Dean teaches you technique. Each exercise reveals more about the seemingly endless depth of Adobe's After Effects. These tutorials present a goal.and the path to the goal leads the user through areas of the software that many new users (or experienced ones for that matter.) may not even know are there.

The projects themselves produce results that look ambitious. Even the first lesson utilizes a number of layers and effect techniques to produce a complex composition. These projects are based on various motion graphic techniques you might see on network television. When you get to the end of every lesson, you've not only been exposed to a tool or effect (or several of both) inside the software, you've actually picked up a technique, learned the thinking behind it, and executed it for yourself. Modern trends in motion graphics such as dimensional depth, simulated light emission, mattes, animated strokes and theme-inspired text design is all there.

The Anvel After Effects CD series is the only commercially available "curriculum" for After Effects that I've seen. It does an excellent job of ensuring hands-on experience as there are really no passive activities involved whatsoever. The projects are designed to look as if they were "ripped from the television network's art department." This isn't surprising since Dean Velez has spent quite a bit of time in those very art departments. He's taken his multiple Emmy Award-winning experience as a Cartoon Animator, Designer, and Art Director and created a truly self-paced training tool.


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