Los Angeles InDesign User Group

InDesign, Illustrator, Lightroom and Photoshop: Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Thursday, October  18, 2018

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, 919 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90015

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By Alvin Takamori


Although the Los Angeles InDesign User Group usually meets every other month, in October we held an extra special meeting downtown at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with not just one, but two guest presenters for the evening. And they didn't just come from out-of-town. They came from out of the country. Bart Van de Wiele, Senior Digital Media Consultant, Adobe Systems visited from Belgium and Nigel French, graphic designer and photographer traveled all the way from England just to speak at our meeting, and where they were here, also attend some Adobe MAX thing.


Anyway, they were here at FIDM, in an upstairs classroom engaging in a lively back and forth exchange. Bart and Nigel took turns sharing various tips and tricks that they use in InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom. I'm not going to try to cover everything that they presented that evening, but here are a few of their tips.


Nigel suggested that it's a good idea to avoid a couple of Photoshop filters. To create a solarization effect, don't use the destructive filter. Preserve the original image. Add a Black and White adjustment layer, and create a Curves adjustment layer on top of that. Using the latter, form a parabolic curve to create the solarized look. Another filter to never use is the Mezzotint filter. To pixelate an image, go to Texturizer and use the Grain filter instead. It's more adjustable. Convert the layer into a smart object and you can always go back to edit it.


Want a better Graphic Pen effect? Take your image and create two separate layers. On each layer use the Stippled Portrait filter. On one layer, apply it to the highlights of the image and on the other layer apply it to the shadows.


Bart advocates preserving the original image and making changes as flexible and editable as possible. To that end, he suggested taking Photoshop images and adding a Black and White adjustment layer. To restore the color, use Luminosity as the blending mode. Now you can make changes to each color using sliders in the Properties panel and the original image is unaffected.


Shifting to InDesign, Nigel provided some advice on controlling text flow. In a typical layout, on a single page, the text might vary between running the width of the page, and being divided into 2 or 4 columns. Under Text Frame Options, select 2 column frame. That will set up a 2 column layout. Next, create a Paragraph Style. Under Paragraph Layout select Span All. This style can be applied whenever the text needs to span across the entire page. Usually this is header text so you can choose Style Based on Header. Generate another Paragraph Style. This time select Split Column. Apply this style wherever you need a 4 column layout.


Bart provided some quick Illustrator tips. If you have a complex object with many points and it's layered over multiple objects, it can be difficult to select specific points if you need to alter the shape. Especially if you try to select points individually. A more efficient way is to double click on the object, which shifts it into isolation mode. Now you can use the Lasso Tool to select whichever points you need. Select Save Isolation and now the selection of points is saved, and can be edited any time.


Need to divide multiple shapes, don't use the Pathfinder Tool. You can lose shapes. Instead, draw a line where you want to cut the shapes and under the Objects menu, go to Path and select Divide Objects Below.


Bart concluded with a memory draining trick, where you stack frames from a video and convert it into a smart object. Then when you select Medium for the Stack Mode any moving objects are removed from the image.


Nigel ended by teaching us a GREP Style to find and create fractions.


There were a lot of other tips and tricks that Nigel and Bart raced through over a couple of hours. They talked about colors. palettes, kerning and a whole lot more, They also did a brief question and answer session. If you want to know the details of any of this, you should've been at the meeting.



Farthest Attendee Prize Winner


Mighty Deals—Jehova Cuevas



Raffle Prize Winners


Adobe Creative Cloud—Alan Gilbertson

GoProof from Oppolis Software. 3 month subscription for 2 users—Rick Torres

FlightCheck from Markzware. 12 month subscription—Kendell In

Expo Creative Asset Manager for Mac from Insider Software—Angela De Leon

Suitcase Fusion 8 from Extensis. 12 month subscription—Rick Torres

Font Agent Pro 8 from Insider Software—Cheryl Stevens

InMotion Hosting. Web hosting and free domain—Dave Snow

DTP Tools Cloud for InDesign. 6 month subscription—Rick Torres

Multi-Find/Change 3.0 from Automatication—Rick Torres

Adobe Stock. 15 image licenses—Angela De Leon

LA Web Professionals Group meeting tickets—Rocie Carrillo, Jehova Cuevas, Priscilla Ochoa, Cheryl Stevens

Adobe Goodie Bag—Jeff Marcus




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