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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 effect, we'll see how to create curved shadows that make a simple rectangular frame look more like a realistic piece of paper. The key is to use a script that comes with InDesign called Path Effects. Compare these two squares on the screen right now. Look at the shadows underneath. See the one on the left, how the shadow just comes out at the corners? And the one on the right, the shadow goes straight across? In my opinion, this one looks a lot more realistic like a curved piece of paper that's sort of curling up a little bit in the corners. So let's see how to do this. I'll zoom out, go to the next page in my document where I just have three squares, slide them over a little bit, I'll select all three by Shift-clicking on them, I'll copy, paste them in place by pressing Command+Shift+Option+V or Ctrl+Shift+Alt+V.
In the Swatches panel, I'll change the Fill for mixed to Paper, then I'll go to the Effects panel, double-click and I'll turn on Drop Shadow, and these are the settings that I'll use, 40% Opacity, Distance of 0, Size of 3 pixels, a little bit of Noise, and I want to make one change right here, Object Knocks Out Shadow, turn that off, and click OK. Next, I want to set this object from Normal to Multiply, and did you see what happened? That Paper fill disappeared because Multiply always makes things darker.
But I still have the Drop Shadow. Now I can apply the Path Effects script to change the shape of these Drop Shadows. I'm going to Window > Utilities > Scripts, I'll double-click on PathEffects, and I'll choose this top one, Punk. Under Options, I'll choose Offset from Center Point, 90% and click OK. If I zoom in on one, we can see a little bit better what happened. The Punk effect pushes the sides in while keeping the corners right where they were originally.
And this is going to create that curved shadow that I want. I'll zoom back out and I'll select each one of these in turn and move it behind the original piece of paper. I'll press Command+Left Bracket until the shadow disappears behind the piece of paper. Now, I still have it selected at this point, and I'll press the Down Arrow key on my keyboard to nudge it down, just so it starts to peek out from the bottom there, deselect, do it again for the middle one, Command or Ctrl+Left Bracket+Down Arrow key, and one more time, Command or Ctrl+Left Bracket+Down Arrow key.
So there you go, nice curved shadows making for a more realistic looking piece of paper. In this video, we made use of a script that comes with InDesign called Path Effects with an effect called Punk to curve these shadows and make for a more realistic look. I'm Mike Rankin, I'll be back in two weeks, thanks for watching.
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