Not quite the same, but I often use a [Paper]-filled frame for this and set the opacity down so it fades the image rather than blurring. I often add a fether around the edge.
My approach would be completely different.
1. I would create a blur action (edit:) that u can batch in PS that will create a new layer, blur effect, new layer other effect u know what i mean.
2. Place image in ID copy the frame and image, create a new frame paste into the first image. Now you nly have to adjust 1 frame to match the text frame and you can hide show relevant layers.
Thanks to all for these suggestions. I played around with various drop shadow options as suggested in that web page on blurring text. But this technique is aimed at blurring the text, not the image below the text, and none of the blending options for the drop shadow generate the ground-glass look I'm after.
The first suggestion above is intriguing, although I'm not entirely clear how it differs from the labor-intensive workaround I described in the OP. Is the idea to have both the sharp and blurred images in the same PSD as different layers? I'd still need to place that PSD in the layout multiple times, however--once for the background and again in a set of smaller frames to go under each text block in the layout.
Or is there some way to create a frame that contains both the blurred image and text, so that resizing the text frame automatically exposes the correct amount of blurred image? That wouldn't solve the alignment issue, but it would significantly cut down the number of frames needed. My impression is that a frame can contain text or graphics, but not both. But maybe I'm wrong about that.
It occurs to me that it might be relatively straightforward to write a script that handles the creation, sizing, and positioning of a blur frame. The designer could just select a text frame and then run the script. The pseudocode is something like:
- Get position and size of currently selected text frame.
- Get filename (name_of_image.psd) of image linked in frame below the selected text frame.
- Get (or calculate) page position of name_of_image.psd
- Create new graphic frame slightly bigger than text frame (to allow feathered margin) and sharing same center.
- Place name_of_image_blur.psd in new frame at same page position as name_of_image.psd
- Assign feather effect to new frame.
- Arrange new frame one level below text frame.
Then, if the text frame changes size or position, the designer can just delete the blur frame and use the script to quickly recreate it.
Or is there some way to create a frame that contains both the blurred image and text, so that resizing the text frame automatically exposes the correct amount of blurred image?
Group them, cut to the clipboard, then "paste into" another frame.