I got a lot of requests on more book recommendations for Production Premium users or beginners out there. Here are a few additional titles that I’d consider ‘essential’ reading.
For Shooting: The DV Rebel’s Guide by Stu Maschwitz Stu’s guide covers a LOT of tips and tricks how to get shots, from using natural lighting to taking advantage of inexpensive steadycam techniques.
Good After Effects Starter Guides:
Creative After Effects 7 by Angie Taylor. This book is a guide through everything you need to know about AE. While I’ve put this book in the “starters” category, it’s a full lesson in AE, including lots of advanced techniques. Angie also maintains a companion web site with additional tutorials found here.
Another good starter book would be After Effects Apprentice by Chris and Trish Meyer. Beautifully layed-out book that takes a lot of time with core theories of AE animation techniques. If you are trying to see what AE can do, this one will walk you through the basics of the different uses of the app, and it’s a good icebreaker into Chris & Trish’s more advanced AE book
More advanced AE Books:
Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects by Chris & Trish Meyer This, along with Angie’s book, are the bibles on what you can accomplish with After Effects. Highly recommended.
AE CS4 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques by Mark Christiansen This book focuses on tricks used in real-world studio situations, and every time I pick this book up, I find another pearl of wisdom. There are many ways to accomplish tasks in AE, but Mark shows how to do things fast and right the first time. And, these techniques have been battle-tested in real life situations. Good stuff for the advanced user.
Other useful books to consider:
Photoshop for Video by Richard Harrington Great book for getting the most out of Photoshop for video graphic design. Don’t overlook the bonus chapters on the DVD as well – lots’ of good stuff in there.
The Non-Designer’s Design book by Robin Williams This book is primarily geared towards the print world, but many people I’ve talked with in the video world have never taken a design class – this book is a great primer for understanding color theory, text design, and repetition in design elements. I think anyone designing lower third graphics or opening graphic intros can benefit from this book.