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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 make it look like objects are lurking mysteriously under a shiny surface using the emboss effect. So, here on my page, I have three objects, an Alien, a Spider and a Dagger. And it looks they're partially peeking out from behind this smooth shiny surface. And, in fact, if I pull up the bottom edge, I can reveal more of them and I can still see this embossing effect up here. So let's see how this was done. I'll go to the next page of my document, where I have my Alien, Spider and Dagger and this text what lurks beneath.
The text has been converted to outlines. I'm going to Shift+click to select all objects, copy and paste them in place by pressing Cmd+Shift+Option+B. And in the Swatches panel, I'll set the mixed fill to black, and a tint of 100%. Now I want to change the bevel settings a little bit. So I'll start with the text, I'll move it over, open the Effects dialog box. I'll choose Bevel and Emboss, with the style of emboss, smooth and up. I'll increase the size a bit, to ten pixels and also increase the altitude to 50 degrees.
That's a little too shiny for me, so I'm going to decrease the opacity of the highlight. I'll take that down to 40 and I don't want any shadows at all. In fact, I'd rather have a secondary highlight. So I'm going to change these shadow settings to the screen blending mode and paper and I'll take the opacity down just a little bit, say to 70%. I'll click OK. And now I'll move on to my other objects. I'll shift click to select the three of them. Double click in the effects panel and go to the Bevel and Emboss settings.
Now these objects already were beveled, so I just need to change some of the settings in here. So instead of Inner Bevel, again I want Emboss. For technique, I want Smooth. For size, I'll use 16 pixels. Altitude of 50 degrees and those same values of 40% for the highlight, a secondary highlight set to 70% and click okay. Now, I'm going to paste these objects into another frame, so I need to group them all.
I'll shift click to select all of them. So I'll group them, cut them, take my rectangle frame tool, draw a new frame, fill it with black, and choose edit, paste into, and deselect. Now I have kind of an abrupt edge right here. So, I'd like to add a little effect to smooth that out. So I'll select that new frame, go to the Effect panel, double click to open the dialogue box and we'll do two things here. First off, we'll add a Directional Feather just to the bottom edge of about four pixels and a bit of a Drop Shadow, a pretty small one three pixels in both distance and size.
And I'll make sure that the angle is 90 degrees, so the shadow comes straight down, I'll click okay, and deselect. And there's our effect. If I want to adjust it, I can just adjust the frame. I can move it up to reveal more of my objects or completely hide them. In this video, we saw how to simulate objects lurking underneath the surface by applying the emboss effect to copies of those objects and then grouping and pasting them into a frame that could either partially or completely hide the objects. I'm Mike Rankin. I'll be back in two weeks.
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