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InDesign FX
Illustration by John Hersey

013 Getting Effects into Print


From:

InDesign FX

with Mike Rankin

Video: 013 Getting Effects into Print

You've taken the time and effort to learn how to make awesome effects in InDesign. You've carefully crafted beautiful designs, but all of that work will be wasted if you can't actually reproduce those effects in your output. The good news is you can produce high quality print output from InDesign's effects. You just have to understand some things about transparency and how it fits into your workflow. For starters, the most important piece of advice I'd give anyone concerned with how their effects will look in print is to get in touch with your printer. Contact the customer service rep and have a conversation. Ask specific questions and keep the responses on hand for reference.
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  1. 8h 7m
    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
    106. 105 Creating a blue ribbon NEW
      12m 58s
    107. 106 Putting items on a shelf NEW
      6m 11s
    108. 107 Creating a shredded-document effect NEW
      4m 12s
    109. 108 Simulating a train-station display board NEW
      9m 54s

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InDesign FX
8h 7m Intermediate Aug 04, 2011 Updated Jul 08, 2014

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

013 Getting Effects into Print

You've taken the time and effort to learn how to make awesome effects in InDesign. You've carefully crafted beautiful designs, but all of that work will be wasted if you can't actually reproduce those effects in your output. The good news is you can produce high quality print output from InDesign's effects. You just have to understand some things about transparency and how it fits into your workflow. For starters, the most important piece of advice I'd give anyone concerned with how their effects will look in print is to get in touch with your printer. Contact the customer service rep and have a conversation. Ask specific questions and keep the responses on hand for reference.

You should ask if they have PDF presets, preflight profiles, or color profiles that you should be using. Some printers will give you a set of best practices to follow when preparing documents for their presses. If these are available to you, use them. It's much easier to set things up right initially so you get what you want the first time than it is to try to fix things after some thing has gone wrong and to figure out whose fault it was. Submit samples and review the results in either hard or soft proofs. Unless you really know your way around color management, don't rely on output from your devices as proofs.

What you see on screen and out of your desktop printer may not reflect how something will come out on press. I'd also advise you to check out Adobe's materials on transparency. You can download the Adobe guide to transparency and print production from their web site. All that said, you do have a great deal of control over how your effects will print. The two most important issues are what is your transparency blend space and what kind of PDF are you outputting? If your document uses RGB Blend Space, everything on spreads containing transparency will be converted to the document's working RGB space.

You won't likely see much of a change on the page due to RGB's larger color gamut. Let me show you. So here I have a document with some flowers and I've used all the different blending modes to blend a blue swatch with the flowers and I also have a page with some RGB swatches and an RGB placed Photoshop file and which transparency blend space I use is going to greatly affect how these swatches come out in print. So first I will check my transparency blend space. I will go to my Edit menu and choose Transparency Blend Space and I am using Document RGB.

So I am going to introduce some transparency into this page by selecting the black swatch and going to my Effects panel and I'll just reduce its opacity from 100% to 99%. And I don't see any change at all really and that's to be expected. These are RGB swatches and I am using an RGB blend space. So all the colors fit but what if I change my blend space? I'll choose Edit > Transparency Blend Space > Document CMYK and now I will introduce some transparency to the spread, and I see a pretty dramatic change.

That's because InDesign is now on-the- fly converting these colors to CMYK to blend them and I can see my reds are getting dulled and dark and my greens and so forth. I am seeing a big change. So your transparency blend space will make a big difference in your print output. So given that larger color gamut, you may think that using RGB blend space is always the way to go, but some caution is advised. If you output to CMYK, everything on the spread containing transparency will have been converted to RGB first and then to CMYK.

Now for many colors this may not produce any noticeable color shift, but there is a drawback and that is black. Black text will be converted like everything else and in the PDF it'll be 4-color black. 4-color blacks especially on small text are to be avoided because any mis-registration on press will be noticeable. There are prepress tools that will help you fix rich black text. For example, you could use Acrobat Professional's Convert Colors tool. But if you don't have a strategy for dealing with rich black text, you might want to avoid RGB blend space.

The second big issue after Blend Space is flattening. If you output to PDF 1.4, which is Acrobat 5 or higher, transparency is not flattened. Let's look at this in the Export dialog box. So I will export this document to a PDF and I'll choose Print and I can choose a compatibility. Here I have Acrobat 5. Now if I output Acrobat 5 or any of these higher standards, I will have live transparency in my PDF, but if I go to Acrobat 4 or PDF 1.3, this is going to flatten my transparency and flatten my effects.

And in my Advanced tab, I can see there's a transparency flattener that's going to be used. I can choose from the Preset menu. There are three choices, Low, Medium and High, and we will look at these in a second. But it's something to be aware of. If you can deliver unflattened transparency, there are a lot of advantages. Your PDFs will be smaller in size and then the resolution of your effects can be set at output time. So your print service provider can actually target the resolution of those effects to their output devices, but if you have to flatten transparency in InDesign then that responsibility is yours.

So let's look at those flattener presets. I will go to the Edit menu and choose Transparency Flattener Presets, and here's Low, Medium, and High resolution. I will just click on High and click on New so I can see the settings. And first we have Raster/Vector Balance. So when InDesign mixes objects due to changes in opacity or blending mode, it chops them up into small pieces and it can decide whether to rasterize a region or to keep it as vectors and this slider controls how much of your document will be basically converted into a picture, be rasterized, or will stay as paths, become vectors.

You can also choose resolution for Text and Line Art and you can set this resolution, Gradient and Mesh, and this is really important when it comes to your effects. The Gradient and Mesh Resolution is the resolution that your transparency effects will be output at in flattened PDF. So those drop shadows and bevels, those regions where you've applied a blending mode other than normal or reduced opacity, this is the resolution they are going to be output at. So in this example, it's 300 PPI. So, if I use that high quality PDF preset, it uses this high-resolution transparency flattener preset and my effects will be output at 300 PPI.

Now there is a couple of settings for converting text and strokes to outlines and you might wonder why would I want to force convert text all to outlines. Well, I'll show you. We will cancel out of these dialog boxes and I'll go back to the first page of my document and here I have the flower with all the different blending modes. Now if I choose from the Window menu, Output > Flattener Preview, I can see which regions of the page are going to be affected by transparency flattening. I will choose from the Highlight menu and I'll choose All Affected Objects.

And right now I can see where I have the 15 blending modes other than normal. They are highlighted in red. So they're going to be flattened, but these areas up here are unflattened, they are unaffected. But what if I take the large flower and I apply an effect to it? So I'll give it a huge Outer Glow of, say, 30 pixels. I'll go back to the flattener preview and refresh my highlight and now look at my text. The first two lines of my text and then this little attribution down here are now highlighted in red.

So InDesign is telling me that these are going to be affected by transparency flattening. They could either be rasterized or they could be converted to outlines. Now in either case, I am not too happy about that. I like to avoid it. In most cases, there's an easy solution to this problem and you just click on the text frame itself and choose Object > Arrange > Bring to Front. I will refresh the flattener and now I can see the text is no longer in red. So it's sitting above the flattening and it's not going to be converted to outlines or rasterized.

But if this was on a lower layer than the picture of the flower with the Outer Glow, I couldn't exactly bring it above. so it would still be involved in the flattening and this is what that's setting was for in the transparency flattener. I could force all the text to be converted to outlines so at least it has a consistent look in my text. It wouldn't look like some letters were thicker than others. If your layouts are destined for print, it's important that you understand how to make your effects print the way you want them to. Use the Flattener Preview to avoid things like rasterized text and don't flatten transparency unless you need to.

Talk to your printer and test your files so you know in advance that you'll get quality results.

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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