Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gimp 2.6 for photographers, 20 Mar 2013
This review is from: GIMP 2.6 for Photographers: Image Editing with Open Source Software (Paperback)
I requested this book as a Christmas present (2012) and so do not know if it was actually bought from Amazon. However I have now had several months to use it.

In my view the book is good up to and including section 3.2 removing red eye. But once it begins on use of layers I find it becomes more and more confusing. For example it starts using the term 'alpha channel' without explaining in simple terms what this is, even though it is a crucial part of GIMP. I had to look it up on the internet, print the information off and stick it in the book.

For me things really got confusing with the section 3.6 Freshening up a Dull Sky. I have tried about 5 times to understand this and still can't get the worked example to work.

This is all the more frustrating because it was precisely because I wanted to understand layers and how to use them that I asked for the book.

I can only hope that the updated version on version 2.8 is much, much better on this aspect
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Mar 2013 10:16:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Mar 2013 10:18:14 GMT
Dear Reader, 'alpha channel' is a fourth channel that is applied to a layer. It enables the layer to have transparent areas. Parts of layers beneath can be seen through those transparent image areas. This is explained in Chapters 3.3.3, 3.5.2 and 3.6.2. How to add an alpha channel is described in Chapter 3.3.2. Before you search the Internet on questions on the book, it is helpfull to have a look at the Index of the book.
I hope, you come to understand the principle and further on have joy and fun improving your pictures.

Klaus Goelker

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Mar 2013 18:06:13 GMT
First of all let me say that I am very impressed that Klaus takes the time and trouble to monitor comments on his book and then to respond.

I can only say that I had used the index and had tried numerous times to get the layers exercise to work. I am sure that if someone who knew how Gimp worked watched what I was doing then they would soon see what I was doing wrong.

I have learned a tremendous amount from the first part of the book and I will continue to try to understand how to use layers using it (and the other stuff in the second half of the book.)

The main suggestion I would like to make is that - if it hasn't already been done - maybe it would help to test how easy the exercises are to follow if someone (who didn't already know how to use Gimp) tried to apply them. First of all without any `expert' help, and then - if they hit problems - with someone to tell them what they were doing wrong. This could then perhaps be used as a basis for any clarifications thought necessary.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Mar 2013 22:10:47 GMT
Hello again,

as I do get responses of other readers, telling how easy to follow the working units are. I suppose, your problems may relate to a kind of a momentary lapse of reason - sorry, my English is not the best. Maybe it is too simple for you to accept at first - layers are a sort of foil, transparent foils, if you insert one additionaly that has no Image content. Like in a stack they are inserted and laying one on top of the other. Some layers may be filled completely, so you can´t see what lays beneath. Some layers have only a partial filling. Where there is only a partial filling on a layer, you can see through the blank areas what is on the layer below. Background layers, for instance, a normal photo, when you open it for the first time - those have no transparency, even if you erase some areas. You will see the Background Color, where you have used the eraser or deleted image content. To obtain transparency on a background layer, you have to add an alpha channel first. So far, that´s all. Of layers, think as of a stack of Sheets.
Regards

Klaus

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Mar 2013 22:40:27 GMT
Thanks again for trying to help - I really do appreciate it. I understand the principles - it's just the practicalities I'm having problems with!!

I will keep trying and when I get there I will be sure to let you know.

And don't worry about any inelegant English - it's much better than my German! And even better than my Italian!

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 15:00:15 BDT
Laurence says:
Hi Chris,

Have a look here. http://wiki.meetthegimp.org/doku.php?id=layers Should be able to help you and the accompanying video should help as well.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2013 15:43:37 BDT
Hi

Thanks for suggesting this.

After much heart searching/thinking I decided to cut my losses and got Photoshop Elements 11. I am finding it much more user friendly than Gimp (but still not tried out the layers stuff yet!)
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