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for Adobe After Effects 6
Training's instructional DVD Videos for After Effects 6 offer 30-plus
hours of tutorials, but can they really help viewers get to grips with
Adobe's highly complex video compositing, editing and animation program?
Mastery of Adobe
After Effects enables users to give video projects a professional, polished
look that's not possible using editing programs alone. The trouble is,
After Effects is complex and learning it can take a lot of time and
effort. What's needed is an expert helping hand, and that's more or
less the promise of a set of DVD Video discs produced by Total Training
- a company producing tutorials for a wide range of Adobe programs.
There are two versions of Total Training AE6 tutorials available. The
keenest UK prices for both look to be from specialist editing-system
builder DVC (Digital Video Computing). It sells the Standard Pack, reviewed
here, for £234 inc VAT, and the Professional Pack, covering the
additional features in the Pro version of AE6, for £340.
Running time for the Standard Pack totals 31 hours across three DVD
box sets. Each set has a contents CD carrying project and source files
that can be used on Mac or Windows PCs to replicate the on-DVD lessons
given by instructors Brian Maffitt and Steve Holmes. Project folders
for each set must be copied to hard disk before lessons are started,
and this has to be done manually - as explained in the first DVD. Some
folders also contain useful documents such as the PDF file that shows
the order in which different types of effects are layered and rendered
in After Effects.
Set 1 - The Fundamentals - runs for just over seven hours and has two
DVDs - Introducing the After Effects Interface, and Up to Speed. Set
2 - Animation and Special Effects - plays for 13 hours and 18 minutes
and has four DVDs. The first three cover Animation and Effects; the
fourth is about new effects - 3D, noise, colour, distort and channel
filter. Set 3 - 3D, Expressions, Text and Design - runs for 10 hours
and 33 minutes, and comprises four DVDs covering those four topics.
A fourth set provided only in the Pro Pack covers keying, rotoscoping,
motion-tracking, plug-in palettes, 3D assistants and colour adjustment,
plus the effects that come with the Pro version - distortion, audio
filters and fractal noise.
We were slightly miffed about the missing and misplaced files, and annoyed
that Total Training hadn't considered the effect on users of its tedious
play-first video. But, it's easy to forgive these shortcomings when
the style of the teaching in the DVDs is fun, the tutorials cover a
massive range and the step-by-step guidance is genuinely useful.
Okay, the £234 price tag for the Standard version isn't a pittance,
but it would be a sound investment for readers serious about learning
the program. Anyone who buys the set and puts in the hours and the homework
will be a lot wiser, and will have gained a good grounding in using
After Effects - we can't think of a better recommendation than that.
Read the full review
in July 2004's Computer Video magazine.
Reviewed in this issue:
Roxio Easy Media Creator 7
DigiRostrum DV Ken Morse Edition
Training for Adobe After Effects 6
Giant Magic Bullet Movie Looks
In July's news:
DVD Architect and Vegas go pro
Premiere Pro upgrades
Updated Adobe Video Collection
Apple authoring MkIII
Canopus Imaginate: Part II
Smarter After Effects
Bringing Dolby Digital 5.1 home
Sony shrinks DVD camcorders
Graphics cards get interesting - and faster, too
£999 Tiny Athlon 64 laptop