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on 2 December 2010
I bought this updated version of the guide when I purchased Adobe Creative Suite 5. I already have three books on After Effects, including an earlier version of this guide. I chose to update only this volume, since I have found it the most useful to refer to. Several chapters have been updated, not just those dealing with CS5 novelties like the rotobrush tool. The style is clear and concise. Even if you're a beginner with After Effects, if you take the time to work your way through this book, using the included material on CD for exercises, you'll come away with a fine grasp of how to use the software and the sort of things it can do.

The reason I don't give the book a five-star rating is that the book doesn't extend to examples of how the effects available in AE can be utilized to produce results never envisaged by those who created them. It is the incredible flexibility of After Effects that makes it such a superb tool, yet this flexibility is barely hinted at, and never seriously explored. This means most users nowadays seek answers to their questions on the Web rather than in a printed text. A quick Google will reveal marvellous tutorials, descriptions and explanations for all kinds of ideas and effects that can be achieved with the software. The ready availability of such material is starting to make any "classroom in a book" become less competitive. Buy this book if you're totally new to After Effects, but if you're already familiar, you can get updated on the Web just as easily and for no cost.
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on 5 April 2012
Love these books, it's a great buy for beginners into CS products, would like to see an additional series for professionals with in-depth tutorials etc. Book is value for money and it does what it suppose to. Mine came with a CD Rom as specified in the product area and the chapters are easy to follow. Recommend it to anyone.
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on 21 February 2012
I bought this as the official tutorial to AE. If you have no experience of Adobe packages at all (such as Photoshop) and you need to start at ground zero then maybe this book is for you. Other people have clearly found the book of benefit. I'm migrating from Combustion and to be honest I'm only interested in After Effects as an effects package, that's what it is after all. Here the book fails totally. How can any serious tutorial commit only two pages to keying, for example? And only cover the most basic AE keying tool at that? If you're halfway serious about effects work the only helpful section is No.9 'Using The Roto Brush Tool' and maybe the brief bit about motion tracking.

I mean honestly, a whole chapter on "What is a mask", "How to feather a mask", etc - good grief. After Effects is an industry standard special effects package. Good luck if you have a difficult green screen shot to fix, you will learn more free off the internet!
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on 12 February 2013
I had no experience of this programme and it really took me through stage by stage.

My only small criticism is that all the sample projects are built standard NTSC 4x3 and the book did not take me through settings for importing other aspect ratios and formats. I'm sure not a problem if importing from Premiere, but working out the ideal settings to import from Final Cut was tricky and I'm not sure I have it yet.

That said, I would definitely recommend this to anyone starting out with AE
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on 17 April 2011
I have been using Classrooms in a book since Photoshop 2.5, they are an excellent learning aid for anyone wanting to get to grips with an Adobe application. This After Effects CS5 book keeps up the high standard. The excercises are first class, all images for the tutorials are on a DVD which is included with book. Highly recommended.
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on 24 November 2010
Beware of the Kindle Electronic versions of Adobe's Classroom in a book series. You don't get the CD ROM so you can't complete the exercises. Without the disc the book is of limited value. The paperback book and CD ROM are only a few pounds more.
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on 12 May 2011
Been using this to teach myself the delights of CS5 AE. I have been mainly using this as a reference when I get stuck as I'm experimenting with my own material.
Examples and included media are great to work with when I'm not using my own media.
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on 13 April 2013
Really good book. I have enjoyed reading through iit and im sure anybody else who buys it will also feel the same.
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on 12 October 2016
the disk does not work - Can't find who to contact in this situation?
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