This is not a book for Photoshop beginners, and it makes no attempt to teach that package. Intermediate or advanced users who want to learn a variety of artistic graphics techniques should find Studio Secrets an eye opener.
The authors say they approached 20 of the "world's leading digital artists" whose work they admire, and asked for explanations, tips, samples, etc. (Curiously, it seems that 19 of the world's 20 leading digital artists live in the US. As do the authors. Coincidence? An excess of patriotism? You decide.) The result is some really extraordinary work that reveals just how much more this graphics software can do than most users usually ask of it. The artists walk you through each technique, explaining and offering hints and tips along the way.
The book is crammed with colour illustrations, and one aspect of the layout that I particularly like is the practice of assigning each graphic a simple identifying number and then printing that number in colour in the text. If something catches your eye, you can quickly scan the text for its reference number to read about it.
Under 'General Techniques' are Spot-Color Separations, Creating Budget 3D Characters, and Special Type Effects, plus more. 'Specific Applications & The Web' include Creative QuickTime Virtual Reality, Creating Images for the Web, Printing Fine Art, and Buttons, Buttons, Buttons, plus more. There are 20 chapters in all, each devoted to one artist and his/her particular expertise. The Mac/PC CD-ROM contains more samples, interviews, and QuickTime movies.
If you're interested in taking Photoshop off the computer and into the art gallery, or just adding some very cool effects to your graphics, check out Studio Secrets.