Hey, all you kids (and you kids-at-heart) who are interested in the meat and potatoes of visual effects, I have a must-have recommendation for you.
I get a lot of emails from folks who still visit my old website, Visual Effects Headquarters, who ask me about training resources, getting a job in visual effects, learning the tools, and on and on and on. Well, here's an easy one. If you're interested in learning some of the basics of compositing from a practical, tools-based perspective, you have to buy the Encyclopedia of Visual Effects.
Written by Damian Allen and Brian Connor, the book illustrates the fundamentals of compositing techniques, with dozens of examples for Shake and After Effects.
Brian is a friend of mine at ILM. Okay, he's an acquaintance. Okay... he barely acknowledges me in the hallway. But apparently he acknowledges be enough to have asked me to contribute to the book with a description of how I used After Effects and 3D compositing to complete a shot in "Van Helsing." There are also contributions from ILM's Marshall Krasser, Pablo Helman, Tim Alexander and more.
I also talked about this shot in this post, My "Van Helsing" MacAddict Interview.
Look, just buy the book. You'll be glad you did. Oh, and looky here-- a convenient link!
link: Apple Pro Training Series: Encyclopedia of Visual Effects (Apple Pro Training)