March 1998

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The Illustrator 7 Wow! Book, by Sharon Steuer, Peachpit Press, $39.95 w/CD-ROM/ Mac and Windows

If you're comfortable with Illustrator's tools and ready to create Great Art, this book is a wonderful companion on your creative journey. In step-by-step instructions, the author takes you from the basics of working with objects through the more complicated tasks of using blends and gradients, type and filters to create artwork for both print and screen. Chapters on how Illustrator works with other programs and how to create Illustrator artwork that can be transported to the Web are also included. This author know everything and her book makes working with Illustrator a fun and profitable learning experience. The accompanying CD includes tryouts, demos, samples, course outlines, tutorials, charts and more WOW! art and step-by-steps.


Photoshop Channel Chops, by David Biedny, Bert Monroy, and Nathan Moody, New Riders, $39.99, Mac and Windows

Admit it. The thought of working with channels in Photoshop is scary. Maybe, but not if you let these three Photoshop gurus take you through the advanced masking techniques, interchannel mathematics, and creative use of layers. You'll be surprised at what you can achieve if you take the time to learn how the Calculations commands work.This is definitely a book for advanced users, but novices will gain an understanding and respect for the enormous power of channels and their ability to generate wonderful effects. And all this in spite of the authors' condescending attitude towards other Photoshop writers.


The Macworld QuarkXPress 4 Bible, by Galen Gruman and Barbara Assadi, with John Cruise, IDG Books, $39.99 w/CD-ROM

This is a wonderful book for all of us just getting used to the new interface and heavy-duty functions in QuarkXPress 4.0. What makes it more than just a "how to" book is the enormously helpful material on how to use XPress as an effective design tool as well as a layout tool. The authors address the questions about type and graphics in XPress that are difficult to find in the manuals and provide you with intelligent options for achieving different effects. You'll also find authoritative information on putting QuarkXPress on Web as well as using scripts and XTensions to facilitate work flow. The lessons on the new Bézier tools, for example, make this complex but powerful function intelligible and learning it almost painless. The scope of this book covers just about anything you need to know about using QuarkXPress 4.0 in the real world. Its thorough index and CD packed with lots of useful XTensions and ancillary information will soon have you working productively and comfortably in this exciting upgrade.


Director 6 Demystified: The Official Guide To Macromedia Director, Lingo, and Shockwave, by Jason Roberts; Macromedia Press $49.95

First the reader has to pick it up! It contains over 1050 pages plus a CD. The book is divided into 3 parts, titled books plus a reference section. The Introduction is very interesting. It explains what is included and highlights each of the 3 books. The Prelude defines Director and gives a brief history of it. These sections are great for anyone including myself who is not familiar with how the program works.The book takes the reader through the interface and using screen shot-like diagrams tries to make it less complex. All in all, this book answers any questions the reader may have with Director 6

Marvin Friedman