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Posted June 24, 2008
When PeachPit sent me this book to review I was already excited about it since Shake is something I've taken much interest in the last couple months. I'd already begun to amass all kinds of training resources on the topic and had even set out a schedule for which to execute the consumption of said resources. So receiving this book was much on point for me. At the time of this review I had already worked my way through the Shake documentation (the first stop on my agenda) so I went into this with a rudimentary understanding of the application. I was pleased to discover that the writer of this book had taken that into consideration (and without even having to ask me!). They even state in the opening chapter that the book is not meant to replace the [free] documentation that comes with every Shake install but is aimed at enhancing what's already there. I found this to be accurate to some degree. After all, the basics must still be covered for those who were too [lazy/unaware/apathetic] towards the Shake documentation but for the most part every chapter enhanced its documentation counter-part rather nicely. The second top notable feature of this book, in my opinion, is that you are supposedly adequately ready to take (and presumably pass) the Apple Pro Certification exam on Shake after completing the book. I say supposedly because I myself have not taken the exam and cannot speak on my preparedness. However, as some may know, the PeachPit book on Shake is the curriculum used in Apple Pro Training classes all over these great United States. This is also stated early in the book. Other notable features of the book include a chapter relevant keyboard shortcuts matrix at the end of every chapter, high quality examples (some being clips from commercials you've seen on TV) for you, the student, to dig your fingers into in the labs, and pro level tips peppered throughout the book such as 'always be sure auto-keyframe is enabled before rotoscoping (no one wants to roto for an hour only to find their work lost due to an oversight)' or 'instead of color-matching in RGB, color-match each individual channel separately. it is much easier this way'. The tips may seem basic but we all forget the basics sometimes so its great that they include this aspect of real-world protocols in a training book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. This is notable because I went into it with high expectations, which is usually a situation ripe with potential for disappointment. It was a fun and easy read and clearly written by a seasoned professional (the Pro Training way). I felt like he was my mentor sometimes the way he addressed certain issues 'they don't teach you in school' (mentioned earlier in this review). I do recommend, if you buy the book, to download the errata available from PeachPit's website. It will clear up some minor confusion from the few typos that appear in chapters 2 and 13. --- About the reviewer: Ezra Peace is a narrative filmmaker based in New York. His credits include several feature length independent films and many independent short films as well as marketing and promotional work done in Miami and New York.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.