After Effects Apprentice is designed for those new to After Effects, including students and those who do not use AE full time (for example, editors and web designers). While it starts out with fairly basic information, it progresses to more advanced topics such as masks, parenting, and expressions – providing the reader with a well-rounded understanding of many of the features of After Effects.
The DVD-ROM that comes with the new edition of the book includes an hour and a half of video tutorials that provide and introduction the primary features inside After Effects, such as text and expressions.
The tutorial they posted on their blog is the first video from the book. It provides an overview of the After Effects user interface, as well as an introduction to the new Composition Navigator and Mini Flowchart that are new to CS4.