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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.
The Basic Feather effect gives you the ability to fade an object into the background, creating a soft transition instead of sharp edges. Perfect focus can sometimes make things look fake, so Basic Feather is great for making objects seem a little more real and a littlest less digital. You can control the shape and width of the Feather and also apply noise to make a transition a little more realistic. Let's see how Basic Feather works. Here I have a simple document with one placed photo of some flowers and one text frame with the words Basic Feather in it.
I am going to start by creating a second window, so I can see the effect better as I apply it, so I will choose Window > Arrange > New Window, and I'll drag the divider over to the left. So I have one big window and one small window. I will select the picture, and then I'll choose Effects and double click at the object level, and click on Basic Feather. This way by having two windows, I can see the Feather effect without the frame edges highlighted.
So I will increase the Feather Width, to see it fade into the background from the edges. I can apply Choke to make the Feather disappear and only focus on the parts of the flower that are 100% opaque, and at 100% Choke, I only see the parts of the image that are 100% opaque and the Feather is completely hidden. Turn the Choke off. And I have three different options for corners. Sharp, Rounded, and Diffused. Diffused gives me the softest effect blending the photo into the background, Rounded is a little more defined shape with rounded corners, and Sharp shows the photo all the way into the corners.
I can also add little bit of noise to randomize the effect and help blend to fade into the background, or I can use a whole bunch of noise for some kind of a special effect. All right so change the noise back to zero, and click OK, and there is a Basic Feather. Now, I can also apply Basic Feather to text. I will select the text frame, open the Effects dialog box, and click on Basic Feather again. It can be a challenge in some cases to apply Basic Feather to text because when I have small parts of the type like serifs and the other letter shapes, the effect can sometimes make the letters just disappear.
Especially if I choose a corner effect like Rounded. THat can make it entirely disappear. I will reduce the Feather Width to bring the letters back. But still you can see that I've broken up the letter shapes here with the effect. So I am going to cancel out of that. So even though it's a challenge to use Basic Feather on small shapes like text, you can get a lot of mileage out of it just using it on regular InDesign shapes and frames. With Basic Feather you can blend the edges of an object into its background, fading all the sides at once.
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