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The Book of GIMP: A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything Paperback – 25 Jan 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 676 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (25 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593273835
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593273835
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.7 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Olivier Lecarme is a professor emeritus in computer science at the University of Nice, France. He has a doctorate in computer science. He has been a professor at the Universities of Grenoble, Montreal, Lausanne, and Nice, and has taught many aspects of computer science, including programming language fundamentals and graphics processing.

Karine Delvare is a web development consultant. She has a Masters in Computer Science, with a specialization in image and sound, and has collaborated on the GIMP development project. She lives in Mérignac, near Bordeaux, France.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
So you got tired of paying for Photoshop. You looked around and found that GIMP was used by many across the world to achieve the same sort of things. You were surprised perhaps that GIMP is not often talked about in the glossy books and articles about image processing and wondered whether therefore it was ever a serious contender. Then you downloaded it, installed it and tried it. Its unfamiliarity was a little disconcerting but you found a way round the absolute basics and then hit obstacles that required some new learning. You asked around and started to pick up advice from helpful forums and began to realise that the world of "free" software is welcoming and worthwhile. But maybe that advice was not as comprehensive as you'd hoped; it was coming piecemeal and somewhat unauthoratatively from different sources and you began to think that you needed a more formalised helping hand.

Well if that's the position you are in let me recommend this book because here's a labour of love that's been produced by two authors who have completed an immense task of cataloguing and detailing so much of what you need to know about using GIMP in its latest manifestation. It will take you through a sequence in its first section to properly "learn GIMP", provide you with a reference section which details all the menu items in the second section as well as providing an appendix which covers tricky areas like installation, tips, hints and resources.

So it's a book to keep close at hand while you are working with the software.
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This covers (as it says in the title) nearly everything Gimp has to offer. However, for me, the examples are not very well written. The structure of the book is to run through tutorials that show you how to do various things. This usually involves multiple steps, using numerous different tools. However, the tools that you use are frequently left unexplained as to what they actually do - you're just told to 'apply this filter' or 'set this value to x' without any explanation of what that achieves (& it is not that obvious from Gimp's awful naming of tools!). I also found that you sometimes are asked to do steps that have not been covered yet - I don't mind flicking about the book a bit, but most text books these days guide you through a little better.
All in all, it does contain a lot of great info, but you are too often left in the dark about what you are actually doing with a certain step, and need to flick around the book too much.
It would be more useful if it was EITHER a pure reference book (i.e. i want to know what this tool does- so look it up in the index and read about it) OR a cover-to-cover tutorial style book where you work through doing various examples in order to gain a good understanding of how to do common tasks. This book is trying to be both and is a little muddled as a result. Still, as I say, it does contain most of the info you'll need to use the VAST depths of Gimp's functionality.
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As with every other book I've bought from No Starch Press so far, his a very well thought out book. The first half consists of tutorials to get you up to speed and the second half is an incredibly comprehensive reference manual covering everything except GIMP's numerous third-party scripts (plug-in filters, effects, brushes, etc.)... although it does introduce the most useful ones from the GIMP Registry.

Whatever level you're at you will find this book very useful to have around. It has inspired me to start a range of workshops in my local area which have been designed to introduce photographers and designers to this powerful - and FREE! - piece of software.
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The only reason I can think why anyone other than a professional designer would pay for Photoshop is that they don't know about GIMP. And anyway, this book explains how to do a full range of cutting-edge image creation in GIMP. The book is perhaps not for the beginner, but I've found it invaluable, and now use GIMP almost daily. Goodbye 12-year-old version of Photoshop!
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GIMP is the best known and most fully featured open source editing programme for digital photographs and is highly recommended. It is a good book but, in my opinion, it is more suitable as a follow-on book rather than an introductory one. In particular, a lot of space is devoted to detailed examination of the menus of GIMP's multitude of editing tools. As I stand at this moment, the book is bit too advanced but if I progress (fond hope!), I expect that this book will become my principal helpmate.
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The book disappoints. It seems to be based on the notion that the reader is little more than one of the apes of Tarzan. Thus example after example is given in the book, appraently on the firm didactic idea of "Monkey See, Monkey Do" as the height of teaching skills. You are supposed to play around and work out why the various parameters and dialogs and commands and options blah blah blah work as they do. OK. I am supposed to work it all out by myself? So why do I need to spend a hefty sum of money to buy this learned tome? The authors really should have had the courage to devote much of the book to the theoretical ideas underpinning the art and science of computer graphics in terms of the GIMP. Online tutorials for PHOTOSHOP have grasped this idea and I have often had to turn to these to understand what the Book of GIMP was midegring on about. The Authors of this book are clearly Michelangelos and Da Vincis of GIMP. But displaying one's own mastery of the art is supposed to teach art? Are new motor vehicle drivers enjoined to watch Formula 1 racing and then play around and work it all out or do they attend a driving school where step by step instructions, theory and practical examples go hand in hand? . Right...so, read Einstein's Theory of Relativity apply for Chief Scientist at the local nuclear energy plant...
The Book of GIMP (like the GIMP Bible) enumerates and lists innumerable features of the software. These features are well listed for free online. Taking money from unsuspecting punters for what is freely available online is not very nice. Although video tutorials on YouTube generally feature incoherent and inarticulate "teachers", many of them very nicely do the job that the "Book of GIMP" so blissfully ignores - i.e. to simplify concepts, put them across, help understanding, enlighten not befuddle bamboozle and bemuse - instead there are endless cookbook type recipes-do this and set this and click here and see?
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