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GIMP Bible [Paperback]

Jason van Gumster , Robert Shimonski
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1, 2010 0470523972 978-0470523971 1
The ultimate reference and guide to the GNU image manipulation program

GIMP is a free, Photoshop-like image manipulation program, and as its use grows, so does the demand for detailed instruction on how to get the very most out of it. GIMP Bible is the most comprehensive and current independent GIMP reference available that goes beyond official documentation.

If you're a digital artist or photographer, the step-by-step explanations in this authoritative guide show you how to power-use GIMP throughout a production pipeline. Topics include understanding the GIMP interface and how to work with it, how to use all of GIMP's tools to create high-quality images, GIMP's default filters and plug-ins, advanced techniques for customization with Python and Scheme scripting, and much more.

  • GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free graphics editor that runs on Linux, Windows, or Macs; it is used to process digital graphics and photographs including creating graphics and logos, resizing and cropping photos, altering colors, combining images, creating basic GIF animated images, and more
  • Whether you're a digital artist, professional photographer, or beginner, this detailed how-to shows you best practices, valuable techniques, and helpful tips for getting the most out of GIMP for your projects
  • Topics include the GIMP interface and how to work with it, in-depth description of GIMP's tools and how to use them to create high-quality images, a comprehensive reference for all of GIMP's default filters and common plug-ins, and advanced customization with Python and Scheme scripting

Get the most out of this free image editing tool for your production pipeline with the GIMP Bible.

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

Frequently Bought Together

GIMP Bible + The Book of GIMP: A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything + The Artist's Guide to GIMP: Creative Techniques for Photographers, Artists, and Designers (Covers GIMP 2.8)
Price for all three: $93.62

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The most current and comprehensive desktop GIMP reference you'll find!

Create dazzling digital graphics using GIMP

Edit photos, paint, create animation, batch process—you can do it all with the free, open-source GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) and the instruction in this comprehensive GIMP Bible. This valuable book first introduces you to GIMP's interface and tools, then clearly shows you how to manage an entire production pipeline and produce high-quality images. If you're an artist, photographer, Web designer, or animator using GIMP, this is the book you need to succeed.

  • Find out what GIMP can and can't do—and master all of its tools

  • Learn to use layers, paths, channels, and colors effectively

  • Start painting in GIMP with improved paint dynamics

  • Master a slew of filters and masks and see how to automate tasks

  • Animate by hand or add effects to video with the GIMP Animation Package

  • Intelligently resize images with Liquid Rescale

  • Create custom effects with scripting and other advanced techniques

Companion Web Site
Find the latest GIMP updates, as well as support materials for the book's tutorials and supplemental tutorials at The site also includes links to the most current versions of GIMP plug-ins, tips on how to install them, and a blog where you can ask questions pertaining to the GIMP Bible.

  • Digital images are sampled into a grid of pixels
  • Control image desaturation with the Channel Mixer
  • Apply textures painted in GIMP to a character model
  • Use GIMP to create high-quality images
  • Learn all features, functions, and tools
  • Master default filters and common plug-ins

About the Author

Jason van Gumster is a production artist at Hand Turkey Studios, where he specializes in using open-source tools to produce animations and visual effects for television, film, and video games. In addition to GIMP, he is well-versed in a broad spectrum of open-source tools including Blender, Inkscape, Cinelerra, and Scribus.

Robert Shimonski is a senior-level systems and network engineer with over 15 years of production experience working with enterprise applications, systems, and solutions. He is an expert in Web and digital media.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470523972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470523971
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource December 2, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is nothing short of excellent. It covers every tool and function of GIMP in detail, and it even includes treatments of a number of plug ins. It also covers features of GIMP 2.8, which has not yet been released. In addition, there is a companion website you can access for associated material, updates and corrections.

I thought at first I could learn GIMP by reading the manual associated with the program and watching how-to videos on Youtube. After struggling a while I bought this book. Now I realize how naïve I was. GIMP has far more features and functionalities than I imagined, and to learn it on my own, or even with the help of Youtube turtorials, would be a cumbersome way to proficiency.

The GIMP bible covers it all, and it got me off dead center. It handles fundamental concepts as well as advanced utilities - I'm glad I bought it. I'm still not very good using GIMP, that will take a bit of work and practice, but I'm starting to use the program creatively, using the GIMP bible as a resource when I get stuck.

I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to become proficient with, or master, GIMP.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The GIMP guide for Encyclopedia readers March 3, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Before you purchase this guide, ask yourself how serious you are and how much time you are willing to invest in learning the GIMP process. This is not a cheat sheet. It is definitely a Bible of work. There is an enormous amount of information presented in the GIMP Bible. This is both the good news and the bad. Not for the faint of heart, this massive volume can be intimidating. I cannot stress enough that this is a serious and involved look at what GIMP offers and should be considered a text book.

The same things that make this an overwhelming text make it also a valuable resource. Like a massive dictionary or encyclopedia, the GIMP Bible offers a mountain of information at your fingertips. Most, maybe all, of the information can be found online, and most of us utilize online tutorials. However, if you like to have a paper copy you can turn to, like I do, this book gives you instant access to more answers about GIMP than you realized you had questions for.

I do have one major complaint in the use of B&W images in the examples. (Really???) They're absolutely a useless waste of ink in most cases. I understand that color images would have cost more to print, but considering the instructional purpose of the image content, it would have been nice to be able to actually see what the examples needed to show.

I can't give this volume less than 4 stars, because the information is vast. The author's attention to detail is admirable.

I can't give it 5 stars, because the textbook layout is sometimes stress-inducing and the images are basically worthless.

Buy this book at once if you are committed to studying the ins and outs of GIMP. Buy it if you want a physical reference to supplement what you already know. If you prefer a quick and easy-to-understand answer with glossy, color image yourself the money and look up a topic specific video tutorial online.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference; Wish it had more tutorials January 25, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am about half way through this book. It clearly goes through all the different tools and filters of the book explaining every option. For this reason it makes a great reference book. I will keep it at hand every time I am using the program.

The reason I only gave it three stars is because it is short on tutorials. I was hoping more examples of how to use the tools they talk about, not just explaining what they do. This book does have some tutorials, and I have learned some really cool things, but I was hoping it was going to be packed.

The second thing is it is in black and white. How useful are pictures talking about the color tones of a photograph when it is in black and white? Not very. This was huge in my opinion.

I do not regret the purchase of this book as it has been really helpful and I will continue to use it as a reference point.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn GIMP leave Photoshop behind July 23, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am very pleased with this book. I have been using Photoshop for many years and have grown tired of the large hole in my wallet every time I needed to upgrade to a new version. I have known about GIMP for a couple of years but had difficulty using this program. Finally, with the GIMP Bible I am able to use GIMP to it's fullest. This bible is exactly what I needed to convert from Photoshop to GIMP. It gave clear explanations of all GIMP's abilities from the simplest to the most complex. I would highly recommend this book to anyone how is tired of paying a small fortune for Photoshop and would like to use the opensource application GIMP.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed enough to help novice work w/graphics July 13, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having saved a few hundred dollars on Photoshop when I downloaded GIMP, I sprang for this book to help me create some simple web graphics. This is something I've never done before. The book is concise and clear with its instructions - exactly what I needed. It's definitely a keeper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis Clark reviews Gimp Bible November 1, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been using Gimp 2.8 since it was released and am still learning, especially drawing/painting with Gimp. I wanted a comprehensive introduction to the program all in one place. The Gimp Bible serves this function superbly. It is much more readable than the User's Manual that comes with Gimp and goes into more detail about Gimp's features and uses. It is somewhat tedious to read from cover to cover but is outstanding as a reference source. If you wish to learn about Layers in Gimp, for example, the Bible presents that and other topics very well. I highly recommend the Gimp Bible for both beginners and experienced users.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gimpshop Bible
Book has helped me to better understand the program. The program is pretty complicated so you have to spend a lot of time practicing using examples from the book...
Published 3 months ago by Charlie9711
5.0 out of 5 stars good reference for GIMP duffers
I only occasionally use GIMP, mostly when designing covers for my science fiction novels and short stories, like New California. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Raymund Eich
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative
I have enjoyed reading this book. Eventhough, I am new at Gimp, I have already benefitted from the descrptions and illustartions of how Gimp is useful through various exercises. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Tony Crapanzano
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for a beginner
I was a complete novice to Gimp when I bought this book. I wanted to use gimp to create graphics for my website and to create interesting photoshop images for friends like my cat... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jay Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars GIMP Bible, Great Reference
GIMP is an absolutely free image manipulation program with many of the same advanced features as Adobe Photoshop. The problem is that help resources and support isn't quite there. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Christopher Savard
5.0 out of 5 stars Received the The Gimp Bible.
What can I say about it? It was thorough, as advertised. I am glad that I bought it and will use it this year.
Published 18 months ago by George A. Burns
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wealth of information.
I have only had this a short time but I am very satisfied. It seems to cover everything and is easy to understand.
Published 19 months ago by Al
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for a Digital Graphics Beginner
GIMP Bible is overwhelming, but not invincibly so for a beginner. It's like the old question, "How do you eat an elephant?". Read more
Published 20 months ago by Otownboy
4.0 out of 5 stars Great resource though a bit tough for the beginner
As the author of Le Point de non Retour (The Point of no Return) (New Beginnings) and other Indie novels, I am always looking for anything for that edge we all need. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Sharon Desruisseaux
2.0 out of 5 stars Great if you already know how to use GIMP
This is a good book if you already know how to use GIMP, but, then, if you already knew that, why would you need it?
The explanations assume the reader knows GIMP. Read more
Published 22 months ago by L. Keto
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