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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 InDesign FX. In this week's InDesign effect, we'll see how to combine two different methods for making an object look 3D. When it comes to effects, one thing InDesign definitely lacks is a set of robust easy-to-use 3D tools. Sure you can make 3D effects, but they often require some manual drawing or other workarounds. In this week's effect, we'll take a look at one such workaround by employing a separate copy of an object in the Bevel & Emboss effect to make something look 3D, like this bar of soap here. So I'll zoom out.
I'll create a new page in my document by pressing Command+Shift+P or Ctrl+Shift+P on the PC, and when I click, I see I had lurking up a primary textframe. I don't want that here getting in my way. So I'm just going to select it and delete it. Now I can create my bar of soap. So I'll take my Rectangle Frame tool, click in the document and I will use these values; 230 pixels wide by 140 pixels high. I'll click OK. Up at the Control panel, I'll give it a Fill. I'll choose this pink color and a Tint of 80%.
And I want it to have rounded corners, so I will change to a Rounded Corner effect. I'll switch to my Selection tool and zoom in, and we will start applying some effects. Select the frame, and in the Control panel I'll choose Bevel & Emboss. I'll keep these settings of Inner Bevel Smooth and Up. I'll increase the Size to 20 pixels; I'll set the Angle to 90 degrees. That way the light shines directly from the top to the bottom, and I'll increase the Altitude to 60 degrees. This increases the Highlights and decreases the Shadows, but increase the highlights are a little bit too much for my taste. I don't want the soap to appear quite so shiny, so I'm going to decrease the Opacity of the highlight right here, down to 15%.
All right, that's it for the Bevel & Emboss. Next, I'll apply Drop Shadow. I'll decrease the Opacity a bit from the default, down to 40%, and I'll decrease the Distance a bit too. Bring that shadow a little bit closer to the bar of soap like 7 pixels. I want consistent lighting, so I'll use that 90 degrees shading Angle again, and all increase the Spread of the shadow just a little bit, make it a little bit darker. I'll give it a 15% Spread. Now one more thing I would like to do with this bar of soap is to soften the edges a little bit. Right now, these are really crisp edges and I want to blur them a bit.
So for that I'm going to apply a Basic Feather and decrease the Width down to 2 pixels and click OK. So there is my basic bar of soap. Now I'll my Type tool and start adding some text. We will just call this SOAP, select the text and we will change the Font to Myriad Pro Black Condensed Italic. We'll make it larger about 90 points, and I want those letters closer together. So I'm going to track them back to -50. There is my lettering. I will double-click on the Control Handle to size the frame to the text.
And now I want to make this text to look like it's cut into the bar of soap. So for that I'm going to use the little blending mode trick. First of all I'm going to set the text to 52% Black Fill. I'll target the text, Black Fill, slightly darker than 50%, 52%, I'll select Formatting Effects Container, go to My Effects panel and now I'll double-click on the text, and I'm going to apply an Inner Shadow. I'll keep the Multiply blending mode, but I'm going to change the Swatch to this purple color. I'll decrease the Opacity a little bit to 60%, decrease the Distance as well to 3 pixels and change the Angle to 90 degrees.
I'm also going to decrease the Size down to 3 pixels, and I'm also going to add a little bit Choke here, 40%, to make a nice solid edge there, make it really look like it's carved into the bar of soap. And like I did on the outside of the bar soap, I'm also going to give this a little bit of Basic Feather, just to soften the edges. So for the Feather Width, we'll try 2 pixels, that looks pretty good, and maybe Choke that back as well, a Choke of 10%. Now there's just one problem. The fill of text still looks gray. I just want it to look like the color of the soap. Well for that, I'm going to choose Transparency and change the blending mode from Normal to Hard Light.
That was why we filled the text with that 52% Black, for the Hard Light blending mode, 50% gray is neutral, it disappears. And that's what we wanted here. We want it to only see the shadows to make it look like the letters were carved into the bar of soap. I made it a little bit darker than 50% just to give it a little bit of difference from the rest of the bar of soap. So it looks like it's down a little bit further here. I'll click OK, and we're almost done. We've used all our effects, but I want to make this bar look a little bit more 3D. I want to see an edge underneath.
And for that I'm not going to use any transparency effects at all. I'm just going to select the bar, Copy it, Paste it in place by pressing Command+Shift+Option+V or Ctrl+Shift+Alt+V. And then I'm going to go up to the Effects Controls in the Control panel and choose Clear All Effects, so removing all the shadows and glows and bevels there. And I'm going to change the Fill, make the Tint 100%, so it's a little bit darker than the rest of the bar soap. Now I'm going to send the object to the back, choosing Object > Arrange > Send to Back, and using my keyboard arrow keys, I'm just going to nudge it down a little bit.
So there you have it, combining transparency effects with a little bit of old-fashioned trickery to make a 3D effect. I'm Mike Rankin, and I'll be back in two weeks with another new InDesign effect. Thanks for watching!
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