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Getting this book into your hands took not only the talents of a writing consortium, but also the skills and patience of the publishing professionals at Sams Publishing and the support of many throughout the graphics industry.

I want to thank all of them from the bottom of my heart:

  • First, I want to thank Betsy Brown, acquisitions editor, for moral support (directed toward a guy who has no morals, mind you :)), a string of critical back-and-forths almost every other day over the telly and email—which kept this book organized along the road from idea to printed page—and mostly for allowing us to show each other that we're human, we catch colds, we get tired sometimes, we fall off the roof hanging Christmas ornaments. Betsy, thanks. I mean it.

  • Thanks to Lorna Gentry, development editor, for letting me tell the story my way. The Inside Photoshop series is FAR from being a “formula” book, and it's always eggshells you walk on when you break conventions and rules. Thanks for being a “good egg” (OUCH!), Lorna.

  • A thousand thanks to Andy Beaster for keeping the author reviews a'comin' in a timely, easy-to-digest fashion.

  • Thank you and a tip o' the hat to Chuck Hutchinson, copy editor, who kept my pronouns in a row and organized my gerunds, and actually thought a picture or two in the book were funny! Thanks, Chuck.

  • Thanks to Marc Pawliger and Chris Cox at Adobe Systems for answering all my questions, and then some, during the beta cycle. Also thanks to John Nack, for letting us participate in the creation of this product through suggestions and the beta cycle channels. Special thanks to Adobe Systems Beta Coordinators Le Dang-Ho and Stacey Strehlow, for accommodating our special needs during the writing of this book. You folks were incredibly responsive and helpful. We needed that in order to write this book.

  • Thanks to my wife, my friend, and my Talent Liaison (or more appropriately, Talent Wrangler—she handled the mail and the calls so I could write). Barbara, we have a long history with Pearson, and I know we have a longer one with each other. Thank you, mate.

  • Thanks to Wendy Biss for her chapter on home renovations. This was a student project that grew into a chapter under her skilled hands. Thank you, Wendy!

  • Thanks to Sue Messruther for the cover photo of the pelicans!

  • Thanks to Atlas at Spiral Graphics for allowing us to include a demo version of Genetica on the companion CD.

  • A million thanks to Don McClure at Digital Element for allowing us to include Verdant and Aurora 2.

  • Thanks to Eric Wijngaard at Shinycore for allowing us to include Path Styler.

  • Thanks to Jan Esmann for letting us include the demo to Power Retouche.

  • Many, many thanks to Mark Goodall of Xara, Ltd. Mark made it possible at the last moment for Windows users to get a trial edition of Xara X on the companion CD (no slight here; it's a Windows-only program). See the ad in the back of the book for an incredibly low-priced offer on a program I have been using for five years to get stuff like book covers and annotations and charts and technical drawings done. And I've done fun stuff, too, that's on the gallery at www.xara.com. Mark, thank you for listening to me, and I realize that you've probably lost huge clumps of hair as a result of reading email from me that started out with the sentence, “Mark, wouldn't it be neat if Xara did.…” You and Kate Moir have been the most responsive business contacts I've ever had the privilege to know. Thank you both.

  • Thanks to technical editors Doug Nelson and Kate Binder for their support of the chapters Mara did not handle. You people kept it tight, informative, and more than anything, correct for our readers. I'd tip my hat to you, except it's a straw summer hat that got stains on it from mowing the lawn.

  • Thanks go to Software Specialist Dan Scherf for mastering a CD that is accurate, despite how complex we made it for you!

  • Thanks to Bill Sawyer for the use of his image in this book; a million thanks to our families and friends for putting up with having a camera stuck in their faces; and particular thanks to Craig, Drew, Julian, Jake, Josh, and everyone else who showed up at the birthday party so we could document it.

  • Thanks to Mara Zebest, Gary Kubicek, Dave Huss, and Christian Verhoeven for their invaluable contributions to this book. Dear reader, these ladies and gentlemen have, pardon the phrase, really busted to bring to the world information because they love the arts or communication and content creation, and they also love to share.

Mara Zebest would like to thank her friends and family members for their support and encouragement. I would like to give a special thanks to my kids, David and Leah, who constantly keep it real (for me) with their never-ending supply of laundry and their endearing personalities. I would also like to thank my friend and neighbor, Valerie Myers, who has taken the time to listen to my daily tales and has helped me through my frustrations and cheered me on through my successes. And a big thank you to Robert Stanley, an infinitely wonderful and extraordinary person, who has always been by my side with encouragement and has inspired me to think outside the box on many occasions.

Gary Kubicek thanks his father, Bill Kubicek, for instilling in him a love for reading. Dad, I'm glad that I could make you proud by doing what you have always wanted to do—write a book. Well, Dad, this is the eighth book I've contributed to!

Gary also thanks Mary Ellen Sims for signing a model release for a photo that I shot way back in 1995. Who knew that you'd be in two Photoshop books! Thanks for…um, standing around in the Everson Museum! Gary also thanks Candace and Mike at the local Target store for providing a lot of answers to a lot of questions that helped make Chapter 11, “Working with Picture CD Pictures,” an informative chapter. Thanks, guys!

Christian Verhoeven would like to thank his wife Gracianne, who agreed to be a model in the book. Her viewpoint on my work is particularly noticeable and pushes me to go always further in my work. I thank her for sharing all my fantasies and for never losing patience when faced with my mood swings!

A very special thanks to Gary David Bouton who, with great generosity and incredible confidence, allowed me to express myself in his book. In him, I also found a friend, which is more and more rare in this world of hard competition and jealousy.

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