Authors: Olivier Lecarme and Karine Delvare
Publisher: No Starch Press
ISBN: 978-1-59327-383-5

GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, and it is one of the most successful applications in the world of free software,” authors Olivier Lecarme and Karine Delvare state in their book, The Book of GIMP, A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything.

This vast manual is six hundred and fifty six pages of full color photographs, diagrams, instructions, charts and references in regard to one of the free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop for computers. Although GIMP can be confusing to master, this textbook has so many powerful tools, extensive tutorials and colorful examples that make the daunting task of learning a new program seem sophomoric.

With a doctorate in computer science, Lecarme writes with educational and informational ease as web development consultant Delvare covers the more creative aspects and applications. Gone are the days of trying to figure out Paint or antiquated programs that have evolved into complicated processes to manipulate photographs and designs.

After one brief content page, the detailed table of contents thoroughly covers seven pages. The large textbook is separated into two major sections: one covering about two hundred pages that provide hands-on, task-oriented GIMP tutorials and one that is almost four hundred pages to be used as a comprehensive reference manual. A third section is the appendices including tips, hints, resources, questions, installation, batch processing and an index.

With instructions how to download the artistic program, the first chapter starts at the beginning, explaining simple functions such as the screen layout, toolbox, opening images while expanding into more complicated tasks of scanning, resizing, cropping, framing, etc. It is recommended reading Appendix A first, then Chapter One and then progressing to the detailed tutorial of the design modification one chooses.

In the first half, chapters included instruct one on photograph retouching, drawing and illustration, logos and textures, composite photography, animation, image preprocessing and designing a website.

The reference section dissects the GIMP interface and customizing it, display, layers, color, selections, masks, drawing, transformation and animation tools, filters, printing, image formats and scripts and plug-ins. Here there are so many comparison figures side-by-side showing the application differences and before and after visuals.

With enhancing and manipulating designs, photographs and artwork being so pivotal to visual aesthetics on computers and in society today, this detailed, thorough and easy-to-comprehend volume is the perfect instant-access tool to keep nearby for any artist or web designer to look up or refer to for assistance.

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