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Book Review: The Book of GIMP
A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything!!!

If I was going to use one word to describe this book, it would be 'masterpiece'. This is one of the most well put together books I have ever read. It is in full-color, covers a wide variety of topics, and covers them in depth.

This book goes well beyond simply teaching you how to use the GIMP interface. Every topic covered is covered in great detail, and the authors do a great job of explaining why you use the tool, not only how you use the tool.

There are three parts included in the book. The Part I is a set of tutorials that show you how to use GIMP to accomplish different tasks, Part II is a comprehensive reference to GIMP's features, and Part III contains several cool appendices. I have listed each part and the chapters they contain below to give you a full view of everything the book covers.

Part I. Learning GIMP
1. Getting Started
2. Photograph Retouching
3. Drawing and Illustration
4. Logos and Textures
5. Composite Photography
6. Animation
7. Image Preprocessing
8. Designing a Website

Part II. Reference
9. The GIMP Interface
10. Display
11. Layers
12. Color
13. Selections
14. Masks
15. Drawing Tools
16. Transformation Tools
17. Filters
18. Animation Tools
19. Obtaining and Printing Images
20. Image Formats
21. Scripts and Plug-ins
22. Customizing GIMP

Part III. Appendices
A. Vision and Image Representation
B. Tips and Hints for Selected Exercises
C. Resources
D. Frequently Asked Questions
E. Installing GIMP
F. Batch Processing

Throughout the book the authors do a great job of taking advantage of the color printer. He shows versions of pictures before and after which helps a lot in knowing what to expect with your results as you work with GIMP.

The Vision and Image Representation is really cool. It teaches you how the human eye works. Some of what it covers includes vision, image perception, re-creating imaging for print and for computer screens, colored blindness, and optical illusions. It is a fascinating read.

I take a lot of pictures on vacations and most of them are pretty easy to clean up. The ones that give me the most trouble are from our scuba diving trips. Close ups are usually ok, but taking landscapes and pictures of my wife usually end up looking like I took them with a blue filter on the camera or they are just really washed out. The tip on how to use White Balance really helps clean them up fast.

Another tip that really helped right off the bat was the single-window interface that is available. I was constantly trying to close the application with one of the dialogs which only closes the dialog. Then I would have to dig around to get it back.

The book also has a really nice companion web site that houses the images and projects used in the book.

GIMP is a massive application and it is not that easy to learn by just clicking around. The author's writing styles makes this book an easy read. If you are planning to use GIMP, then this book is a must have. I will definitely have it by my side every time I open GIMP!

The Book of GIMP: A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything

About Tad Anderson
Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

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SOAWorld & Conference Alumni Delegates Represents...

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