Creative Titling with Final Cut Pro Gives you Full Story

Creative Titling with Final
Cut Pro

Diannah Morgan

CMP Books, 2004

$45

“Creative Titling” isn’t just about making creative titles with Final Cut Pro as you may think simply looking at the cover. Diannah Morgan starts out with a lesson in what titles actually are, what their names are, and what’s characteristic about the different varieties, and she uses examples from recent movies and television with plenty of illustrations.

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The bulk of the book deals with using FCP’s titling tools as well as those of the Boris FX plugin and the powerful LiveType motion graphics tool (both of which are bundled with FCP and, if you’re serious about your titling, you should install them). LiveType also includes the very exciting “live fonts” — which is a collection of animated fonts which do things like explode, or write themselves.
The layout of the book is friendly and colorful and the binding, with some intimidation, can be made to lay flat for easy reference while you’re working. There is also enough white space on most of the pages adequate for taking a few notes.

Most chapters are step-by-step demonstrations of hypothetical titling situations that one might come across in the real world and each is generously illustrated with screen captures.

This book is not a reference manual, it’s a series of lessons. If heretofore your titles have been white text on a black background you’ll make it all back your first job after reading this. 3

Total Training for Adobe
Photoshop CS2

Deke McClelland

Total Training, 2005

$250 (smaller version comes bundled with CS2)

Most of us picked up our Photoshop skills “along the way.” We bought a book and used it as a reference. Very few of us have the luxury of an exhaustive training in the use of Adobe’s flagship graphics program.

Clocking in at 21 hours of video, you’d expect watching Total Training’s Adobe Photoshop CS2 DVD would get tedious, but Photoshop guru and host, Deke McClelland, is funny, and shows you how to take hopeless images and turn them into decent photographs.

Broken down into three DVDs: Fundamentals, Essentials, and Photoshop’s finest, Total Training really trains you totally, just like it says on the box. Nearly every menu item and check box is covered, from opening files to color correction, layers and curves.
At first, the $249 retail price tag may seem a bit daunting. But if you think of this as a week long class that you can reference over and over again at your leisure, then the $10/hour price seems all the more reasonable.

If only every training experience was like this. Really. 5

Kyle Cassidy is a video artist and network engineer and co-author of Enterprise Internetworking and Security.

5 Excellent

4 Very Good

3 Good

2 Not so Good

1 Poor

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