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Grokking the GIMP

AuthorCarey Bunks Entered2001-01-19 19:42:18 by bcrowell
Editedit data record FreedomCopylefted: anyone can read, modify, and sell (disclaimer)
SubjectQ.A - Mathematics. Computer science (applications)
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http://gimp-savvy.com/BOOK/index.html
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Great tutorial book -- recommended for newbies
by Chuck Messenger (chuSckPm@rocAhestMer.rr.com) on 2002-03-03 22:53:51, review #179
content
better than 95%
writing
better than 95%
This book takes a very hands-on, tutorial approach to The Gimp. Being a complete newbie at graphics maniuplation programs, but a computer professional used to complex apps, I found the book hit just the right balance. It laid out all the basics very clearly but succinctly, and quickly built on that to get to the really interesting stuff.

Definitely one of the better-written technical books I've read.


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hard to use without reading from cover to cover
by Ben Crowell (crowell09 at stopspam.lightandmatter.com (change 09 to current year)) on 2002-10-05 09:47:42, review #205
http://www.lightandmatter.com
content
typical
writing
typical
This is an attractive, well organized, nicely produced book, and I've found it very useful. Unlike some New Riders books, this one appears to have been carefully edited. The book is free information, but this is an excellent example where it makes sense to sell a free product for money: to serve its purpose, the book has to have tons of high-quality color images, which would be impractical to produce on your own printer. (The free version is HTML, so it wouldn't be convenient to print for that reason as well.) The price is actually pretty reasonable for a color book with a relatively short press run.

My only complaint is perhaps not quite fair. I generally don't want to read a software manual from cover to cover. I want to be able to use it like an encyclopedia or a dictionary, to find specific information that I want. I found it difficult to use this book that way, because the later chapters assume you know everything from the earlier chapters. It does have a good index, however, and there are lots of cross references. The reason I say my complaint probably isn't fair is that the GIMP may just be inherently complex enough that you really do have to dedicate some time to learning it, rather than expecting to be able to pick it up bit by bit.

Information wants to be free, so make some free information.


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Just An Additional Note
by goneaway on 2002-10-22 19:57:25, review #219
http://www.teammurder.com
content
better than 95%
writing
better than 98%
One thing that distinguishes this book from a lot of technical/instructional manuals is that it is easy and painless to read. There are jokes peppered here and there throughout the text and other tactics employed to keep the reader from falling asleep while learning how to do something. The first time I consulted it was simply trying to translate an operation from Photoshop to the Gimp. I found my answer and also came away with a better understanding of what that operation really means.

That leads into the second point I wanted to make. There is ample explanation given to concepts that make little sense to computer based designers who have no practical experience with printing where many of the paradigms of the Gimp (and Photoshop for that matter) are based. The explanation of "unsharp mask" is one of the best technical, without undue pain and glazing over of eyes, that I've read. It's nice to see that kind of attention paid to actually introducing some basic design concepts and not leaving off at how/where to do a specific task.


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