I always recommend my students to buy and read two books. This is one of them; The VES Handbook of Visual Effects.

I own both the 1st and 2nd editions. The 3rd edition is set to be released in Canada on July 17. I preordered my copy as soon as it became available on amazon.

To simply put it, this is the most complete guide to visual effects techniques and practices ever written.

Just buy it and read it!

I recommend picking up the Paperback version and leave it on your desk. Whenever you are waiting for a render, pick up the book and read a page or two.