The Photoshop Wow! Book virtually invented its genre: powerfully visual, full-color, project-based graphic design books with contributions from many of the world’s best designers. It’s got imitators now, but The Photoshop 7 Wow! Book is more indispensable than ever.
This book doesn’t just teach you how do magnificent stuff. It gives you scores of automated tools and presets that let you do even more magnificent stuff, even more quickly. Building on Photoshop 7’s great Presets features, Jack Davis (and longtime coauthor Linnea Dayton, who’s taken a sabbatical for this book) have created an immense library of Wow Styles, Wow Tool Presets, and Wow Actions.
Need to correct overall tone and color? Start with one of their Wow-Image Fix Actions. Want to focus attention on the center of an image? Try the Wow-Darkroom Styles. Want to get rid of red-eye in a hurry? Whiten teeth? Nailed.
Want to remove tiny, annoying specks? Sure, there’s the useful new Healing Brush, but often Wow-Dust & Scratches Layer does an even better job. You’ll also find whole libraries of techniques for enhancing graphics and paintings, for creating watercolors, line work, mezzotints, and frames; and for everyday production (rotate a digital photo 90 degrees, duplicate a flattened copy of your file, et cetera).
The tools offer enormous value, but the book is absolutely wonderful. You’ll find dozens of techniques, each presented in full color in one to six pages, with all the step-by-step explanations you need to follow along.
Jack Davis cuts a wide swath through Photoshop and ImageReady, touching on pretty much all the features (new and old) that matter. Each chapter begins with a “basics” section, and ends with a well-annotated gallery of stunning real-world projects. There are also hundreds of tips. And they’re not buried: they’re listed right in each chapter’s table of contents.
After a chapter on the fundamentals of working efficiently with Photoshop, Davis moves on to color -- illuminating color modes, spot color, adjustment layers and other options, toning tools, and blend modes. There’s expert advice on color-managing your local workflow. Then it’s on to real projects: nifty duotones; controlled recoloring; channel mixing (including some handy Wow presets); conversions from color to gray, and more.
Davis moves on to photo retouching and enhancement: everything from Quick Tone to blurring backgrounds without losing grain. We especially like his tips on what to do when a photo must be used but it just, well, stinks.
His chapter on combining images includes neat tutorials on using layer masks to create montages; blending images and type; and creating panoramas. You’ll find expert chapters on using filters; painting (including a great “wet on wet” project); type; and special effects (neon, chrome, glass, rust, steel, and much more).
Of course, the book wouldn’t be complete without coverage of web and motion graphics. That’s here, too -- from button rollover styles to cel animation. Great techniques. Practical explanations. Real inspiration. Wow. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.