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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 Effects. In this movie, we'll see how to create a fun effect, using gradient fills and drop shadows, to make an object look like it's sitting on a shelf. In this document, I've gone ahead and created some text in the Font Minion Pro. And I also applied the bevel and eboss effect to give it some depth. Now, to create the shelves to put this text on, I'll start by creating a rectangle. I'll take my rectangle tool, click in my document, and I'll make this rectangle 625 pixels wide, by 20 pixels tall.
And I'll use my swatches panel, to fill it with the gradient that I created ahead of time. So I'll select Swatches. Apply Shelf Gradient to the fill, and I'll also target the stroke and remove it. Now to apply the gradient vertically, so it looks like the light is coming down from above, I'll first make sure that I'm targeting the fill. So I'll click on that in the swatches panel. Then press the G key on my keyboard, to get my Gradient tool. And then just drag straight down from the top of the rectangle, to the bottom. You can also hold Shift, to constrain the value.
I'll deselect, and there's my gradient. Next, I'll select the rectangle, copy it, and choose Edit> Paste in Place. So I have a second copy, directly on top of the old one. Then with the selection tool I'll click and drag the bottom side up, until I make a rectangle that's placed directly on top of the original one. And I'll make this new one, somewhere around 15 to 20 pixels tall. Next, I'll take my direct selection tool, I'll press the letter A on my keyboard. And click on the top left anchor point, or drag on it.
I'll hold Shift. And tap my right-arrow key on my keyboard twice, to nudge this point in. Then I'll repeat the process on the right side, selecting that point, holding Shift, and this time I'll tap the left-arrow key on my keyboard twice. Next, I'll move the object that I want to put on the shelf, in this case, the text frame. And I'll drag it into place. Bring it to the front, by pressing Cmd+Shift+)or Ctrl+Shift+). And then if I want to, I can nudge it also, with my arrow keys. I'll press W for preview, and there's the basic effect.
Now, if I wanted to, I could adjust the height of the lower rectangle to make the shelf thicker, or I could change colors, or I could add another shape to make it more detailed. Let's try a couple quick variations. First I'll select everything, by dragging over it with my selection tool. I'll move this out of the way. And then I'll hold Option or Alt+Shift, to drag straight down, and make two copies. One copy, and two copies. Just move that down a little bit more. And in the top copy, I'll select the bottom rectangle. I'll check that the reference point in the control panel, is set to the bottom center, right there.
And now I'll make a flipped copy of this rectangle, by holding Option or Alt, and clicking the flip vertical button, in the control panel, like so. Next I'll take my Direct Selection tool, by pressing the letter A on my keyboard. And I'll click on each of the bottom anchor points, and nudge them in a little bit. Again, I'll hold Shift, and on this one I'll tap my right-arrow key, I'll select this one, hold Shift, and tap my left-arrow key. Next, I'll apply a drop shadow to this object. So I'll select it. Use the Effects menu in the control panel and choose Drop Shadow.
For opacity, I'll select 30%. For distance, 20 pixels. And for the angle I'll choose 90 degrees, so the drop shadow sits directly under the shelf. And, maybe add a little bit of noise, one to 2% should be plenty. And, let's also increase the size, from five pixels to 20. And click OK. You can, of course, adjust any of those drop shadow values to suit your own taste. Now, let's try one more slightly different effect. I'll select the bottom rectangle, in the bottom copy. And I'll double-click on the Selection tool, to bring up the Move dialog box.
I'll enter in a horizontal value of zero, and a vertical value of 20 pixels, which is the same as the height of the rectangle, and I'll click Copy. That way my new rectangle sits exactly underneath, the old one. Now again, I'll take my Direct Selection tool, by pressing the letter A, and I'll drag over the left side of the new rectangle, to select just that path segment, and nudge it in with my right-arrow key, plus the Shift key. And repeat the process on the right-hand side. Select that path segment. Hold Shift. Tap the left-arrow key a couple times. And if I want to add a quick drop shadow, I can create one with the same settings as are on the other shelf, by selecting that object. Opening the effects panel, by choosing Window> Effects. And note this little fx icon right here. I can click and drag that, and drop it on top of my new object, to copy the drop shadow with the same settings. So there you have a couple different variations on making a shelf in InDesign.
And really, you can play around with this idea a lot. Try out different depths for the shelf, different colors. Rounded corners, and so on. You could even find an image of wallpaper or a pattern, and put that behind everything, to make the background of your document really look like a wall. I'm Mike Rankin. Thanks for watching InDesign Effects.
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