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Book Review:
The Photoshop 6 Wow! Book

The Photoshop 6 Wow! Book, by Linnea Dayton and Jack Davis.
471 pp.plus CD-ROM. Peachpit Press, 2002. $49.99.

Linnea Dayton and Jack Davis must be aces at packing their suitcases. They’ve managed to cram more step-by-step tutorials, tips and techniques into The Photoshop 6 Wow! Book and its accompanying CD-ROM than seem humanly possible.

Part of the bestselling Wow! series from Peachpit Press, which also includes books on Illustrator, Painter, CorelDRAW and Web design, the book starts with an overview of Adobe Photoshop 6’s new features and devotes a chapter to the fundamentals of Photoshop. The rest of the chapters cover specific topics including color, retouching, combining images, using filters, painting, type, shapes, paths and PostScript, type and graphics special effects, motion graphics and the web. Each chapter contains numerous tutorials for tasks such as coloring clip art and applying a logo with the 3D Transform filter (a tutorial which would have saved a lot of effort in creating the current MUG ONE logo!)

Tutorials are densely illustrated with color screen shots and artwork keyed to tutorial steps and, as appropriate, to the content of the CD-ROM. Tips, hints and reminders are interspersed throughout, and each chapter ends with a gallery of informatively annotated images created by Photoshop professionals. A true beginner might find the pace of the instruction a little fast, at least until familiar with Photoshop’s palattes and menus. Some Photoshop experience, either with Photoshop 6 or a previous version, should make the tutorials easier to follow.

The CD-ROM alone is well worth the price of the Photoshop 6 Wow! Book. The disc includes more than 200 before and after tutorial files, an instructor’s guide, more than 300 preset layer styles (dimensional effects for buttons and high resolution type and graphics) patterns, gradients, brushes, contours and custom shapes, the Photoshop 6.0.1 updater and 50 automated rollover styles for the web. Many of the CD’s “One-Click” styles are illustrated on the final two pages of the book, making it easy to choose between variations on chrome, marble and other visually arresting 3D effects.

The Photoshop 6 Wow! Book is a treasure trove of ready-to-apply techniques that Photoshop users from advanced beginners to professionals will find themselves referring to time after time. Very highly recommended.

–Elsa Travisano

Copyright ©2002 by Elsa Travisano. This article originally appeared in the March 2002 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.