March 2002

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Firewire Filmmaking by Scott Smith. Peachpit Press, Mac and Windows, $39.99 w/DVD

Digital filmmaking is the force behind everything from commercial Web shorts by famous directors to feature-length Hollywood productions. Low-cost digital video cameras and FireWire technology have opened moviemaking to the masses, but few people take full advantage of the unprecedented opportunity. For a solid foundation in the latest technologies, turn to FireWire Filmmaking, a book that covers both the technical and artistic issues you need to know to take your digital production from the storyboard to the screen. Don't worry if you've never picked up a digital camera before: FireWire Filmmaking begins with an introduction to the basics, like how to select and set up a FireWire-equipped camera and a blazing-fast FireWire network. You''ll learn not just how to use your camera, but how to create a compelling film, thanks to chapters devoted to story structure, organizing clips, and adding sound, music, and titles. Throughout the book, eight successful FireWire moviemakers lend inspirational tips and techniques, illustrated with photos and clips from their own digital productions.

FireWire Filmmaking also includes sections on those all-important finishing touches, such as how to import footage and manipulate it using programs such as Adobe Premiere, iMovie, EditDV, and Final Cut Pro, and how to output your final film to tape, CD-ROM, DVD, DAT, or the Web.

The Little Mac OS X Book by Robin Williams, Peachpit Press, $29.99

Robin Williams, author of the million-plus seller The Little Mac Book, brings her unique approach of humor and straightforward explanations to Apple's radically redesigned OS. With Apple shipping all their new Macs loaded with OS X, thousands of people are looking for an introduction to the brand new OS. Once they find The Little Mac OS X Book their book search will come to an end.

With The Little Mac OS X Book Robin gently walks readers through the new changes in the OS including the new window structure and the Dock and how to use them with common Macintosh applications. She also covers the basics in easy-to-follow sections on how to use your Mac for a variety of everyday tasks: printing, sending email, exchanging files, and surfing the Web. And for those hair-pulling moments when things go wrong, there's a troubleshooting guide for common Macintosh snafus.

Some additional topics to help you make the transition to Mac OS X a little easier are:

  • The Aqua interface
  • The new Apple Menu
  • How to access control settings, applications, and files from the Dock
  • Networking and File Sharing

The Photoshop 6 Wow! Book by Linnea Dayton and Jack Davis, Mac and Windows, Peachpit Press, $49.99 w/ CD

Looking for state-of-the-art practical advice and inspiration? The Photoshop 6 Wow! Book strikes the perfect balance, giving you creative, timesaving tips and techniques for Web graphics, illustration, photo correction and compositing, and special effects. Packed with stunning new examples of Photoshop artistry, Photoshop 6 Wow! presents real-world, full-color artwork accompanied by clear, step-by-step instructions that you can use immediately to create your own projects. This updated edition shows you how to get the most from Photoshop 6's redesigned interface, new Shape tools, improved typesetting, and other vector-based features. You'll also get expert instruction on ImageReady's automated rollover states and one of the hottest new features -- Layer Styles -- for instant, elegant special effects.

The accompanying Wow! CD-ROM is invaluable, loaded with "before and after" tutorial files for the techniques in the book, with layers, adjustments, and Styles intact. You'll also find dozens of preset Wow! Layer Styles and improved Actions designed to automate Photoshop creativity and productivity, along with libraries of new Wow! Patterns, Custom Shapes, Gradients, Brushes, and bevel Contours.

Educators can use the Instructor's Guide PDF to design a Photoshop class -- whether a single seminar or a semester-long course -- based on the book-and-CD package. Find out why the award-winning Photoshop Wow! is the best-selling Photoshop book of all time -- and why this edition tops them all!