Adobe After Effects 6.5 Magic

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9780321267238: Adobe After Effects 6.5 Magic

Animation Presets, an advanced Clone tool, scripting support, and a powerful new color correction system are just a few of the reasons you're chomping at the bit to get down to work with After Effects 6.5. In these pages, a master of the medium allows you to do just that, presenting a series of projects that explore every aspect of Adobe's animation and effects powerhouse. By focusing on the areas that can be troublesome for professional users--whether because they present thorny issues or because they draw on completely new features--this volume provides the focused, practical instruction you need to maximize your After Effects productivity. Each lesson provides need-to-know tips, proven techniques, and best practices for a variety of After Effects 6.5 functions: from importing and managing footage to viewing and editing layers, animating type, and more. The companion CD includes QuickTime instructional movies, source code, and files for all of the book's projects.

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Review:

Version 5.5 of Adobe After Effects is much more than an incremental upgrade. By improving on existing features and introducing new ones, the After Effects development team has again created a must-have version for the professional After Effects designer. After Effects 5.5 Magic takes the intermediate to advanced user through a tutorial tour of some of these features, while reinforcing important older tools.

Featuring chapters written by such After Effects luminaries as Fred Lewis, Patrick Siemer, and Dan Ablan, to name a few, there are chapters on film resolution, logo animation, combining 2-D and 3-D layers, motion tracking, and several chapters on live-action compositing. There are also chapters on creating stylistic video distortion and creating and exporting animation for the Web in the form of Flash (SWF) files.

The last third of the book is focused on one of After Effects' most powerful features: expressions. Since expressions are perceived as "programming," many AE designers tend to shy away from them. However, mastering expressions can add a whole new level of design and animation that simply isn't possible without them. Mark Christiansen has written five chapters that explore expressions, starting with their basic usage using point-and-click techniques through more advanced techniques that use custom-written code. Mark has done a terrific job of explaining the fundamentals, techniques, and various applications, and these chapters are worth the cost of the book.

Books in the New Riders Magic series are written by experienced authors discussing advanced features, and target advanced users. Each book offers clean design, concise writing, full color on every page, and countless illustrations. After Effects 5.5 Magic is a worthy member of this important series and a valuable addition to the AE designer's library. --Mike Caputo

From the Publisher:

Killer team of After Effects pros bands together to fight mediocrity in new media design. No other After Effects book at all like this one. And a very gratifying comment on the back cover, from Adobe's senior product manager for After Effects: "This book is a must-have for any serious After Effects user with the desire to unleash the power of expressions or learn about techniques and tricks of the trade from an incredibly talented group of After Effects users." This is an exciting time to be developing with new media... e-mail me and let me know what other books you need in this area: I'm Steve Weiss, executive editor at New Riders: steve.weiss@newriders.com. Thanks.

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