Once you're finished with Photoshop 5.5/ImageReady 2 Hands-On Training, the latest book from well-known Web guru, Lynda Weinman, you can say, "I've read the book and I've seen the movie." The accompanying CD-ROM has 22 QuickTime movies, some as long as five minutes, that truly give the feel of attending one of her seminars. Those who learn best by watching and imitating will love this feature of the book.
The book emphasizes "hands-on" lessons that take readers through techniques step by step and provide background information on each lesson. For example, you not only see in detail how to optimize GIF and JPEG images for the Web, you also get the theory behind Web-safe colors and the downsides of badly optimized images.
The author does not try to cover all the tools and features of Photoshop 5.5 and ImageReady 2.0, but rather concentrates on those features helpful in Web development. In addition to optimization, tutorials cover type and type effects, background images (including seamless tiling), transparent GIFs, image maps, sliced images, rollovers (buttons and navigational bars), and animated GIFs. You also learn how to create a Web photo gallery and how to automate a series of operations as actions or optimization settings as droplets (both of which can be used in batch processing).
The book has an airy feel with its open layout and typography separated by plenty of white space. It is so beautifully printed, the color images and screen shots practically pop out. (It should be noted that most of the screen shots are from the Macintosh platform.) This makes the book both easy to follow and a joy to look at. The graphics used in the lessons (all included on the CD-ROM) are lively and fun. And it's easy to adapt the lessons to your own artwork.
An extremely useful chapter shows how to incorporate rollovers made in ImageReady into GoLive or Dreamweaver documents. This section also demonstrates how to properly prepare images in Illustrator before importing them to ImageReady, how to export GIF animations to QuickTime, and how to convert a QuickTime movie into a GIF animation. --Angelynn Grant