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The Artist's Guide to GIMP Effects: Creative Techniques for Photographers, Artists, and Designers 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593271213
ISBN-10: 1593271212
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael J. Hammel is an embedded software engineer living in Colorado Springs. He's been involved with the GIMP since version 0.54 and was a contributor to the early development of the program. Hammel wrote a column on the GIMP for Linux Format magazine for three years and is the author of The Artist's Guide to GIMP (Frank Kasper & Associates, 1998) and Essential GIMP for Web Professionals (Prentice Hall PTR, 2001).


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (August 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593271212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593271213
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,009,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Robertson VINE VOICE on December 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
GIMP, or the GNU Image Manipulation Program to give it its proper name, is a graphics-editing program broadly similar to Adobe Photoshop in terms of functionality. The GIMP is an open source program that can be freely downloaded and installed on most computers, including maps. But on the downside it doesn't come with a manual, so figuring out how to use GIMP can be tricky.

But 'The Artist's Guide to GIMP Effects' isn't simply a book explaining what all the different tools and features do. Michael Hammel pitches this book quite a bit higher than that, focusing instead on how to use GIMP to perform a variety of useful and common tasks. From trick photography to building graphics for web sites, Hammel leads the reader expertly through nicely illustrated tutorials. The end result is more than simply a better understanding of the program, but a richer appreciation of what the program can be used to do.

There are six chapters, the first of which introduces many of the basic concepts. Although there is some attention given to where the relevant tools are found and how to use them, the focus here is on what they do and why you need them. Fundamental to success with any graphics program is understanding how different tools work when applied together, and Hammel finishes off this chapter with a set of multi-function tutorials that underline this point.

The second chapter concentrates on manipulating photographs. These include softening images, adding motion effects, and creating reflections. In each case the process is taken step-by-step, with clear text and relevant screenshots. At this point it's also worth mentioning something about the layout of the book. No Starch has really done a good job here. The book is wider than it is tall, and each page holds two columns of text.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this guide not knowing much about the Gimp and was pleasantly surprised. It covers the interface to start and does so in a way that gets you immediately using the Gimp. It also covers such things as photo retouching, drawing, painting, textures, creating advertising pieces and interfaces (i.e. for media players), graphics for the web (buttons, navigation, etc),web page layouts and the use of filters as tools.

All this is covered in a relaxed, fun and practical style. If you want more than just a list of commands and want to UNDERSTAND why you do something, then this is the book for you.

Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
In my opinion, there can never be too many books like this one by Michael J. Hammel. This project-based book has great examples of how the graphic designer can use the GIMP software to get the job done. Each tutorial in this book is an individual project, allowing the reader to pick which tutorials best meets his or her needs. But read them all. Each technique is not presented in a vacuum. Hammel discusses these techniques in a way that prepares the readers to reproduce the results in their own projects.

Besides being a project-based book, I also liked that Hammel did not waste the reader's time, and his own, discussing every detail about each panel, menu command and keyboard shortcut. Instead, he commits those pages to more information that you can really use. Don't get me wrong, he does give a short overview of the GIMP workspace in order to orient the novice to the software. But he does a good job of giving the readers only the information that they will need for the rest to the book.

So what does Hammel cover in this book? He writes each project-based tutorial from the point-of-view of the graphic designer. He begins with a short description of the design criteria for the project and ends each tutorial with suggestions for other projects where the reader might apply these techniques. He divides the book into six chapters and each chapter covers a different area of graphic design. Once he covers the basics, he moves on to techniques for the photographer, web designer, advertising designer and UI designer. Throughout each chapter, he discusses how type applies to the project and he also devotes a chapter to type effects.

For the photographer, he begins with some simple techniques for adding steam to a photo and creating a vignette.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you don't know what GIMP is, it's an alternative to Photoshop that allows you to do the same things (essentially) but is free.

I was impressed and surprised (in a good way) on the depth of tutorials in this book. I was really looking for something that would give me a good overview of using GIMP from the top, and was surprised at how many things you can do creatively that I hadn't even thought of. My only criticism is the paper used is flat and it would be nice to have something a little glossier for the images. The images are in color, which is nice though. I've used photoshop and now GIMP from probably a pretty basic level (I'm not a graphic artist) for album coverwork for compilation CD's for myself and friends, posters, and just playing around with abstract art to frame and hang on my own wall. I've been impressed with GIMP as an alternative to Photoshop and I think this book is a great companion to help me get the most out of it. If you've tried GIMP, which is free to download, and want to get more out of it, I would recommend this book.
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