Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 09/09/03 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at MyDmn.com).print page facebook

Total Training: Adobe After Effects 6.0

DVD series reviewed By Stephen Schleicher
When Adobe released the update to their popular compositing and animation program, users scrambled to find resource material to learn the latest and greatest features. First out of the block was Total Training and their Total Training for Adobe After Effects 6.0 DVD series.

My first thoughts when I learned that Total Training was ready to ship a complete 40+ hour DVD training series on AE6.0 was, ?Howd they do that so fast? In this case looks can be deceiving. While a great deal of the series has been updated for 6.0, dont be surprised if a large number of the screenshots you see are from AE5.5. Upon close inspection I found right on the box that this series covers After Effects 5.5 and 6.0.


I was a little disappointed that half the material is a repeat from their Total Training for Adobe After Effects 5.5 series, but when you consider that that series was released not 6 months ago, few people may have purchased the product. And considering that only a few key areas of After Effects have changed in the upgrade, repeating the material seems like a good business decision.

If you have previously purchased the complete 5.5 series, dont purchase this new set until you have contacted Total Training to take advantage of the upgrade specials. Even with an upgrade path, I think it would have been a better choice to offer previous owners of TTFAE5.5 a ?Whats New in 6.0 series instead.

My general overall impression of this series is a good one. Brian Maffitt and Steve Holmes have done a tremendous job in putting together a training series that explains the ins and outs of this complex piece of software. A great deal of time has obviously been spent in crafting the lessons to be learned and the results are impressive.

There are four sets of DVD instruction in this series (spread out over 13 discs) that cover the range from just starting out on After Effects 6.0, to the more advanced features found in the Production Bundle of the software.



Set One: The Fundamentals of Adobe After Effects Interface
The series begins with The Fundamentals of Adobe After Effects. This two DVD set does just as the name implies- covering the fundamentals necessary to function. From a tour of the entire interface, to the basic concepts of how keyframing works, how to import footage and do simple compositions, this set will have you up and running quickly. Brian and Steve do a great job of gently explaining the sometimes-daunting functions to users in a clear and simple way, often repeating key concepts so it sinks into your memory.

Set Two: Animation, and Special Effects
One of the things that is a vast improvement over other DVD collections from Total Training how easy it has become to navigate through the hours and hours of information. The team has done a terrific job of indexing the entire series. If you need to stop the DVD for any reason, or need to go back later and reference something important Steve or Brian discussed, you can find it within five clicks of your DVD remote. The second set is one that you may be referring back to a lot as this set dives into many of the effects you will be using daily in your compositions.

This second set begins with parenting and character animation. Brian goes through the process by demonstrating how to create and rig your own character. If you havent done any parenting, then this is a great resource to learn from.

The effects section is very good and explains how the effects work from a practical standpoint. The lessons covered in this section are ones that you will probably end up using (or variations of) in some of your daily productions.

Disc four in this set covers the new effects in After Effects 6.0. To get a grasp of these new effects, this is a must have disc.


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Related Keywords:After effects, total training, brian maffit, steve holmes, schleicher, dvd, training

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