When developing software, you always need graphics. Application icons, esd promo pictures or ads – code is not enough. Graphists tend to look cheap at first glance, but become incredibly espenaive as time goes by – which makes creating graphics yourself economically viable.
GNU’s image manipulation software (GIMP) is free…but is not particularly intuitive. Can Akkana Peck’s book fix you up?
Beginning GIMP starts out with a thorough introduction to the basics of image editing. Even though most of this should not be new to seasoned developers, it nevertheless makes for an interesting read…and leaves you well prepared for the first steps into large-scale image manipulation.
Once these basics are done, Beginning GIMP moves on to looking at the creation of new images using GIMP. Topics covered include nasties like layers, paths and feathered selections. The explanations are presented in a down-to-earth way, and are understandable even for non-mathematical heads.
Akkana’s GIMP tour ends with a look at filters, layer compositions and other artistic stuff. The book then ends with a few appendices looking at various technical topics related co compiling and installation on various platforms.
Like most other APress books, Beginning GIMP is a pleasure to read. Paper quality is exceptional, the text is clearly written and the images make understanding stuff easy. The index is pretty good, too – looking something up on the go is more than comfortable.
In the end, Beginning GIMP is one book which definitely belong on your desk. Its price pays off the moment you fire up GIMP for the first time and save the money needed for a graphist and a PhotoShop license. The clearly-written text will have you cooking up images in no time – the price of 32$ is a sound investment…