Like many of the other reviewers here, I had trouble with the CD, but only with the very end of the first tutorial, which addresses the most fundamental aspects of Painter's tools, i.e., their location and function. I didn't consider this much of a loss because the same subject matter is well covered in the first chapter of the book. (I should probably add that familiarity with Photoshop is a leg-up when learning about Painter X tools.) As for the other tutorials on the CD - they functioned perfectly and are excellent. Martin Addison's demonstrations are straightforward and informative, and his vocal commentary is personable and pleasant.
I love photography, and the digital age has made computerized manipulation of photos almost as much fun as taking the pictures. Adobe Photoshop is indispensable - a powerful, fabulous, wonderful program - but there are painterly effects that I've never been able to achieve with it, which is the reason I became interested Corel Painter. Although fooling around and experimenting with Painter made it obvious that it was an exquisite program, I just couldn't figure out how to make it work for me. Most of the books about using Painter are not structured enough to learn the program "from scratch," probably because most people who buy Painter are artists, intuitive by nature and already familiar with the elements of painting and drawing. I am not an artist. I can do primitive sketches, and I have a decent eye for color and compostion, but that's where my skill level ends. This book is perfect for me. Mr. Addison explains and demonstrates Painter X's functions in a structured enough way to help people like me learn the basics of the program, and after no more than a few short hours of practice, I've already begun to see some of Painter X's possibilities that artists probably sense immediately. Thanks to the organized approach of this book,I know without doubt that I'm going to have more fun than ever enhancing and manipulating my photographs. (An aside: I've enjoyed every Focal Press book I've ever bought. They're beautifully executed and have proved so useful that I've dog-eared most of them.)
I'm not giving "Painter X for Photographers" 5 stars because of the glitch in the CD, but for anyone who wants to de-mystify Painter X and use it to transform photographs into artistic renderings, this book is a great place to start.