Adobe Photoshop 7 One Click Wow
Book Review

Adobe Photoshop 7 One Click Wow
by Jack Davis and Linnea Dayton

Peachpit Press
90 pages, all in color
CD included with supporting files and samples
ISBN 0-321-12531-2
$29.99 US, $46.99 CN, £22.99 UK

Review by: Wynne Stevens

One Click Wow is one of those books we struggling want-to-be computer artists see in bookstores and fall in love with at first sight. The accompanying CD alone contains a smorgasbord of Photoshop styles, actions, and other effects that can make anyone look good with virtually no effort at all. Obviously true artists and Photoshop experts may look upon this with some disdain but there’s no denying that One Click Wow exemplifies software automation and productivity to the delight of the unskilled such as myself.

This book contains the tools to take a simple graphic and convert it to chiseled steel, chrome, plastic, glass, neon, wood grain, and on and on. Want a frame or special edge treatment for that photograph? How about textures, edges or photo enhancements? Need some dynamic rollovers? No problem.

The authors present the various included effects with a simple clarity that makes it possible to start experimenting immediately. Once hooked, the process is addictive and a truly great way to explore the incredibly vast range of image effects that are possible with Photoshop.

The main focus of the book is on Photoshop layer styles, various effects that can be applied or unapplied to individual or groups of layers within an image file. It starts with brief introduction describing concept and customizing in terms easily grasped by any novice. The reader is encouraged to load the styles and begin experimenting immediately and there is a tutorial for the timid.

In the course of observing how each style (and there are literally hundreds) is constructed, and how components (opacity, pattern, shadow, stroke, texture, et. al.) are mixed, one really begins to understand the power of layer styles. Through experimentation, the book’s styles can be altered and re-saved to suit any individual preference. This is where the real value lies — one has both a vast library of new presets and the means to customize based on individual needs.

But wait, there’s more! There are tons of other presets, including over 60 actions, 40 gradients, and 150 seamless patterns with full color examples of how each is rendered on a simple graphic. It’s a lot of fun and a great education for those of us who are unsophisticated in the many ways an image can be manipulated. The CD alone is worth thirty bucks — the fact that there are 90 pages of text and color examples is a bonus.

I recommend this book highly, especially to novices, as an excellent introduction to the power of Photoshop in image enhancement. Many of us have the program and don’t really know all it can do. Spend a day with this book and you’ll have a new appreciation. Definitely:

MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5

Author Jack Davis tells Book Bytes:

I want to emphasize the Wow Art Media Brush Presets and the Wow Image Fix Brush Presets — over 70 of the most mind-bogglingly useful brushes (and associated paper and canvas textures) for thoroughly exploiting the capabilities of Photoshop 7’s new Brush Engine. Those topics start on page 78 of the book.

Users of Adobe Photoshop Elements can participate in the Wow revolution by purchasing and using a companion book, entitled:

Adobe Photoshop Elements One-Click Wow!
by Jack Davis and Linnea Dayton

Peachpit Press
ISBN 0-321-10847-7, 58 pages plus companion CD loaded with images and tools
$29.99 US, $46.99 CN, £22.90 UK

In a message dated 2/16/03 1:36:05 PM, Linnea Dayton writes:

Some important differences between our two One-Click Wow books are described
below. But briefly:

  • If your readers are using Photoshop 7, then Photoshop 7 One-Click Wow
    is definitely the book to choose, perhaps even if they have already bought Elements One-Click Wow, because it has a lot more Styles and also has Tool Presets.
  • If readers are using Photoshop 6, they won’t be able to take advantage
    of the new Tool Presets on the Photoshop 7 One-Click Wow CD, but this would still be the book of choice because of the greater number of Styles.
  • If they are using Photoshop Elements, the Photoshop 7 One-Click Wow still offers more Styles, but the Elements One-Click Wow tells how to use Styles with Elements, which is a little different process than using them with the full Photoshop.In both cases, the printed book includes examples of all the Styles and
    tells how to use all the goodies supplied on the CD-ROM, including the
    tutorial files.

    Here are the differences in more detail:

    Adobe Photoshop Elements One-Click Wow! – which was the first one
    in this series – has more than 300 Layer Styles (instant stunning, practical
    effects for photos, type, or graphics) that can be used with Elements or
    Photoshop 6 or 7. It also has Recipes, which are exclusive to Elements
    (since Adobe has changed the way Recipes work in version 2 and the Wow Recipes were designed for version 1, the Recipes on our CD don’t work with Elements 2).

    Adobe Photoshop 7 One-Click Wow! has more Layer Styles – about 250
    for type and graphics and more than 75 for photos, all of which can be
    used with Photoshop 7 or 6 or with Elements. It also has 150 custom button styles for use in Photoshop 6 or 7 or ImageReady; in addition, there are 50 combined Rollover Styles, already automated for use in ImageReady. Besides more Styles, the other major difference about this book/CD package is that it takes advantage of Photoshop 7’s support for custom Tool Presets. For instance, it has more than 60 custom art-media tools for turning photos into watercolors, oils, pastels, and other media. It also has photo-retouching presets: dodge-and-burn brushes, red-eye fixers, teeth-and-eye whiteners, and skin redness removers. There are also presets for the most-often-used cropping dimensions, more than 40 Wow Gradients, and over 150 custom seamlessly tiling Patterns and Textures. There are also Wow Actions for elaborate special effects and for common image-fixing and production tasks. (The Tool Presets and many of the Actions are specific to Photoshop 7 only, and won’t work with Photoshop 6 or Elements.

    John Nemerovski
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