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035 Creating Cast Shadows, Part 1

From: InDesign FX

Video: 035 Creating Cast Shadows, Part 1

To create cast shadows or long shadows from a low light-source in InDesign, you kind of have to put on your thinking cap. There's no automatic cast shadow effect. Only drop shadows, which always mirror the exact shape of the original object. But we can create a cast shadow by combining other transparency features. In this case, we'll take an object and apply a standard drop shadow and we'll use blending modes to make that object invisible but still keep its shadow visible. Finally, we'll stretch the invisible object and with it its shadow. It sounds more complicated than it is in reality and it's totally worth the effort.

035 Creating Cast Shadows, Part 1

To create cast shadows or long shadows from a low light-source in InDesign, you kind of have to put on your thinking cap. There's no automatic cast shadow effect. Only drop shadows, which always mirror the exact shape of the original object. But we can create a cast shadow by combining other transparency features. In this case, we'll take an object and apply a standard drop shadow and we'll use blending modes to make that object invisible but still keep its shadow visible. Finally, we'll stretch the invisible object and with it its shadow. It sounds more complicated than it is in reality and it's totally worth the effort.

Once you get the hang of this technique, you can create shadows of any shape or size that you want. So here I have some text that I've applied my cast shadow effect to and if I select it and move it, you can actually see that it's a completely independent object. I can do anything that I want to with this. I did the same to these sunglasses that I drew in InDesign. Let's see how I did that. So I'll go to another page and here I have my text. I'm going to create a copy of this text and I'm going to paste it in place. Command+Shift+Option+V or Ctrl+Shift +Alt+V right on top of the old one.

Now I just want plain text with no effects, just filled with Paper. So I'll go to my Swatches panel, target my yext formatting. I'll set my stroke to None and my fill to Paper. I'll select Formatting Affects Container and I'll go to my Effects panel and I want to clear this beveling that's been applied. So I'm going to click on the Clear All Effects button down at the bottom. So now I just have plain paper-filled text. I'm going to double-click on the Object level or I could've also double-clicked on the Text level in this case.

It doesn't matter, and I'm going to set my transparency blending mode from Normal to Multiply. That makes that text disappear again because it was filled with Paper, and Paper set to Multiply just turns invisible. But it's still there and it's still 100% opaque. So if I apply a drop shadow now, the drop shadow is going to appear. With my Drop Shadow turned on, I'm going to uncheck this setting, Object Knocks Out Shadow. Now I can see the whole drop shadow. I'm going to check this setting, Shadow Honors Other Effects, and this is going to become key for creating that cast effect where we want to use the Shear command and a Gradient Feather to stretch out that shadow.

So Object Knocks Out Shadow is off, Shadow Honors Other Effects is on, and I could add a little bit of noise by selecting the Noise and tapping the up arrow key on my keyboard to just make the shadow a little bit more realistic. Now I want the shadow exactly behind the original text. So I'm going to change this Distance setting to 0, and I'll click OK. Now I have my shadow. Again, I can move it out of the way and see I have this completely independent object that just acts like a shadow. I'm going to undo to put that back where it was. I want to place it behind my text.

So I'll choose Object > Arrange > Send to Back. Now to create that cast effect, I'm going to shear it. So first I'll check in my Control panel and make sure that the reference point is set to the bottom-center. Then I'll go over to my Shear Angle, I'll click to highlight that, and then I'll hold down the Shift key, and press the up arrow key a few times on my keyboard to start shearing this shadow out into the right. Tap, tap, tap, and now we can see that long cast shadow effect being created. Now, the next thing I want to do is actually shorten this shadow a little bit.

I don't want it exactly as tall as the original text. So I'm going to hold down the Command or Ctrl key on my keyboard and click-and-drag the top control point. Drag it down a bit, let go, I'll deselect. Now that's a nice effect. I feel like the text is standing up straight on a surface that this cast shadow is cast upon. Now the next thing I want to do is to fade out the cast shadow with the Gradient Feather tool. The reason I want to do this is because this shadow shouldn't be as far away from the text as it is, right where it touches the text. So I'm going to select this object and get my Gradient Feather tool by pressing Shift+G on my keyboard.

I'm going to click-and-drag right along the shear angle to go from opaque to transparent. Click-and-drag, let go, and I'll deselect, and there you can see I have a nice cast shadow effect. I'm going to do the same thing to these sunglasses. So I'll press the V key on my keyboard to get my Selection tool, I'm going to Shift+Click to select both of the lenses, I'll copy them, and paste them in place. So now I have another copy that I'm going to create the same shadow effect with. For these, I've actually created an object style to make this as quick and painless as possible.

You can include all those things like the fill and the transparency blending mode and even the Gradient Feather all in an object style to apply these cast shadow effects almost instantly. So with the sunglass lenses selected, I'll click on Cast Shadow Object to apply the object style. Now it's sitting on top of the original sunglasses, so I want to send that behind them. I'll go Object > Arrange > Send to Back, and I'll apply that same kind of shearing that I did to the text. I'll select my Shear Angle, hold down the Shift key, and tap the up arrow key a few times.

I've sheared out the shadow. Now again, I'm going to shorten it a little bit by holding the Command or Ctrl key and click-and-drag this top control point, drag it down, and then deselect. There I have my nice cast shadow effect on both my text and my sunglasses. So by applying the Multiply blending mode to an object filled with Paper, we were able to hide that object while keeping its shadow visible. This powerful technique frees you from the limits on the shape and size of standard InDesign drop shadows and allows you to make a cast shadow in any shape or size you want.

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This video is part of

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InDesign FX

109 video lessons · 37530 viewers

Mike Rankin
Author

 
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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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