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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 Effects. In this week's effect, we'll see how to make amazing spiral patterns out of simple random lines. Just look at these intricate patterns. Would you believe they all started out as single lines drawn without any planning or precision whatsoever? The trick's to create symmetry and apply order to the randomness with a repeated transformation. Let's see how it works. I'll switch to the next page in my document, and I'll take my Pencil tool. And I'm just going to click and drag randomly to create a jagged line in a sort of vertical direction, not trying to do anything in particular.
Now I'm going to set the reference point to the bottom center, switch to my Rotate tool, and double click on it. I'm going to rotate it ten degrees. I can pick any angle here, but in order to get the best results, pick something that you can divide evenly into 360 degrees, and I'll click Copy. Now I want to repeat this transformation. So I'm going to press Cmd+Opt+4 or Ctrl+Alt+4 on the PC, and rotate all the way around, making enough copies to complete the circle. And you can see that already from that random jagged line, by doing that repeated transformation I start to get some order and something that's really interesting looking.
I'm going to grab all these pieces by dragging over them. I'm going to group them so I don't accidentally move a piece, and then I'm going to create more order by doing another transformation. First I'll set the reference point in the control panel to the center, and then I'm going to hold down Opt or Alt and click on Flip Horizontal. Let's zoom in a little bit so we can see that better. And you can see I have this nice spiraling pattern with all these interesting curves and intersections just from my random jagged line. It's really interesting to me. You can also do different things by selecting it and changing the stroke style.
You don't have to have a solid stroke. So you can choose Japanese Dots or a dashed stroke for a different effect. I like the Japanese Dots so lets turn those back on. Let's try a different one. I'll zoom back out. I'll take the Pencil tool again and draw another, just random jagged line in a vertical direction, not trying to do anything in particular there. I'll set the reference point to the bottom center, double click on the Rotate tool, and again rotate it ten degrees and copy. And press Cmd+Opt+4, and then hold it down, until you get all the way around the circle.
Switch to the Selection tool, group them all so you don't accidentally move a piece. Set the reference point to the center, and this time we'll hold Opt or Alt, and we'll flip it vertically. And again I get this nice spiral, weaving pattern. We also don't have to have a solid color applied to these strokes. We can apply a gradient. So I go to my Swatches panel, target the stroke, and choose my new gradient swatch here that just goes from black to white, or I could fill the pattern with that. You can get all kinds of different effects this way. And the really fun thing about this technique is you never get the same results twice, since you started out with something random.
In this video, we saw how to create intricate spiral patterns from simple random lines. We transformed the randomness into order by rotating and copying the original line many times. And from chaos, we found something beautiful. It's amazing. I'm Mike Franken. I'll be back in two weeks. Thanks for watching.
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