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InDesign FX
Illustration by John Hersey

004 Creating Long Text Shadows with Type on a Path


From:

InDesign FX

with Mike Rankin

Video: 004 Creating Long Text Shadows with Type on a Path

InDesign doesn't have a built-in feature for creating cast shadows. A regular drop shadow retains the shape of the original object. So you have to make creative use of other features to create cast shadows. One such feature is the Type on a Path option called Gravity, which can stretch and bend the shapes of letters. Here I have just a little bit of text, Big Things, and you can see that I have these nice stretched out cast shadows coming from the bottoms of the letters. Let's see how that's done. I'll go to a new page, I'll press the F key on my keyboard, and click-and-drag out a long frame. Then I'll go to the Tool panel, click-and-hold on the Type tool, and I'll select the Type on a Path tool, or I could press Shift+T. I'll go from the top-left corner. I'll click-and-drag all the way to the top-right corner and let go.
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  1. 7h 34m
    1. 000 Welcome to InDesign FX
      2m 42s
    2. 001 Blurring Objects with Drop Shadows
      6m 26s
    3. 002 Creating Interlocking Objects
      3m 46s
    4. 003 Exploring the Effects Panel
      8m 43s
    5. 004 Creating Long Text Shadows with Type on a Path
      4m 23s
    6. 005 Making Shiny Effects
      4m 46s
    7. 006 Producing Slime
      6m 22s
    8. 007 Exploring Bevel and Emboss Settings
      5m 34s
    9. 008 Exploring Inner Glow Settings
      2m 9s
    10. 009 Building Better Bevels
      3m 16s
    11. 010 Punching Holes
      4m 26s
    12. 011 Exploring Basic Feather Settings
      2m 52s
    13. 012 Exploring Directional Feather Settings
      5m 15s
    14. 013 Getting Effects into Print
      8m 10s
    15. 014 Getting Effects into Ebooks
      4m 32s
    16. 015 Simulating a Polaroid Effect
      3m 15s
    17. 016 Creating Metallic Strokes
      3m 18s
    18. 017 Exploring Inner Shadow Settings
      3m 50s
    19. 018 Exploring Drop Shadow Settings
      6m 15s
    20. 019 Simulating Multiple Strokes, Part 1
      3m 59s
    21. 020 Simulating Multiple Strokes, Part 2
      3m 29s
    22. 021 Creating Metallic Chrome Effects
      3m 56s
    23. 022 Creating Glass and Plastic Effects
      4m 49s
    24. 023 Exploring Satin Settings
      6m 57s
    25. 024 Exploring Gradient Feather Settings
      3m 51s
    26. 025 Simulating Carving and Chiseling
      6m 42s
    27. 026 Understanding Transparency Blend Space
      8m 2s
    28. 027 Drawing Extrusions, Part 1
      5m 25s
    29. 028 Drawing Concentric Shapes
      3m 17s
    30. 029 Creative Blend Mode tricks, Part 1
      5m 29s
    31. 030 Creative Blend Mode tricks, Part 2
      4m 6s
    32. 031 Drawing Star Bursts
      6m 7s
    33. 032 Scaling effects
      3m 0s
    34. 033 Learning Pathfinder Tips and Tricks
      9m 10s
    35. 034 Learning Transform Again Tips and Tricks
      6m 39s
    36. 035 Creating Cast Shadows, Part 1
      5m 27s
    37. 036 Exploring Outer Glow Settings
      6m 45s
    38. 037 Understanding Perspective Drawing
      4m 38s
    39. 038 Drawing 3D Banners
      3m 23s
    40. 039 Shearing to Create 3D Effects, Part 1
      6m 41s
    41. 040 Shearing to Create 3D Effects, Part 2
      6m 20s
    42. 041 Simulating a Ripped Background
      1m 53s
    43. 042 Creating a Breakthrough Effect
      2m 10s
    44. 043 Creating Spotlight Effects
      2m 22s
    45. 044 Backlighting an Object
      6m 8s
    46. 045 Simulating Stickers and Tape
      4m 23s
    47. 046 Creating Burnt Edges
      6m 26s
    48. 047 Creating Seamless Patterns
      8m 39s
    49. 048 Using Scripts to Create New Shapes
      6m 40s
    50. 049 Simulating Liquid
      2m 48s
    51. 050 Creating Editable Knockout Text
      5m 52s
    52. 051 Making Peeling Stickers
      5m 42s
    53. 052 Tips for Text Stroke Effects
      6m 44s
    54. 053 Creating 3D arrows
      3m 37s
    55. 054 Creating personal buttons
      4m 22s
    56. 055 Simulating leather with bevel and emboss
      4m 17s
    57. 056 Creating the effect of a magnifying glass
      4m 20s
    58. 057 Simulating a college notebook
      6m 11s
    59. 058 Using multiple effects to create plastic type
      3m 58s
    60. 059 Achieving a rough-hewn look
      2m 28s
    61. 060 Creating speech bubbles
      2m 41s
    62. 061 Creating buttons for interaction
      4m 37s
    63. 062 Creating wraparound headings
      5m 46s
    64. 063 Creating picture frames
      3m 24s
    65. 064 Customizing stroke styles
      5m 19s
    66. 065 Creating photo corners
      3m 44s
    67. 066 Making new shadow effects
      3m 19s
    68. 067 Making 3D type
      3m 15s
    69. 068 Making a 3D object
      5m 13s
    70. 069 Making translucent objects
      3m 10s
    71. 070 Mocking up a film strip
      4m 53s
    72. 071 Showing graphics as tiles
      3m 41s
    73. 072 Simulating chalk
      3m 7s
    74. 073 Using drop- and inner-shadows to create a cutout effect
      4m 30s
    75. 074 Applying multiple strokes with layers
      7m 1s
    76. 075 Enhancing design with skewed text
      3m 59s
    77. 076 Creating and revealing hidden objects
      3m 33s
    78. 077 Setting text vertically
      2m 51s
    79. 078 Achieving a developing Polaroid effect
      3m 38s
    80. 079 Creating ornamental frames
      5m 54s
    81. 080 Framing photos in letters
      4m 19s
    82. 081 Creating effects with paragraph rules
      3m 30s
    83. 082 Putting curved shadows on paper
      2m 40s
    84. 083 Building a puzzle
      2m 16s
    85. 084 Applying a gradient to text
      2m 2s
    86. 085 Creating a theater marquee
      4m 38s
    87. 086 Centering type on a curve
      2m 33s
    88. 087 Creating looks without fill
      2m 31s
    89. 088 Creating spiral patters from random lines
      3m 11s
    90. 089 Creating highlights at top and bottom
      3m 24s
    91. 090 Combining stroke styles
      2m 11s
    92. 091 Making a bottle cap
      1m 47s
    93. 092 Creating a 3D bevel effect behind a cover
      3m 30s
    94. 094 Making trading cards
      4m 43s
    95. 093 Creating custom frames
      2m 11s
    96. 095 Revolving an item around an object
      2m 44s
    97. 096 Creating old-fashioned spotlights
      2m 12s
    98. 097 Creating a rust effect
      1m 44s
    99. 098 Creating sparkle
      1m 54s
    100. 099 Double beveling text
      2m 24s
    101. 100 Creating a 3D pocket with bevel and gradient
      3m 2s
    102. 101 Creating metallic text
      3m 7s
    103. 102 Creating stained glass
      2m 53s
    104. 103 Bobbling a photograph
      4m 47s
    105. 104 Creating a lighted sign
      3m 9s

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InDesign FX
7h 34m Intermediate Aug 04, 2011 Updated Aug 01, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

InDesign FX is a collection of self-contained effects projects designed to be completed in ten minutes or less. Taught by expert Mike Rankin, the series explores every aspect of InDesign's graphic effects capabilities through real-world examples, all without relying on Photoshop or Illustrator. The intent is to reveal the quick, practical, and sometimes surprising application of InDesign effects to creative projects.

Subjects:
Design Design Techniques
Software:
InDesign
Author:
Mike Rankin

004 Creating Long Text Shadows with Type on a Path

InDesign doesn't have a built-in feature for creating cast shadows. A regular drop shadow retains the shape of the original object. So you have to make creative use of other features to create cast shadows. One such feature is the Type on a Path option called Gravity, which can stretch and bend the shapes of letters. Here I have just a little bit of text, Big Things, and you can see that I have these nice stretched out cast shadows coming from the bottoms of the letters. Let's see how that's done. I'll go to a new page, I'll press the F key on my keyboard, and click-and-drag out a long frame. Then I'll go to the Tool panel, click-and-hold on the Type tool, and I'll select the Type on a Path tool, or I could press Shift+T. I'll go from the top-left corner. I'll click-and-drag all the way to the top-right corner and let go.

So now I have Type on a Path applied to this frame. Let's put some words in. I'll just type in those same words, Big Things. I'll select it all and center it, and I'm going to switch my font from Minion Pro to Myriad. It's really small right now so I'm going to increase the point size from 12 pixels to 100 pixels, and that's looking pretty good. Since I'm going to reflect this type I'm going to flip it. I need to do a little work to make sure that all the letters line up exactly on the baseline.

Right now it looks like they're not. So I'm going to zoom in and see who is aligned on the baseline and who isn't. The B and the I look pretty good. The G is hovering a little bit underneath the baseline. So I want that to sit exactly on the same line as the I and the T here. so I'm going to click and select it, and then in the Control panel I'm going to go up to my baseline shift and shift it up just a little bit, maybe just 1 pixel. Deselect, switch to my Selection tool and check it, and that's going to be good enough.

Again, we're zoomed in really close here, so we're going to see any little defect in the baseline alignment. The G and the S over here are both sticking under the baseline. So I'm going to select both of them, and again add 1 pixel of baseline shift there. Now everybody should be sitting on the same line, so when I flip the type it will all align perfectly. Switch to my Selection tool, grab the frame, and with the reference point at the top-center I'm going to hold the Option or Alt key on my keyboard and click on the Flip Vertical button.

Now I have my flipped copy of my type that's going to serve as the cast shadow. Now I don't want it to be 100% black; I'd like it to be gray. So I'll go to my Swatches panel and select my Formatting Effects Type, and instead of a Tint of 100% we'll reduce that down to say 40% and say OK. Now I'll switch to my Formatting Effects Container so I can apply an effect to this. The effect I want to apply is a Gradient Feather. I want to fade this shadow out so it's opaque where it touches the text and fades out to invisible here.

And that's why I had to click on Formatting Effects Container. I'll stash the Swatches panel, I'll press Shift+G on my keyboard to get my Gradient Feather tool, and I'll click- and-drag from somewhere around the center of the frame downward to fade out my cast shadow. That's looking a little too subtle so I'll do that again. That's looking better. Now let's apply that Type on a Path Gravity option to apply some skew and stretch these letters out. So with the frame selected, I'll go to the Type menu, choose Type on a Path > Options, and change the effect from Rainbow to Gravity and click OK.

Now that's looking pretty good, but if I'd like to change the amount of Skew I can do that easily. I'll switch to my Selection tool by pressing the V key on my keyboard and if I reshape this frame by clicking-and- dragging this control point, I can reshape the Gravity option on the toe on a path like so. If I want type that's not skewed very much, I can make the frame taller, or if I want to skew it way out I can make it really short. It's up to me. So there I have my nice cast shadow courtesy of the Gravity option for Type on a Path.

So you can create dramatic cast shadows for text if you make type on a path, flip it, and then apply the Gravity option to size and shape the shadow any way you wish.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about InDesign FX.


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Q: For some movies, why are there both INDD and IDML versions of the exercise files?
A: For CS4 and older versions of InDesign, please use the IDML exercise files.
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