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The After Effects Illusionist: All the Effects in One Complete Guide Paperback – Jan 15 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (Jan. 15 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240811453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240811451
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 18.5 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #916,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"...grouped into chapters that follow the same listings as the sequence the effects appear in the plug-in menu.... the book is well written and copiously populated with full colour images illustrating the concepts... a disc is provided which is packed with project files that relate to the examples in the book and allow you to jump straight to the learning without having to set up each new example to match the lesson.

Also included on the disc are three more short chapters designed to give you a mental jump start when you are running low on ideas. Suggestions about combining effects to achieve new results can often fire a spark in your mind that can lead to a new solution for a problem you are stuck on.

This book is going to remain on my desk for the foreseeable future, ready whenever i need a quick fix of inspiration or just to refresh myself about a specific effect.
If you use Adobe After Effects, then the chances are you will find something useful, informative and inspiring in this book. Highly recommended."
-- Adam Taylor, Studio Manager, Character Options Ltd

About the Author

Chad Perkins is an Adobe Certified Instructor and Expert in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, After Effects, Premiere, and was one of the first in the world to be a Certified Expert in Adobe Encore DVD. Chad also owns Aveconta, an architectural rendering studio that creates photo-realistic renders from AutoCAD drawings and blueprints. Chad served for over two years as the Digital 3D and Animation Specialist at a leading lenticular art creation facility in Southern California, where he produced finished art for Warner Brothers, Paramount, and Disney, among others. True to his passion for movies and animation, Chad is currently directing and producing an all-CGI short film.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa2942a98) out of 5 stars 21 reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2add084) out of 5 stars Good, but still slightly disappointing Aug. 28 2009
By GameMaker - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First let me say that I'm a big Chad Perkins fan. His books and especially his video training series are great. You can't help but love his enthusiasm and depth of knowledge. So I eagerly snapped this book up when I was faced with a project that required me to do a lot of special effects that I basically had no clue how to do. This seemed like the perfect book for that.

Well, after having it a while, and reading some of the sections, I have kind of mixed feelings. What I was really hoping for was a good reference. A book that I could keep on my bookshelf and when I wanted to figure out how to use a certain effect in After Effects, I'd look up that effect in the appendix, turn to the chapter, and read what the various knobs mean and how to effectively use it. Sadly, it's not really that kind of book. It is well organized, and it contains a lot of good information. But when you look up an effect, instead of getting a very concise explanation of how it works and what the knobs do, Chad give you more of "here's one way you can use it".

Anyhow, decent book, I'm glad that I got it. Reading through the chapters is interesting and instructive, but I'm still left looking for an ideal reference manual to the effects in After Effects.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2d2e4d4) out of 5 stars Simply the BEST Jan. 31 2009
By Daniel D. Orlando - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've recently been reading a lot of books on creating motion graphics, and I must say that "The After Effects Illusionist" is definitely top 3, and quite possibly my number 1 favorite. I absolutely love the simplicity of the organizational structure of the book. Instead of organizing the content in a way that the author assumes the reader should see it, the author instead simply goes through every single one of the 189 effects included with After Effects CS4 in alphabetical order, the same exact way that they are listed in the Effects and Presets panel in After Effects. Additionally, the tutorials are incredibly easy to follow, and my favorite thing - the best part of this book - is the DVD that comes with it... It is quite apparent right away the amount of time and effort author Chad Perkins must have put into writing this book by the 1.96 gigabytes of data on the DVD. On this DVD, I was pleasantly surprised to find a boat-load of example projects that the author made for you to use as "starting points" so you can literally learn by doing. Often I will go through a particular tutorial on an effect, and then put the book down and just continue to mess around with the project based on the information I just learned.

Bottom line - this is an incredible learning tool if you want to become the next multimedia "illusionist" using After Effects. This is one of few books I can honestly say has far more value than it's price.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa345ee28) out of 5 stars It's About Time May 6 2009
By D. B. Ross - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an After Effects user for more than 10 years, I can't recommend this book highly enough. To have a resource that illustrates and explains ALL of the effects that ship with the program, you know, the ones you generally pass by on your way to your favorite third party plug ins, is long overdue. Though the subject has the potential to bog down and be dry, it never does thanks to the excellent humor and fullness of understanding of the author. Chad seems to be the sort of instructor that is infinitely patient, totally prepared and completely sincere while passing on a great deal of knowledge and keeping things fun. Again, I highly recommend this book.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2d350cc) out of 5 stars The Most Fun Motion Graphics Book Ever May 14 2009
By Jack B. Hunt - Published on
Format: Paperback
There is a distinct line between the artistic side and logical side of motion graphic artists. Chad Perkins book hits a home-run with "The After Effects Illusionist" by perfectly bridging the gap between the two. The power of After Effects lies in effects, and Chad walks through them all. It is the most fun motion graphics book ever written. You will not be able to distinguish work from play when going through this book. Chad uses his strength of taking the most complex material, condensing it and making it understandable to everyone, all with his great well-known enthusiasm. The books covers areas I have not seen written or discussed elsewhere. I highly recommend it for all After Effects users.

Jackson Hunt
VP of Marketing
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2bdf450) out of 5 stars A great help in getting the most out of After Effects May 3 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Often when I use After Effects I end up only using a small handful of the effects available. Something I assume a lot of people do as well.

There are plenty of effects that most people try once, don't see any difference and never try again. The After Effects Illusionist is essentially a guided tour down the effects menu to show what they all do and how to best use them in your After Effects work.

Chad Perkins lets you know which effects are essential (including some alternative uses for them) and which ones are basically useless. And thankfully there's a CD with the project files, since most of these effects are hard to demonstrate in still pictures alone.

It is disappointing that the standard 3rd party effects like Keylight or the Cycore effects aren't covered since they're so powerful. There is one small blurb saying they are covered on the book's website, but that doesn't seem to be true. Considering the included CD contains a few final chapters, one more on those effects wouldn't be that hard to add.

The After Effects Illusionist is a book it wouldn't hurt to keep by your desk. It's bound to expand your After Effects vocabulary.