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on 26 November 2001
I think that this book teaches After Effects in the only way that such software can by taught i.e. via practical examples which are de-constructed and reverse engineered by the reader/student. The projects that come with the book are just like the sort of things that are seen on TV . It is nice to have an insight into how these effects that are seen everyday, are created...
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on 17 September 2002
Makes a refreshing change from the plethora of instructional books out there that are written in impenetrable American sports-analogies and such like! (It took me years to discover what stuff like "upping the ante" means...). Taylor uses a straightforward style that's very easy to follow -- perhaps due to her background as an Adobe trainer.
After Effects is not one of those packages you can learn just by playing with it, and this is an ideal companion to the package. I especially liked the way she'd approached it from a "creative's perspective", considering what her readers would want to get out the book by the time they'd finished it. Also liked the fact that -- unlike some authors out there -- this is not yet another book in a series of 20 that she's knocked out based on a cursory glance at the package: she has years of experience both using AE in the industry and in teaching/demonstrating it too. The experience shows.
The only things I can find fault with are the fact that it's not updated for AE5.5, and the grammar is a bit, erm, freestyle in places. :-) But those are minor nit-picks -- overall I'm very glad I bought this.
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on 6 November 2001
Angies book is absolutely fantastic. Her methods are extremely creative and versatile. The book reads like a huge tutorial although you can easily dip into any section at any time. It covers all the new features of AE5 including parenting, expressions and 3d. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a leading edge in their after effects work. Well done Angie!
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on 18 October 2001
This book is good. Although it could possibly be a little advanced for most people. Especially absolute beginners. The author, because she's had several years of experience and has got the program down to a fine art, mistakenly expects the same level of technical expertise from her readers. She also doesn't explain herself very well, which makes it difficult to follow. A few little words such as "Let me show you a few examples", for instance would differentiate between doing the exercise, which you think you are, and being given examples with which to observe. Instead of getting yourself tied up in knots not knowing what you're supposed to be doing. After each chapter you're expected to put what you've just learned into your own project and be able to draw upon the same level of technical expertise as the author. Which in most cases ordinary folks aren't going to be able to do. This makes for a frustrating reader experience. It's like the educator who rattles off the subject at 90 mph, and then can't understand why the students can't keep up (as one of the acknowledgement contributors listed on the back cover, has a habit of doing, and then stands back in amazement as the students drift away). Be prepared to use your initiative (several files are missing from the cd), have patience and possibly read the book twice in order to get the best from it, and you wont go too far wrong. It's also an early example of the short & concise, to the point, generation of books we've all been looking forward to. That hopefully will quickly replace the fat bloated, time consuming, long winded volumes we've all had to painfully endure in the past. In this respect Angie Taylor leads the way.
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Very good instructional manual on how to get the best out of After Effects.

Not really an introductory guide, some previous knowledge would be very useful.

Lots of illustrations.
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on 26 January 2003
This is a great book for beginners to After Effects. It's project led so the tutorials are fun to follow, it's written in a clear and precise language so it's easy to understand and the after sales support is quick if you run into any problems. Cheaper than some of the alternatives avaible at present, it's a good buy.
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on 16 October 2001
Angie Taylor's book is an absolute god send . I've been a on/off After Effects user for some time but have recently upgrade to 5. The book is concise, readable and with a wealth of tips for the practised user as well as the novice. I found the tutorials informative, easy to follow and open to creative input. Best of all the projects are not so cheesy like so many tutorial books and the results have a totally professional feel. Best of all is the the simple and friendly language, making a program like After Effects understandable is no mean feat but Angie does it. The additional CD-ROM is full of technical info and more complicated tutorials for the experienced user( i.e. me when I've finished the book!) The low price (in comparison to other after Effect titles) makes this a great buy.
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