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Adobe After Effects 2022 by Lisa Fridsma et al

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Sun 13-Mar-22 10:38 AM
Adobe After Effects Classroom in a Book (2022 Release) by Lisa Fridsma and Brie Gyncild

There are several good non-linear editors for movies and videos in the market place, and I’m not prepared to say which is the best. I happen to have settled on Adobe Premiere Pro, but even in this software, with plenty of capabilities, I occasionally encounter a problem I can’t solve with Premiere. Recently, I was trying to stabilize a photograph of a bird clutching a branch in a windstorm but almost everything was waving around so much that Premiere couldn’t stabilize the image. However there was a tree trunk that was not bending in the wind. I shifted the clip to After Effects, and was able to stabilize the movie. Sometimes, I want to animate graphics in a video beyond the capabilities of Premiere, and After Effects has thus far satisfied my desires.

After Effects is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, so if you already have the suite you have After Effects. Unfortunately, there is little that’s come intuitively in the software, so you will need help finding your way through the complicated interface. Although I’ve reviewed several books on After Effects, this is the one I prefer. You can download practice files from the publisher’s web site and then follow tutorials to learn to use the software. (I sometimes hear folks complain about the difficulty of downloading the practice files. Read and parse the instructions in the book carefully and there shouldn’t be a problem.

What makes this book even better is the companion website, access to which comes with the price of the paper copy. The web version mirrors the printed text, but also includes short quizzes and videos that demonstrate the same text. After Effects has a crowded interface, so seeing a video makes it easier to see what button is being pressed. For me the best part of the web version is that I don’t have to juggle a book while working on my computer, but just switch back and forth between on-online text and After Effects

There is one annoying aspect of using the videos. My aged eyes made me maximize the videos to full screen. When I minimized the first video I was returned to the top of the page. However, when there were more videos lower on the page, and I had maximized one of these, I was returned to the top of the page when I minimized the later video. I had to scroll down to return to the point from which I had maximized.

Another one of my complaints is that there is no index in the on-line version. Luckily, I keep the paper copy near my computer so that I can use the index and even refresh my memory when I need a particular application of After Effects.

There were few changes in this book from last year’s version. Experienced users might be better served if the publisher put out a small book that dealt just with changes in After Effects, including practical exercise tutorials.

If you want to get the most from the Adobe Creative Suite and you haven’t tried After Effects, I recommend this book.