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Grokking the GIMP Paperback – 15 Feb 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sams (15 Feb. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735709246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735709249
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 2 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

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

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Anyone wanting to learn the basics and more complex
techneques of image manipulation using The Gimp could not do better.The Gimp is free software originally developed for Linux systems...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x95f474d4) out of 5 stars 26 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9150484c) out of 5 stars Great for the GIMP, and much more 17 April 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had "used" Adobe Photoshop for about 4 years, but could never figure anything out - even after going through their provided tutorials, something was missing. In the past year I'd been using the GIMP more and more, but still never really understood what I was doing or why things worked when I finally got something to look good. But this book has changed all of that. This book contains just the right mix of topics, stepping from fundamentals of GIMP to a very approachable understanding of color spaces to some compound operations to very illustrative "projects" that pull everything together. The flow of the book is great, and for me there was a great balance between answering the questions of "How do I do this?" and "Why/When do I do this?". The sections on how selections and masks are complimentary and when to use them appropriately was especially useful and now photo editing has gone from an occasional chore to a fulfilling and productive activity. Although the specific examples are for the GIMP, the author always gives you enough of the "Why?" to be much more generally applicable.
The bottom line is - no matter what photo manuipulation program you use, this book is undoubtedly useful!
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x918d6e94) out of 5 stars I grok "Grokking the Gimp" 9 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books where you look at it and say "It can't be any good, there's only a little over 300 pages. There must be a lot left out. After all, 'the other books' have 1000 pages".
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.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9465e8ac) out of 5 stars Way Cool Gimp Book 25 Mar. 2000
By Agnes Taherkhani - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I use the Gimp in my work on a day to day basis, and I thought I knew it pretty darn well. But this book has changed the way I work. It does have very good info about colorspaces and color correction, and I picked up a few things I didn't know, but for me the most valuable sections were about making selections. The section in chapter 4 on using the threshold tool to quickly make a selection mask knocked my socks off! I'm using this technique all the time now.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9109f810) out of 5 stars Very good examples 5 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have referenced the on-line version of this book several times and found several useful ideas and techniques out of it---especially those dealing with color correction and enhancement. However, there is no comparison to actually haveing physical pages to flip through and seeing the photos "in person". After reading through this book, several other Photoshop tutorials available make much more sense as well. My only complaint is that there is not much attention paid to any use of plugins or "advanced" clone tool techniques for repairing marred photographs without destroying the natural film grain etc. Also, some of the keybinding shortcust appear to have changed, and his examples using Layer masks did not always work for me as described in the book. Overall, though, purchasing this book is a great way to support open-source projects and learn a good deal about the Gimp as well.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9108ea08) out of 5 stars Most Current, to date,that I've discovered, on the Gimp 14 Dec. 2003
By Dave - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have searched high and low for a decent book on the Gimp. There are a several, good references ("Learning the Gimp in 24 Hours", "Essential Gimp for Web Developers", etc.) though many are out dated due to the rapid progress progress the developers. The Gimp, an excellent example of what open source cooperation produces, is well represented in this book. The author illustrates the use of the Gimp with clear diagrams, concise descriptions, and excellent examples of the Gimp's functionality. Apart from the official Gimp documentation, this book has served me well.
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