PACKT Publishing have published the Apple Motion 5 Cookbook. Written by Nick Harauz, it's billed as '110 recipes to build simple and complex motion graphics in the blink of an eye.' We take a good squint.
PACKT are expanding out of their traditional 'IT software' series of books into the more mainstream video and motion graphics sector. We have bought their books in the past for specialist areas such as PHP and CMS usage. In October last year they published their 1,000th title.
So we were very interested when their latest book on Apple's Motion 5 arrived at the office. The near 400 page publication starts right from the basics and moves through the application feature by feature by showing example projects.
The Apple Motion 5 Cookbook by Nick Huarez is available in hard copy and digital formats, but more about that later.
We were disappointed when we first opened the book up. The printing techniques PACKT use might be fine if you want to learn about Apache, Java or MySQL, but they do not do any favours to the Motion GUI.
Let us compare a page from the book with the same page from the PDF. We had to position the book right next to an office window to get enough light on it to show some detail.
Now compare the right hand page to the same page from the PDF Ebook version.
A huge improvement, we are sure you'll agree. Maybe the quick to press & quick updating printing methods PACKT use just cannot do the images justice. 4 Colour pictures would of course make the book prohibitively expensive.
The hard copy version is available from the PACKT Publishing site for £27.99 which includes access to the Ebook version and the project files. If you have purchased the book through another source, the project files are available by registering on the site.
The Ebook version is available for download for £14.44
For the reasons outlined, unless you want to learn Motion where you can't read an Ebook, the printed version for us is a no-go.
So forgetting the printing quality, what about the content? The twelve chapters start right at the beginning and work through to what we would call an 'intermediate' level. The book (in electronic format) we would recommend for people who have never used Motion or have just made simple projects and want to know more. Hopefully the book can be kept as current as quickly as Apple release updates.
PACKT have made some sample chapters available online, but the pictures are in black and white not colour as in our downloaded PDF version.
If you build complex effects with linked parameters and multiple published parameters into FCPX, then this isn't the book for you. It's also not a finished template based book which the cookbook title tends to hint at. Compare it to Patrick Sheffield's excellent, but now slightly out of date How to Cheat in Motion.
Bottom line is the book is a solid way to learn Motion and after working through the examples, you'll have a good grasp on the app. Just make sure you have access to the electronic version.