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Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments

Many people deserve thanks for helping with this book, and I hope none will be forgotten here, but without the influence of Stu Maschwitz, who also contributed the final chapter, I would never have attempted it.

Stu offered his support and the resources of The Orphanage, where I had done a lot of my best work, and followed through with dozens of email exchanges at all hours on a variety of related topics that were a constant head-check on my understanding of compositing and After Effects. That's one reason his name recurs throughout this book. The other reason is that he's a flat-out knowledgeable and influential guy. Stu has written clearly and cogently (and often hilariously) about the most geeky and arcane aspects of effects compositing.

I'm also very grateful to Brendan Bolles for gamely jumping in to contribute a nifty chapter on film and high dynamic range compositing. The best writing comes from clear thinking, and Brendan came through on both counts despite his grueling production schedule on a Super Bowl commercial that wouldn't quit.

Thanks to all of my past clients who gave me the firsthand experience that went into this book, and in particular to the people who helped secure elements or final shots for use in this book's figures despite no benefit to themselves: Rama Dunayevich and Marc Sadeghi at The Orphanage, Coral Petretti at ABC Photography, Tim Fink of Tim Fink Productions, Gary Jaeger and Cameron Baxter at Core Studio, Jonathan Barson at The Foundry UK, Fred Lewis at Moving Media, and Matthew Ward and the wacky goofiness that is markandmatty.com.

To the people at Adobe who've made After Effects what it is, in particular Dave Simons, Dan Wilk, Erica Schisler, and Steve Kilisky, and to some of the developers who've helped me understand it better over the years, including Michael Natkin and Chris Prosser.

Thanks to the companies that contributed to the book's CD: Julie Hill at Artbeats, Peder Norrby, who is Trapcode, Russ Andersson of Andersson Technologies, Sean Safreed of Red Giant Software, and Philipp Spöth of Frischluft. These were my choices for inclusion because they all provide something vital to effects compositing in After Effects.

Other people who were helpful e-mailing their feedback on various topics include Bruno Nicoletti at the Foundry UK, Alex Czetwertynski at Disciple Films Paris, Jance Allen and Aaron Rhodes at The Orphanage, Don Shay at Cinefex Magazine, and Matt Silverman at Phoenix Editorial.

Thanks to Peachpit, to Marjorie Baer and Kelly Ryer, as well as Karen Reichstein and Rebecca Ross, for getting things kicked off, to Linda Laflamme for being a dedicated, supportive, and thorough editor on the opposite end of the continent, and to Connie Jeung-Mills for all the help getting the figures and layout into the form you see them here.

A special thanks to the people who offered help during the dark days when I was sure there was no way I was going to finish this book, especially my childhood friend and former editor at DV Magazine, Jim Feeley. Thanks to my former students at the Academy of Art and to The Day After Tomorrow compositing crew at The Orphanage. Helping experienced compositors as well as novice students work with After Effects for the first time offered a lot of insight that went into this book.

A huge expression of gratitude to the people of Bali and our hosts on the writing sabbatical that kicked off this effort, Jade and Mali Hyde. With all of the visual and cultural splendor that is featured in this book, the people are Bali's greatest resource, and I will always associate this project with their warmth, generosity, and extraordinary resourcefulness and creativity.

Finally, thanks to my mom, who remains always supportive and loving, and my father, who told me—much too late to make any difference—how grueling and tedious he found writing his own textbook several years ago.

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