|Review: -After Effects 7 Power Start
- After Effects 7 Power Start
Review by Steve
each new version of almost any important application comes numerous
books and tutorial discs designed to clear away the cobweb of
confusion for the new user as well as to explore any new innovations
to be found. Adobe After Effects 7 has certainly made some changes
since their last inception and the folks over at DV Creators
has jumped in, gotten their feet wet and released a beautifully
produced Power Start disc.
The After Effects 7 Power Start
tutorial centers itself around building a countdown with the
DV Creators Logo and After Effects Power Start text.
Working with Radials
is just the start of this extensive logo creation project.
In order to get to the end project Steve Schleicher leads the
user by the hand, first introducing and reviewing the After Effects
7 interface and various important pop up menus. This is followed
by a fairly thorough exploration of the project settings, an
introduction to key framing, various animation presets and rendering.
That's just lesson one and it readies you for the real meat of
the Power Start disc. It's on to the Advanced Section and its
thirty three individual lessons, all geared to completing the
project but making sure you have a solid handle on almost all
the features and tasks capable in After Effects 7. Much of the
project utilizes Photoshop layers and, thus, DV Creators assume
that the AE user will have a general working knowledge of Photoshop.
However, AE 7 Power Start goes much, much further helping you
learn the many shortcuts to multiple parameters, moving around
your key frames as you adjust your project, applying and manipulating
motion blur, nesting, text, ram previews, audio tracks and even
throwing in a lesson on creating 3D layers before the final render.
It's easy to skip
to any of the menu items for repeat or review.
Characteristic of all DV Creators' Power Start tutorials is their
own chunkalized sections for the three major lessons the disc
incorporates in the learning of After Effects 7. Based upon specific
projects, the lessons proceed in these 'chunks' of varying length.
As each step is dictated the user may then switch over to AE
7, complete the task as instructed, and then switch back to the
Power Start disc. The keyboard shortcut of command/tab is all
you need to switch back and forth. If you need to hear any particular
section again, it is a simple matter of clicking upon the 'Repeat
Chunk' button, or use the left and right arrow keys, and that
part of the lesson is repeated.
The key here is flexibility,
no matter which key you hit.
This disc certainly makes good use of the chunks as each one
is begun or stopped literally with each step of the project.
The more experienced user of AE 7 may click on the chunks on/off
button that allows the entire lesson to continue sans these chunks
or simply hit the 'next chunk' button to skip ahead in the lesson.
To do so will certainly speed up the time you will need to invest
in going through the disc but, for the new user, it is probably
best to follow the steps chunk by chunk.
With Stephen Schleicher as the amiable
and often humorous host and guide to After Effects Power Start
7, the production quality is excellent.
and knowledgeable host, Steve Schleicher.
Both audio and video is top notch and I found no glitches anywhere.
Stephen is easy to understand and does a great job explaining
As I inferred earlier, in order to complete
the disc's final project you are exposed to a great many of the
features found in Adobe After Effects 7.
you have finished your first project
utilizing Texts, blurs, 3D animations, Photoshop files and much
After spending four or five hours, depending upon how experienced
you in After Effects 7, and inclusive of breaks in the kitchen,
T.V. and loo, you will find yourself becoming much more comfortable
jumping around the interface.
Bottom Line Time. There is no tutorial anywhere that will make
someone a master in any editing application, inclusive of After
Effects 7. I don't believe that is their purpose. However, a
good tutorial disc (and there are some funky ones out there)
will go a long way towards helping you achieve mastery. A good
one will provide enough information and tasks to accomplish to
get you to feeling comfortable and, at least somewhat, knowledgeable.
Then it is up to you, the user to practice, practice, and practice.
The more you use the application's many modes the more expert
you will become. Fail to use it, and you just may lose it. DV
Creator's After Effects 7 Power Start is a great disc to get
started with. It truly provides you with the opportunity to use
and apply most of the important features in After Effects, its
easy to use and clearly understandable. I remember a time when
I would have killed to have an After Effects DVD this good. For
me, it was a great review of AE 7, for the beginner After Effects
7 Power Start could be indispensable.
Steve Douglas is an underwater videographer
and contributor to numerous film festivals around the world.
A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition,
2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic
competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the
Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award
for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year',
Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue
Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis
production, and a recent History channel MegaDisaster show. Steve
is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film
Exhibition and leads both underwater filming expeditions and
African safaris with upcoming excursions to Kenya, Bali &
Komodo in 2007, and Costa Rica and Palau in 2008. Feel free to
contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of
these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve