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After Effects Training Help

May 7, 2012 6:51 PM



Am new to After Effects, but seriously want to learn it professionally, currently I do not have money to purchase the new training material.


But I got a book from my church called Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects (Chris & Trish Meyer) 2nd Edition version 5.5 Volume 2 (Advanced Techniques), so am looking to purchase the volume 1 of this off of ebay. But am currently using After Effects CS 5.5.


So am wondering if this would be a good step to learning After Effects, until I can purchase more of the up to date training.



Jamaine Semple

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    May 7, 2012 7:34 PM   in reply to ksemple

    Sure, the Meyer books are still the ultimate reference. Those older editions may not contain any info on things like text layers, shape layers, rotobrush, warp stabilizer etc., but they stil lteach you enough about the basic principles on which AE runs. also check the Pro Video Coalition website. There are sevaral extracts from the books and updated chapters available for free, many of them even linked from the AE online help.



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    May 7, 2012 8:35 PM   in reply to ksemple

    Do yourself a favor: bite the bullet and forego other expenditures.  Get the version of the Meyers' book that matches your version of AE.  Don't fool around.

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    May 7, 2012 11:19 PM   in reply to ksemple



    I also started out recently. I have done MANY online tutorials that show good basics, and some advanced techniques, but without the basic understanding of how the affects are achieved, the tutorials only show you a specific task. Try going to the following site:



    and search the AE Basics videos, there are around 45 of them now I believe. Chris Devis does a Brilliant job at explaining some great basics. Also, check out and VideoCopilot -


    and play....lots....and all the time. Try new things, try the effects and figure out what does what! :-)


    hope that helps?



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    Jun 11, 2012 7:16 PM   in reply to ksemple

    You made two wise choices.  If they come with CDs or DVSs, make sure you get them.  They're essential.

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    Jun 12, 2012 12:47 AM   in reply to Dave LaRonde

    Hi Dave,


    In your opinion, would it be helpfull to get as many books as possible, or would the overlap in lessons between the books make it unnecessary? The reason I ask, is that I bought three books recently and have completed them (CS5 Learn by Video, CS5 classroom in a book and Chad Perkins - How to cheat in After Effects) over the last few weeks. They most definately each offer a little something that the other does not, but I am a bit weary of investing a lot of money and getting pretty much the same information.


    I am looking at the books mentioned by Jamaine, and if you comment that they are essential.... well, after joining the forum 3 months ago, and keeping up to date daily, I am inclined to trust your and Myleniums opinions very highly (and of course Todd's too! :-)  )


    The bulk of my work, is compositing pewter characters and vehicles into space style settings as well as real world environments. Green and Blue screens feature heavily, and all effects will be done through After Effects - a world of Lasers and Space scenes has opened before me, I feel like a kid again - its great!


    Anyway, sorry, I got off topic there - but any advice will be appreciated as usual (or, as usual, appreciated <-- whichever way sounds better!)


    Thank you



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