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Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in Open Source) [Paperback]

Akkana Peck
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional (Beginning Apress) Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional (Beginning Apress)
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Book Description

December 16, 2008 1430210702 978-1430210702 2

From first installation to advanced image manipulation techniques, Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition explains how anyone can utilize GIMP: a free, open source image manipulation program. You will learn how to install GIMP on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X platforms. Once you’ve installed the application, you’ll learn about the interface and configuration options, and then jump into a quick and simple project to familiarize yourself.

With four–color graphics and screenshots throughout, you’ll learn how to prepare camera images for display on web pages—including processes like rescaling, cropping, and balancing color. Utilizing layers, paths, and masks are also covered in extensive detail. Of course, you will also learn how to draw lines and shapes; utilize patterns and gradients; and even create your own brushes, patterns, and gradients.

GIMP expert and author Akkana Peck teaches you how to touch up digital photographs, smudging away blemishes, fixing red–eye, and stitching panoramic images. You’ll learn how to tap into the powerful filters, effects, and plug–ins that are available for GIMP and automate tasks using scripts. The entire book is approached in a project–based manner, and as you progress, numerous projects will help strengthen your newly acquired abilities.

What you’ll learn

  • Install GIMP on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
  • Explore the interface and configuration options.
  • Prepare your camera images for use on the Web, including rescaling, cropping, and balancing color.
  • Learn basic techniques such as drawing lines and shapes, utilizing patterns, and making use of gradients.
  • Master advanced techniques such as layers, paths, and masks.
  • Create your own brushes, patterns, and gradients.
  • Discover tricks for fixing blemishes, removing redeye, and stitching together panoramic images.

Who this book is for

This book is for graphics designers, digital photographers, and hobbyists. It’s is aimed at those who need to utilize a full–featured image manipulation program but don’t have hundreds of dollars to pay for Photoshop. GIMP is also the preferred image manipulation application for the open source advocate. GIMP is available on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Frequently Bought Together

Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in Open Source) + GIMP for Absolute Beginners + The Book of GIMP: A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything
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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"Peck’s textbook provides a thorough treatment of topics ranging from installation (on various platforms) and background on common graphic file formats, to drawing, photograph manipulation, filters/effects, and even scripting … . In addition, a thorough treatment of the tools useful to experienced designers is provided … . Peck’s book is effective in showing just how far GIMP has progressed in 12 years. Beginners may be surprised … with this free application, especially with the assistance of this clear, concise, and attractive textbook." (Ian van der Linde, ACM Computing Reviews, Vol. 49 (2), February, 2008)

About the Author

Akkana Peck is a freelance software developer and writer who has been working with open source software for nearly 20 years. She has worked for a diverse collection of companies including Netscape, Silicon Graphics, Sun Technologies, Hewlett Packard, and Apple, and has written imaging software ranging from GIMP plug-ins, to cartography, to scientific visualization. Akkana is a longtime member of the GIMP community and enjoys giving GIMP courses and presentations, as well as filling up her hard drive with digital images. She lives in San Jose, California with her husband and a motley assortment of old computers. You can find more of her musings at

Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in Open Source
  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2 edition (December 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430210702
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430210702
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book if it were Up-to-Date July 17, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well written and easily understandable. This is the affordable manual so badly needed for Gimp. It is neither a tutorial or a reference, but has advantages of both. It's easy discussion style leads you through how to use Gimp, starting with the basics, and moving soon to advanced. But I have had no problem using the index to jump ahead to specific topics of interest, as the discussions made sense without reading everything in order. I feel like I will be a Gimp expert when I finish the book, but I and already getting lots of use from it in improving my digital photos.

The book is a couple of versions behind. There are a few mentions in the Appendix describing the differences in the newer versions, but the explanations are just short summaries. Most of the tools are still in the newer versions. But in newer versions (latest is 2.6.10) many tools have been relocated and can be hard to find. In fairness, with versions changing so rapidly, it would be difficult for any author or publisher to keep up. Because the book is advertised as covering version 2.6 but really doesn't, I downgraded my rating from five stars to four.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not completely step by step but I would recommend July 11, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is frustrating as it takes you through editing a picture and then stops...
For instance Masks which is probably one of the hardest things...she tells you how to work on the mask and then doesn't finish, so you are left with the mask to the side of the transparent layer and your background below that..What do I do next?
Even cropping...she did the same thing...
I bought the book because I was tired of wading through online tutorials..well I'm still having to do that because she leaves me hanging. She does a great job if she would just finish the steps.

I give 3 stars because I'm glad I have the book...because when you are drowning in frustation, you need something to hold onto.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed March 15, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A few weeks ago I knew nothing whatsoever about the GIMP.
I downloaded version 2.6 and decided to learn how to use it.
After a frustrating attempt to educate myself with the online
help files I turned to Akkana Peck's Beginning Gimp, second edition.

I found her book to be just what I needed. It's a big book at just
under 600 pages, but I found it a reasonably quick read due in large
part to many full color examples and Akkana's clear writing style.

It is not easy to write technical documentation, and so it is wonderful
to encounter such a well written work. Ms. Peck has the rare talent
of being able to present volumes of technical information in a manner
that has enough detail to be useful, without overwhelming the reader with
minutiae, or being boring. Her style makes heavy use of examples,
which are nicely illustrated (kudos to the publisher to spending the extra
money for color images). Key concepts are presented in a well ordered manner, making it quite painless to understand the "Zen" of GIMP.

After reading the book cover to cover, working through most of the
example exercises, I feel I have expanded my image processing abilities
immensely. By the way, you can (and should) download all the example
material found on the publishers web site.

Many thanks to the extraordinarily talented programmers who created
this remarkable program. Thanks also to those who have created the
online help files (which are quite useful once one has a basic understanding of the GIMP).

And thanks again to Akkana Peck for making the initial learning curve so pleasant!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but could be better April 24, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's clear the author knows the subject, but she covers so much that a lot of it is touched on very briefly. You can use the book to see what is possible to do, but I found myself watching online tutorial videos (from the general user community) whenever possible, to see how multi-step processes in Gimp are actually accomplished.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Checking out the GIMP book April 3, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently downloaded GIMP 2.6. As I am a reasonably low-tech person I soon realized I needed some help to get going so I ordered "Beginning GIMP". I didn't realize that the book is based on version 2.4 so I was a little upset that this wasn't made clear in the promo for the book. However it hasn't been a problem as most of the book applies to 2,6 and I have had little difficulty in mastering at least the basics in the two weeks I have been using it. There is an appendix which outlines some of the differences between versions 2.4 and 2.6 and this is helpful.There is a ton and a half of info in the book which will apply to the more advanced photographers but the basics of image manipulation are easy to use and very clearly explained by the author. Any low-tech types will benefit from this book and so will the pros if they want to get the most out of GIMP. I would recommend this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good companion March 13, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For pretty long time my hobby is photography. In digital age I must now depend (at rather old age 76) on digital darkroom. Which one?
I first thought about upgrade of my old Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, but the only solution was (and is) to buy the most recent one, perhaps the best on the market, but with a lot of gimmick gadgets and verbose help I will never use. Then I come across GIMP. After a number of evenings on the Internet I come across references about this GIMP book and other books as well.
I made the very best choice. This book is now my companion because of the very straightforward language (English is not my native language) and some intrigue questions it set up chapter by chapter, so that the reader wants to follow it. Because of that I believe that soon I am able to use all features of GIMP I need and to improve colors and tone scale of my pictures beyond Adobe Elements 2.0.
I also like the graphical side of the book which makes reading easy and pleasurable. Therefore no wander why I praised this book so high.
Wojciech Swider
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good resource for a good program
Although an older edition, this book gives enough detail to get working with GIMP. I find the program much easier to use than Photoshop, and it is free. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Charles Schelin
3.0 out of 5 stars complicated
Not for novices. Complicated, lots of new terminology to digest. Good instructions. I'll make it work if it hairlips the govenor. BC Black
Published 4 months ago by ben black
3.0 out of 5 stars Outdated book.
My fault. I didn't verify how up-to-date this book was. I didn't expect is to be so far out of date that the new version of GIMP has so little in common with the version in this... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Vincent V. Douglas
4.0 out of 5 stars Great instruction manual. Very detailed.
The book is easy to follow. Explains everything section in great detail. Lots of examples, that are easy to follow. Good job.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good reference book for GIMP
This is an excellent reference book for using the GIMP graphics program. Topics are well defined and easily understood. Highly recommended.
Published 8 months ago by Donald E. Ely
5.0 out of 5 stars I Would Recommend This Book
My experience with this book was that in order to get the most of it, a person has to invest some time studying it,
not just casual reading. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lorene Troyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gimp will do far more than 90% of digital camera user will ever need
This is th first book, and the second addition has been released, but this was a great book for the older version of Gimp. Read more
Published 10 months ago by MT
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!
This book starts you out with a bang right frim the start. Bam,you are 'messing' photos. And as the chapters progress, you are accomplishing more and more, not with just photos... Read more
Published 11 months ago by burleybear57
4.0 out of 5 stars Owners Guideline
This book is very well written in a language that a noice (me) can understand how to use the GIMP product. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Donald L. Prince
4.0 out of 5 stars book
I found all the information I was looking for. I feel it would help all levels from Novice to Professionals.
Published 14 months ago by Carmen Villalta
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Why is someone selling this used for $499.90?
Another website I won't name here will have users selling their used copies of some books for $1000+. The only thing I can think of is that these people weren't paying attention when they typed in the prices, or that maybe they're hoping to fleece one person and make an entire house payment off... Read More
Jun 16, 2010 by Pi-Rat |  See all 2 posts
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