35 Replies Latest reply on Jul 3, 2012 9:02 AM by iRuss

    Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?

    iRuss Level 1

      I'm laying out a book in InDesign 5.5. The book gets sent as a PDF to the book publisher. The book has about 400 photos in it that many are wrapped in the text (Text Wrap). My question is: What are the pitfalls or problems that might accrue if I apply a drop shadow to the photos using InDesign's drop shadow feature?

       

      I see two check boxes in the Drop Shadow Effects dialog box:

       

      Object Knocks Out Shadow & Shadow Honors Other Effects. I'm guessing I want the object to knock out the shadow?

        • 1. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
          Alec Molloy Employee Moderator

          You are most likely going to want to knock out the shadow. There are times when you might want to do otherwise, but unless you are very familiar with overprint and knockout, I  would reccomend staying away. Here is more information on the subject: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/indesign/cs/using/WSa285fff53dea4f8617383751001ea8cb3f-7038a.h tml

           

          The only pitfall I can think of in aesthetics. Drop shadows are used best when used subtley. To make your job easier, instead of individually applying a drop shadow to your objects, you might want to apply an object style. This would allow you to easily make changes to all the objects with the drop shadow effect. More on that here: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/indesign/cs/using/WS5CEDB81A-0011-4dc9-9DE8-AC7AD4C80076a.html

          • 2. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
            Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

            Here are the visual effects of these options, they only come into play if the object you are applying the drop shadow has another transparent effect applied.

            dropshadows2.png

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            • 3. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
              iRuss Level 1

              Alec, thanks for those link on the subject. One other quetion: In the "Transparency Flattener Presets" dialog box, Do I need to make any different settings? For some reason tears ago I was having problem with appiling drop shadows and other effects and it was looking screwy when it printed. Someone said to make a different setting in the "Transparency Flattener Presets" dialog box.

              • 4. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                Alec Molloy Employee Moderator

                This I am not as familiar with, but I would reccomend going to the default [High Resolution] for print. You should take a look at this document: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/indesign/cs/using/WSa285fff53dea4f8617383751001ea8cb3f-6ea7a.h tml

                 

                Someone else might be able to provide better direction though.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                  BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  Honestly…in the year 2012 you shouldn’t be flattening transparency so it’s pretty safe to ignore it unless you’re dealing with luddite printers.

                   

                   

                   

                  Bob

                  • 6. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                    iRuss Level 1

                    "dealing with luddite printers". LOL! Bob, that might be the case. The book is being self published, (Print on demand). So I need to really make sure I have everything correct and fool proof. A few years ago I called the tech person at one of these self publishing outlets and the guy didn't know what CMYK was. That's some scary stuff!

                    • 7. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                      BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      In that case, the best advice I can give you is to design accordingly and that may well mean minimizing the use of transparency.

                       

                       

                       

                      Bob

                      • 8. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        For some reason tears ago I was having problem with appiling drop shadows and other effects and it was looking screwy when it printed. Someone said to make a different setting in the "Transparency Flattener Presets" dialog box.

                         

                        Transparent pages always get flattened when you print, and usually you can control how the flattening happens from the Advanced tab by picking a preset.

                         

                        When you export a PDF transparency gets flattened when you choose PDF 1.3 from the Compatibility popup in General. So, the PDF/X-1a standard is flattened by you , while the PDF/X-4 standard postpones flattening until the PDF is printed.

                         

                        99% of the time the default high resolution flattener preset will be fine—if you had a lot of very small type on a transparent page you might need a text resolution higher than 1200.

                         

                        If you export your own transparency it's easy enough to look at the quality in Acrobat. Here's an exaggerated low res flattener where I've forced the text to rasterize vs. the default high res:

                         

                        Screen shot 2012-06-29 at 4.47.48 PM.png

                        Screen shot 2012-06-29 at 4.47.15 PM.png

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                          iRuss Level 1

                          So I started applying the drop shadows to my b/w images in InDesign and what I am finding is when I click to apply the drop shadow, the image get lighter. What's up with that?

                          • 10. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                            That depends. Are the images REALLY grayscale, or are they RGB with a B&W Adjsutment applied, or perhaps a color image withthe color info removed in some other way?

                             

                            If they're RGB, you're probably seeing the effect of having the transparency flattener space set to CMYK, bu tif htey are really grayscale, waht you are seeing is due to ID not having any notion of a grayscale source profile. Grayscale data is ooutput onthe Black black of the current CMYK working profile, and introducing transparency (including the drop shadow) forced ID to redo the screen preview. Rob has given a pretty good explanation of this, I think, at http://forums.adobe.com/message/3469367#3469367

                            • 11. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                              iRuss Level 1

                              Hi Peter, All the images are grayscale. I read through Rob's explanation  from the link you provided and it looks like I'm screwed as far as applying the drop shadow in InDesign. I tryed doing the "Load Gray" idea but when I do that an open dialog box comes up that wants me to pick something. I don't have a clue want to pick. This job is going to a self publisher and there is no way I am going to get any kind of file or profile from them. Is there anything else I can do?

                              • 12. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                it looks like I'm screwed as far as applying the drop shadow in InDesign.

                                 

                                Keep in mind this is simply a preview change the output numbers are not affected—when you add transparency the document's CMYK profile is always used to display black values. The output gray values are not changing.

                                 

                                I don't have a clue want to pick.

                                 

                                The accuracy of your CMYK preview depends on the accuracy of the document's assigned CMYK profile and your system's moniter profile. So if your only concern is matching the preview of a grayscale in PS and ID, pick your ID document's CMYK profile (see Edit>Assign Profiles...) from your system's profile folder.

                                • 13. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                  iRuss Level 1

                                  Hi Rob, okay you are saying that the output numbers are not affected. Then that would be fine. Here is something else I found. When I export a PDF, the images in the PDF look like the images in InDesign as far as them being effected as to being lighter or more transparent. Is it the same case when I view the PDF, that is the image will still keep it's output numbers from Photoshop?

                                  • 14. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                    First, make sure you are in Photoshop (presumably you are or you wouldn't see Load Gray), then when you click the Load Gray link a dialog should open. With luck it will already be open to the folder on your system where ICC profiles are stored, and all you have to do is pick the same profile that's listed for CMYK in your color settings, whcih you can read in the field above the grayscale field you are working on. If you don't see profiles, you'll have to navigate to the correct folder. On Windows that would be C:\Windows\System 32\Spool\drivers\color and on Mac I think it's the Color Sync folder, probably in the system Library (search for *.icc and something ought to come up).

                                     

                                    Save this custom settings file someplace conveneinet and use it in ID as well (synch through Bridge, if possible).

                                     

                                    Unless you can get an accurate profile from the printer, though, you are shooting in the dark and may not get what you expect regardless of what you do on your end. In such cases the best bet is to see if they can accept a PDF/X-4 file which leaves your colors unchanges and embeds the profiles for their RIP to do the conversion. Not all of the print-on-demand type of service providers will accept that, however.

                                    • 15. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      Is it the same case when I view the PDF, that is the image will still keep it's output numbers from Photoshop?

                                       

                                      Yes. You can track the output numbers in all 3 apps via Info panel in PS, Separation Preview in ID and Output Preview in Acrobat.

                                      • 16. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                        iRuss Level 1

                                        I did the "Load Gray" thing in PS and it now says "Black Ink - Generic CMYK Profile". Do I now need to do a "Covert to Profile" to all my Grayscale images before bringing them into InDesign, or just leave them alone?

                                         

                                        I also loaded the custom setting file in the "Color Settings" in InDesign. So now when I bring a Grayscale image into ID, and apply the drop shadow, it still gets lighter.

                                         

                                        Not sure where Separation Preview is in ID.

                                         

                                        I looked at the Output Preview in Acrobat and the output values were the same as in Photoshop. That's after I exported the PDF as a PDF/X-4.

                                        • 17. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                          Genereic CMYK isn't a particularly useful output profile -- it doesn't match anything.

                                           

                                          Try making a couple of copies of one of your grayscales, then on one Edit > Assign profile and pick the new gray profile, and on the other Edit > Convert to Profile to the same new profile and determine which on, if either, seems to be more correct. Place them both in a sample ID file that uses the Generic CMYK profile as the working space, and apply the drop shadows. They ought not to change.

                                           

                                          Choosing whether convert or assign is giving you the results you want is going to be a judgement call. Assigning will leave the gray values alone, converting will change them so they appear the same in the new space, but since the genericc profile doesn't match your output intent, I'm not sure that it's going to help you. How did you arrive at the use of Generic CMYK for a working space?

                                          • 18. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                            iRuss Level 1

                                            "Generic CMYK" was the only CMYK icc to pick from. But I came across this. I went to View>Proof Setup>Custom and picked "Generic CMYK". Then turnned on "Proof Colors". Now when I bring my Grayscale images into ID, and apply the Drop Shadow, it stays the same. So would you say I am good to go?

                                             

                                            Was there somewhere else I could find diffent CMYK icc's?

                                            • 19. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                              Windows or Mac?

                                               

                                              What part of the world are you in?

                                               

                                              There should be at least a dozen, maybe a hundred or more, cmyk profiles loaded on your system someplace. Did you do a file search for *.icc? That should pick up the folders where they are being stored.

                                              • 20. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                But I came across this. I went to View>Proof Setup>Custom and picked "Generic CMYK"

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Proof Setup shows you what will happen if you convert to the setup profile sometime in the future, so it's not helpful because you won't be converting to Generic CMYK.

                                                 

                                                What system are you using and what't your ID document's CMYK profile? You can check the doc profile by choosing Edit>Assign Profiles...

                                                • 21. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                  iRuss Level 1

                                                  Mac, and I live in Tucson, AZ. There are over a hundred icc's, but they all have to do with a particular printing like HP, Epson, Canon and, so on. What's weird is that I do a search for icc and the Generic CMYK doesn't show up at all.

                                                   

                                                  The CMYK Profile is set on "U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2" in the Assign Profiles dialog box. Should that be changed?

                                                  • 22. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                    Do I now need to do a "Covert to Profile" to all my Grayscale images before bringing them into InDesign, or just leave them alone?

                                                    Convert to Profile is not an option if you want to use a CMYK profile as the Gray space. If you use a CMYK profile as the destination when you convert to profile the mode will change to CMYK, so you definately do not want to do that.

                                                     

                                                    Loading a CMYK profile as the Gray working space simply previews the gray values as they would print on the black plate of the CMYK press printing to the chosen profile's spec's.

                                                     

                                                    Not sure where Separation Preview is in ID.

                                                     

                                                    Window>Output>Separations Preview

                                                    • 23. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                                      ALL CMYK profiles are descriptive of some specific output device, or an output standard. SWOP (Specification for Web Offset Printing) is a generic CMYK standard that is achievable on almost any press (it was designed for high-speed, high-volume printing like magazines) and would be preferable to the profile you've currently chosen. Absent some specific recommendation from the printer, this should give acceptable, if not spectacular, results in the US.

                                                       

                                                      Did you make a note of where those profiles you found are stored? You're going to nned to navigat to that folder to select the CMYK profile to assign to the grays.

                                                      • 24. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                        The Adobe recommended profiles should be here:

                                                         

                                                        System/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles

                                                         

                                                        But profiles can also be in:

                                                         

                                                        Users/user/Library/ColorSync/

                                                         

                                                        System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles

                                                         

                                                        The CMYK Profile is set on "U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2" in the Assign Profiles dialog box. Should that be changed?

                                                         

                                                        What kind of press will print the project?

                                                        • 25. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                          iRuss Level 1

                                                          It's "Print on demand" I would have to call them. But it could take going through many people to get the answer, If they would even understand what I am asking for. Note: there are no color images that are in this book. Here is what I get when I look for profiles:

                                                           

                                                          profiles.jpg

                                                          • 26. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                            Is there an Application Support folder in your Sytem

                                                             

                                                            /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/Recommended

                                                             

                                                            Screen shot 2012-07-02 at 3.11.05 PM.png

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            POD halftone quality is marginal, so don't expect much. You should be able to order a sample at little cost.

                                                             

                                                            US SWOP or US Sheetfed.

                                                            • 27. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                              I think POD is usually an HP Indigo so you could search for HP Indigo Profiles. Here's one for semi matte paper:

                                                               

                                                              http://www.newselfpublishing.com/HPIndigo.zip

                                                               

                                                              Just make sure you don't do any converting, otherwise your grayscales will get converted to 4-color.

                                                              • 28. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                                iRuss Level 1

                                                                Yes, I can get there by way of "/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/Recommended".

                                                                 

                                                                "US SWOP or US Sheetfed" I would have to ask them. But they are not very helpful. When I do find out, what are the steps I need ot change the icc?

                                                                • 29. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                  The HP Indigo profile I linked to above is closer to SWOP than Sheetfed.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                    When I do find out, what are the steps I need ot change the icc?

                                                                     

                                                                    In ID you choose Edit>Assign Profiles>Assign CMYK Profile and choose from the pop-up

                                                                     

                                                                    In PS you load the profile as per Peter's instructions,and then you also have to make sure the working Gray space you've loaded is assigned to the grayscale image—that's Edit>Assign Profile>choose Working Gray.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                                      iRuss Level 1

                                                                      Rob & Peter, thank you some much for your help. but I think I'm more confused than when I started this whole thing. I've never been able to grasp Adobe's color managemnet concept since they indroduced it way back in PS 5, or 5.5, (not CS5.) I liked the days when I had a soft proof done and I calibrated my monitor to it. A bit old fashion I know. But beleive it or not, my colors were spot on. I did learn some new stuff like checking my values in ID and Acrobat to see if they match up with Photoshop's. I think as long as they all match, I'm good to go. With the book I will be able to get a proof of it before they print the run. So if something is off with the images, I can do my corrections.

                                                                       

                                                                      Again, thank you for your kindness, and patience with me.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                        I liked the days when I had a soft proof done and I calibrated my monitor to it.

                                                                         

                                                                        There's nothing stopping you from doing that now, but it would only work if you were always preparing jobs for one press. If you had three jobs, one for sheetfed coated, one for a web press, and one for news print, you'd quickly run into a mess because you'd have to change the profile of your monitor every time you worked on a file—those three press conditions will produce different color from the same values.

                                                                         

                                                                        CMYK profiles also have some subtlties that you can't acheive by adjusting your monitor. Modern profiles will show the difference between blacks with different amounts of CMY in them, or different ink sets—no amount of monitor adjusting will show those differences.

                                                                         

                                                                        Here are different blacks for uncoated. The preview shows what would happen on press with different CMY amounts. This is why ID flattens out your grayscales because black only on press is never absolute black:

                                                                         

                                                                        Black.png

                                                                        • 33. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                                          iRuss Level 1

                                                                          Hey Rob, I hear what you are sying and I aggree. I do about one book a year. The book I did last year came out pretty well. I mostly design book covers in Photoshop and Illustrator. But my main focus is video editing these last few years. This book I'm working on now might be my last book for awhile. So if I have to set my monitor to a setting that works close enough for this book I'm working on now, that would be fine for me.

                                                                           

                                                                          Thanks,

                                                                          • 34. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                            So if I have to set my monitor to a setting that works close enough for this book I'm working on now, that would be fine for me.

                                                                            You don't have to adjust your monitor. For grayscales there is Custom Dot Gain which gives you a curve dialog that allows you to adjust the display of grayscales with out changing the output numbers (Color Setting>Gray>Custom Dot Gain...):

                                                                             

                                                                            Screen shot 2012-07-03 at 11.47.43 AM.png

                                                                             

                                                                            If you adjust your monitor without creating a new monitor profile it will generally break color management in all of the Adobe apps.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Using InDesign's Drop Shadow Effects. Good or Bad?
                                                                              iRuss Level 1

                                                                              Very nice! Thank you for that tip, Rob. I will use it.