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Creating Motion Graphics With After Effects, Vol. 2: Advanced Techniques (3rd Edition, Version 6.5)

Motion graphics is the animating of digital images to create new looks, sophisticated special effects, and network logos. Adobe After Effects is a dual-platform program used by major production departments and art houses. From animating background images to creating film-style title sequences, After Effects does it all. Part of theDV Expert series, this book offers practical, in-depth coverage for working professionals and aspiring pros.Volume 2: Advanced Techniques focuses on how After Effects integrates with other programs vital to the motion graphics workflow and technical details of preparing files for broadcast. Core concepts include audio, typography, and alpha channels. Advanced features of the application such as color keying, motion tracking, Expressions, and using the new paint tool and text animation engine are also covered in depth. This volume also explores the integration between After Effects and other programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and 3D applications, and discusses nonlinear editing systems and Web tools. It addresses functionality exclusively available in the Production Bundle of After Effects and popular plug-ins.

Series: DV Expert Series

Paperback: 432 pages

Publisher: Focal Press; 3 edition (June 1, 2005)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1578202698

ISBN-13: 978-1578202690

Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds

Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,298,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #41 in Books > Computers & Technology > Digital Audio, Video & Photography > Adobe > Adobe After Effects #628 in Books > Computers & Technology > Digital Audio, Video & Photography > Video Production #957 in Books > Computers & Technology > Games & Strategy Guides > Game Programming

I have both of the Meyer's previous books on AE because they are the gold standard in useful AE information. I've learned more practical and applicable info from those books than any other AE source, and their stucture and info layout is head and shoulders above 99% of most of the other graphics related software books I've bought over the years.I come to AE with an illustration and Flash animation background, so I was a newbie to the world of desktop digital video production for broadcast. The Meyer's have cleared up a world of questions that have cropped up along the way.But, on to the specific reason for my glowing assesment of this new title:I needed to composite an animated character, created in Flash, within an AE comp. My problem was that, after following Macromedia's instructions for exporting the animation with an alpha channel, every tiime I brought it in to AE, the alpha would not work, leaving me with an un-wanted background color. I searched high and low through the Flash documentation, the web, even posted my question on Macromedia's Flash User-to-User forum, but no one was able to answer this question.Enter Creating Motion Graphics, Volume 2.The complete problem and solution (setting the background color of the Flash movie to a transparent color - THEN exporting as video) is explained in clear and concise detail on pgs. 276-277.If I had any hair left, the Meyer's would have once again saved me from pulling it all out.When I find solutions to Flash problems in a book for AE, that even the Macromedia user-forums don't touch, I take it as a pretty strong indicator these folks know what's important, and why.

First, KUDOS to the DV "Expert" Series for sticking to their guns & continuing to produce & release true EXPERT texts. Far too many books are jumping on the bandwagon, calling themselves "Advanced", & are really nothing of the sort. [Those books] seem to think that walking-thru each option in all the menus somehow qualifies as 'Advanced', or perhaps just giving some high-level/strategic "this is how it works" overview is sufficient. In fact, the true Advanced user *already* knows all this; what they're interested in, is: (1) advanced new ideas, (2) advanced new methods, & above-all (3) speed-in-execution... b/c deadlines are always shrinking. ALL THREE MEYERS BOOKS ("Creating" vol.1, vol.2, & "Producing") DO ALL THREE OF THESE EXCELLENTLY.Second, if it's not already obvious, these texts are NOT for the "I just bought/acquired AE; what do the buttons do?" kind of user. In fact, these books aren't really even for the "I've muddled-about a few projects in AE & still don't quite get it" user. Instead, these books are for the "I've been using AE for a while, am pretty comfortable with it, & now need to take my work to the Next Level" user. And at this "Advanced" level, the Meyers are FANTASTIC at gradation of material. IOW, they start with the bar high, but don't [continue] to make massive leaps-- they provide multiple Bonus Tutorials graded from "Easy" to "Challenging/Strenuous"... you just have to read that as: "Expert/Easy" to "Expert/Challenging" (whew!). In a field where the highest-level practitioners very rarely spend time 'teaching', it's a pleasure & a gift to have such in-depth, advanced, & truly creative *teaching* material available.... of projects that actually look cool-enough for broadcast in prime-time!

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