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Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects, Volume 2: Advanced Techniques [Paperback]

Trish & Chris Meyer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects, Vol.2, (3rd Ed., Version 6.5): Advanced Techniques Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects, Vol.2, (3rd Ed., Version 6.5): Advanced Techniques 4.7 out of 5 stars (3)
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Book Description

May 30 2003 Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects
Motion graphics is the animating of digital images to create new looks, sophisticated special effects, network logos and film-style title sequences. Adobe After Effects is the leading software application for creating motion graphics. After Effects is a dual-platform program used by major production departments and art houses, and taught in graphics design classes. Volume 2 focuses on how After Effects integrates with other programs vital to the motion graphics work-flow and technical details of preparing files for broadcast. It includes targeted chapters on subjects such as alpha channels, working with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, type effects, keyframe assistants, expressions, audio, keying, time remapping, motion tracking and stabilization, integrating with non-linear editing systems and 3D applications, web graphics, interlaced video, 3:2 pulldown, luminance and IRE issues, working with NTSC, PAL, Widescreen, and HiDef video, film issues, and advanced rendering techniques. It also addresses functionality exclusively available in the Production Bundle of After Effects and popular plug-ins including Vector Paint and Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator.

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Review

"I can't think of anyone more qualified to show you how to get the most out of After Effects than Trish and Chris Meyer." --Steve Kilisky, Senior Product Manager, Adobe After Effects --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Trish and Chris Meyer are the creative forces behind CyberMotion, an award-winning motion graphics studio in Los Angeles. They both teach at the American Film Institute in Hollywood, host motion graphics user groups and write the Motion Graphics column for DV magazine.Trish and Chris Meyer are the creative forces behind CyberMotion, an award-winning motion graphics studio in Los Angeles. They both teach at the American Film Institute in Hollywood, host motion graphics user groups and write the Motion Graphics column for DV magazine.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Alpha channels are central to working in After Effects. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
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.
Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same essentials for begginers June 6 2003
Format:Paperback
I found the "editorial reviews" to be a little bit biased given they also contributed to either the book itself, another book by the same authors, or have collaborated with the authors. That being said, Chris and Trish Meyer are two of the most influential Motion Graphics trainers in the industry. They know their stuff and are open to feedback, comments and the like. For example, Chris and I recently corresponded regarding the Volume One book. He was really responsive, professional and considerate. You can't beat that kind of value.
This book picks up where the first left off. I call it, more of the essential skills you need to be a professional After Effects motion graphics producer. This book is for BEGINNERS. Anyone with little to moderate experience might find Volumes One and Two to be a bit beneath them. The way I look at it, Chris and Trish are just being thorough. They have several books out that address the entire motion graphics production creative and technical process. This book falls in between Volume One and After Effects in Production.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Trish and Chris Meyer have done an outstanding job on the entire series of Creating Motion Graphics. Learning graphics software from instructional books is an unappealing task, and through painful experience, I have learned that most are not worth the paper they are printed on. This series is a stunning exception to that rule. The style is thorough yet straightforward, building skills progressively from chapter to chapter, tutorial to tutorial. All three books in the series are packed with demonstrations of all the technical aspects covered, and each example builds upon what has been covered in previous chapters and tutorials, allowing you to absorb and integrate the techniques through experience using them.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not only an AE goldmine, but a Flash life-saver too! June 8 2003
By Dave Joly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
Of course, this doesn't even touch on the value of the other 398 pages (I just got the book and haven't had time to really read in depth yet), but you get the idea.
Buy the book. Period. And invest in the other two - if you're interested enough in this stuff to lay out the $$ for AE, you'll get a BIG return on your investment in all 3 books.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC book(s) for ADVANCED PRACTITIONERS Jan. 23 2005
By David A. Anselmi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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!

Finally, & this should be obvious but obviously isn't, the differences between AE5.0 & AE6.5 aren't massive. There's been some plugins added, a few more options here & there... but Expressions, 3D, render-order, & animation haven't changed significantly. In fact, my "Creating Motion Graphics, AE4.1" edition has very little which is superceded.

The Meyers are interested in making All of us as skilled as they are, & that is refreshing. Anything you see on the TV made in AE ("Alias" is a great example) can be done in AE4.1, or with AE5.0+, using the methods in this book. By being this unbelievably generous, one would think they would put themselves out of business... but instead, they've overbooked, & their Seminars sell-out rapidly.

The emphasis on putting a "Software Version #" on texts like these comes from Publishers, who really like this visual "born-on date" which would seem to create forced obsolescence & thus sell more books. Nope-- this is backfiring, b/c no one is going to keep re-buying $40+ books when the amount of new information (for each new application release) is at most a single chapter. So instead we're now seeing more "Tips" and "Pro" books which don't reference a version-# at all... the next release of the Meyers books shouldn't either, to avoid confusion.

Me, however, I'll always eagerly await these GOLD STANDARD texts, & buy every one they release. This is the Real Stuff.... enjoy!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best computer graphics instruction in print June 27 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Trish and Chris Meyer have done an outstanding job on the entire series of Creating Motion Graphics. Learning graphics software from instructional books is an unappealing task, and through painful experience, I have learned that most are not worth the paper they are printed on. This series is a stunning exception to that rule. The style is thorough yet straightforward, building skills progressively from chapter to chapter, tutorial to tutorial. All three books in the series are packed with demonstrations of all the technical aspects covered, and each example builds upon what has been covered in previous chapters and tutorials, allowing you to absorb and integrate the techniques through experience using them.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects, Vol. 2: Advanced Techniques (3rd Edition, Version 6.5) Sept. 15 2005
By S. A. Shornock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you are a novice make sure you get Vol. 1 it is really great. I bought volume two because I learned so much from volume one and what a great AE reference book to have sitting on you shelf. Whenever I have a question the book has an example that I can apply to my project.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continues the Magic from Volume 1 Aug. 9 2005
By John Matlock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After Effects is a leading motion graphics and visual effects software system. A lot of the dynamic animation you see moving titles around on TV shw ads are done using After Effects. And a lot of these come from CyberMotion, the authors company.

As noted, this is the second volume on After Effects. The general tone of the book is a lot like the first one, with an approach of this is what I wanted to do, and this is how I did it.

The casual sub-title of this book is 'Learning to Play with Others.' The overall story is how to use After Effects with various kinds of input data, and how to get the resulting animation out to what the customer can actually use.

It is highly recommended that you first read and become master of the techniques described in Volume 1. Then this book itself is Highly Recommended.
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