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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.
Hi! I am Mike Rankin and welcome to this week's InDesign effect. Like bumper stickers and t-shirts, buttons can allow you to make a personal statement without even opening your mouth. You can also make a personal statement in your designs by adding buttons you make from scratch in InDesign, and you might be surprised at just how realistic the results can be, using a combination of Bevel & Emboss and Drop Shadow. So here in my document I have a photo of a backpack and I've created a button saying I Love FX, in InDesign. So let's see how we made that. I'll go to the second page of the document where I just have the photograph of the backpack, and I have a text frame here saying I Love FX.
So to start drawing the button, I'm going to press the L key on my keyboard to get my Ellipse tool, I'll click on top of the backpack, and I'm going to create a circle with these dimensions; 120 pixels in width and height. I'll click OK, I'll press Shift+X on my keyboard to exchange the stroke and fill, so now I have a fill of black and no stroke, and I'll change that fill from Black to Paper. I'll switch to my Selection tool and move my text frame over the Ellipse, move it into place and choose Object > Arrange > Bring to Front.
Now I will select that Ellipse, I'll copy it and press Command+Shift+Option+V or Ctrl+Shift+Alt+V on the PC to paste it in place, and now I'll move it over to the left and we're going to change the fill from white to 50% black, and this is going to help with the effect that we're creating. In order for this button effect to work, I have to check the Transparency Blend Space in this document. So I'll go to the Edit menu and check Transparency Blend Space > Document RGB. The effect that I'm going to use here depends on the document using Document RGB blend space.
When InDesign blends colors using transparency effects, it needs a common color space in which to blend those colors, and every document is either set to Document CMYK or Document RGB. If your document was set up to use CMYK blend space, you need to understand that this can affect the colors on all your spreads that have transparency. So before you change that blend space, you need to do a little research about that setting. If you want to know more about this I recommend you watch my video in the InDesign FX series called Getting Effects into Print. So for this document, it's going to be set to Document RGB, and now I'll go to the Effects panel, and I'll apply Bevel and Emboss.
I'll keep the Style at Inner Bevel, the Technique at Smooth, and the Direction at Up. I'll keep the Size at 7 pixels, but I'm going to soften it a little bit, say 3 pixels. I'll keep the Depth at 100%. And for the Shading, I'm going to change the Angle of the light source from 120 degrees to 90 degrees, so the light is coming straight down from above, and I'll increase the Altitude setting from 30 degrees to 70 degrees. By increasing the Altitude, I lighten the Shadow area and I intensify the highlight, making for a more shiny effect.
I'll keep the Highlight at 75% Opacity, and I'll actually increase the Opacity of the Shadow all the way to 100%, and I'll add a Drop Shadow. I'll decrease the distance of the Drop Shadow down to 3 pixels, and I'll make that Angle match the angle that I used for the Bevel and Emboss; so 90 degrees. So I have a consistent lighting effect on this button and I'll click OK. Now we need to change the blending mode that's set to this object. Right now it's set to the Normal blending mode, but I want to switch it to Hard Light. When I do that, the 50% gray disappears.
So for the Hard Light Blending mode, 50% gray is a neutral color, meaning it disappears when you apply Hard Light, but shadows and highlights that are lighter and darker than 50% gray remain. And this is key for making shiny transparent effects like we want on our button. If I zoom in right now, I can see the shadow, but I can't really see the highlight because the button was filled with white. So what I want to do is to go to the Swatches panel, target the fill of this object, and make it a little bit darker than that 50% gray. So I'll just tap the up-arrow key on my keyboard a few times just to bring a little bit of gray there, and now I can see the highlight as well as the shadow.
I'll zoom back out and see the completed effect. The button effect is just one of many uses for the Hard Light blending mode when making effects. The key is to use Hard Light on an object filled with the neutral or near neutral gray overlaid on top of the background, and that's what gives this button effect its dimensionality and its personality. I'm Mike Rankin and I'll be back in two weeks. Thanks for watching!
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