Photoshop 7 Savvy with CDROM

Author: Steve Romaniello
List Price: $50.00
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ISBN: 0782141102
Publisher: Sybex (15 June, 2002)
Edition: Paperback
Sales Rank: 59,795
Average Customer Rating: 3.8 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5
Good for beginners
When I first got Photoshop 7 I really didn't know much about it, however after I bought the Photoshop 7 Savvy book I became much more experienced with Photoshop 7. I was able to explore new areas within the Software that I would have never discovered on my own. There are lots of good tutorials for advanced layering techniques and advanced selection tools that can be very useful for the first timer in Photoshop.

The only thing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars is the fact that it did not explore much into advanced filtering techniques. There are so many interesting effects you can create using the filtering tools and this book hardly covered any of them. Other than that this book is great.


Rating: 3 out of 5
Different, but not necessarily better...
As a constant "student" I am always looking for new books to give me a great handle on a program.

Photoshop 7 Savvy is not only a new book, but also one that has a somewhat different taste than most other Photoshop how-to books.
The book was quite thorough in the new features of Photoshop 7, which was the main reason behind this pruchas, and I liked the different graphics and illustrations incorporated with the lesson tutorials, but as for the set up of each lesson, I didn't find it completely effective.

I already had a fairly strong handle on the software, and was looking for a book to update me fully on Photoshop 7 since it has been a while since I have used Photoshop at all...

There is a lot of cramming information regarding features, etc, before you actually get to a tutorial to solidify the knowledge. Then, the tutorials have a tendency to be "half-completed" leaving me feeling like the teacher did the hard part before I just finished it off. Admittedly, this might be effective for a lot of people but for me, I felt that I was a little ripped off - I learned how to select in one chapter, but in the next, it had all been done for me, and the focus was on something else. Effective for quicker learning, but not for thorough application -

As for everything else, it is extremely complete when it comes to exploring features, new possibilities, etc, but I still don't feel as attached to it as I do my other favorite Photoshop books. It boils down to great content, fabulous and new tutorials, great exploration of each possibility in the software, but lack of thorough application for the user, and a lot of cramming before getting to a point where the new knowledge can be used.


Rating: 4 out of 5
Good Photoshop learning book
Overview.
I am impressed with the quality of the content of this book from the Savvy range. I am sure that as programs get better, so does the production of how-to books associated with them. Possibly because not all the information needs to be re-written, now that the good programs don't have to re-invent the wheel with each new issue.

Features.
Easy to read and understand without talking down to the reader.
Useful lessons, in a sensible format.
Removes the mystique from a complicated program.
Gives good examples of problems likely to be encountered by the average user, and the means to correct them.
Includes instructions on the use of ImageReady.
I felt that a little more time could have been spent on explaining the use of curves and levels, with more examples. These are the major image preparation tools for photographers and graphics manipulators, although what is here is well explained. These two elements of Photoshop alone, could probably have books written about them.

Bottom Line.
This is more than just a useful book on the use of Photoshop 7. This book is one that can be used for any edition of Photoshop. Some of the commands may differ, but the new features of version 7 are highlighted as you go. The rest is a good book on using Photoshop, and why things work the way they do. The book contains a CDrom with tutorials that relate to examples and instructions, and some free and demo programs to enhance your work.

Book Description.
A paperback book of 600 pages broken into 5 sections.
1. Photoshop Core contains most of what you need to know to use Photoshop of any release.
2. Part 2 deals with colour and how it works.
3. Part 3 is more advanced, and teaches about the retouching and manipulating of images.
4. Part 4 is devoted to the Web, and how you can use Photoshop with digital video.
5. Appendices, which contains tool descriptions, file formats and most importantly, blending modes, how they work and what they mean.

To use Photoshop you really need to understand the way that the different commands affect the image that is being worked on. This book does a good job of explaining these things. If you know what is supposed to happen when a command is applied, and why you would use that command instead of another, you are much more empowered than just following a rote learning system.

Every program has it's own jargon, and a lot of the graphics programs, because they come from a print based background, use terms that can confuse the beginner. If you don't believe me, try explaining a clipping group to someone with no knowledge of this type of program.

The descriptions of how to repair old and torn images is very good, and most useful for professional and hobbyist alike. Photoshop 7 has a healing brush which is like a glorified clone tool to make this job easier, but other versions can use the same principles.

Not too much time has been spent in detailed use of all the filters, except for the most useful ones, and the others are explained in an easily unserstood way. Filters can be used to excess very easily, but once again, if you know what is likely to happen when a filter is applied, you can use them sensibly, and this book takes time to put that point across..

There is quite a large section on image preparation for the Web, and there are good tips on how to reduce file size without sacrificing quality. Also, a lot of time has been devoted to print needs as well, and the differences between the two fields.

There are descriptions of the different file formats and when and how to use them, along with descriptions of some of the more obscure settings that appear when saving or exporting files. Normally you just accept the defaults, but with understanding comes more control.

Type gets it's own section, and it is a very detailed one. This is all good and useful typography information, as the new version of Photoshop offers more flexible use of text, which is treated as vectors and not rasterised as before. For earlier versions, do your text in another program and then import it as an image file, but there is some sensible help here.

Layers are covered mainly by use of a hands on excercise, which is probably the best approach for those unfamiliar with this incredibly powerful aspect of all graphics programs. They are not too difficult to understand, but are best explained in a practical way.

The index section at the back of the book is large and detailed and a really useful resource. This consists of, A. Tool Tips, B. File Formats, C. Blending Modes, D. Keyboard Shortcuts. Maybe this section will get overlooked, but resist the temptation to skip it. Having read the rest of the book, this section is a useful quick reference on tools and what they do.

It is no secret that I like the Sybex Savvy series, just from reading two of them, but I think that the formula that is being used is a good one, and I guess that progress in the field of written information must change as we think differently about what was useful a few years ago, and what is applicable in the more sophisticated world of programs that we now have.

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