don’t let it concern you if you feel you are not inclined toward pencil and paper layouts. If all you can do is stick figure doodles, do it. The focus is planning for smooth execution. By the time you complete this chapter, you will have created a page in Dw. And, it’s not just a page with the browser text “Hello.” It’s a cool looking page. The lessons allow you to work with the standard Dw setup. So, it’s not just a one-shot do-it-today-forget-it-tomorrow kind of thing. This is an empowering experience.
CHAPTER 5 - WORKING WITH CASCADING STYLE SHEETS - This is the application of what you learned in chapters 3 and 4. The lesson begins with 1.) CSS Designer [p 139-143], goes to 2.) Type [p 143-156], builds from there with 3.) Background Graphics [p 156-158], and ramps up 4.) Classes and IDs [p 158-164]. Along the way you’ll create an Interactive Menu [p 165-184] with a.) Dynamic Hyperlink Effects, b.) Rollover Effects, with c.) Visual Enhancements, and d.) Faux Columns. Though it’s just 2, pages it gets you started on the powerful External Style Sheets [p 177-178]. To prove this, CIB is not just more of the Dw basics which most instruction hands you, this lesson closes with 6 pages on refining a web page for ways customers may use it, such as printing, and follows up with how to make your Dw workspace efficient.
CHAPTER 6 - WORKING WITH TEMPLATES - We have listened to some web developers scoff at templates and all the related child pages. We disagree. If you are coming into Dw from Id, think of this Dw hierarchy as you would master pages. It shows you how to 1.) use an Existing Layout to Create a Template (very simple) [p 189-190], 2.) Work with the Templates Editable Regions [p 190-192], 3.) Child Pages [p 192-195], 4.) Template Updates [p 195-197], 5.) Library Items [p 197-203], and 6.) Server-Side Includes [p 203-210] (don’t worry if you have no idea what that means, right now)
CHAPTER 7 - WORKING WITH TEXT, LISTS, AND TABLES - Some educators will tell you to skip tables. It’s something from the past. They’re woefully misinformed. Tables are the foundation of most of the coolest HTML e-mail which can reliably appear in e-mail apps. Don’t let anyone tell you to skip this stuff. Tables are prefaced by some basic text styling. When you combine the 2 methods, later in the chapter, it all makes sense.
CHAPTER 8 - WORKING WITH IMAGES - Web pages with strong visuals have been our calling card since 1995, even before Microsoft Internet Explorer hit the streets on August 15 of that year. If you don’t come into this with plenty of web graphics background, don’t worry. This CIB assumes you’re new to all of it, so the chapter opens with a concise primer and pretty much takes you through all the basic means of getting images into pages which Dw offers. On page 270 this chapter begins to talk about using Fireworks CS6. Opening the door to Fireworks, which Adobe ceased development work on better than a year ago, leads to well documented problems if explored beyond the lessons. Skip Fireworks and try to accomplish the same in Photoshop. There are some simple but powerful tools for using the Property Inspector for images [p 270]
CHAPTER 9 - WORKING WITH NAVIGATION - Some of what’s covered in this chapter seems extremely basic. You may even feel you’ve done this already. At this point, if you’re new to Dw, you’ve probably invested as much as 15 hours in this book. That means you’ve given yourself plenty of time to let everything sink in. Don’t blow-off this chapter. It has concepts which you’ll need to fully understand if you are to adapt them to real-world work and the variations which will pop up.
CHAPTER 10 - ADDING INTERACTIVITY - During the CS6 edition of this book, we raised questions about the validity of some the interactive aspects, and Adobe has since addressed those issues and this edition has been nicely updated. Some users will want to keep all of this within the realm of Dw and we understand that.
CHAPTER 11 - WORKING WITH WEB ANIMATION AND VIDEO - Our website has plenty of video components to it and we literally spent months tweaking them. Everything in this chapter serves as a great point of departure for launching video on your site. It could probably be a book in itself.
CHAPTER 12 - WORKING WITH FORMS - Web page forms remind us of government websites. It can get very complex and the results are not always a very exciting experience for the end-user. Chapter twelve can be no more exciting than the tasks at hand. At times, the lesson becomes a bit tedious, but we do not fault the book. The author is simply trying to be sure the reader fully understands all aspects of web forms.
CHAPTER 13 - PUBLISHING TO THE WEB - Managing a website with Dw is painful. Just setting up the server justifies a headache. We see why newbies, as well as in-the-trenches third party Dw developers, use other means of getting this done. We’ve forced ourselves to make what’s in this chapter work for us. On the Mac side, it’s easier with Fetch.
CHAPTER 14 - DESIGNING FOR MOBILE DEVICES - This chapter is another good point of departure. Roughly 85% of our website’s visitors are on Mac OS and iOS. Their needs are easy to define. We know the specifications of every device the majority of our subscribers use. That other 15% is a rapidly moving target which we cannot wrap our hands around. Designing for generalized mobile devices is like that. This chapter sets the foundation to give you the basics you need to comprehend how Dw can make it happen. Don’t let the enormity of designing for mobile frustrate you.
CHAPTER 15 - WORKING WITH CODE - Though the book has talked a little bit about code, it has not gone into depth about Code View, yet. The great thing about the new way CIB works is that the lesson files are no longer on a DVD. You download them from the publisher’s website. That’s also where chapter 15 is found. And Code View in Dw is not a sleepy little text editor. It and Live Code are very powerful tools. This chapter is enough to get you started.
As we mentioned at the outset, following the lessons to the word was not simple. We ran into some problems which were relative to changes Adobe made to Dw over the summer. We’re sure more changes are on the way. That’s how CC is supposed to work.
Does that mean we think less of Dw CC CIB? Not a chance. It’s our #1 Dw reference. That’s obvious from the page number notations we’ve made in this journal. We go to this CIB before we check the really lousy PDF manual Adobe puts in Dw Help.
This is the best Dw book in the business. We’d be nuts not to give it 5 stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Far More Impressive than the VERY Impressive 1st Edition
, October 24, 2013
We were extremely pleased to learn that Cher was working on a second edition of "The Photoshop and Painter Artist Tablet Book." Her first edition, which is almost 10 years old, got plenty of love from us (translation: it has become a bit shop-worn). For this to become a reference source for us is quite a statement. We go back to the original Wacom SD tablets of 1991. Nevertheless, Cher packed enough into the first edition for us to thoroughly study. We already had her complete collection of the "Painter WOW!" books.
The bar was set pretty high for the second edition to be of great value to us. As with all the reviews we write, they're intended as our personal journals which serve as a guide for us to use later.
CH 1 - THE DIGITAL ART STUDIO - We ordered an iPad 2 the morning it went on sale. That was the start of something very new in our world. We go back to sketchpads in our childhood. The iPad (and even our iPhone) is our portable sketchpad/notebook. The page 1 opener, "Your studio is where you come to be creative..." immediately said to us, "Cher understands us." This chapter is an excellent scene-setter, going forward.
CH 2 - SKETCHING ON THE IPAD - Readers of our blogs know we have an almost 8 year old friend, Monica, who teaches us many undocumented tricks with our iPad sketching apps. This chapter leads us to believe that Cher has been hanging out with Moni. These 32 pages should be available as an updating app, much like this book's publisher, Peachpit, does with adding new materials to their Adobe Press CC Classroom in a Book series. Most iPad sketching app developers do a lousy job of documenting their products. This chapter is a must-have. It's a set of missing manuals for 9 apps.
CH 3 - PHOTOSHOP, PAINTER, AND TABLET BASICS FOR ARTISTS - The name of this chapter is deceptive. It made us think it was going to be about the two apps. At first we thought, "What can we be taught about them? We go back to Photoshop 2.0, Painter 1.0, and are Adobe Community Professionals." We were wrong. The focus isn't on the apps its on the role the hardware plays in manipulating the apps to their fullest.
It's important for many users to not just read this chapter, but to study it. When we got our big 12"x18" SD tablet, around 22 years ago, it came with a little 24 page booklet. A Wacom tablet was quite simple then. That's not the case anymore. We suggest that you do not breeze through this. It's designed to look very approachable, but it's packed with great stuff. Don't think of it as information to read. Approach chapter 3 as if it's a bunch of lessons.
CH 4 - ASSEMBLING BRUSHES AND PAINT - We must confess that we were once in love with Painter. The photos we turned into illustrations became something of our studio's visual trademark. With time Painter became a slow buggy mess (we're told it's better, now). Fortunately, about the same time we had Painter problems, Adobe was showing us their new paint engine for Photoshop CS5. If you favor one app over the other, fear not. There's something to be learned on every one of these pages. It's another, "This isn't a quick read."
CH 5-8 - (DRAWING, VOLUME, TONE AND MODELING, ATMOSPHERE) EXERCISES - At this point the book shifts gears and starts to work on technique more than technology. The clever part about this chapter is that it's constructed much like the Watson-Guptill books of our childhood. Instead of the sidebars listing what papers, paints, pencils, or pastels we'll need, it bullet-points electronic tools.
CH 9 - STARTING WITH A SCANNED DRAWING - From an author's perspective, this is a dangerous direction. Over the past 25 years there must have been well over 100 books published books which advise you to "Start with a scan..." So, was this one a snore for us? We thought it was going to be. We ended up carefully studying every page. In fact, it's amazing this much information fits into 26 pages. It's impressive.
CH 10 - USING A PHOTO REFERENCE FOR PAINTING - In our early Painter days, our illustrations were too photo realistic, once we looked back 10 years later. At the time, photo realism was popular. At this point, we should have no preconceived fears of the book going wrong, but we held our breathe and were once again pleasantly surprised. This is refreshingly old school directions but with new digital tools. Strangely enough, that's innovative in a standardized rush-to-electronic education all around us.
CH 11 - DEFINING THE FOCAL POINT - Initially, a significant number of people were sure our Painter projects were achieved with some sort of quickly-applied Photoshop filter. It surprised them to learn that the stroke-by-stoke look we had was accomplished stroke-by-stroke. There's plenty of instruction available which takes you to the point where you've got a nice illustration. It drops you there. This, however, is a rare to find of educational experiences outside of expensive one-to-one consulting projects which move you toward enhancing an image beyond the basics.
CH 12 - SIMULATING PAPER AND CANVAS -There was a time when even the slightest suggestion that textures could be applied after the fact and we'd think, "Conversation's over." Those days are behind us. How do you do that, and make it work? Here's where Cher does your homework for you. This chapter is her Quick Start gift to you.
CH 13 - RETOUCHING, TINTING, AND PAINTING - If you have no background in working with old photos, the first half of this chapter is important. If you've been around that block once or twice, you can skip the first few pages, but not the chapter. However, once you get to page 218 and find the finished project of some red-head, who looks quite similar to the red-head in the "About the Author and Artist" section, in the front of the book, you won't skip the next 7 pages which explain how it was done, guaranteed.
CH 14 - COMPOSING FROM THE IMAGINATION - Before you start this chapter, ponder the chapter's name for a few seconds. It's a departure from the rest of the book. It's okay to ask, "Why's this here?" The book stops. Your work continues. That's what this chapter is all about. It's supposed to rev you about what to do next.
CONCLUSION - This is no small project for an author to create. Our second book is 504 pages and took 10 months, start to finish. We're impressed with the amount of work Cher put into this book. It's far superior to the first edition. The only thing which is repetitive with the first edition is that soon our copy of the second edition will be as shop worn as the first one.
It's an easy 5-star must-have.
An Impressive and Inspiring Teaching Toolbox for More then Beginners
, October 5, 2013
We go back to beta testing PageMaker 1.0 (PM), were forced into QuarkXPress 3.x (QXP) for a while, and started working with InDesign (Id) even before Adobe released the thing. So, why do we need "Adobe InDesign CC Classroom in a Book"? That's a fair question. InDesign CC is the 9th version of Id and we have studied all 9 Classroom in a Book (CIB) volumes cover to cover. Over time, Adobe's manuals have become worse and worse and though we keep the entire set of CC app manuals on a folder on desktops of our Macs, we go to our CIB library as our number one resource set.
InDesign is in our lives daily. We even wrote this review with it. We rarely use a word processor. InDesign is a generalized publishing toolset for us. We are constantly finding new uses for it as we innovate in how Id fits into just about every CC desktop app Adobe offers.
We do a great deal of consulting work. We're Adobe Community Professionals. We feel it's part of our jobs to know the content of every Creative Cloud CIB. The book reviews we write are our personal journals of what's in these books, so we compile them as we go.
CH 1 - INTRODUCING THE WORKSPACE - Many fresh Id CIB readers are going to be easily overwhelmed by the power of the Id CC app. Unlike to days of PM, QXP, and the early Id, this is no longer a print app. It's a central resource for publishing on many platforms.
It's easy for an Id newbie to need to devote a couple hours to this first chapter. A trademark of the original CIB volumes was to not just teach the Adobe apps, but to inspire with cool lesson materials. That makes the reader think, "I want to do this!" The first 22 pages of these lessons need that visual muscle. If it's been intense, take a break. Maybe even come back to it the next day.
CH 2 - GETTING TO KNOW INDESIGN - Though the first lesson is a rapid overview, the second chapter gets down to the step-by-step learning of Id basics. The inclusion of an "Id Best Practices" page is very impressive. Even a newbie can knock this down in an hour. For someone with page layout expertise, it's an easy 15 minute breeze through.
CH 3 - SETTING UP A DOCUMENT AND WORKING WITH PAGES - The concepts of master pages can be a mind boggling one. We've seen some teaching tools leaving Id users feeling unprepared. This CIB does an impressive job of making it all seem quite simple.
CH 4 - WORKING WITH OBJECTS - Learning every paragraph on every page of this chapter is essential. It's easy to do the lessons and complete the lesson, but make sure that you fully understand all of it. By way of example, you might know layers in Photoshop and/or Illustrator. Yes, they work similarly but comprehending their purpose in InDesign leads to the app's unique power.
Explaining how things like text frames work, on pages 90 and 91, is part of what makes this chapter both clever and effective.
Many feel CIBs are strictly for beginners. The inclusion of how to use metadata captions is for advanced users. This is even more true for parent-child graphics and QR codes. We're impressed.
CH 5 - FLOWING TEXT - At this point, anyone trying to swiftly move through this book, because they have an Id project in front of them might think, "I can get text into columns. I can skip this." If you're thinking that way, don't be stupid. There are many cool means of kicking-up the power of Id to work efficiently. Get to know everything about this chapter.
CH 6 - EDITING TEXT - Admittedly, there's nothing exciting about this chapter. That doesn't mean it is not essential learning. It is. The need to cover a great deal of ground in a limited number of pages may be hampered the ability to do fun stuff.
CH 7 - WORKING WITH TYPOGRAPHY - Some of the coolness of Id is what it can do with type. Mastering this kind of coolness can make your head hurt. It's another one where you must do more than work through the lessons. If you can't master this, your Id work will be inefficient for a very long time. Give this an extra 30 minutes.
CH 8 - WORKING WITH COLOR - Though we know many of our fellow authors of the books for creative professionals. We know nothing about this book's authors, Kelly Anton and John Cruise, even though they wrote previous editions of this book. This chapter appears to be about print, and it's very important to many Id users, but just because it starts that way, don't feel it's not relative to your work. By page 202 Anton and Cruise are focused on aspects of Id relative to all users. We applaud the authors for not abandoning the traditional roots of Id, in this chapter. This chapter is significant and there are some fun examples to enjoy working through.
CH 9 - WORKING WITH STYLES - Again, we join our hands together for the people at Adobe Press/Peachpit for budgeting so many pages to styles. We have not seen some much information on this important topic, which holds the keys to Id's future compressed into just 32 pages. The power of styles, allowing small actions to ripple through hundreds of pages goes back to Id 1.0. It's familiar territory to early versions of PM and QXP. Nevertheless, much like layers, there's a huge future here. If you're studying Id, after many years of just getting by, wishing to master this app, allocate as many as two hours of your undivided attention to chapter nine.
CH 10 - IMPORTING AND MODIFYING - For as long as we have been in this (we also got started with Photoshop 2.0, Illustrator 3.0, Premiere 1.0, Bridge 1.0), shouldn't we know all the aspects of vector and bitmap graphics? Yet there were a few wonderful challenges we found here. Some of the call-outs on page 259 make this a great reference volume. Our work in Adobe's digital video audio (DVA) apps Audition, After Effects, Media Encoder, Prelude, and Premiere Pro jumped off these pages with their clear relationship to InDesign like nothing else we have seen in chapter 10. If you're getting into Id for multimedia, an excellent goal in our biased opinion, this chapter probably needs two hours on intense study.
CH 11 - CREATING TABLES - Much like tables in Dreamweaver, tables in InDesign seem like something from another decade, only because they are. Some of our ACP friends, who are among the best and the brightest with tables, in the world, find working in them to be painful. This book's authors make the experience feel fun to the point that what's tedious seems like worth it to do some visually enticing work.
CH 12 - WORKING WITH TRANSPARENCY - The Effects panel is not old hat. We appreciate the dedication of page 308 to the Effects Panel Overview. It's a reference page.
If you're used to transparency in Photoshop, Illustrator, or other CC apps, this might seem familiar, yet this chapter shows how you to make graphics transparent in ways which would seem only other apps can accomplish to the point that your creativity should begin to soar.
CH 13 - PRINTING AND EXPORTING - This chapter is very print-specific, It's quite comprehensive for just 21 pages. Some readers will think, "I have no need for this." If there's any chance there are print projects in your future, even ink jet proofing, please do not discount this chapter.
CH 14 - CREATING ADOBE PDF FILES WITH FORM FIELDS - InDesign professionals have complained for decades about needing to create PDF forms which do not allow their creativity to be implemented. There's no end to the number of clients who have wanted to fulfill form needs but inject into them their own innovative corporate identity. If you've been stuck in PDF form creation Purgatory, or worse, chapter 14 should make you think, "YES!" It's fun. It's empowering.
CH 15 - CREATING AND EXPORTING AN EBOOK - Isn't there something deceptive about a chapter which makes EPUB seem sexy? Maybe the authors of this book know some of the people we know who not only make great eBooks, iBooks, whatever by implementing some very cool tweaking in Id and other CC apps. They also use this feature to accomplish all sorts of visually exciting HTML-based functions. This chapter could be a book of its own which many of the best InDesign professionals desperately need.
CH 16 - WORKING WITH LONG DOCUMENTS - Here's another chapter which opens the doors to places the best of Id are not comfortable about going. There are some well-known publishers who fail to embrace the power of Id to streamline book-building tools. This is an empowering lesson set.
CH 17 - CREATING AN IPAD PUBLICATION isn't in the printed publication. Just like the lessons once you own the book, it becomes a living document. As Adobe pushes out new features to the Creative Cloud subscribers Adobe Press/Peachpit can offer more chapters at no additional charge. We find this highly innovative and terribly exciting.
CONCLUSION - This book is not free of technical glitches. The graphics, embedded in the text, for the Type and Selection tools are sometimes mixed up. We have alerted Adobe Press to the problems. For the reader who expects this book to be sacredly flawless, we confess that it's a disappointment, but it shouldn't be to the point that it harms the complete experience. In light of the full work, it's minor.
The good stuff in this book so overcomes the flaws that we give it a 4.95, pretty close to the best: five stars.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Jeff Schewe is the New Printing Explainer-in-Chief
, September 13, 2013
A print is a thing of great beauty. A great print is that completed long pass down the football field at the end of a very exciting Super Bowl. You have captured that fabulous image, which it feels as if it took your entire career to capture. It looks terrific on your screen but it's just not translating to the paper.
One of the many areas we are called upon for our consulting expertise is printing. It frustrates many serious photo enthusiasts as well as some of the industry's top professionals. We admit to being frustrated by the process, ourselves. What's maybe even more frustrating is that being able to make that translation from the display screen to the paper is the scarcity of information on professional printing techniques.
The reviews we publish are our own journals. They serve as our reference notes. We want to be up front about disclosing that we travel in many of the same circles as the author, Jeff Schewe. We have never met nor even conversed, but he shares comments on product developments in a private professional online forum we frequent.
CH 1 - A DIGITAL PRINTING PRIMER - We strongly believe that it's not possible to know where you are going unless you understand what has come before you got involved. Jeff opens with an excellent review of the history of inkjet printing. For those who have not lived it, this sets the stage. Don't skip it. This is a fun read with some celebrity storytelling.
CH 2 - COLOR MANAGEMENT - Understanding color requires you to digest a fair amount of physics classes but this is far more exciting than we remember from high school. This is where too many books skimp and the complete story is never told. This chapter alone is worth the purchase price. At this point in our reading, we could confirm that this book earned a place on our reference shelves. It's a must-have, covering color theory placed in practical Applications. At this point, we're only 77 pages into this. If color models and color gamuts seem like something you'd never understand and you were ready to give up, the second chapter feels very inspirational.
CH 3 - PREPARING IMAGES FOR PRINTING - If you've been printing in Photoshop (Ps), and if you have not explored some of the Lightroom (Lr) printing features, it's something you owe yourself. What you learn here is our favorite thing about Lr, soft proofing. If you've been working in both, you'll appreciate Jeff's fresh approach. There's nothing here which made us think, "I don't need to read this." (And, we go back to Ps 2.0 and Lr 1.0.) Admittedly, the third chapter has some "I've never done that," moments for us to the point where we began to think, "I've gotta to that." Even if you're a known print master, you're about to up your mastery.
CH 4 - MAKING THE PRINT - Our second book has a chapter on printing. We tried to make it as interesting and visually appealing as possible. If we ever owned the crown, as Printing Explainer-in-Chief, we're passing it to Jeff, maybe with a tinge of jealousy for a job so well done that everyone who writes, presents, and consults should consider the bar raised and the new standard set.
CH 5 - ATTRIBUTES OF A PERFECT PRINT - We didn't give Jeff a penny to say this, but he opens the chapter with one of our ongoing mantras, "Start with a great image." In the previous four chapters he has set the table for the printing feast, but if the raw ingredients are not that good, the celebration will fizzle out. Nevertheless, many a print processing house will be asked to do great things with less than A+ images going to the output specifications the customer is providing. This would have been an incomplete volume if Jeff had not addressed what may result in something less than perfect, and he didn't disappoint. He even has a sidebar on signing prints, an issue we have pondered in the Past. And, of course it would not be the reference work readers need unless he also explored framing and print preservation, which he has done well.
CH 6 - DEVELOPING A PRINTING WORKFLOW - It might not occur to those readers, who are making a few great prints a month, that some of us have a daily workflow. It's not all printing. There are others who may be shooting, throughout the week, and need to schedule Bridge editing, Camera Raw processing, and Photoshop post-production into the week's schedule, along with print output. Along with a few topics, which didn't fit well into other sections of the book, this final chapter is an excellent reality check. The reader is forced to consider the time resources which must be devoted to great printing. Rather than frightening you, it ought to serve as an encouragement toward both efficiency and excellence.
CONCLUSION - Can you learn about making beauty prints from a visually boring book? It would be a struggle for us, but that's just a guess, because this one is inspirational in its graphics and design. More over, there isn't a better book on ink jet printing that we know of. It's extremely complete.
Of all the books we've reviewed, loved, and refer to often, we don't remember an easier one to give our whole-hearted 5 stars to.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An Inspiring and Beautiful Resource which Reshaped a Project
, September 3, 2013
With a love for our recently reviewed "FilmCraft Cinematography" and a new project to completely redesign the visuals of a non-profit's documentary, carefully studying "FilmCraft Production Design" seemed exactly what we need. The fabulous design principles of the cinematography book in this series, as well as the organizational concepts, followed its way to this volume on production design to the typographical letter. It is so filled with fabulous images of Hollywood's best, it's easy to mistake this as a coffee table book, but it's rich in content. This book's author, Fionnula Halligan, a globe-trotting London-based film critic, has fit a big story about the look of feature films into just under 200 pages, which once started... must be read from cover to cover.
Though our studio has decades of background in film and video, the easily available 1080 HD movie-making capabilities with our dSLR (digital single lenses reflex) cameras has taken our primarily design/photography/illustration based business in new directions. Our minds, eyes, hearts, and souls have followed.
After an excellent introduction of what production design is about, the book starts a series of interviews with KEN ADAMS known for such monumental films as "Dr. Strangelove," "Barry Lyndon," "You Only Live Twice," and "Goldfinger." It's mesmerizing to stare at Ken's production designs juxtaposed over frames from the films. The relationship between the illustrations and movie frames, make statements for themselves about the vision Adams offers to a production and the trust directors place in him. They match.
JIM BISSELL's work on "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," "Good Night, and Good Luck," and most recently, "Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol" are intimidating credentials. His interview, though, tells the story of a humble team player who approaches his role differently than Adams.
Much like a smooth flowing script, the tone of collaboration heightens with the career of RICK CARTER, who has designed for Spielberg's television series "Amazing Stories," From there he went onto "Back to the Future" (II and III), "Jurassic Park," "Forrest Gump," "The Polar Express," and "Avatar." As stunningly grand as Carter's work may be, he refers to himself simply as a "provider."
We admit to having never heard of WILLIAM CHANG SUK-PING, nor anything he's ever worked on. This put us to the test to see if we're interested in production design or we're just paging through a book with star struck eyes. If anything, we began to see the development of a designer's style and the signatures. William's calling card is color, even when color is distilled down to warm tones and black, we can begin to see his vision.
With three Academy Awards, STUART CRAIG illustrates his concepts with fascinating detail which makes us tingle just to imagine him drawing these things. We understand why directors want Craig when they need to put big budget images on the screen. If "Gandhi" is not fresh in your mind, that might be good. A few images from it assist in helping you comprehend what Stuart brought to the table. But, it's the 4-page spread on his work with "Harry Potter" movies which makes you think, "I get it." It's impressive.
Nominated for 2 Oscars and 2 BAFTAs, NATHAN CROWLEY is another production designer who has directors knocking on his door for such fantasy romps as "Bram Stoker's Dracula," "The Batman Begins," "The Dark Night," and most recently, "The Dark Knight Rises." Crowley refers to his work as an "adventure." We confess to having no interest in the film genre of comic book stuff, nevertheless, the book helps us to separate the plot lines from the design concepts.
DANTE FERRETTI earned the cover shot from "Hugo," which is an extremely compelling image that makes it clear how no production team contacts Ferretti for anything simple, even a clock. The ten pages allocated to Dante makes you wish there were 12 or 14 or more. Focal Press gave into interests like ours and squeezed all the images of Ferretti's onto these spreads, so though many of the photos are not large, memories of "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," "Gangs of New York," and "The Aviator" provide insight into his creative brilliance.
A good way to read the section on JACK FRISK is to page through the images and then go back to read the interview. Once we looked at the images we realize how much Frisk is entrusted in developing the visual sense of what the story is all about and then read what a humble designer Jack is when he claims, "I'm just starting to figure out what production design is all about." You have to think, "This is the guy who designed, `Badlands,' `Days of Heaven' and `There Will Be Blood'?" Just the same, it's makes the read all the more enjoyable.
Another production designer we knew nothing about is ANTXON GOMEZ, or had heard of any project he worked on. At this point in the book, Gomez assists in our gaining an even clearer comprehension of what those who practice his artistry offer movie. It also provided the author with an opportunity to paint a more in depth exploration of the production process.
It's refreshing to shift gears and view the role SARAH GREENWOOD's work brings to films like "Sherlock Holmes," "Atonement," and "Anna Karenina." It made us think, for a second, "This looks like she could be mistaken as a cinematographer." Sarah designs as if she's looking through a camera. Sarah's obviously an integral player in a production team.
If, at this point, you're so excited about production design that you might quit your day job, reading GRANT MAJOR's comments, "I'm not a rich man, but I've managed to be able to raise kids..." adds reality to a career which includes, "King Kong," and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and more recently the huge "Green Lantern" project. Though directors trust Major with the look of their films and producers place nearly obscene millions of dollars in him, even Oscars do not guarantee a lifestyle of wealth.
ALEX MCDOWELL's interview takes you deeper into the role of the production designer where model making is involved. McDowell offers a very hopeful view of visual and script development happening in parallel. He should know. His resume is quite broad, including "Fight Club," "Bee Movie," "Minority Report," and released just this summer, "Man of Steel."
When JOHN MYHRE says, "...it's really stressful, but you just have to be so grateful." He speaks for most creative professionals. With a couple guys named Oscar hanging out with him, Myhre's worked on "Chicago," "X-Men," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "Nine," "Dreamgirls," and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." As grand as some of those productions have been, John discusses how location scouting plays a role in what he does. This assisted us in the project we have at hand.
EVE STEWART takes an ultra-wide view of her work as a designer, feeling her talents should extend beyond film to include "anything." Eve's level of confidence inspires production teams that she could tackle "Nicholas Nickleby," "The King's Speech," and "Les Miserable." Her drawings are such a joy to examine that one even has "Fun!"written on it. Yet she feels that the quality of her illustrations have to persuade people that her creative ideas are good.
This summer's release of "Man of Tai Chi," the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves, was designed by YOHEI TANEDA, as he has designed "Kill Bill" and "The Flowers of War." Taneda's wide views paint those cover shots which sometimes make situations seem too large to be within the control of humans. Yohei literally sets the stage for the script.
DEAN TAVOULARIS got on board with Francis Ford Coppola for "The Godfather" films and is a creative partner in Coppola's production company. Dean goes back to doing the tween frames for "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" in 1954 and played a big role in the struggles to capture "Apocalypse Now." The career of Tavoularis proves the importance of the production designer to a film and points the way for the potential, for where a designer's influence could become much larger, in the years ahead.
LEGACY - But what about the past? Five spreads are dedicated to the work of John Box, Cedric Gibbons, William Cameron, Ferdinando Scarfiotti, and Richard Sylbert. Together, they have credits which include, "Doctor Zhivago," Lawrence of Arabia," "The Wizard of Oz," "Gone with the Wind," "The Last Emperor," and "Dick Tracey."
CONCLUSION - This book added a fresh light to the projects in front of us. Yes, we already knew all about production design. We had seen the majority of the film frames in the book, many times before. However, without this volume, we would not have gained the fresh vision we were looking for. It provided all we came looking for and exceeded expectations.
A dSLR Movie Shooter's Must-Have Reference Book
, August 16, 2013
For those of us, with a dSLR (digital Single Lens Reflex) camera or 2 or 3 or 12, which shoots HD movies, it became a very new, very fresh, image-making environment the day that still imaging tool began shooting out first movie clips. We have made a very good career, so far, in photographing and illustrating still images. In 1993 we merged with a video production company. Our filmmaking goes back to childhood and creating home movies. An intense and formal study of how the greatest feature films of all time began in college. But when that exact same, very familiar, dSLR stops shooting stills and begins making movies, is was like nothing we were 100% prepared to experience.
How do we begin to look through that viewfinder, not with the decades-experience eyes of still image making, but with a hint of what the world's most brilliant cinematographers see when they look through viewfinders? That's very different than watching the end results of what they have created. We have been in search of the answer to the question for quite a few years. When we discovered, "FilmCraft: Cinematography" we had some hope that we found what we were in search of. To begin, it's a visually beautiful book to hold, from cover to cover. It's design is brilliant. Next, it's part of a "FilmCraft" series we wanted to immerse ourselves in.
Authors Tim Grierson and Mike Goodridge have selected the notable careers of 21 cinematographers to explore. The creative and technological minds are best known as a "DP," Director of Photography, and they have entire team behind them in much the way we have the same when we're on a big still shoot. So, the work of a DP is more than the story of looking into the viewfinder and manipulating the lenses. That's not news to us, but discovering the intimate relationship each DP has in making great films was what we wanted to learn about as we worked to dramatically improve our own dSLR movie-making.
VILMOS ZSIGMOND loves the lighting aspect of making a movie. Lighting being the core of our first three books, this volume grabbed us in the first chapter. We all saw his lighting make "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" pop off the screen. While the absence of light told the dark stories of "The Deer Hunter" and "Deliverance", with shadowy visuals which chilled our own college days. In just 10 pages we learn of how Vilmos breaks down the script into visual segments and how he develops those storyline segments through the light he sees in his mind.
Starting his career as a DP's cinematographer, we see how CHRISTOPHER DOYLE's career began to take shape working for Gus Van Sant behind the camera in Hitchcock's "Psycho." Doyle relates to the actors much as we feel compelled to make a model's talent pop in still photos. It's okay if you have not studied many of Doyle's films. Many of them are low-budget projects. Yet, financial resources never hamper him, much like the bare-bones efforts of most dSLR movie shooters.
We could study an entire book on MICHAEL BALLHAUS. It's embarrassing to confess how many times we have played and replayed "Working Girl" and "Broadcast News" not to mention "Something's Gotta Give" and "The Fabulous Baker Boys." The film's of Ballhaus invite the audience to examine the lives of those characters, not while sitting still, but instead through the camera's motion. Even when the camera comes to rest, the lack of motion is the drama.
ED LACHMAN digs deep into a script, with a director, to tell a story from a unique perspective, which enhances the core of what the plot wants the audience to live. "Erin Brockovich" is an excellent example of his work. That big budget film very much looks and feels low-budget. It portrays the poverty and desperation in the lives of the characters we meet in the film.
As still shooters, we are compelled to make pretty pictures. Cinematographers are easily driven to also capture the awe-inspiring big, big visual on exhibit in the front of a cinema. RODRIGO PRIETO's movies cannot always be told appropriately with beautiful photography. His work on "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wall Street" made big visuals, but they are sometimes vistas which are tough to see. Prieto knows how to bring us to the edge of wanting to almost look away.
It's difficult to characterize the work of CALEB DESCHANEL. But as soon as you see the titles "The Black Stallion," "The Right Stuff," and "The Natural" big, dramatic images come to mind which make the brain trigger feelings of "WOW!" He brings to the screen those deep, deep emotions that the audience experiences not only in their hearts, minds, and souls but feels deep down in their guts. Everyone becomes the boy on the horse, the aging baseball player, and even the Messiah as the nails are being driven into His wrists in "The Passion of the Christ."
Color typifies the work of VITTORIO STORARO, be those tones and hues the source of joy, sorrow, humor, or something which is off-putting. Just pondering, for a few seconds each, the titles of "Taxi," "Last Tango in Paris," "Reds," "The Last Emperor," "Dick Tracey," and "Apocalypse Now" easily bring those colors to mind.
CHRIS MENGES began his career as a camera operator for TV documentaries. The majority of his cinematography feels like the story is being told by a photo journalist. From "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" to back in Chris's "The Killing Fields" days, his cameras take us places which make us feel uneasy and the harsh realities cause us to believe it's all very real.
DION BEBEE is known by directors as the guy to call when big stars, big sets, and demanding schedules are involved. There are huge lighting riggings and long, long shot lists for "Chicago," "Nine," "Miami Vice," and "Collateral." And, yet, somehow Bebee has earned a reputation for turning all the complexities into award-winning successes, while respecting the time of celebrities.
OWEN ROIZMAN admits to not always knowing what his style was until he had quite a few big accomplishments to his name. Once he looked back on "The French Connection," "Absence of Malice," "The Exorcist," "Three Days of the Condor," and even "Tootsie," he saw that he was not shooting documentaries, but his films had the visual depiction of people living big realities, events much bigger than themselves, as imposing as those characters may be. Roizman finds that light, those angles, and that riveted focus which makes the audience feel they are sharing a very intense series of moments.
BARRY ACKROYD has been the artistic eyes of some very real stories such as "United 93" and "The Hurt Locker." His work has the feeling of a very immediate event and puts the audience in a mood which encourages a response much like a live event is unfolding. The book revels how studied Ackroyd is in his plans to execute a great shoot.
ELLEN KURAS is very much a team player and determining her role in a team assists her in analyzing if a project is the right fit for her. The look of her lighting is extremely natural. This is seen in her feature film documentary work on Bob Dylan and Neil Young. That same rawness permeates many of the scenes she creates even for more whimsical scripts like "Analyze That."
Studying the work of PETER SUSCHITZKY points out that script content does not necessarily define a cinematographer's style. Peter's broad portfolio spans from "The Empire Strikes Back" to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." His work on a portion of the "Star Wars" franchise helps this book's readers to see how cinematography involves not only the director's vision, but an exploration of what has been done previously in a series, and how a fresh viewpoint is needed in each project.
We enjoyed a glimpse into the finely tuned technical craftsmanship SEAMUS McGARVEY brought to "World Trade Center" in his explanation of "the five-and-a-half-minute tracking shot." How his camera moves slowly and steadily across a scene offers an almost jarring contrast between the film's painful mayhem and the very well-defined story. The story is that of an out-of-control event shown in a cinema where the audience wants to own the future and feel they have a handle on where to go from here. McGarvey restates that in "The War Zone."
Many still shooters can easily fall in love with the visual style of JAVIER AGUIRRESAROBE. His is a story of collaboration with a director. Woody Allen is known for not being a film technician. Woody depends on a DP to capture his stories as he works with the cast. This is seen in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." It's easy for the book's authors to find frames which showcase Javier's work allowing us to study beautiful stills from "The Others," "The Sea Inside," and "The Road."
And what photographer does not want to study the frames of MATTHEW LIBATIQUE in "Black Swan." This book offers a fabulous look into Libatique's meticulous workflow through color-coded notebook pages. The process sounds sterile but the fluid results speak for themselves in "Requiem for a Dream" or even the "Iron Man" movies.
LEGACY - As visually stimulating as each two-page spread may be, it's not a leaf-through and set-aside coffee table book. It's one which calls the reader to revisit and study time and time again. Interspersed between the chapters are five "Legacy" spreads, clearly separated by black backgrounds. They revisit the work of cinematographers no longer available to interview. When combined with the book's working professionals, the reader gets a very full view of what cinematography is all about with looks back into the work of such classics as "Doctor Zhivago," "Lawrence of Arabia," and "The African Queen," plus the work of accomplished cinematographers some of us may not know.
CONCLUSION - How do you determine if a book you got to inspire you works? This one has to be a five-star from the perspective in that we could not put it down, into the wee small hours and it then kept us awake even longer, plus we were deep into it soon after sunrise. This review serves us as a guide to revisit "FilmCraft Cinematography" again and gain as a permanent fixture in our reference library.
9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
An Extremely Stimulating Journey
, August 10, 2013
We're not new to Illustrator (Ai). We go back to Ai 3 (in the minds of many, the first real Ai). We also go back to some of the original Classroom in a Books (CIB). We're guessing that this one is our 98th over the past 16 years.
We were very curious about this CIB on a few levels. Adobe has gotten into a new CC subscription model. Two or three times a year Adobe will roll out "dot releases" of its apps. In June 18, 2013, Adobe delivered Ai 17. After a while they have 17.1, 17.2, etc, etc. (they're the "dots"). For educators, especially those in the printed materials business, that was a troubling announcement. Instead of books having the usual 12, 18, or 24 month lifespan until a new version is released, how would it be if a book was obsolete in the same year as Ai CC is released? The people at Adobe Press (Peachpit) came up with a fabulous solution for the readers. The CIB series take on a new life as "living books." A CIB was that floppy disk, then CD, then DVD, in the back of the book. Not only did such a thing no longer make sense, since MacBooks, Mac Minis, and various Windows machines don't have optical drives, but delivering lesson materials over the internet allowed Peachpit to add new chapters as well as materials to complement dot releases. This builds a terrific piracy deterrent, too.
Another downside to authors and publishers is that there was only a 12 month development cycle from the launch of CS6 to CC. This meant that CC apps were not as feature rich as the previous cycle which Adobe allowed to marinade for 24 months. How would terrific authors and learning materials creators, like Brian & Wyndham Wood, come up with something new and exciting for Ai CC CIB? They're not recyclers. The Woods do a terrific job, from edition to edition, in making big refreshes. They didn't let us down. Though we write book reviews like a journal of our experiences, as we study, we did look over every spread, so we go into this with admitted enthusiasm.
WHAT'S NEW + QUICK TOUR - At this point in this review, it's fair to ask why a couple with as much background in Illustrator, for that matter, all the CC apps, and are Adobe Community Professionals (ACPs), study a book intended for those at a beginner's or intermediate level. We and many of our fellow ACPs study as much as we can, every week, almost every day. It's part of staying sharp in our roles as consultants and educators. For that reason, we always love to see the "What's New" and "Quick Tour" sections which precede chapter 1. Pros will enjoyably breeze through them in around 15 minutes. Fresh out of the gate newbies might find all this concise information to be exhausting. Before they get to the first chapter, it might be a couple hours of very careful study. If that's you, don't give up and think you'll never "get" this. You will. Millions before you, over the past 26 years, have done it. Just take a break for a few hours to a day. It'll help you retain what you've learned.
CH 1 - GETTING TO KNOW THE WORK AREA - If the first two sections didn't scare you away, together with chapter 1, you know that this is not a quick-start book. This is intended to challenge you. If you're a college grad, it intends to make you feel like you're taking a 300 or 400 level college course, even if this is your freshman year. This chapter is packed with the basics. It's well illustrated and depicted. Take your time. Invest at least an hour. If your goal is to complete the chapter's lessons, ASAP, you may not be well-versed in Ai basics to successfully finish the next 14 chapters, and worse, maybe not attain your full Ai potential.
CH 2 - SELECTING AND ALIGNING - If you are coming into Ai from other CC apps, where you select objects and manipulate the selection (you name them: After Effects, InDesign, Photoshop, etc, etc.), a chapter like this could lull you to sleep. To keep this interesting, the projects are based on working with a humorous-looking robot which could be a mock-up for a toy. It's another tight-packed series of lessons, but at this point you should have sufficient background to complete them in around an hour. Upon completing this you should feel like your know something about Ai and can get comfortable.
CH 3 - CREATING AND EDITING SHAPES - Don't get over-confident from the previous chapter. These 17 spreads could take you a couple hours. Some spreads have as many as 10 concepts on them, so you need to move through them carefully. The lesson samples are designed to do more than take you through the basics. They're challenging enough and keep it interesting.
CH 4 - TRANSFORMING OBJECTS - Ai is an app which some misinformed remote observers claim does nothing more than draws circles, rectangles, and other basic shapes. In case some delusional individual has attempted to convince you of that, the lessons in this chapter dispels any of that. 114 pages into this you're working with some clever graphics of a bicycle. It begins to show you how to do more than transform and line here and a shape there. This is all about using some Ai power, too.
CH 5 - DRAWING WITH THE PEN AND PENCIL TOOLS - Some of Illustrators most accomplished users have some issues with the pens and pencils. They feel the precision of some techniques require too much time. It's true that it can have something of a left brain process, at times. We happen to love working with them and find that building competence in execution allows it to be far more right brain. To prove that concept, this chapter has you create an ice cream sundae. We urge you to set aside at least two hours for this chapter. Make up your own extra credit projects. Try some freehand pencil drawing. Trace a photo with the pen tool in a free-form manner.
CH 6 - COLOR AND PAINTING - The misleading name of this chapter admittedly sounds like a snooze. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's actually very cool. And, the projects are something which could easily be extremely compelling graphics for a website. For what you have learned up to this point plus the energy of this chapter, you should begin to feel empowered by Ai. They squeezed patterns into this chapter and anyone who has done this has to say, "Cool!" once they've created all the trees with just a few steps.
CH 7 - WORKING WITH TYPE - If it feels like each chapter becomes more dramatic than the one before, it's no accident. The authors of this CIB just keep building and building on what you have been learning as you go. Ai CC does some fabulous new things with type, especially if you have something like one of the Wacom Cintiq touch devices which allow you to move type around the screen with your fingers. These projects are the most fun you will have worked on yet. The authors have a great sense of Design. Their ability to work with these graphics feels extremely inspirational. Finish the chapter in 75 or so minutes and then play with these samples and for another half hour.
CH 8 - WORKING WITH LAYERS - Layers have become a trademark of most things Adobe. It all got started in Illustrator. Of course, Ai layers have much more oomph, today. Learning how to turn on all that power isn't easy to accomplish in 10 spreads. However, that could practically be a book in itself.
CH 9 - WORKING WITH PERSPECTIVE DRAWING - We don't know many Illustrator professionals who do cool things with perspective drawing. It's usually demonstrated with the drawing of a very complex detailed cityscape. That may intimidate most users who toss in the towel. The lessons for this chapter evolve around packaging. With simple techniques you quickly create some very inviting visuals. It justifies an "I did it!" moment.
CH 10 - BLENDING COLORS AND SHAPES - Again, we're impressed by the samples in this book. In a short period of time and without great complexity, you learn to do some very absorbing graphics. Once you're done with the chapter, go back to the olives portion of the lessons and play with them some more. Keeping working to get you're skill sets up.
CH 11 - WORKING WITH BRUSHES - If you just completed the previous chapter, take a break. Chapter 11 is very involved and you'll want to clear your head. Brushes are part of what the best Illustrator artists use to do those posters and newspaper section front pages which grab your attention and won't let go. If you ever looked at one of them and thought, "How did they do that?" Your answer starts here. The book suggests that you can complete 13 spreads in an hour. Our take is that you set aside a half day and use what's in this chapter to reshape your career.
CH 12 - APPLYING EFFECTS - For many years some snooty image-makers claimed that filters and effects for anything Adobe is for hobbyists or those who do not have much talent to create anything awesome themselves. Fortunately some of the most talented people using After Effects, Flash Pro, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro began showing them how wrong they are. This chapter only has enough room to get your creativity in gear, so don't just complete the lessons. If this CIB gives you 2 things to do with an effect, take some time, think about it and do 5 of them.
CH 13 - APPLYING APPEARANCE ATTRIBUTES AND GRAPHIC STYLES - As far as we can tell, the Appearance panel is not getting enough love from Ai users. The same can be said for styles. Mastering such creative application can give an Illustrator artist some unique signature looks. To make this chapter even more valuable, there are 16 pages on many of the web related features which start the transformation of Ai into a very different box of tools. It picks up on where the now discontinued (but still available) Fireworks CS6 left off. If you do anything for the web and mobile, these are must-study lessons. With all our background in Ai and a month's worth of Fireworks study, these were the most import 16 pages in this book.
CH 14 - WORKING WITH SYMBOLS - Symbols have long been in the heart of Flash Pro production. It sounds like something extremely simple and if not understood is easy to write-off. Symbols allow you to do some fabulous interactive work and the lessons of this chapter set out to provide it. This is the perfect follow-up to the last half of the previous chapter. At this point you might be understanding a side of Ai which you had no idea was there.
CH 15 - COMBINING ILLUSTRATOR CC GRAPHICS WITH OTHER ADOBE APPLICATIONS - Another extremely empowering and often overlooked aspect of Ai is all the eye popping visuals which can be created when you combine Photoshop and Illustrator. It makes Ai all the more a web+mobile launchpad. This brings us to an important point at the last page of this chapter and the book. We want you to rethink what you just learned in chapters 12-15. Some Ai professionals are creating innovative projects with Illustrator, but not enough for it to look like something everyone is doing. It's an open and inviting door. Take what you've learned and go through it.
Now that we have offered bunches of fragrant roses for this book, what disappoints us about it? Missing is a fabulous section on 3D which used to be included in it. Some, but not all of the Adobe Dimensions features were brought into Ai, quite a few cycles back. It's rare to be able to work with vector 3D. Truth be told, it's probably a very under-utilized feature set in need of extensive overhauling. Ai CIB never had room to do it justice, so we understand pulling it out to make room for what you need to know.
CONCLUSION - This is one of our favorite CIBs in the series. Some of that summary is relative to what is in the book. What's even more exciting is what's between the pages. Each chapter sends our minds soaring to create what no one has yet to try. What more could you ask from ANY book? That's a VERY solid 5 stars.
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
The Best Overall Photoshop CC Learning Volume
, August 7, 2013
We're not new to Classroom in a Book (CIB). To the best of our knowledge, this is our 97th in the 16 years of the series. We go back to one of the very first, the Photoshop 4 edition of the one we are reviewing here. That's when everything you needed to know about becoming an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) could be contained between the covers of one volume.
Illustrator was Adobe's first app, going back to 1987, followed by Photoshop, as Adobe's second app. Like Photoshop, the majority of the core apps in the Creative Cloud (CC) collection are in or about to be in the double digits of version numbering. We go back to one of the first copies of Photoshop 2.0 that Adobe ever shipped. Today, our studio uses just about every desktop app that CC offers.
To temper this review with even more candor, we're not strangers to the people at Adobe. We're Adobe Community Professionals (ACP). That's how this book's Art Director, Andrew Faulkner, and Designer, Elaine Gruenke, contacted Janet about including another one of her Photoshop paintings on page 308. The only way we know the name of the book's author, Brie Gyncild, is because it appears on page 390. Brie also writes another of the CIB's, After Effects.
That said, we have not always been complementary of previous CIB editions, especially the ones Brie writes. We've been educating creative professionals since 1981 and have authored 3 books, ourselves. When it comes to reviewing the work of other educators, for this business, we're tough customers. And, like many ACPs, we explore just about all significant educational materials for our industry.
We write these reviews as we go, so these things are more like a journal of ours. At this point, we have no idea what we'll think of it until we get to the finish line.
Before we go further, there's not supposed to be a DVD in the back of the book, anymore, an original CIB signature feature. CC apps get "dot releases." Photoshop CC, as delivered on June 18, is Photoshop (Ps) 14.0.0 (the "points" are the "dots"). Maybe by the time you read this Adobe will be delivering something like Ps 14.1. The CIB team remolded their own delivery vehicles. As Adobe releases significant features Adobe Press (Peachpit) will prove CIB to be a living series of books. New chapters and lesson materials will be delivered online
CH 1 - GETTING TO KNOW THE WORK AREA - One of our big complaints about Ps CS6 CIB was that it bored us. We'd been looking at many of the same visuals for many versions. The overly recycled photos were applicable the first time or two but they began to lack the inspiration which all CIBs were originally conceived to have. Attempting to teach technology, with step-by-step bone dry how-to projects, where the user merely drops down menus and locates submenus has proven to cause the audience to zone-out in 90 seconds (seriously). In the first chapter, the motivational images have made a welcome return. It's very current. If Ps long-timers like us can say, "I want to do that." any anxious Ps learner should be compelled to create cool projects.
CH 2 - BASIC PHOTO CORRECTIONS - There's probably next to no one who has even the smallest interest in digital image-making who is a 100% Photoshop newbie. So, "basic" in the title of this chapter may sound off-putting, but don't let it fool you. A few pages into this you get the sense that this isn't going to happen in baby steps. It's not a "Getting Started in Photoshop" book. The CIB behind the 11th full-version edition since the first Photoshop CIB clearly intends to challenge the reader. Lessons in every two page spread cannot be breezed through and some interesting side bars and extra credit pages are included. With fresh new samples, we get the sense that this book's team has stepped up their game and took on the extremely difficult task of reaching out to a broad range of Ps reader experience.
CH 3 - WORKING WITH SELECTIONS - If you have even an hour of background in Photoshop you've probably had to select some portion of an image. Admittedly, after you get the hang of the thing, it's not going to be easy to have many "OH WOW!" moments. This chapter has pretty much the same "just okay" lessons we've seen since CS5.
CH 4 - LAYER BASICS - We're not going to say that recycling a chapter is a bad thing. Layers came to Photoshop in version 3.0. The Ps team has been rising above the end user demand for making layers more powerful, while maintaining something of an app-to-app parody in layer usage. So, again, this is a CS5 reappearance, yet it's a challenging aspect of the lessons themselves which make this a must-do.
CH 5 - CORRECTING AND ENHANCING DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS - This is a large and very intense chapter. If you have attempted to do the past 4 chapters in one fell swoop, take a break. You'll need at least 2 hours for this one. If you're not up to speed on ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) you might need more like 3 hours to carefully digest all that's here. Let us say that some may be critical that not all new ACR features are included, here. But, go back to our first chapter of this review. The days of a CIB covering all things Photoshop ended a very long time ago. This chapter is as chuck full of content as some heads can withstand without exploding!
CH 6 - MASKS AND CHANNELS - When we look at these lessons on masking, we remember how painful this used to be. This doesn't mean it's easy. The first 5 spreads might take you 30 minutes to run through at a marathon pace. If each spread takes at least 15 minutes a piece don't feel bad. This chapter just touches on the massive power of channels. If you want this book to provide you with a firm foundation to build upon, in channels, take this one slow.
CH 7 - TYPOGRAPHIC DESIGN - Unless you have done a page-by-page study of this chapter on type and that of the CS5 and CS6 editions, you'll think it's a pure recycle job. It's similar, but it's been improved and updated. There's probably a very limited market for a book devoted to nothing but type in Photoshop. Unless you work with it as much as we do, you'd miss that Adobe has made some terrific improvements in type with Ps CC. It's not mentioned anywhere in Adobe literature of the users manual. If adding text in Ps is in your workflow, we urge you to complete this chapter and then create some of your own extra credit activities.
CH 8 - VECTOR DRAWING TECHNIQUES - In the second paragraph of this review, we mentioned that Adobe got into the app business with Illustrator (Ai) and Photoshop followed. For years people said "Ai is for vector art; pixel-pushers use Ps." The Photoshop team messed up that rigid thinking with Ps CS6, when some great, much-needed vector tools were introduced. If all your Ps projects are void of using vector tools, you may not be working to your greatest potential. Don't blow off these lessons. Study them for at least 2 hours. We're pleased to see how well the CIB team recognized this in rebuilding this chapter and adding a great extra credit section which is only two pages but it hopefully motivates the reader to give it minimally another 30 minutes.
CH 9 - ADVANCED COMPOSITING - Our hands are raised in applause for the complete rewrite of the compositing chapter. It's a great example of how the need to learn these techniques has gone from a niche set of methodologies for the Ps masters to something very mainstream. These lessons do more than show you the bone-dry, how-to step-by-steps we mentioned earlier. The projects work to demonstrate how to bring together a variety of elements and get them all to transition smoothly, appearing that they very much belong together. It's a fun chapter. Set aside 2 hours and add at least another hour for creating your own extra credit.
CH 10 - EDITING VIDEO - A subscription to CC begs you to integrate work with one app into another one or two or three. There are so many fabulous things you can do with movies in Ps. It brings to the party elements no other CC app can provide. It's been nicely expanded in this volume. If you've never worked with video before, this is guaranteed to not be easy no matter how it's taught. Even some professional craft editors look at this Ps Timeline panel and think, "Huh?" Give this chapter 2 hours and you will have mastered the thing. Let us give you an extra credit of our own. While the Timeline panel is fresh in your mind, open a multi-layered project. In the lower left of the Timeline panel is a button to convert the panel to Convert to Frame Animation. Now you're ready to create GIF animations for websites. It's super useful.
CH 11 - PAINTING WITH THE MIXER BRUSH - Our studio began building a visual trademark for itself with Painter 1.0 better than 20 years ago. With the introduction of a great paint engine in the then freshly re-written 64-bit Photoshop CS5 we crossed the tracks. The Ps painting user interface (UI) isn't a friendly one. The UI confounds many. This chapter does an excellent job in getting the reader in a ready-to-work mode in short order. The meat of the lessons is only 15 pages. If you try to rush, you might complete the lessons but you'll never retain any of it. Create you own extra credit and give this a half day of playing around with painting.
CH 12 - WORKING WITH 3D IMAGES - Adobe added some terrific rendering power to Ps CC which they didn't get to in time for CS6. We have been trying to work with it for months and it always fighting with us. If this lesson gives you trouble, it's not your fault; it's not CIB's fault. It's a great lesson and the extra credit to animate is brilliant. If things don't work, don't let it drive you crazy.
CH 13 - PREPARING FILES FOR THE WEB - This a fabulous chapter for this team to include. It's changed quite a bit in this edition. The Bridge Web Gallery stuff is gone probably because of issues Adobe was internally battling on the AOM (Adobe Output Module). As of this writing, it's available as a manual download. Nevertheless, some much needed and often forgotten aspects of slicing and web image prep, which has disappeared from too many Ps learning materials, are found here.
CH 14 - PRODUCING AND PRINTING CONSISTENT COLOR - Another must-have aspect of Photoshop, which is rarely written about, is printing. To get it to work perfectly takes a little tweaking. One of the beauties of a lesson, which comes with print samples, is that you have a tried and tested method of making actual application of this learning to your own workflow.
CONCLUSION - The previous edition got a 4.5 stars from us. We're cranking this one up to 4.9. Some heavy-lifting still needs to happen before we can honestly say it wowed us beyond 5.0 stars. Still, this has to be the best overall Photoshop CC learning volume there is. Photoshop is a huge and easily intimidating app. By the time you have faithfully completed each lesson, you should have a great comfort level with Ps. That's an empowering experience to build upon.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
THE Best Got Even Better
, August 4, 2013
When the CS6 edition of "Adobe Audition CC Classroom in a Book" (CIB) was released, we gave it a glowing 5 star review. We had been working in audio for decades, didn't really connect with Adobe's previous suite-included audio app, SoundBooth (SB), and could harness the power of Audition (Au), at least not until its CIB came along. Once we studied (not read, studied) Au CIB CS6, we owned a chunk of the power Adobe intended us to have in Au, which was missing from SB.
That said, how did the Adobe Press (Peachpit) team do with the CC edition? Excellent question. We were so curious that we had compared the two side-by-side, spread-by-spread. CS6's final chapter (16) appears to be missing, but it's not. Most chapters are more extensive. So, with slightly more pages, the sixteenth chapter is available as a PDF.
The DVD, which has been in the back the CIBs forever (this one, we estimate is our 96th CIB, starting in 1997) appears to be missing as well, but that appearance is also deceiving. Adobe Press now delivers the work files online. Are they getting cheap? That's not it. Unlike the 26 previous years of Adobe apps, CC is a very different deal. Instead of a full version revision every 18 to 24 months, Adobe is doing dot releases (dot releases?). Au CC is actually Au 6.0. Every few months look for updates called something like Au 6.1, 6.2, etc (that's where the "dots" come in).
Adobe Press has devised a fabulous solution to keep your library of CC CIBs fresh. At no additional charge, they'll add new chapters and new work files, online, too, as the dot releases come out. No, that doesn't mean you'll never need to buy another CIB. Life isn't like that. What you need from that life, right now, is found at: [...] with this book's redemption code.
CH 1 - AUDIO INTERFACING - At first glance, some readers will roll their eyes at where this book begins. It looks like a bunch of boring technical information about how audio gear interfaces with Macs and Windows. By the time you get to the end of the chapter, you might get it. Or, it might take you a few chapters until you go, "THAT'S why I needed to learn that stuff." So, don't breeze through this. Give it a half hour or so.
CH 2 - THE AUDITION ENVIRONMENT - If you've been shooting video with a dSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera, have a good handle on it, but you're getting into Audition, because you're video's great but you're audio stinks, Audition is not going to feel like completely comfortable territory. The layout of this chapter permits a great deal of information to be included in these pages without it ever feeling crammed or confusing. Nevertheless, you're going to need at least 90 minutes to try to get very, very at home with this UI (user interface) and the app's key panels.
CH 3 - BASIC EDITING - If you're new to audio editing, there's nothing "basic" about this chapter. Even if you're coming into this from another audio app, this is the point in this learning process where Audition becomes more clear and you begin to feel you have a handle on what it's all about. You might need an hour and a half, if you're working though it slowly.
CH 4 - SIGNAL PROCESSING - Don't let this chapter's name fool you. It's sounds like nothing relative to what you will be doing, but you're probably wrong. The chapter is a reference work. Au comes with a bunch of effects which are essential in refining your tracks. Chances are the terminology makes no sense. This chapter makes it all come together. Bookmark it.
CH 5 - AUDIO RESTORATION - The word "restoration" sounds as if you're working with archival clips but it's relative to cleaning up even new audio. We use the majority of everything discussed in this chapter for many of our Au projects, which deserves at least an hour. If you have been using the Photoshop lasso tool to select portions of images, you'll be in your comfort zone doing the same for audio segments. Bookmark this chapter, too.
CH 6 - MASTERING - Craig Anderton, who wrote this book, appears to know the technology and creativity of the music recording world in his sleep. This short chapter is something of a thrill for anyone who envisioned being behind the big board on the other side of the glass while the tracks for the next Grammy award winner are being laid down. Whether you work with Audition on an 11" MacBook Air or at a bank of 2 or 3 Wacom Cintiq 22HD touch displays, these lessons make you feel like maybe you could do this. It's so much fun that you'll want to give it an hour. However, this is not just playing make-believe. This empowers you to the point that Audition is no longer intimidating. By the end of the chapter, it feels like you own Au.
CH 7 - SOUND DESIGN - If we had not been blessed to hang around some fabulous video-audio professionals in the late 1980s, we may have never come to know the term and concept for its early emergence into the digital environment. For you, "design" may remind you of the visuals behind a website, the look of a high-graphic book, or the art direction behind a Hollywood film's sets, lighting, and costumes. Yet, it's all applicable to the audio signatures of such a film. Some of the samples and projects this CIB provides are just so cool, when you've completed the lessons, you will appreciate all of what motion picture sound is about for the rest of your life.
CH 8 - CREATING AND RECORDING FILES - So far, this book has been all about postproduction, meaning all our audio has already been captured during process of obtaining these clips. Without fail as we have almost completed a project, we feel there's something which requires a voice over (VO). Until we got to know Audition, we'd take a familiar but less than ideal approach. The previous edition of this book upped our VO game. If you've been wanting to do live recording, you'll be experimenting with these lessons and doing a little extra credit work for around an hour.
CH 9 - MULTITRACK EDITOR ORIENTATION - Have you been working in Premiere Pro? Then multitrack editing is not so mysterious. Though we have been at this for over a year, we still could not breeze through this chapter. This chapter was a much-needed revisit to some Au features we have the need to perfect. There are some things we never learned about channel mapping or how to side-chain events. If you have no idea what we've just said, give this chapter at least an hour and it will become as plain as a sunny day.
CH 10 - THE MULTITRACK MIXER VIEW - This is a very short chapter. Some will jump in and out of it in less than a half hour. It took us through the intricacies of the Au boards on a very advanced level. If you have been working on these lessons, all day. Take a break before getting into this one, or you'll never retain these important details.
CH 11 - EDITING CLIPS - These lessons are both fun and challenging. It pushes the reader into some very advanced uses of Au which you may not have known was there. It starts out with styles used by DJs, whom you may think of a knocking down projects on-the-fly, but all of this is very planned, purposeful, and conceivably complex. If you want to study it to the level we recommend, devote 90 minutes to it.
CH 12 - CREATING MUSIC WITH SOUND LIBRARIES - This chapter is heavy on recording for the music industry, which comes with some of its own jargon. At this point, Audition becomes extremely involved and proves that it's very much the real deal of audio. It's admittedly a little baffling at times, if working with music tracks are new to you. It's at least an hour of study if you really want to get to know how all of this works.
CH 13 - RECORDING IN THE MULTITRACK EDITOR - This chapter is another fun one for us. It goes deeper into the process begun in 12. Like the previous chapter, even if you're not in Au for music, it improves your Audition skills. We fully understand that if you're using Au to augment your work in other CC apps, investing another hour might make you a little antsy, but calm down. It's worth it.
CH 14 - AUTOMATION - There's a great deal of power in Audition, but for some tasks it may seem extremely tedious. You do basic things over and over, again and again to the point that you begin to feel like you're a line worker in a fast food restaurant, which has a very limited menu board. Great audio engineering avoids the tedium by automating tasks. This is where you learn how to do that.
CH 15 - MIXING - The final chapter in the bound book isn't a final exam or a last word. It's more of a door opener as to where you need to go, next, and the skills you can find within yourself to get there. Side-bars such as "The brain and mixing" and "Acoustics and hearing" set the tone (pun intended) going forward. It ought to get both your left and right brain lobes stimulated for the power this book has provided, as more of a "Start" button than a 2,000 page set of volumes for audio + Audition. A good example is the use of what you've learning in the "Testing your acoustics" section.
CH 16 - AUDIO/VIDEO APPLICATIONS - As mentioned earlier, one of the most "fun" chapters from the previous edition is not in the bound book. It was a chapter on scoring audio to film clips and how composers of Hollywood films lay music into a movie. Yes, it was fascinating, but how this works probably was useful to very few of the readers. The PDF chapter has been fully rewritten and is applicable to many audio + visuals uses. You'll want to study this one. For our multimedia purposes, it brings it all together.
CONCLUSION - It may be inappropriate for us to crown this as "The Best Book on Adobe Audition" since the number of books on the app are minimal. We would never accept a contract to try to top Craig Anderton's expertise on the subject, so maybe other authors have been scared away. Nevertheless, for anyone wanting to get into Au for extensive work or just perfecting voice tracks from dSLR talking-head footage, this is THE must-have learning resource. It's your single-source desktop reference guide. This is beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt five star. We're impressed at how the previous edition's "best" got even better.