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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 In Design FX. In this week's effect, we'll see how to make text look like lettering on a movie theater sign. The letters look like they're made of plastic and hanging off these rails here, or in the case of the X, falling off the rail. So let's see how this was done. I'll go to the next page in my document, I'll take my rectangle frame tool. Click and I'll use these values here, 950 pixels wide by 450 pixels tall. Click OK. Let's give it a fill of black and a light tint, 10%.
I'll press command or control L to lock the frame so I don't move it accidentally and then I'll create the rails. I'll take my line tool, click and drag while holding shift to constrain, then I'll give it a stroke of 4 points, and I'll give it that same 10% tint. Now to make the rail visible, I'm going to use effects. I'll open the effects dialogue box, target the stroke, and I'll start with bevel and emboss. I'll choose Chisel Hard for the technique. I'll change the Angle to 90 degrees and reduce the highlight Opacity to 0.
So all I'm getting here is the Shadow. Next I'll try a Real Drop Shadow. I'll set the Distance to 3 pixels and the Angle to 90 degrees and I'll match that Distance with the Size also making that 3 pixels, and click okay. So there's one railing. Now I want to make some extras. So I'll select it. I'll double click on the selection tool, which opens the move dialogue box and I'm going to move it straight down 60 pixels, and I'll click copy to make a new rail. I'll drag over the two rails to select them, and then hold shift option or shift alt and drag straight down to make the second copy of rails.
Now it's time to make the text. Take my type tool. Click and drag over the top set of rails, and I'll type in the words now playing. Select it. Center it I'll change the font to Helvetica New Condensed Bold and the size of 110 points. Move it down a little bit, so it's sitting right on top of those rails. And let's change the fill color. So I'll target the text in the Swatches panel, change it to dark red, and then I'll click Back on Formatting Effects container so it can apply some effects. Open the Effects, target the text and I'll double click to open the dialogue box.
First to apply Bevel and emboss. We'll use an inner bevel with chisel hard. Reduce the size to 3 pixels, set the angle to 90 degrees and then we would apply the inner shadow. We'll keep the blending mode at multiply but change from the black swatch to the dark red swatch and reduce the size to four pixels. Next, we'll add some satin, we'll change the swatch from black again to dark red, and increase the opacity all the way to 100%. I'll set the distance to ten pixels and match that with the size.
Then we'll switch to the object level and apply drop shadow. I want it to look like light is shining through these translucent plastic letter, so I don't want a black drop shadow. I actually want a red drop shadow in this case. For distance I'll choose 7 pixels and again that same 90 degree lighting angle and click okay. Next I want to see the rails through the lettering, so I'll target the text and reduce the opacity down to 80%. With my selection tool, I'll select the frame and option or alt+shift drag down to create a new set of letters. Nudge them up a little bit, and we'll call these In Design FX.
And the great thing about this is, it's still editable text. So I can select this, I can baseline shift letters if I want to move them up or down. Like that letter was hanging a little low or if I want to add space in between the letters and look like they're not spaced exactly right. I can hold option or alt and tap my right arrow key to increase the spacing. Or tap my left arrow key to decrease it. And to make the X hang off, what I'm going to do is create a separate copy of that frame by option or alt dragging down, delete all the text but the X. And the reason I have to do this is we can only apply effects at the frame level, not to the text level.
So this X is going to have to sit in its own frame in order for me to rotate it separate from the rest of the text here. I'll double-click on one of the control handles to size it right to the X, and then delete this one that I don't need anymore. I'll move this over a little bit, and then move the accent to position. Rotate it, and just slide it over a little bit more. In this video, we saw how to create text that looks like a movie theatre sign using a combination of effects like drop shadow, bevel emboss, inner shadow and satin. I'm Mike Ranking. I'll be back in two weeks; thanks for watching.
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