Grokking the GIMP Paperback – 15 Feb 2000
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The excitement described by Carey Bunks when he first beheld the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) in 1996 is palpable when you hold Bunks' new book in your hands. The phantasmagoric image on the cover of Grokking the GIMP: Advanced Techniques for Working with Digital Images melds a photograph of the moon's surface from a high orbit with an apparent solar eclipse by the earth. A penguin floats discretely in a hot air balloon between sun, earth and moon. Is the sun-moon-earth image a bit of the penguin's imagination? Is it a piece of GIMP artist/developer Tuomas Kuosmanen's imagination? Maybe it is really a credit to the visionaries at New Riders who have produced an art book to suit the computer how-to market.
"Grokking" is a Robert Heinlein-ism for "appreciating", and docent Bunks takes us through the museum of computer art and method as he demonstrates the features of the freely-redistributable package. The contents follow that path set down by many other how-to tech book authors: tutorial, a taste of image theory, working with the independent features of GIMP (layers, selections, masks and colourspaces) before advancing to compositing and rendering, and ending with short reviews of web-based applications of image manipulation.
The book's strengths are Bunks' obvious passion for his subject, his mature didactic style, and the wonderfully spacious design and breathtaking colour-on-every-page strategy that allows him to beautifully frame GIMP features at their best. The most notable of his many case studies is the "Panorama" project that glues a series of laterally overlapping narrow-view photographs of an architecturally interesting room into a single, stunning wide-angle panorama of the whole. Bunks documents each step in the transformation and describes the required geometrical, hue and brightness adjustments needed to warp and blend them together.
Look again at the cover, but not literally. Ignore the unphysical details. Rather imagine the mind's capacity for juxtaposition and GIMP's power for actualising this visual synthesis. In form and content, Bunks and New Riders have shown that the possibilities for the tech book are far broader than previously imagined. This is an eye-opening contribution, indeed. --Peter Leopold, amazon.com
I learned quite a bit from this book. It provides powerful explanations for how to do advanced tasks. It goes beyond the glitz and flash of the latest whiz-bang image filter and provides invaluable, fundamental concepts of image manipulation and correction. -- Zachary Beane--GIMP developer and creator of the GIMP News Web site
Problem solving requires the right tools and know-how for the job. Although the GIMP has long been the right tool for digital image manipulation, until now there has been no serious guide describing the right way to use it. "Grokking the GIMP" changes that; it is the first book to really explain how to use the GIMP. -- Guillermo Romero
Top Customer Reviews
techneques of image manipulation using The Gimp could not do better.The Gimp is free software originally developed for Linux systems...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The bottom line is - no matter what photo manuipulation program you use, this book is undoubtedly useful!
In this case, size doesn't matter. Technique does -- and Carey Bunks provides you with the techniques for using the full-featured tools found in the Gimp. You are not just presented with "this button does this and that widget does that", but you are given a understanding of why you would use one tool instead of another to get the results you wish.
From basic operations such as cutting & pasting and selection techniques, to using masks and layers, to more advanced concepts such as anti-aliasing and the use of colorspace and color balancing, you get it all.
With the perfectly illustrative examples that you can spend hours experimenting with, I don't believe you will be found wanting the other 700 pages. Some authors just have the knack for clear, powerful content with fewer words. Carey Bunks, in my opinion, is one of them.
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