Packed with useable information, the eight VHS tapes in Total Training’s program cover all the ins and outs of Adobe After Effects 5.0. This tape set is a gold mine for the already knowledgeable AE user. Concise and easy to follow, the What’s New In Adobe After Effects 5 program should factor into your 5.x upgrade as a must-have. Without this series, a typical user would probably never come across half of the tips and techniques revealed in Total Training’s smartly produced video workshop. Workflow hints, masks, parenting, expressions, 3D the list of topics goes on and on. After you’ve gone through each tape, you’ll return again and again to What’s New In Adobe After Effects 5 as a reference.
The time and money you’ll save by becoming a creative After Effects 5.0 power user will make the $299 purchase price incidental.
Filmmaker’s Dictionary 2nd Edition
Ralph S. Singleton and James A. Conrad
(2000, Lone Eagle Publishing Company, email: infoloneeagle.com, 358 pages, $23)
For all the jargon you’ve heard but were too afraid to ask about, the Filmmaker’s Dictionary comes to your just-fell-off-the-turnip-truck rescue. It’s the perfect book if you need to look up the definition of "generator operator" (page 135). There are many terms that, in all honesty, are very useful to the novice. Terms like grip, Foley, matte and method acting could come up in conversation. And if the word’s meanings were not apparent by context, the Filmmaker’s Dictionary 2nd Edition could provide the solution to get you through that awkward silence and arm you with a wise, informative comeback.
If anyone asks where the phrase "break a leg!" originated, you could tell them that it comes from a good luck offering in early German aviation and from there it transferred to the theater and… Oh well, we won’t spoil the ending of this page turner.
Setting Up Your Shots: Great Camera Moves Every Filmmaker Should Know
Jeremy Vineyard, Illustrations by Jose Cruz
(2000, Michael Wiese Productions, www.mwp.com, 132 pages, $20)
Smartly illustrated and full of good, practical shot-making examples, Setting Up Your Shots: Great Camera Moves Every Filmmaker Should Know is a worthwhile purchase for the budding filmmaker or videographer.
Even if you’ve been around a while, it is extremely useful to have illustrated shot setups and text examples from famous motion pictures to study from. As a storyboard tool, it can also help you in your creativity during the production process.
Some of the terms used in the text are different than what I was taught. For example, "focus transition" has always been "rack focus" to me, but the explanation is the same and the information is valuable.
Setting Up Your Shots: Great Camera Moves Every Filmmaker Should Know would make a good addition to any camera bag as a quick field-reference and creative companion.