MacDirectory Magazine

Fall-Winter 2010 (#43)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 48 of 147

MacDirectory 47 BOOK REVIEWS APPLE PRO TRAINING SERIES > MOTION 4 REVIEW BY RIC GETTER One of the reasons that the Apple Pro Training Series winds up on these pages so frequently is that they offer coverage of topics that simply aren't available elsewhere. With Apple's new Motion 4, it's sure to be the focus of any number of titles by a variety of authors and publishers. In this case, however, it has two advantages. The first is that it's the first title out of the gate on the major update. Secondly and, perhaps most important, it is one of best-written step- by-step tutorials we've had the pleasure to review. This form of training is rarely done effectively and can be a source of profound frustration for students. One seemingly minor misstep by a writer or technical editor can result in terrible fits of frustration and confusion by even the most dedicated of learners. Another one of our main complaints with these project-based step-by-step tutorials is how easy it is to get so wrapped up in doing each step to work correctly that it is incredibly easy to forget the learning goals of the specific exercise. Here, once again, the author shines. Even though it may simply be a line or two interspersed in the instructions, he always offers a frame of reference, reminding you what you're doing and why you need to do it. Our highest compliments to author Mark Spencer and the team of five editors working with him to make this such a successful book, especially considering the short time between software release and the book hitting the stands. The organization and sequence of lesions was generally quite good as was the variety of projects and quality of the example media on the included DVD. We did, however, take exception to the location of an early chapter on building fairly static composite and using blending modes to create a DVD animated title page. This section felt much more dense than the other chapters, seemed like a number of its new topics could be handled to a better effect in the context of other examples and it involved a great deal of work with a result that was less than eye-popping. The other chapters and projects were fun, challenging and had a much more pronounced "wow" factor. Like other titles in the Apple Training Series, Motion 4 is designed to be suitable for classroom use, with textbook essentials such as a good review at the end of each chapter and review questions. A summary of keyboard shortcuts, a comprehensive glossary and index at the end of the will make this a rater useful as a basic reference when you've completed the lessons. With some dedication, Apple Pro Training Series - Motion will give you a good grounding in this fairly complex program over a long and intense weekend of study (stretching it out over a somewhat longer period might be a little easier on the brain cells, however). But for learning a very good application with a considerably different interface paradigm than its main competitor, you probably won't find a better use of your time. Apple Pro Training Series: Motion 4 by Mark Spencer; $54.99, Peachpit Press (; 536 pgs. ISBN 978-0-321-63529-7

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