The Book of GIMP
A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything
Publisher: No Starch Press
Final Release Date: December 2012
Pages: 676

GIMP is a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop with tons of professional-grade features. But with so many powerful tools and menu options, GIMP can be difficult to master. Whether you're struggling to get started or trying to master some of GIMP's more complex features, you'll find the answers you're looking for in The Book of GIMP.

The tutorials in the first half of the book walk you through essential GIMP skills, like resizing and cropping images, touching up spots and scratches, and customizing your work area. Illustrated, step-by-step instructions show you how to:

  • Improve the lighting and composition of images
  • Remove distortions and noise to make old and damaged photos look like new
  • Create stunning panoramas and digital collages using a series of photos
  • Make, edit, and export custom textures, logos, and animated GIFs
  • Work with selections, channels, and masks to edit images like a pro
  • Create colorful digital art, layer by layer
The book's second half offers a comprehensive reference to GIMP's many features, including color balancing, masks, filters, and plug-ins. You'll find tools described in unparalleled detail, with coverage of nearly every option and parameter.

With illustrated tutorials and detailed references, The Book of GIMP is sure to become your one-stop guide to just about everything GIMP.

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oreillyThe Book of GIMP
 
5.0

(based on 5 reviews)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (5)
  • Accurate (4)
  • Well-written (4)
  • Easy to understand (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (4)
    • Expert (3)

    Reviewed by 5 customers

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The Ultimate Guide

    By RLloyd

    from Sugarloaf, CA

    About Me Educator

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Its Comparable To Adobe P
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Non Of The Above

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly The Book of GIMP:

    On the back cover of this book, is the phrase "The Ultimate Guide". I tend to agree with that. GIMP is a sophisticated photo editing program. It is comparable to Adobe Photoshop. GIMP also happens to be a free download. The Book of GIMP is an excellent companion.
    The Book of GIMP is divided into three sections. Part 1, Learning GIMP, goes through the basics of the software. From getting started to photo retouching, creating logos and animation, the book contains a great amount of fantastic information. Each chapter in Part 1 shows step by step how-to's. Exercises follow each chapter. Part 2 is made up of many chapters of Reference information. If you want to look up details of how to use the many specific features of GIMP, it is probably in the reference section. A few examples of the topics are: Working with the GIMP interface, using color, drawing tools, photo filters, customizing GIMP and much more. For those familiar with Adobe Photoshop, you will understand what I mean when I say, GIMP also has extensive Layers tools. Part 3 contains appendices for many aspects of GIMP, including FAQ's, installing GIMP, information on how people perceive images and color plus more.
    I have used GIMP for some time, occasionally muddling through, learning it by trial and error. Shortly after beginning to read the book, I was working on a photo that was a little blurry. I remembered reading about how to sharpen a photo using GIMP. It took only a minute to find the instructions in the book. That was great and timesaving as well. The Book of GIMP has proven to be an excellent, practical resource.
    This volume is very easy to understand. I was able to follow along on my computer. That is especially valuable when learning the basics in Part 1. The instructions are clear and really show how the program actually works. In other words, it is easy to replicate on your computer, what you see in the book.
    One of my favorite chapters is on animation. Before reading the Book of GIMP, I did not know that the software has that functionality. The authors explain how to download and use GAP (GIMP Animation Package). GAP is a separate download from GIMP. Once installed, it is accessed from the GIMP menu system. GAP becomes part of GIMP and helps to automate the animation process. Very cool!
    You do not have to be a professional photographer or graphic artist to learn a great deal. If you are an intermediate to advanced user, I think that this book might be helpful. If you have never used a photo editing program, you can learn about GIMP with this book. The use of GIMP is broken down very well. Of course, the program has a ton of features. I have not even come close to using most of them. This book is a great reference for questions that I may have. Some of the explanations might seem complex at first. However, following along on my computer made things clear. It is pretty straightforward to do. I realize that I need more practice with GIMP. The Book of GIMP is a fine learning tool.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Complete and Comprehensive Guide

    By vasudev

    from India

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly The Book of GIMP:

      The Book of GIMP A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything By Olivier Lecarme, Karine Delvare published by No Starch Press is one of the best books in its subject, I have come across. Let us see what makes it best.GIMP users know it's an application with tons of features, tools, menu options and it can take time to learn just by yourself clicking around. And a newbie or an expert, anyone eager to learn GIMP will find this book immensely helpful. It's a valuable resource for learning GIMP. I would say it's a complete and comprehensive guide on GIMP.

      The book is divided into 3 parts – 1.Learning GIMP , 2.Reference and 3. Appendices And each part has several chapters. As I said earlier this book caters to all. The 8 chapters of first part starts with the Getting Started covering GIMP basics and goes on to cover every aspect with topics like Retouching, Logo creations, Textures, Composite Photography, Animation,Image Preprocessing and even goes on to cover Designing a website. All these chapters covers the topics in detail.

      The next 14 chapters in Part2 of the book digs in more details starting with comprehensive coverage of GIMP interface. Even if you are a GIMP user, the GIMP ver 2.8 has changed significantly from its earlier ver and this book covers the same explaining the difference. And further each chapter delves more deeply into different features as display, layers, Masks, transformation tools, Filters, Animation tools, Image formats, scripting, Plug-ins and customization.

      And in Part3, it goes on to cover complicated and technical topics like The Physiology of Vision exploring the nature of vision, image perception. And are in very detail presented in very easy to follow way. Next we have the Hints and tips for the Exercise questions asked after each chapter of First part. These hints are very valuable. And it ends with tons of GIMP resources like links to list of GIMP related sites, official GIMP pages, details of tutorial sites, communities, blogs, various brushes and plug-ins collection sites.

      As you can see it's a Complete and comprehensive guide to GIMP in all aspects. Not only you can learn but can achieve expertise with this book. It not only teaches how to use a tool but also why to use that tool. It's the best companion to learn GIMP. The book includes a tons of examples of before and after shots so you have a good idea of how a tool or effect will corrects or improves the image. Each page has several screenshots and you never feel a dull moment reading it. After reading and knowing the features in detail, you'll feel you were just scratching the GIMP and under utilizing its power.

      Well written, lavishly illustrated color screenshots on every page, before and after pictures, basics to advanced topics coverage, exercises with hints and tips, step by step tutorials, a good appendix. All these makes it Highly Recommended!!

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great Reference for GIMP

      By hfb

      from Nashua, NH

      About Me Engineer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly The Book of GIMP:

        I had used GIMP a few times at work since I use Linux there and I basically used it to resize a few images but never really understood the capabilities of the program. I had heard that it was a very powerful editor, somewhat like Photoshop, but didn't really care much to look into it at the time.
        Then I needed to do some more advanced things that I wasn't sure I could do with Paint in Windows that I ran in a VM on my machine. I looked online for some information about how to do things and found I could do a whole lot with it.
        Well, then I saw this book come up as a reviewable book and I decided I should get it to see what I could get out of the program.
        I have yet to go through the entire book as it's pretty hefty but it's an excellent reference. Actually, it's more like a textbook with each chapter having exercises at the end to do. There are plenty of images to go along with each section to show how the image changes when a specific edit is made. It's very useful. The index is also great for finding things you need to do.
        All in all, it's a great reference to have to be able to use a free photo editor that has a lot of the capabilities of Photoshop.

        Disclaimer: This book was received as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program. All comments represent my thoughts and opinions.

        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        GIMP Reference

        By MH

        from Shaker Hts, OH

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly The Book of GIMP:

          Some commercially available programs are just too expensive for hobbyists, who then look for appropriate shareware programs. GIMP is one such shareware program that is used by those who want to work with digital pictures. One issue with shareware programs is that they are typically not as well documented as their commercial counterparts. Here is where this book is of great value.

          The Book of GIMP is divided into three main parts. The first part consists of eight chapters; each chapter is a tutorial to help those with little experience with GIMP become familiar with the program's interface and its capabilities. The tutorials start with the basics of retouching digital images and move to drawing, animation and creating web pages. Just these chapters can be used with minimal adaption in a classroom setting to teach GIMP. The second part consists of fourteen chapters that cover practically every option in the program. The six appendices, in the third part, cover other related topics such as installing GIMP, how the eye perceives color, batch processing, and resources.

          The book is clearly written and uses several examples of before and after pictures to illustrate the effects of the features in GIMP. The high paper quality helps bring out the differences between the before and after pictures. Overall, it is a great book to learn GIMP and as a reference for GIMP.

          I received this book as a review copy.

          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Now GIMP for Macs too

          By hartley the Editor

          from Lyndonville, VT

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Expert
            • Intermediate

            Comments about oreilly The Book of GIMP:

            The Book of Gimp is a fascinating book about the GIMP program for manipulating photographs, for drawing, for creating illustrations and web pages, and for much more.

            GIMP.the program, is now available for free for the Mac OS X Lion and Mountain Lion. GIMP was originally created years ago for the GNU/Linux operating systems. It also works on Windows. The Book of GIMP includes the inspiring story of how the program, was developed, is maintained, and is continually improved by volunteer programmers.

            I got off on the wrong foot when I started looking through The Book of GIMP and installing it so that I could review it. I expected the installation to be difficult and read about installing the GNU/Linux version. Mac users, do not read that. It takes us just one step which is clearly described for the Mac. (Also true for Windows.)

            I have Photoshop CS5 which is really all I need, but I am going to take my time to read and study The Book of Gimp. It is well written and illustrated. There is much interesting information in there that will increase my understanding. There may be better ways to do some things, and more things that I will be able to do.

            The cover says The Book of GIMP - A Complete Guide to Everything, and that is about right. It covers everything from Vision and Image Representation to how to reduce noise in a face caused when a photographer moved.

            I am glad that GIMP is now available for the Mac. It looks like a good alternative to more expensive as well as less capable programs. I you are considering exploring it, buy The Book of GIMP.

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