InDesign Eye Candy, part 5: Blending a la Mode
For this final installment of the Eye Candy series, let’s take a look at some of the things we can do to alter placed graphics with blending modes. Specifically, let’s focus on Hue, Saturation, and Color.
We’ll start with our friend with the silly horns one more time.
Fill a new frame with a solid color.
Place that frame on top of the image.
Then change the frame’s blending mode to Hue in the Effects panel.
You get a nice fake duotone effect.
Because we used Hue, the saturation and luminosity values of the original image are kept. So areas that had very little color to begin with, like the horns, rocks, and road, are relatively unaffected.
Change the frame’s blending mode to Color.
See how the horns, rocks, and road are much more colorized? That’s because Color = Hue and Saturation. The only part of the original image that’s kept are the luminosity values (the L in LAB color). Overall, the image has a more uniform feel with less contrast. But if that’s what you’re looking for, well, bully for you.
Now change the blending mode to Saturation.
We get the original hues, but a uniform saturation. It’s very noticeable in those areas of low original saturation like the horns, and the dried grass in the background.
You can blend with a fully saturated color to really take it to the limit. How now, purple cow?
To reduce the freakish effect, just reduce the tint in the Swatches panel.
You can take it all the way down to 0% to completely desaturate the image.
If your image has a clipping path, you can place an unclipped, desaturated copy underneath.
Just be aware that desaturating with blending modes doesn’t by itself produce a true grayscale. If you print or export a PDF, you’ll see you have a 4-color black.
There is at least one way to trick InDesign to making it pure black, but it’s not for the faint of heart (and isn’t worth the trouble if you have Photoshop at your disposal to make a true grayscale). But if anyone’s interested, let me know, and I’ll describe it in the comments.
Don’t forget you can add Effects to the frame that’s controlling the saturation. For example, give it a Gradient Feather.
Play with different shapes and Effects.
Have fun. But blend responsibly. Always blend with Overprint Preview turned on to give you the best idea of the colors you’re making. And avoid the following blending modes when working with spot colors: Difference, Exclusion, Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity. The results won’t be pretty at the printer.
Well, I think it’s time to mooo-ve on. Hope you enjoyed the Eye Candy series.