Free Transform

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Anna Rognvaldsdottir 3 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #70072

    I don’t use InDesign all that often and when I do it’s for pretty straightforward layout projects. Now I’ve got a problem that totally confounds me and I’m wondering if you can pull me through. Perhaps I’m asking InDesign to do something it can’t do?

    I’m trying to marry two images: a photograph of a window (exterior view) and a menu I’m designing, using InDesign. The menu is supposed to fit into the window frame in the photo. The finished image is just going to serve as a presentation for the restaurateur, that’s all, so picture quality is not of essence. None the less I’m going for a photorealistic effect. I want the finished sketch to look nice, not jarring.

    I took the photo from a slight angle so the window (one pane of glass) appears trapezoidal in shape. But the trapezoid is none too ‘clean’ or regular because of slight lens distortion.

    What I did was I ‘placed’ the photograph, in its full size, in an InDesign document to use as reference. The menu I designed is comprised of text and number of photos. I was planning on grouping all the elements in the menu, essentially creating one object that I’d be able to distort (using some type of ‘free transform’ tool) so that it would fit the window frame in my reference photo. To get a match of perspectives.

    Once I’d matched the perspective of the menu in InDesign to that of the window frame in the photo I thought I could simply import the distorted menu into Photoshop to finish the job.

    I thought this process would be dead simple but it isn’t.

    Basically I need a tool in InDesign that allows me to distort/transform an object any which way. I haven’t been able to locate that tool. Or is this something I should be doing in Illustrator?


  • #70073

    Tom Venetia

    Anna, please submit a sketch of what you wish to accomplish. I am pretty sure that ID can do what you wish but from your description it is difficult to visualize the final effect.
    My assumption is that you wish to place a text inside a trapezoid. Is this right?

  • #70075

    Right, Tom.

    I wish to place a placard of sorts, with text and photos, inside a trapezoid that’s slightly skewed.

    You would see at a glance what I mean if you had a sketch but I don’t know how to submit a sketch in this forum. Perhaps you could tell me but I’m going to work right now and won’t be back until late tonight.


  • #70078

    David Blatner

    Unfortunately, the only way to put an image here is to post it on some other site (there are a ton of “post your image here” sites) and then reference it with an IMG html link.

    I think the answer to this, however, is: InDesign does not offer distortion tools. You can shear, scale, and rotate, which is enough to fake a little simple perspective, but probably not enough to do what you want. Illustrator has far more ability to distort shapes.

  • #70089

    Thanks, David —

    I kind of expected this would be the case.


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