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Core Animation: Simplified Animation Techniques – Book Review

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Core Animation is a topic that I’ve brought up a few times showing some code snippets for simple animation effects, and talking about how it could be used in simple games.  Unfortunately the amount of material available covering Core Animation has been somewhat lacking, and nothing  especially specifically covering iPhone OS 3.  Fortunately Core Animation: Simplified Animation Techniques For Mac And iPhone Development was released in Late 2009 that covers this topic in more depth.

Now as the title suggests this book teaches you the techniques for performing animation using Apple’s Core Animation libraries.  If you’d like to know specifically what is in the book you can go here and use the search inside this book link to search the book and read the table of contents. The book teaches you through a series of examples that perform specific tasks.  I liked the straightforwardness of the approach, but I would say that this isn’t a book for beginners.  At the very least you will want to have a good understanding of Objective-C, and a basic understanding of the patterns used in Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.  I liked the layout and organization book which makes it useful as a reference.  Something to note is that this book is not specifically an iPhone book, and most of the examples use the Mac and some Mac only topics such as Core Image are covered in the book.

Pros

  • Well laid out, makes a good reference book
  • Covers differences between Mac and iPhone Core Animation
  • Examples are very goal oriented which is good if you have a specific task to perform

Cons

  • Not specifically an iPhone book
  • Requires knowledge of Objective-C and Mac or iPhone programming
  • Some more comments in the code examples would be nice

Overall, I’d say that this is a good Core Animation reference book, or for teaching yourself the principles of Core Animation.  If you’re an absolute beginner you’ll want to make sure you have a thorough understanding of Objective-C and the basics of using Cocoa Touch.  The examples are very well thought out, and if you’re looking to do something specific you’ll probably find it in this book along with some sample code.  The fact that most of the examples are Mac isn’t really a big deal, in the future the extra pages on topics like Core Image may turn into a positive if those libraries are added to the iPhone OS.

The book can be ordered here at $9.90 off the retail price.


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