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Computer Graphics Bibles

Books on the latest software programs for technology directors and IT staff

High school instructor Javier Rabelo uses several computer literature books as a secondary resource to help teach computer graphics tips to his students in HyperMedia I and HyperMedia II classes.

The secondary resource comes in handy when the software given the Northern Valley Regional-Demarest (N.J.) High School teacher can't finish the job. "Books are a great resource if you have a clue as to how software should work," Rabelo says. "If you know how to animate in Bryce, if you want to do the same animation in another program, Cinema 4D, you can take the prior knowledge of Bryce and apply it to Cinema 4D."

He says he often uses the Bible series published by John Wiley & Sons Inc., such as Photoshop Bible and Mac OS Bible. The students in HyperMedia I learn about space, time and layering, such as superimposing layers for a 3D effect, which are critical to understanding real multimedia, he says. In his advanced class, students learn the "nitty gritty of technical aspects of software," Rabelo says. Students apply their knowledge to create a simple movie, complete with storyboards and hand-painted frames.

Adobe Photoshop 7: Classroom in a Book

Adobe Press $45.00

As part of a best-selling series of hands-on software training workbooks, this book helps teach the features of Adobe software quickly. It offers an official training series from Adobe and was developed with the support of Adobe product experts. The book also includes 18 lessons, covering the basic steps of Adobe Photoshop and other tips and techniques to help a student become a Photoshop expert.

Macromedia Fireworks MX: Training from the Source

Macromedia Press $44.99

With tips and a checklist of what the reader will learn, this book shows step-by-step how to create a Web site in Macromedia Fireworks MX. Students can build several pages and then export them as HTML files that can be opened and edited in Dreamweaver MX. An enclosed CD-ROM has files to complete the projects. It also explains how to use the bitmap tools in Fireworks to edit an image; use vector tools to draw shapes and combine simple shapes to create complex objects; and add pop-up menus.

Real World: Bryce 4

Peachpit Press $54.99

In 940 pages, this books focuses on landscape generation and atmospheric effects combined with an intuitive interface. With this latest version, including dozens of instructive and colorful illustrations, digital artists can create realistic and surrealistic scenes. It's packed with detailed tutorials and comprehensive practical advice and a CD-ROM. A student can use the new Sky Lab to add realism to clouds, shadows, fog, rainbows and comets.

Peachpit also offers Macromedia Dreamweaver MX: HOT--Hands-On Training. HOT teaches by creating real-world examples and providing concrete training that goes beyond theory. It teaches Dreamweaver MX through proven classroom exercises that show how to build complete Web pages. It also includes detailed graphics as well as a CD-ROM with guided exercises, QuickTime movies, and a 30-day trail version of Dreamweaver MX.

Digital Multimedia

John Wiley & Sons Ltd. $55.00

For the more experienced student, this book touts itself as "simply the best source of technical information and practical know-how on manipulating, combining and delivering digital multimedia content." Chapters are devoted to each media type, such as images and animation, and describes how each is represented in digital form. The book then delves into how to work when media are combined into multimedia. Illustrations show how to manipulate images and 3D graphics.