Why did we write this book? We love After Effects. We use it ourselves almost every day to create motion graphics for our clients . We teach After Effects classes, give lectures, and consult one-on-one. And you know what makes us feel really good? When people learn a new trick or tip, smile, and say, "Wow!"
We still learn new tricks every day, and we still smile and say, "Wow!" We wanted to pass that excitement along. As much as we love this program, we can't teach everywhere, we can't answer the phone every night at 3 a.m. (our wives and roommates would kill us), and we can only get across so many tips in the time allotted to us at conferences.
So we wrote a book. The idea was to give the reader the cream off the top of the milk ” just the good stuff. After Effects is a great program, with tons of features and shortcuts; the problem is separating the cream from the skim milk.
If you read every tech document on the web, perused every page of the manual, attended all of the Adobe training courses, and hung out with all the other AE uber- geeks , you'd have a bounty of knowledge (trust us, we have and we do). But you have a life, a job, and no time to dig to find those gems. If you're impatient, on a deadline, or just can't stand to look at another "Getting Started with After Effects" book, this book is for you.
All we ask is that you tell your friends about this book, and that when you win your first Oscar/Emmy (or make your first million dollars), you remember us ”or, better yet, just smile and thank us at the next conference.
If you've worked with After Effects for a while and feel comfortable, you can get a lot out of this book. If you're a seasoned designer, we may help break you of some extremely slow habits and show you some really cool techniques. This book will help you move to a higher level.
If you've never opened the manual, read another AE book, or taken a training class ”don't start here. You must learn to walk before you can run. If you're a "newbie," this book may leave you a bit overwhelmed. Buy it anyway, but read it after you've had some walking lessons.
With that said, don't try to read the book linearly. Shop for ideas, jump around a lot, and work your way through the chapters you need most. We've left extra space by the tips so you can jot down your own notes. If you're a mobile artist, this book should fit nicely in your bag. Hit a tough spot, and just pull the book out when the client leaves the room to check for a new idea or a troubleshooting tip. Have a few minutes to kill, read a tip. We bet you'll return to the application with some new ideas and new energy.
If you're looking for the little sidebars or tips in the margins, there aren't any. This whole book is filled with more than 400 tips. Get reading already ”you've got a deadline to make.
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