November 2002

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Design Essentials, Fourth Edition, by Luanne Seymour Cohen. Adobe Press, $40.

If Illustrator and Photoshop are individual graphics powerhouses, using them together lets you create even more dramatic artwork. This marvelous book, probably the best in the Design Essentials series, takes you through projects using these applications individually and together. With easy to understand step-by-step directions, users will find themselves not only learning how to use these applications, but using them to create interesting and even stunning visual effects. Shortcuts, tips, and gorgeous color make it a book to peruse as well as to use.

Real World Photoshop 7 by David Blatner and Bruce Fraser, Peachpit Press, $49.99

If you're using Photoshop for anything more sophisticated than importing images from your digital camera, you need this book. It takes on the important (nasty) questions like calibrating the monitor, balancing shadows and highlights, and building drop shadows and provides intelligible answers. The authors' easy but definitive style will guide you through maximizing your efficiency with Photoshop 7, providing tips, shortcuts and clear instructions for producing images that print accurately and broadcast quickly. Whether you're new to Photoshop or to Photoshop 7, you'll find much in this book to make your work more pleasurable and productive.

iMovie 2: The Missing Manual, by David Pogue, O'Reilly, $19.95

Sure iMovie is easy and intuitive, but when you start using it for making films you want someone else to see, you're going to have questions and the sparse Help file is not going to answer them For those answers you need the missing manual which is really what David Pogue's book is. (Actually it's better than any manual, because it's writtien in English.) With step-by-step video editing instruction from selecting a video camera to creating slick transitions between frames, this book will have you creating movies Steven Spielberg will want to buy. You'll find the same intelligent coverage here as in the author's New York Times column, with everything you need to know carefully spelled out and coupled with lots of visuals so you can actually use the book while editing your movies. Don't e-mail your next QuickTime movie until you first check the missing manual!