InDesign: Create Custom Image Frames with Shapes, Type & The Pathfinder in this Graphic Design Class | Benjamin Halsall | Skillshare

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InDesign: Create Custom Image Frames with Shapes, Type & The Pathfinder in this Graphic Design Class

teacher avatar Benjamin Halsall, Final Cut Pro X & Adobe Courses

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

    • 2. Create a New Document

    • 3. Angled Image Boxes using the Direct Selection Tool

    • 4. Create Split Circles using the Pathfinder Tool

    • 5. Combined Grid of Circles as an Image Frame

    • 6. Type as an Image Frame: Option 01

    • 7. Type as an Image Frame: Option 02

    • 8. Triangle Montage Image Frames

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About This Class

Learn how to create different image frames from shapes, combinations of shapes, divided shape, type and much more. 

In this class you will learn how to control, manipulate and create a selection of image frames with the aim of giving you complete control over how you place images in Adobe InDesign.

So check out the class intro and find out how you can add a bit 'A' for awesome to your Adobe InDesign image frames!

In this class you will learn to:

  • place images in custom shapes
  • place images in type
  • use the pathfinder tool to combine and modify shapes
  • work with the direct selection tool to manipulate shape
  • use type to punch a hole in shapes 
  • place, re-scale and modify images

This class covers some fundamental InDesign skills that will be very useful in any design work that you are working on in Adobe InDesign. 

If you have any questions about this class or my Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop classes then just drop me a note.

Below is a list of my other Adobe InDesign classes on Skillshare:

Photoshop to InDesign: Creating Image Masks for Text Wraps

Adobe InDesign: Introduction to Shape, Image & Text Objects in-depth

InDesign: Placing Images, Scaling Images, Controlling Resolution & Rotating Images

InDesign: Create Custom Image Frames with Shapes, Type & The Pathfinder in this Graphic Design Class

InDesign: Create a Trifold Flyer

InDesign: Create Text Columns with Titles and Quotes that Span Them

InDesign: Table Styles & Scripts

InDesign: Create a Custom Newsletter Layout

InDesign: Tips for Customising Perfect Lists

InDesign: Save Time by Using Nested Paragraph Styles - Gallery Labels

Meet Your Teacher

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Benjamin Halsall

Final Cut Pro X & Adobe Courses


For the designer in you I create fun short lessons in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator & Adobe InDesign. I include some creative and technical tips in all my lessons which are always easy to follow. Check out my popular Banksy Yourself Photoshop Class, how to create Polygonal Patterns in Adobe Illustrator or my Photoshop Drawing & Painting Fundamentals.

For Final Cut Pro X editors check out my course Learn Final Cut Pro X in 25 Minutes or learn how to put video inside type, create grunge style text or my basic and advanced split screen tutorials.

I look forward to seeing your projects and am always happy to answer your questions.

See full profile

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1. Class Introduction: Hi there. So in this in design to tour, we're gonna be looking at how we can create some custom image box is one of the main aims of this is think about how we can modify and use easy to create shapes to create some very cool designs and image boxes that will help to bring your designs in adobe in design to life. So you can see up on screen here that we have a few different examples of the types of image boxes that we're gonna be creating in this tutorial. So let's dive straight in and have a look at how we begin to create some of these cool image boxes in a baby in design. 2. Create a New Document: So the first thing we're gonna go ahead and do here is create a new documents, your car to our farm in you jump into new creating new document and here I'm gonna create document without facing pages. And I'm gonna create it is a landscape document simply because with the landscape document , I can show you more stuff on screen as we're working through this project that set up a document whichever size you want. So if we jump to letter here and then landscape, we're gonna add a number of pages here. So I'm gonna make this a 10 page document. We're gonna create a different image boxes or image frames that we're gonna create on different pages so that we can kind of keep them nice and clean and separated. We don't need a leader or a slug for the moment. We can always add that later if we need it, and we'll leave the margins at the default. So if we click OK, here, we've got our brand new document. First thing, the most important thing, of course, is to go ahead and go to file. Save on will say this. Documents of desktop as image frames 3. Angled Image Boxes using the Direct Selection Tool: So the first image frame we're gonna create is gonna be using the rectangle tool. So we're gonna jump in to our tool. But on the left hand side here jumped to the rectangle frame tool on. We're gonna be using a combination off the rectangle frame tool modified using the direct selection tool. So if we drag out a rectangle on screen, that's our first image box and for this example real nice, simple example. We're gonna grab the direct selection tool from the toolbar up here, Click and Hold and Dragon Marquis around these top two points. And that means that with the A wreck selection tool selected, we can modify and move those two points the top so we can create. It's nice, kind of slanted image box on. This is gonna be good, because thes boxes, as we add images into them, are gonna line up perfectly now as we add images in here, we can do a few things with this, and they keep the same angle. We can grab the right hand to points for the left hand two points and modify the width of it, OK, but still using the smart guys keeping it the same angle or tilt there. So let's go ahead and duplicate this image box. We can throw a few different images into these boxes, so jump up and grab the selection tool on. We're gonna hold down the bulky on, just drag across. Okay, so I'm gonna click on my frame here, drag across, and you can see we've got a few image boxes there. I'm gonna select them all by just dragging a marquee around them on distribute them. I've got my distribute to page set on, so I'm just gonna flick that off in the distribute options up here. I'm just gonna change this to align to selection rather than aligned page and distribute them again. You can see the center one just nudged slightly there. So now I'm gonna go through these go to file place. We're gonna go into some textured images that we have here. So I'm gonna grab a few of these on command or control. And B is the shortcut for placing an undue command or control Indy. Grab another texture. Pop it in there on demo day. The last one. And if we gravel these, we can use the fill frame proportionally toe fit as much those images in its possible. Or we can click on the center box here to actually scale those up and down there. When I was scaling my images, I always hold down shift, so that keeps things in proportion. So you can see if I don't help downshift. It's just gonna let me distort the image, which I don't want to hold down, shift at your re scaling your images, click away, re scale the next image, okay on reposition it and have a practice with Cem. Different images that you can use so we can now move these boxes So they're nice and close to one another. And then we can also use the distribute at that stage to so we can play around with this and decide whether we want them nice and spaced out or a bit closer, a bit more flushed together. So I'm simply moving in the left or right box, closer or further away and then selecting all my boxes and using the distribute wit to align its image boxes in this way. Once we've got a few, we could drag them all held down the R key again and do a second duplicate and will pull this one out to the right, and you can see that quite quickly. We end up with a nice kind of pattern or design on screen that we can work with and play around with. OK? And, of course, because their image frames rather than images. As we re size the boxes, it's not distorting the images inside. It's just reframing all those image right frames in one go a case. That's the end of our first example. We're gonna go ahead now. Use the Pathfinder to look at how we can work with combinations of shapes to create some different image boxes. 4. Create Split Circles using the Pathfinder Tool: So I'm gonna move down to my next page here and just hold down the space bar. I got my selection tool on, and it's just talking on the handle, which means I can move my document around on in this example. We're gonna be using the Ellipse tool to start with the Ellipse frame to start with. And we're gonna be slicing this up and working with it to modify innocent, different combinations. So if we drag out a circle I'm holding now shift, as I'm doing this sets a perfect circle. Now, once I've got my circle up in a click and hold and come to my rectangle frame Tal underneath there and then I'm just gonna draw a rectangle that snaps to the center of that circle. So it's gonna make sure that this is snapping right in the middle There. I'm gonna highlight both those image frames using my selection tool, and then I'm gonna bring up a tool called a Pathfinder. So if we go to a window object and layout and bring up the Pathfinder and we can combine these shapes so I can select options in the second row of the Pathfinder here and the subtract option is the one I want to use this second option in and you can see I can slice my circle perfectly in half there. So what I'm gonna do now is grab that copy it and only do edit and paste in place. It pastes in exactly the same spot I'm gonna then go to my reference point here and just click my right hand reference point here so that when I rotate this here I 180 degrees either minus or plus 180 degrees, it's gonna make a circle that's exactly the opposite. So now if I jump in here, I can go to file place and jump in and grab another texture, and we'll fill that proportionally and then do command and D or control and be on the PC to fill the other side. And we'll grab this other texture and you can see we're ending up with some nice textures in a perfect circle. There have any gaps in between? And if we wanted to make sure there were no gaps in between that circle and weaken, use another tool in the alignment elections that we find under window object and lay out on the line, which is next to the Pathfinder him and I'm going to use a specific distribute spacing for the horizontal spacing, which is gonna be zero. And now, if I use that, I know that those are exactly zero inches apart. You can obviously space these out if you want to buy using that distribution, which could be handy when you're wanting toe work mathematically or more precisely, with your designs. But I'm gonna leave these nice and flush together as I'm working with those images. So we can obviously held down the r key duplicate these. We could group them together so that we could distribute them out nicely. Andi, create some interesting designs with us. Now. One thing we can do with these kind of textures and patterns within an image frame is if we come to our window and effects here and we bring up our in a glow or our in a shadow, so I use in a glow. Okay, then we've got some options in here that allow us toe. Use this less like a glow and more like a color tint. So if I change this from screen to color and pick her scion here. Okay, then I'm gonna leave their past it. 75%. I might increase in a second. If I increase the size of this image box and check on preview here, then you can see for that image within that frame, actually adding a tint into that image. So this image is a width of 0.85 inches on. We've got size of 1.1 to 5. So we're catching all of that image on. We can increase the capacity to kind of increase the intensity of that. We can work with other blend modes too dark and things to lighten things. And we can use this like a color tint on parts of our image design if we want to add a certain look or a certain field to something. Okay, so let's click OK to that. So we've got a couple different options here. 5. Combined Grid of Circles as an Image Frame: And now I want to look at is how we can use the Pathfinder in here to combine separate shapes, but use them as one image frame. Okay, So if we grab the ellipse frame till here from the left hand side and put out a smaller circle here, I'm gonna grab this and just hold down the okay on Jupiter Four of these across, and you can see the snapping is keeping them a little bit aligned. But I'm gonna use the distribute option here just to make sure that distributed online perfectly. But I'm gonna group these together and just drag thes down on, then distributes the heights. Okay, Now I'm gonna just one group these. I don't want these a group when I'm working with these now, so I'm gonna go to object one group, and now these are all individual frames. Now, if I select all of these images and do command and day and select an image here and it's not gonna place that image within all of those frames, it's gonna treat them individually as individual image frames. But if I graveled those frames here now, come to my pathfinder and combine those you can see it's treating as one image frame. So if I go to file place, jump into a different folder here will grab a silhouette. Okay, Andi place that use the fill frame proportion, and you can see now that image is fitting into all those circles. It's treating it as one shape because we've combined them using the Pathfinder, which is a really useful technique. Now we could have combined square circles triangles, also the different images, or even type together to create one image frame in this way. In the next lesson, we're gonna look a type and image frames on a couple of different tips for working with type. 6. Type as an Image Frame: Option 01: Let's go down to the next page and have a look at how we can work with text in a couple of ways, in adobe in design. So I'm going to scroll down here to my next page on. We're gonna add some type using the type tool, drag out text box here, when in design will get to fill the whole page here on will type in something in capitals. I'm going to select these three lines of type and will make them a nice old Helvetica on Increase the size and I'll just leave these two words in the same line so we can have its nicely blocked out. So in order to place an image within type in in design, we need to break this apart into an image frame first. So we're gonna go to type, create outlines, and as soon as we've done that, we can start to place images within this type. I'm just gonna go to object on group just toe pull this apart a little bit. Now what we'll see here when we go to file place on place an image, it's gonna place it within just one line of that type So what we need to do here is use the Pathfinder to combine those two shapes. So if I select these two shapes now, Andi used the combine option in the Pathfinder. It's now going to let that image flow into both those lines of type. So we have one shape here that we can place an image in on. Then we can use the pilfering proportionate option, actually, get that image toe fit to the size of those two lines of type. Now, if we want to move things around here, we obviously can't go in and edit the type that we can use. The direct selection tool to say drew around this second word. And now we're moving points up so we can just nudge up these shapes so they're closer to the line above. And we can do that with individual letters as well, as long as we're just careful about what we select. So I can select the tea by dragging a marquee around it, and I can nudge the tea so I can refine my design, refine the spacing of my letters on I can also do some customization. Xas Well, so for instance, I wanna take the middle out of the O. I can click on one of these points. I can click on one of these points in the middle of the road and delete this inner circle and delete one point by one point this inner circle. I have to click away, click to the next next point, delete it and then just click through carefully. So now you can see we can start to have some fun. We could do the P as well. So if I do this, I can just hold down shift. And it's probably easier to select all those points around that in a section of the P on Delete That so we can start to play around and create is kind of interesting elements without type is interesting design elements. 7. Type as an Image Frame: Option 02: let's move to the next page and have a look at one other option that we have with our type here. So if I move my document down, I'm gonna create new type books. Type something in will form at this as myriad pro Black is perfect. I'll make it all caps by using your caps button up here, and I'm gonna increase the type size on again for the second line. Gonna use the leading to pull this line. Backups. I'm just using shift in the curcic eater. Move that leading quickly and then I'm gonna do is I'm gonna create my outlines type, create outlines. I'm gonna grab another shape. So I grab this time a rectangle We needs that rectangle to fill the whole page. We'll give that new rectangle of Phil off read and no stroke. I'm gonna send this box the back, so I'm gonna go to object, arrange center back, and now I can do with my path Lana towards. I can use this text to punch a hole in the shape behind. So if I use this second option here, I need to break this apart for so Object Hung group and then select all of these, and then I can punch a hole within that shape. Now, what that means is I can place an image behind this. So if I go to a file place, I just need to make sure you've de selected your object before you do this and we'll grab another image here, open this one up, and I'm going to stretch this out and go to object. Arrange center back. Another image is behind about red shape. Now, whether you want to use this method or the method where you place your type within a shape is really up to you. One of the things we can do here with this example is we can place effects on this top most layer so we can go to the effects panel. So window effects when we can add things like a drop shadow, which is going to drop a shadow onto that layer behind so we can get this almost three D effect, which looks like the pages lifting off the image in the background. So that's another creative way of working with images within shapes. Or they were not putting the image within a shape in this example, but it's ah good example. We could also do some combinations as well. So if we grab this new shape that we made and paste that in just positioned this here, I'm gonna take the drop shadow off this layer by dragging it to the trash. And I'm gonna come back to my page one. Grab these guys. Copy them. Come to this page, paste those in. And what to do now is just stretch these outs. They feel that entire height, use the fill frame proportionally option. So we're filling the height of that. Just tweak some of these images. So there no white in there a little bit. Snow is not only one. Okay, so now if I pull these so they're closer together from the left and right, and then select the mall. Distribute the wits and I'll just a little bit closer. Just a tiny nudge. Want to get them overlapping so that when we moved into the back, they fill that hole shape. So now looks like we've got it. So, with those angled images selected, I'm gonna go to object, arrange center back, and you can see now we get this kind of cool effect where were combining the shapes in the background with shape in the foreground? So that's a few different ways of working with tight. I need it by placing our text within a combined type player or by punching a hole in something with type so that we can see behind. We could use other shapes in this as well on, then also by using that hunched Holter a different design behind that. So got a lot of creative options for working with type on images in adobe in design. I'm gonna say this now and now. We're gonna go and have a look at one last example using triangles. 8. Triangle Montage Image Frames: so will come down to the next page for this one. And I'm gonna grab from here my polygon tool. My polygon frame tool Double click here. I'm going to use three sides. No star in set, and then I'm gonna drag out a triangle. Okay, so now I'm gonna go to file on place and look, crab are comfortable images. Ha! Please in there. So I'm gonna grab another trying along a duplicate this out command or control indeed to replace this image, and we'll grab two more. Just duplicate as out, straight away. And come on, Andy, replace the image. Come on, Andy. Again replace the image. And now I'm gonna do is I'm gonna use the fact that we have smart guy turned on. So if you go to view Brits and guides, make sure you're smart guide to turn down. And so now, with the direct selection tool, we can grab corner of these triangles and drag it down. So it snaps to a corner of one of the other triangles. So you can see here. We're starting to get this knee effect where these triangles are linking together to create a shape and this useful for image frames, but also for other examples. Well, to fire drag. My direct selection told around this edge, I can move those together so I can really play around nicely with It's almost polygon alike Image books. If we change the triangle and center here, obviously we're gonna have to move each of these individually. So matter think a little bit about how we're going to select those which order we do that in, so that they're all in the right spot. When we finished editing or image, it's enough. I go back to my selection tool. I can click on the circle and reframe the image. So I'm getting the best part of each image in the frame. Okay, and you can see this kind of could begin to produce some interesting design effects in a baby in design. I think these images need a little bit more work, but you can see the technical aspect of how we're doing this. So that's the end of this quick demonstration of how to work with image frames, a few different methods. They're using the image frame tools in the direct selection tool, using type to punch holes into things I heard that's been useful, and I look forward to seeing some examples of what you come up with is you play with these techniques and I look forward to seeing on the next tutorial.