It’s out. Get it. Adobe After Effects 6.5 Studio Techniques by Mark Christiansen.
The description on Amazon is stupid (as of this writing anyway — here’s a better one). There’s nothing in this book about animating type, and it’s not for people trying to learn After Effects. It’s a hardcore film compositing book in the tradition of Brinkman’s and Wright’s, but unlike those it focusses specifically on real world how-tos, with numerous examples and color plates. For film professionals (or those aspiring/pretending to be), the chapter on light and color by eLin co-creator Brendan Bolles is worth the price on its own. And there's even a fun little chapter at the end by me, which you can bleach clean and use as a handy note-taking area.
I remember reading through Steve Wright's book and getting to the part about the slice tool and thinking, what is this crazy slice tool thing? What punkass comping software is this cat using? And then I wanted my punkass comping software to have one.
O-slice is a Fusion macro that lets you graph two slices through your image. You can move the graphs around and control how they look. You can scale the values of the graphs. You can even see how the alpha channel graphs against RGB.
If you don't know why you need this, Steve will tell you.
Download O-slice_v1.4 (5kb .rar file)