InDesign FX

with Mike Rankin
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InDesign FX
Video duration: 0s 8h 7m Intermediate Updated Jul 08, 2014


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.


Welcome to InDesign FX

- Hi, my name is Mike Rankin and welcome to InDesign FX. InDesign's transparency effects, or FX for short, are an amazing tool for adding creative, eye-catching visuals to your documents. With them, you can create an incredible variety of designs and make your documents more engaging to your audience. These videos will cover every aspect of working with InDesign's graphic effects. You'll learn how to adjust the opacity of objects so it looks like you're seeing through them, how to simulate three-dimensional objects with shadows and bevel and emboss, and how to combine effects to simulate real-world materials.

Anything from hard steel to soft satin, from black oil to clear water. And the best part is, you can do it all efficiently, right from within InDesign, without the need to create and maintain separate linked graphics. Of course, none of this matters if you can't accurately reproduce your effects in your output. So whether your documents are destined for a printing press or a tablet computer, we'll cover the steps you need to take to ensure you always get the look you want. So with all kinds of cool tools and techniques to explore, where do we begin? Well it may sound a little odd, but I think a great first step is to turn off the computer.

Get some time away from the screen, forget about pixels and paths, and spend some time studying an object in real life. It could be anything, like this take-out food container. I do a lot of InDesign work just sitting at the kitchen table, and one day I happened to notice a container like this and I wondered if I could recreate it using InDesign's drawing tools and effects. I tried to see it as a set of simple shapes I could draw with the pen tool and then bring to life using effects like bevels and shadowing, glows and embosses. This systematic approach and attention to detail can help you make amazing things with InDesign's effects.

Now when it comes to effects, I know some folks might be thinking, "Why bother? Why not just use Photoshop or Illustrator?" It's absolutely true you can do things with those programs you could never do in InDesign. Always use the right tool for the job, and if the right tool happens to be Illustrator or Photoshop, use them. But if you can get the look you want and stay in InDesign, there are several advantages to be gained. You don't have to worry about modified and missing links, you won't run into mismatched color profiles, you don't have to worry about the resolution of your effects because the resolution of effects can be set at output time.

And you don't have to worry about whether a certain file format will do something nasty like rasterize your texts. Finally, when you do your effects in InDesign, you can take advantage of the built-in efficiency tools. Things like object styles, master pages, books, snippets, and libraries that allow you to share, synchronize, and reuse your effects throughout your workflow. Are you excited? I am! So let's jump in and start exploring the world of InDesign's effects.

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