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InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics
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Using advanced image transparency


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InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

with David Blatner

Video: Using advanced image transparency

In the last movie I put a clipping path around this image using Detect Edges. It was pretty sharp and rough, not very pleasant to look at. Now let's use real alpha transparency, where the pixels blend into the background softly. I happened to know that this image is flattened; there is no transparent pixels at all. In fact, if I Option+Double click on this or Alt+Double click in Windows, it opens it right up in Photoshop and I can look in the Layers panel and see it's a background layer. There is no transparency here. However, I also happen to know that if I look in the Channels panel, there are a couple of additional Channels in here. We call this Alpha Channels. Anything that's an additional channel is an Alpha Channel and we can use these to get our transparency back in InDesign.
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  1. 2m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
  2. 25m 16s
    1. Reviewing Control panel shortcuts
      8m 34s
    2. Managing panels
      6m 14s
    3. Letting InDesign do the math
      2m 52s
    4. Using Selection tool clicks
      1m 39s
    5. Using Quick Apply shortcuts
      3m 2s
    6. Setting up context shortcuts
      2m 55s
  3. 23m 51s
    1. Using column guides
      3m 42s
    2. Formatting and positioning guides
      5m 15s
    3. Setting first baseline options
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Document grid
      3m 13s
    5. Setting bleeds
      3m 3s
    6. Using slugs
      3m 8s
  4. 48m 2s
    1. Shuffling pages (or not)
      2m 47s
    2. Scaling objects to a specific size
      2m 32s
    3. Aligning objects to a page
      4m 41s
    4. Using advanced libraries
      4m 5s
    5. Using advanced anchored objects
      11m 21s
    6. Setting non-printing objects
      3m 10s
    7. Creating notes
      5m 23s
    8. Using Data Merge
      10m 41s
    9. Creating templates
      3m 22s
  5. 39m 32s
    1. Creating polygons and starbursts
      2m 35s
    2. Setting custom stroke styles
      5m 15s
    3. Using advanced effects
      8m 46s
    4. Making masks in InDesign
      4m 10s
    5. Integrating InDesign and Illustrator
      4m 59s
    6. Setting compound paths
      5m 4s
    7. Using advanced clipping paths
      6m 6s
    8. Using advanced image transparency
      2m 37s
  6. 55m 26s
    1. Using advanced text formatting
      5m 37s
    2. Using other languages
      4m 22s
    3. Setting advanced paragraph numbering
      3m 12s
    4. Using GREP to find/change
      6m 54s
    5. Managing glyphs
      5m 6s
    6. Finding and changing glyphs
      2m 39s
    7. Adding footnotes
      7m 57s
    8. Creating outlines
      3m 39s
    9. Setting conditional text
      9m 16s
    10. Creating cross-references
      6m 44s
  7. 33m 3s
    1. Advanced text importing
      7m 49s
    2. Using Apply Next Style
      5m 4s
    3. Advanced text styling
      6m 9s
    4. Setting load styles
      2m 58s
    5. Linking to text files on disk
      4m 1s
    6. Understanding GREP styles
      7m 2s
  8. 1h 4m
    1. Building a multi-document book
      4m 42s
    2. Setting page numbering across books
      7m 53s
    3. Setting chapter numbering
      6m 7s
    4. Using the Section Marker feature
      6m 53s
    5. Creating "Continued On..." numbers
      4m 44s
    6. Synchronizing documents in a book
      5m 41s
    7. Creating a table of contents
      11m 24s
    8. Indexing documents
      7m 24s
    9. Generating an index
      6m 47s
    10. Printing or exporting a book
      3m 10s
  9. 46m 4s
    1. Creating hyperlinks
      12m 53s
    2. Setting bookmarks
      6m 7s
    3. Creating buttons
      11m 16s
    4. Making movies
      8m 24s
    5. Creating sounds
      4m 51s
    6. Setting page transitions
      2m 33s
  10. 25m 59s
    1. Setting up swatch and style defaults
      3m 24s
    2. Using mixed ink colors
      6m 16s
    3. Working with duotones
      4m 23s
    4. Overprinting
      2m 10s
    5. Ink aliasing
      4m 50s
    6. Using the Kuler panel
      4m 56s
  11. 50m 27s
    1. Creating the transparency blend space
      4m 6s
    2. Understanding InDesign color settings
      9m 8s
    3. Assign Profile and Convert to Profile
      3m 26s
    4. Working with RGB images
      7m 54s
    5. Working with CMYK images
      6m 28s
    6. Soft-proofing
      5m 18s
    7. Managing color at print time
      7m 25s
    8. Managing color in a PDF export
      6m 42s
  12. 42m 1s
    1. Embedding preflight profiles
      5m 1s
    2. Using the Transparency Flattener preview
      3m 23s
    3. Reviewing Transparency Flattener settings
      6m 30s
    4. Setting print presets
      3m 35s
    5. Setting PDF presets
      3m 21s
    6. Exporting to XHTML
      7m 42s
    7. Exporting to SWF
      6m 45s
    8. Exporting to XFL
      5m 44s
  13. 25m 58s
    1. Understanding XML and InDesign
      6m 51s
    2. Structuring InDesign content
      4m 17s
    3. Importing XML
      6m 57s
    4. Exporting to XML
      7m 53s
  14. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

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InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics
8h 3m Intermediate Dec 05, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

David Blatner brings his knowledge of and passion for InDesign to the latest release of this state-of-the-art publishing program, showing how to harness its power and functionality. InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics covers the process of publishing with an eye on the program's latest nuances: optimizing page layouts, automating InDesign with Data Merge and XML, exploring interactive documents (including making movies), and exporting publications to a variety of formats. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Automating with Data Merge and XML
  • Optimizing page layouts
  • Using advanced effects
  • Creating interactive documents
  • Integrating with Illustrator
Subject:
Design
Software:
InDesign
Author:
David Blatner

Using advanced image transparency

In the last movie I put a clipping path around this image using Detect Edges. It was pretty sharp and rough, not very pleasant to look at. Now let's use real alpha transparency, where the pixels blend into the background softly. I happened to know that this image is flattened; there is no transparent pixels at all. In fact, if I Option+Double click on this or Alt+Double click in Windows, it opens it right up in Photoshop and I can look in the Layers panel and see it's a background layer. There is no transparency here. However, I also happen to know that if I look in the Channels panel, there are a couple of additional Channels in here. We call this Alpha Channels. Anything that's an additional channel is an Alpha Channel and we can use these to get our transparency back in InDesign.

I will switch back to InDesign and I am going to reimport this image, but this time with the transparency. So I will open the Links panel. I will make sure the image is selected in the Links panel and I will click on Relink. I will select the image from links folder and I will make sure that Show Import Options is turned on in the Relink dialog box. When I click Open, I can click on the Image tab and it asks me for an Alpha Channel. This is very mysterious to many InDesign users, so they just don't pay attention to it at all, but Alpha Channel means transparency. In other words, which channel inside your Photoshop document, do you want to be transparent and I can choose Alpha Channel or Just Candy. Those are the ones that were created in that Photoshop file. So I will choose Alpha Channel and I will click OK and it reimports it and you can see that the background white pixels disappeared because that channel made them disappear. It is now our transparency mask.

Let's zoom in here; we can really see the high quality Anti-aliased edge that we will see this even better if we turn on High Quality Display of course. There we go. A nice Anti-aliased edge right into the background. If we later decide that we don't want that transparency mask, but the other one, well that's no problem. We can just Relink again, make sure Show Import Options is on, click OK, go to Image. Now Alpha Channel is going to be set to Just Candy instead of the Alpha Channel, click OK and now that background box disappears and we now still have a nice beautiful soft edge from the foreground image, into the background image. Now InDesign is not an image editing program.

Photoshop will always be better at fine-tuning your image at a pixel level, making masks and Alpha Channels and so on, but the fact that I can choose those masks of channels in InDesign means that I have a lot of flexibility while I am working and that is a good thing.

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