10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 3, 2010 3:34 AM by DC B. 09

    Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide

    DC B. 09 Level 1

      Hi everyone:

       

       

      I'm struggling to find a comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide that could be used for reliable reference. Can someone point me to one?

       

      PS. I have a background in Windows programming so "in-depth" stuff is up my alley....

        • 1. Re: Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          There is none, plain and simple. The AE online help lists all the internal functions and methods and it also provides a few examples and links to other sites, but there is never a complete guide. Even the few books on the topic miss out large parts as do many tutorials. All you can do is learn generic JavaScript with respect to AE's special reserved code and the sandboxed nature of the expression model and the necessary workarounds...

           

          Mylenium

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide
            DC B. 09 Level 1

            Thanks, Mylenium. What I'm basically asking is the page that, for say, can explain what wiggle() function does, including all the parameters it takes. Is there such (not for wiggle but in general, for all of them)? If no, I can't believe Adobe didn't provide one!

            • 3. Re: Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Motionscript by Dan Ebberts is probably one of the best places to get started.

              • 4. Re: Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103906c6dea-79f8a.htm l

                 

                Not good enough? If, as you say you are doing Windows programming, you should have no problem understanding all that. As for the rest - someone send me 90000 Euros and I shall retire from my day job for 3 years and write a 3 volume ultimate expressions guide.

                 

                Mylenium

                • 5. Re: Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide
                  Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                  If the sections in After Effects Help that Mylenium pointed to don't have what you need, then tell me.

                   

                  As with any programming language, there can never be truly complete and comprehensive documentation---since you can build and do an infinite number of things with it. However, the expression reference documents that he pointed to should be complete in terms of giving you a bare-bones description of what each method and attribute does.

                   

                  Also, I recommend working your way through some examples with the reference near to hand. That's usually the best way to learn a programming language. There are a lot of examples listed here.

                  • 6. Re: Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide
                    DC B. 09 Level 1

                    Ha-ha, Mylenium. OK, what is your paypal account? But seriously, why 90,000? Just an interesting number....

                     

                    What you guys pointed to would suffice, and yes, as a programmer, I'm used to detailed explanation of a certain function or a method. And so far all my understanding of the AE expressions came from putting them into a comp and tweaking some values to see what it does --- surely not the way how we, programmers, do it

                     

                    On the side note, I know that people rag on Microsoft (including myself) but now I realize that they did a really good job with their MSDN (those who know will understand me). Now I see it. For example, that page on Adobe dot com that you all referred to (in a sense) has all the info, but, say, if I want to find the description of the wiggle expression on it? It's not that user friendly. BTW, I did find the Adobe expression main page myself and did the search on "wiggle" keyword and what it came up with was something far from the page that Mylenium quoted above. That's what's not agreeing with me and that is why I'm giving props to Microsoft and their MSDN.

                    • 7. Re: Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide
                      Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                      But seriously, why 90,000?

                       

                      Well, rent, electricity, insurances, taxes etc.. If I were to retreat into my little cavern to write a book for 3 years, somehow I still would have to pay these things, assuming I do nothing else and then one still would need some money to handle the actual publishing... Suffice it to say that I'm far from being overly wealthy, so chances are slim of that ever happening. As long as everyday survival takes precedence, there's no room for that.

                       

                      Mylenium

                      • 8. Re: Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide
                        DC B. 09 Level 1

                        Then why not just go for 100,000, what difference would 10 grand do? But, seriously, I appreciate your help and I wish I could pay you that money. I benefitted several times not only from your answers here but also from what you posted on your own web site. I found it via Google myself. Sorry to hear about your health though. If not a secret what does the guy with your qualifications do for living?

                        • 9. Re: Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide
                          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                          I do, what fellow motion graphics artists lovingly call "corporate porn", that is company movies, tradeshow video, product presentation, technical visualization, training materials. Since we work with large companies in the machinery industry, the crisis has hit us hard and at the moment I'm still struggling to even get a salary every month. But well, times can't be that bad forever. :-)

                           

                          Mylenium

                          • 10. Re: Comprehensive AE CS4 expression guide
                            DC B. 09 Level 1

                            Yes, I'm with you on this one. I'm stuck in a bad place in some sense too because of the economic downturn. But let's not despair, things will definitely get better. Cheers....