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Crafting Digital Media: Audacity, Blender, Drupal, GIMP, Scribus, and other Open Source Tools (Expert's Voice in Open Source) [Paperback]

Daniel James
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 3, 2009 1430218878 978-1430218876 1

Open source software, also known as free software, now offers a creative platform with world-class programs. Just ask the people who have completed high-quality projects or developed popular web 2.0 sites using open source desktop applications. This phenomenon is no longer underground or restricted to techies—there have been more than 61 million downloads of the Audacity audio editor and more than 60 million downloads of the GIMP for Windows photographic tool from alone.

Crafting Digital Media is your foundation course in photographic manipulation, illustration, animation, 3D modelling, publishing, recording audio and making music, DJ’ing, mixing and mastering audio CDs, video editing and web content delivery. Every technique described in the book can be achieved on GNU/Linux, but many of the applications covered run on Windows and Mac OS X as well. New to GNU/Linux and a little daunted? Don’t worry—there’s a step-by-step tutorial on Ubuntu for either temporary use or permanent installation.

If you are a creative type who wants to get started with open source software or an existing GNU/Linux user looking to explore this category of programs, this is the book for you! Realize your own personal projects and creative ambitions with the tools this book will place at your fingertips.

What you’ll learn

  • Install and configure Ubuntu GNU/Linux for creative applications.
  • Get productive with Ardour, Audacity, Avidemux, Blender, FontForge, the GIMP, Hydrogen, Inkscape, Mixxx, Scribus, Synfig and other tools.
  • Chain these applications together and make them serve your creative vision.
  • Find and install the applications cross-platform, if you want to reach out beyond GNU/Linux.
  • Share your creative works with the world using Drupal Web 2.0 technology and Icecast media streaming.
  • Locate and engage with software and project hosting communities, to connect with other creators.

And you’ll find out why being a part of the open source community means so much more than just saving money.

Who this book is for

This is a book for anyone using Linux who wants to be creative employing the tools Linux has to offer them. It is for Linux artists who want to make their tools serve their creative goals, while not having to worry about the money to pay for those tools. It is a book for anyone who wants to be a part of the creative community in Linux.

Table of Contents

  1. Working with Free Software
  2. Getting Started
  3. Photography
  4. Illustration and Font Design
  5. Animation
  6. 3D Modeling
  7. Publishing
  8. Making Music
  9. Recording Audio
  10. Mixing and Mastering
  11. Video Editing
  12. Web Content

Frequently Bought Together

Crafting Digital Media: Audacity, Blender, Drupal, GIMP, Scribus, and other Open Source Tools (Expert's Voice in Open Source) + The Artist's Guide to GIMP: Creative Techniques for Photographers, Artists, and Designers (Covers GIMP 2.8)
Price for both: $59.22

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel James is the director of 64 Studio Ltd, a company that produces a 64-bit GNU/Linux distribution designed specifically for creative users, and does custom development work for OEMs with multimedia products. He worked on LinuxUser & Developer magazine for around seven years, serving as editor from autumn 2005 until early 2007.

More recently,�his media work has expanded to include a long-held interest in sound recording, with several music and voice-over projects completed at his own studio. He also contributes regular articles on music recording and related technology to Linux Format and Sound on Sound magazines.

Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in Open Source
  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (December 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430218878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430218876
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,205,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel James is the director of 64 Studio Ltd, a company developing custom GNU/Linux multimedia products for OEMs. He was the founder and original director of the consortium, which promotes the use of GNU/Linux and Free Software in the professional audio field. Daniel is based in the UK and formerly worked on LinuxUser & Developer magazine, serving as Editor until early 2007. He has also contributed articles on music recording and related technology to Linux Format and Sound on Sound magazines.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tools, not techniques January 3, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Crafting Digital Media does what it says it will do: explains to creative professionals how to use Free / Open Source Software tools for their work. While Daniel James explains things in such a way that technical types can certainly get a lot out of the book, he really focuses on teaching artists and other people comfortable with the creative work how to do what they want to do with software for which they not only don't have to pay but also have the rights to modify and use for any purpose they like.


The book starts off with a fairly cogent explanation of free software, GNU, the GPL, Linux, and even includes a headshot of Richard Stallman (something we don't see often for any number of reasons). After the obligatory chapter on how to install and use Linux (primarily focused on Ubuntu and GNOME), he moves right into the set of tools. F-Spot, GIMP, and XSane get a bit of coverage, as one might expect, but the following chapter covers Inkscape (for vector graphics) and FontForge, both of which receive ample attention. Animation gets its own chapter as well, using GIMP, KToon, and Synfig. Obviously, the 3D modeling chapter centers almost exclusively around Blender. Typesetting mentions TeX (though not LaTeX), but primarily relegates it to programmers and instead chooses to explain Scribus in far greater detail.

Given the author's primary work interest, the three chapters on audio alone shouldn't surprise us, nor perhaps the jokes about mistreated drummers. One chapter deals with the creation of music, using terminatorX, Mixxx, Hydrogen, JACK, AlsaModularSynth, and seq24. The next audio chapter explains recording intricacies using Audacity (particularly for podcasts), Ardour, and even how to install a real-time Linux kernel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for absolute beginners January 13, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wouldn't rave about this book, but it is a great introduction for the computing novice who wants to break into the world of free and open source software application for creating multimedia. Aspiring artists in both visual and aural media will find this an important stepping-stone in learning their way through those beginner baby steps. And I mean it literally starts you out with installing Ubuntu, and guides you along holding you by the hand from there. You'll be plowing out dubstep beats in RoseGarden and CD labels in Gimp before you know it.

That being said, users of a more proficient level won't be very interested in this, because it's very much "Open Source 101".
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5.0 out of 5 stars About time August 29, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
About time someone wrote something like this. There are many great alternative software out there which are just as good as their paid counter parts
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