Learning Paths

Create this really cool page turn effect using inDesign

Adobe inDesign is not generally considered a great drawing tool, at least not in comparison with its good friends Photoshop and Illustrator. But it’s still got some moves and should be entirely dismissed.

This blog is going to walk you through the tools and techniques required to create a great looking page turn effect using only inDesign.

Start by creating a page that has a 3mm bleed around it.

1. Draw a rectangle

Select the Rectangle shape tool and draw a filled rectangle similar to the one illustrated. You can also use a square, but I think a slight rectangle makes for a better design. Make sure the rectangle is to the Bleed margin, not the page edge!

2. Add some Handles

Using the Convert Direction Point tool, drag handles out of the top left anchor point. Use the same tool to snap the handle by dragging one handle to a new angle.

3. Create the curves

Swap the Tool for the Direct Selection Tool and use the tool to create 2 curved paths along the top, and down the left side of your rectangle, something like this:

4. Adjust the points position

I usually find the curves created are to aggressive, instead try using the direct selection tool to move the top left anchor point in towards the centre of the rectangle a little. The shape will work a little better.

5. Add a Gradient Fill

Add a Linear Gradient to the Fill colour. Open the Gradient Panel Window> Colour> Gradient as you will need this panel.

6. Edit the Stops

Add another stop to the gradient slider, at the mid point. Change the colours to the following order: Grey, Black & White by dragging the 3 sliders along the gradient editor into position.

7. Adjust the Black Stop

Firstly you need to position the Black Stop on the Gradient editor so that the black line in the Rectangle starts and ends in line with the corners of the rectangle shape. Get it as close as you can, though it wont fit exactly (unless you did choose to draw a square).

Next, drag the white stop closer to the Black (about a Third), and use the Mid-point handle (small diamond between the 2 stops at the top of the Gradient Editor) to shorten the Black Gradient and create a sharper line between the Black & White stops.

8. Change the Angle

Click in the window named Angle in the Gradient Panel, so your cursor flashes. Using the Cursor Up and Down keys adjust the angle gradually until your Gradient lines up with the corners of your rectangle perfectly.

9. Duplicate the Shape

Copy the shape, only fill this version with Black rather than a Gradient. Move this Black shape into a position that would work best to act as a shadow for the page curl. I find moving it down and slightly to the left most effective.

10. Add some Feathering

Use the Effects (fx) option in the control panel to add a Basic Feather to this Black shape. The Width you can judge for yourself, but it might look better set to; Corners: Sharp.

11. Move the Rectangle Back

Use the Object menu and choose Object > Arrange > Move Back (or press Control/Command – ]) to position the shadow behind the original shape.

12. Adjust the Opacity

Keep the Shadow selected and change the blend mode to Add and set the opacity to about 80%. These settings can be found in the Effects options or in the Effects Panel.

13. Group the Objects

Select both shapes and group them (Command/Control – G) so the page turn effect can be moved and scaled more easily.

Once you know what your doing with Clipping masks, you might even consider adding content from the next page into this page turn effect, but how to do that is for another day.

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