Title: GIMP 2.6 Cookbook

Author: Juan Manuel Ferreyra

Over 50 recipes to produce amazing graphics with the GIMP

Here is a listing of the chapters in the book:

  1. Using Draw and Paint Tools
  2. Image Filters and Effects
  3. Text and Fonts
  4. Photo Manipulation
  5. Playing With Color and Sharpness
  6. Web Design Tips: Buttons and Blogs
  7. Plugins and Scripts

GIMP 2.6 Cookbook

The cookbook contains various features of GIMP which could be used for digital drawing and paintings, text and font design for logos etc, photo/image manipulation, and also for web designing. The several recipes in this cookbook vary from quite easy functionalities to complex design and manipulation techniques.

The first chapter introduces the reader to basics of GIMP, in terms of editing and authoring images, and use of tools like Blend, Smudge or Dodge.

The second chapter covers filters and effects. The third chapter explains working with text. It contains interesting recipes like ‘rubber stamp effect’, the ‘fiery effect’, the warm gold color effect and the icy cold color effect.

The chapter four deals with using GIMP for photo manipulation.It covers basic recipes like rotating and cropping. It has few complex recipes like fixing low-light photographs, creating the black and white effect, and advanced concepts like HDR (Hight Dynamic Range) photographs from normal images.

The fifth chapter deals with still advanced features in terms of photo-manipulation. It covers GIMP’s capability of color correction and image retouch from the basic red-eye reduction to complex object removal from an image and correcting facial imperfections in portraits. These recipes would come in handy for any amateur photographer who wants to use a Open Source tool set.

The sixth and seventh chapter deals with Web Design Tips, which in my opinion is not a forte of GIMP. One would rather use Inkscape. Have you checked out Inkscake 0.48 Illustrator’s Cookbook?

Most of the recipes contain screen shots for reference and even the detailed settings required for a particular step in a recipe. However those being black and white, many of the final images or even the Work In Progress screen shots do not help a lot in visualizing if this is what you would like in your image. You would have to pick an image of your own, follow the recipe to what you get versus what you need. On the positive though, the recipes at many instances provide a range, instead of a particular value of settings, so that you could play around to see what works for your image.

The book is worth buying if you are beginner at GIMP or if you are an entry level photographer who wants to work on post-process.

Check out the sample chapter: Chapter 3 – Text and Fonts [PDF]

Disclaimer: Packt Publishing has sent me a reviewer’s copy of the book.

Title: Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator’s Cookbook

Authors: Mihaela Jurkovic, Rigel Di Scala

Publisher: Packt Publishing

109 recipes to create scalable vector graphics with Inkscape

That is the subtitle of this book. I really did not count up the number of recipes in the book, but there seems to be that many spread across 12 chapters.

  1. Creating and Editing Objects
  2. Editing Colors
  3. Speeding Up Your Workflow
  4. Creating and Editing Clones
  5. Live Path Effects
  6. Extensions
  7. SVG Filters
  8. Putting it All Together
  9. Raster and Almost Raster
  10. Web Graphics Preparation
  11. SVG in Websites
  12. Draw Freely

The book is very thorough and as can be seen from going over the table of contents, covers almost every nook and corner of Inskcape.

Though the book is intended for an audience of all levels of Inkscape expertise, in my opinion it is for intermediate to advanced level. Now there is nothing in the book that is actually hard for a beginner to understand. In fact, in some of the recipes, when it gets more complex, the book provides ample screenshots to help the reader. But in my opinion, just he amount of information provided in the book can be quite daunting. If an Inkscape beginner were to leaf through the book, they might be put off.

But for ones who have tested waters with Inkscape, or generally with vector illustration, this book is an invaluable reference for the current available version. Now, a person may not be needing everything mentioned in the book. In fact, for most of us who are using Inkscape at advanced level, we would only be using a sub-set of the features available with Inkscape. But this book would help us make sure that we know everything there is to know about the chosen subset of tools.

If you are a beginner to Inkscape or to vector graphics (or are thinking of suggesting this book to someone who is a beginner), then I would suggest you hold off on purchasing this book. Download Inkscape and install it, (it is not that hard), and doodle with it for a week or so. If you feel you are still interested in it, then go ahead and buy the book to see what Inkscape has to offer.

If you are an intermediate or advanced level of user, check the table of contents to see how much of the subset of tools it covers. The book is definitely worth buying and using it as your reference resource. The book will not make you more creative illustrator, but it will help you in applying your creative ideas.

Check out the sample chapter: Chapter 5 – Live Path Effects (PDF)

Disclaimer: Packt Publishing has sent me a reviewer’s copy of the book.

Tiger

Tiger Illustration by Mahesh "Vyoma" Bhat

Software: Inkscape 0.48, GIMP 2.6 (for study)
Hardware: Dell Studio XPS, Wacom Intuos3

You can see the full size version over at deviantART. You may also buy the print from deviantART.

  • Software: GIMP
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Subject: Glass of Ale

This is a follow up tutorial I made after I created Mug of Ale.

Download the GIMP save file containing the color palette: Glass Of Ale Template

Please post your suggestions and questions below.

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