Adobe After Effects CS5 Classroom in a Book Review

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Written by: Suleman Sultan

After trying to teach myself the Adobe’s After Effects CS5 program for months I actually created some very cool effects, but after a while I realized that I could not create anything on my own.  I looked at other peoples work and just imitated what they were doing. I was practically copying them.  What I really wanted to do was to create my own videos and effects. I needed to learn the interface and tools of After Effect CS5.

I purchased Adobe After Effects CS5 Classroom in a Book. After completing this book I started making my own effects. Although I’m still not an expert, this book helped me learn in one week things that would have taken me months to learn on my own.

What’s so good about Classroom in a Book is that it gives you projects to complete and guides you through the process of creating them.  It shows you a final product and then guides you through the creation process, teaching you the purpose of certain tools and the best ways to use them.

Classroom in a Book is written by the Adobe Creative Team so you are getting information and guidance from expert and trusted sources. The book comes with a CD that has all the stock images and files that you need to complete the 14 projects listed in the book.

The book starts with the basics and then goes uphill from there. At the end you will be knowledgeable about the tools necessary to create some of the most difficult effects.

It also goes into how to properly use certain After Effects plug-ins and tools, explaining how to use Mocha, Digieffects FreeForm, Color Finesse 3 plug-ins as well as the Roto Brush tool.

Classroom in a Book also discusses how to work with 64-bit performance systems and multiple camera types like a Red camera and an AVC-Intra.

The best thing about the book is the price. You are practically learning how to use a $1000 computer software from a book that costs only $59.99 (I got mine on sale for $36.12 from Amazon).

I recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn how to use the tools in After Effects. Learning the basics will allow you to create your own projects which will then allow you to easily advance into the more complex aspects of video effects.  Adobe’s After Effects CS5 Classroom in a Book is not a book for those with moderate or intermediate knowledge of After Effects. It is written for those who are new to after effects and for those who want to get a better understanding of its basic tools and interface.

At the end of my journey through this book I started to create my own videos and effects. I ran out of home videos before I ran out of effects to make!

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