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Photoshop 6 Down and Dirty Tricks
By Scott Kelby
New Riders Publishing

Author: Roberta Mikkelsen

Date: 4/5/02

Okay another book on Photoshop you ask? Well for all of us that are self taught and are serious about Photoshop this book is definitely worth looking into. It is full of intriguing tricks, special effects and inside secrets all from the pen of Scott Kelby.
Scott Kelby is a Photoshop guru, editor of Photoshop User magazine and president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.

The book arrived the same day a client requested a rough design for a retail display. I thumbed through the book and to my surprise I found the book to be exactly what the ads state. Every page is in full color. You are given detailed step-by-step instructions on how to create each effect. And there are more than 300 of the hottest new tricks, tips, and techniques in one mondo cool book! Within minutes I found just what the client wanted. I followed the ten-step tutorial and to my amazement it worked! No Murphy's Law here. Scott included every click and command in understandable English. Some of the topics include: Drop Shadow Techniques, Cool Type Effects, Metal and Chrome Effects, Photographic Effects, Down and Dirty Tricks, Paint and Brush Effects, Advertising Effects, Texture and Background Effects, Interface Design, Photoshop Web Effects, and Special Effects.

In Photoshop Down and Dirty Tricks Scott teaches how the Pros use Photoshop. He doesn't bore us with instruction on how to mask or what a pixel is. He just gets right into using Photoshop to get results. Scott uses humor throughout the book creating a personal and memorable tutorial. For example in the tutorial on drop shadows he instructs you to drag the shadow layer down and to the right then adds "I think moving it down and to the right is a federal law, but I can't swear to it." Every page has screen shots of where and what you are supposed to be doing. Also on every page there is a sidebar that tells of a Photoshop tip. Sometimes it relates to the effect sometimes it's just a random comment from Scott. The tips alone are a book in themselves.

There are many good books on Photoshop but Down and Dirty is on the top of my list. It's not a book to be read cover to cover. You just find an effect you like follow the tutorial and sit back and grin. If you need a reference that is full of inspiration the Photoshop 6 Down and Dirty Tricks should be on your shelf.

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