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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'm Mike Rankin and welcome to this week's InDesign effect. I often say that bevel and emboss is the king of InDesign effects in my opinion. There is just so many different things you can do with the shadows and highlights it creates. One example is to use it to simulate real embossing on a surface where you might expect it, like a leather book cover, and if you are careful to match the real shadows and highlights, your effect will blend right in and no one will be able to tell the difference between what's leather and what's InDesign. So here we have our book cover and it's a real photograph of a book cover, but these objects, the text frame and the frame underneath are InDesign objects.
And if I go to the Layers panel, I turn off the background and you can see them there, or I can turn off the text and you can see the original photo. So let's see how we made these. I'll go to the next page of the document where I just have the photo of the book cover and we'll start making this. So I'll press the F key on my keyboard to get my Rectangle Frame tool, I'll click in the document, and I'll create a rectangle that's 320 pixels wide by 160 pixels tall. I'm going to fill it with 50% black, so I'll go to my Swatches panel, target the fill, black, Tint of 50%.
Now I'm going to apply a corner radius to make it fancy like the rest of the book cover. So up in the Control panel, I'll go to my Corner Controls, I'll choose Insert Rounded and 20 pixels. I'll press V on my keyboard to get my Selection tool and move it into place, and I also want to apply stroke, so I'll apply ten point stroke, I'll make it Thick - Thick, and in the Stroke panel, I'll align it to the outside. On my Swatches panel I also want to make this 50% black, so I'll select stroke and reduce the Tint. I'm going to move this over to the left, select that frame, and then open the Effects panel, double-click to open the dialog box and we'll apply bevel and emboss here.
So I'll select Bevel and Emboss, I'm going to choose Inner Bevel, Smooth and Up, I'll reduce the size to 4 pixels. For the shading I'll choose an angle of 90 degrees, so the light is coming straight from up above, and I'll increase the Altitude to 40, this will make the shadow a little bit lighter and the highlight a little bit brighter. I'll decrease the Opacity of the highlight a little bit down to say 60%, what I'm trying to do is match the intensity of the highlights and shadows in the real photograph. And I'll also decrease the opacity of the shadow, maybe down to about 50%, and click OK.
Now I'm going to go to the Effects panel and change from the Normal blending mode to the Hard Light blending mode, that makes the fill of 50% gray disappear, because 50% gray is neutral for the Hard Light blending mode. This effect depends on using RGB transparency blend space. So if I go to the Edit menu in the document, I can check which blend space is being used, so Edit > Transparency Blend Space, and this document is using Document RGB. If your document was setup to use CMYK blend space, before you change the blend space you need to understand that, that will affect all the colors in your document on spreads where there is transparency.
If you want to know more about this, I recommend you watch my video in the InDesign FX series called Getting Effects into Print. All right, now that we've mad that background object let's make the text frame, I'll press the T key on my keyboard to get my Text tool. I'll drag out and I'll just type in some letters, I'll select them and in the Control panel I'll increase their size to say 100 pixels, I'll center them, and then I'll take my Selection tool and move them into place. Again, I want to fill them with 50% gray, so I'll go to my Swatches panel, Target Formatting Effects Text, and change the Tint from 100 to 50%, I'll select Formatting Effects Container.
And now I can do a little trick with the Effects panel, if I select the original frame and open the Effects panel, I can drag and drop this effects icon on to my text frame, and I get that same Bevel settings that I used before, so it's a nice little shortcut. Again, I'll select this text frame, I'll apply the Hard Light blending mode, and I'd like to change that Bevel direction from up to down, so it looks like the letters are pressed into the leather. I'll double-click on Object and I'll just change direction from up to down in the Bevel and Emboss settings, and click OK.
Now I'll just center that a little bit better in the text frame and we're done. So by making the effort to match the angle and attitude of the Bevel and Emboss effect to the original lighting in the photo, we were able to make a really natural looking set of embossed initials on our book cover. I'm Mike Rankin and I'll be back in two weeks. Thanks for watching!
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