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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 InDesign FX. In this week's video we'll take a look at a very unexpected use for a Drop Shadow, making text look like writing on a chalkboard. Normally you think of a Drop Shadow is something that makes things darker, but the fact that you can apply any color and any blending mode to a Drop Shadow makes it a much more versatile effect, so let's see how it's done. I'll go to the next page in my document where I have a blank chalkboard, I'll take my Type Tool, click and drag out a large frame, and I'll just type FX Quiz Today! Select the text, I'll press Command+6 or Ctrl+6 to highlight the text controls in the Control Panel, I'll change the font and make it much larger and center it, switch to my Selection Tool, and I'll just move it in place, I'll slide it over, and now we'll apply some Effects, we'll apply that Drop Shadow.
So I'll open up the Effects, and I'll change the Transparency from Normal to Screen, apply Drop Shadow, and I'll change the Blending Mode from Multiply to Hard Light and a light color that's 15% tint of black, click OK. I'll change the Distance to 0 so the Drop Shadow is exactly where the text was, I'll turn off this setting, Object Knocks Out Shadow, I'll increase the Spread to 40%, and I'll also give it some Noise, about 20% to roughen up those edges and click OK.
So there is a basic chalk effect applied to some text, but you don't have to just apply it to text, you can apply it to anything you put on this chalkboard. So if I draw out a new frame, I'll give it a stroke and right now it's set to black, but again, I can go to my Effects Panel, I'll change it from Normal to Screen, and what I can do is select this text and grab this fx icon and drop it on top of that new frame, and voila! Now I have the chalk effect applied there.
Furthermore, I can make this into an object style so I can just apply it with a single click to anything I put on this chalkboard. So with it selected, I'll go to my Object Styles Panel and just click on New Style, I'll also hold down the Option or Alt key so I can name it, Chalk, and now I'll just take the Pencil Tool and draw out some squiggles and I can apply the chalk object style, and there you go. Just like writing with a piece of chalk.
In this video we saw the power of blending modes. So with them we were able to make text invisible but still display its Drop Shadow, and we were able to make that shadow a light gray color and blend it with the detail of a blackboard beneath it. We also saw how to reuse rather than re-create effects by dragging the fx icon and by creating and applying an object style. I am Mike Rankin, and I'll back in two weeks. Thanks for watching.
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