Book Review: The Book Of Gimp

bookofgimpI usually use GIMP (the “GNU Image Manipulation Program”) for editing photos, changing colors, resizing photos, applying significant effects and more. It is a free software alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is also quite popular with graphics artists and webmasters who wants to edit digital images. GIMP is not just a Linux specific program. It works on all leading operating systems, i.e., Mac OS X, MS-Windows and Unix variants. However, like many other powerful open source software, GIMP can be difficult to master. There are many options and plugins. So if, you are looking to learn or master the GIMP program, give The Book of GIMP a try.

This book is divided into three parts and has twenty-two chapters:


* Part I: Learning GIMP – The readers will learn the basics of the GIMP in the first chapter and quickly become acquainted with the GIMP user interface, dialogs, toolbox and other essential concepts of GIMP. You will also learn how to perform the necessary tasks with images such as layers and work with a Tablet in GIMP. The second chapter introduces you to the wonderful world of retouching images. Here you will master everyday tasks like enhancing photos, correcting exposures, removing or adding objects, removing red eye and more. I personally never use GIMP for drawing and illustration. The third chapter presents essential tools for colorizing a drawing and creating shapes. The fourth chapter covers logos and textures used on both web and print letterheads. The fifth chapter tells you how to create unique images using multiple photographs for composite images. You can even use GIMP to make animations. Gimp has capabilities for creating animated logos and advertisements for a website. You will then learn the basic concepts of animation in Chapter Six. You will learn how to make more complex animated stuff in Part II. The seventh chapter shows you how to separate noise from images, i.e, correcting image distortions, improving color balance and enhancing visibility. The eighth chapter teaches you how to create a website using GIMP.

* Part II: Reference – This part covers GIMP features and tools in detail, including the GIMP interface, basic GIMP commands, menus, keyboard tricks, its displays, layers, colors and different modes, sections, path tools, masks and channels, digital artdrawing tools, transformation tools and more. I found the chapters on filters quite amusing. GIMP comes with more than 120 filters. You will learn how to apply filters like blur and image enhancement filters. At the end, you will learn more about obtaining and printing images, scanning images, and how to manage different image formats. The information and coverage are good here, except for writing plugins and the script chapter.

* Part III: Appendices – The final part of the book offers six appendices. You will learn about the vision, image perception, image representation, tips and hints for exercises, online resources, FAQs about GIMP, installing GIMP ,and finally more about batch processing and using various tools and command prompt techniques. All the appendices are well worth reading and studying further.

I spent almost a month reading and mastering the GIMP tools and techniques presented in this book. The illustration offered helped me learn about many new features offered by GIMP Version 2.8. I managed to create various effects, textures, logos, animated GIFs and digitally edited images like a Pro using nothing but this free and open source software. I highly recommend this excellent all-in-one reference book to all GIMP users.

Book info:
 * Title: Book of GIMP.
 * Author(s): Olivier Lecarme and Karine Delvare.
 * Publisher: Nostarch Press.
 * Length : 656 pages.
 * Targets : Web designers, web masters, graphics artists, and new users who want create and edit digital images.
 * Rating: 4/5
 * Disclaimer: Nostarch press sent us a review copy.
 * Purchase online at Amazon (Kindle Edition)

 + Excellent book to use to build quality full-color images.
 + Easy to read.
 + Clear explanations.
 + Good collection of exercises with solid tips in selected exercises.
 + Requires no previous GIMP or image editing experience.

 – No GIMP v2.8 DVD.
 – Very little GIMP-Python and scripting/script extension coverage.

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5 comments… add one
  • vonskippy Mar 11, 2013 @ 19:56

    “It is a free software alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is also quite
    popular with graphics artists and webmasters who wants to edit digital

    No and No. Gimp is to Photoshop as a Moped is to a Fighter Jet. As to “quite popular” – what are you smoking. Photoshop is the defacto standard among graphic designers (both print and web). Gimp with it’s juvenile name (and even more moronic developers who refuse to change it’s stupid name) is a cluster frack of poor ui, poor tool management, and just crappy software design. The fact that it’s basically the only app in the Linux world for graphic manipulation keeps it alive no matter how much it sucks.

    • rj hinde Mar 12, 2013 @ 20:20

      So, you don’t happen to like GIMP, I guess…but have you spent any time using it?

      I use it quite a lot, and I like it; choice is good; I don’t feel the need to be so negative about other people’s choice of software, each to their own.

  • johndoe Jul 12, 2013 @ 16:14

    GIMP is not a stupid name. It’s an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program, which clearly states it’s purpose in a very straightforward manner, so it is not juvenile either. You clearly are biased as well as ignorant, and you should therefore stop spewing your filth at the internet.

  • Rob Jul 29, 2013 @ 10:08

    Sorry, but you are just dead wrong! I know plenty of people (including people who work with graphic design, and those using Windows) who use GIMP on a regular basis and find it comparable to Photoshop or anything else out there.

    I totally disagree that this program is only “kept alive” because it’s the only program of it’s type in the Linux world. It really is a fully-featured graphics program. Also, I wouldn’t judge something too much on the name…

    As for this book, I’ve been looking for something just like this since having encouraged my mother to install GIMP on her computer for graphics work. With something like this I may get to a stage where she doesn’t need my help every 5 minutes because she’s not sure how to do something!

    GIMP is a learning curve at first- just as Photoshop is- and books like this are just what’s needed for the new GIMP user!

    Thanks for the review!

  • Geert Schuring Oct 29, 2014 @ 12:42

    – No GIMP v2.8 DVD.”

    Wait…. what year is it again? Shipping DVD’s around is a thing of the past man!
    None of the 4 computers I currently own even has a DVD player!

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