In the immortal words of the irreverent yet insightful Monty Python:
"...and now for something completely different"...words that not only bring meaning to life, but a more than accurate description of this book.
As someone who directs and produces a wide variety of video and film projects, I found this guide to be an invaluable resource. A simple glance through the chapter titles affords the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of professional animation and production effects. I must admit, I'm one of those people who would rather learn by doing instead of reading, but I've found an exception, as this book effectively balances the best of both worlds. Instead of stumbling through pages of technical, yawn-inspiring rhetoric, Mr. Foster imaginatively presents Hollywood-type tips and tricks, extensively supported with tutorials and videos found within the enclosed DVD. Imagine, for example, if the creative applications outlined in Chapter 5 had been available when the distinguished Monty Python animations, (thank you, Terry Gilliam) were being created...
If showcasing some of your client's vintage photographs, (as I needed for an upcoming documentary) is required, then Chapter 11, "Making Movies From Stills" will prove to be indispensable. It's amazing how easily you can bring a 2D photo to life simply by separating or "peeling-away" the layers in Photoshop and importing the files into After Effects. Other techniques, such as creating zoom effects and 3D animated camera pans, are also clearly demonstrated...the resulting animations are impressive.
Please keep in mind, this book won't teach you either After Effects or Photoshop, so if you're looking for an instructional manual for such, look elsewhere. However, if you want to learn everything from basic animation to sophisticated matte painting, motion graphics and compositing techniques then buy this book!
...wink, wink...nudge, nudge.