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InDesign: Does opacity affect masking?

New Here ,
Oct 06, 2020

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This is all in InDesign. It's for a book cover. I'm doing something fundamentally wrong, (and I've tried the forums, Adobe tutorial and the web to find out what) but I'm at a loss. By carefully moving the line segments on full zoom, I've managed to get very close to the effect I need (as the book needs this cover soon for publishing) but I still have a little time, if the community could help me understand my mistakes. See the screen shot at maximum zoom in.  I have a photo of a row of houses from Adobe Stock on the bottom and a block of a color swatch above (not a photo) to be the skyblue color.  The goal is to separate them by the roof line, with no overlap. I used Pen and Paste Into so as to create the two blocks. I need the sky color for the background of the book title text, and if I stretch the regular photo to try for this extra blue space, the homes distort too much. 

 

Maybe what is causing this problem is that the photo is at at 40% opacity, which is required for the text to show up properly for this book cover. The color swatch is at 30% opacity.  I could lighter color swatch without using opacity, so would that do the job? But I thought something in the back wasn't supposed to affect something in the front, regardless of opacity levels of either item. Isn't that right? The photo of houses needs to be lighter, so to get this effect, so don't I have to use the opacity function on the photo of the homes to get it to the correct lightnness? At one time I got an option setting box on a right click option or something or other, which asked me for a setting selection and (I think) it related to the opacity selection affecting the other elements of the document, but I can't find that setting box again to recheck it or change it. Does anyone recognize what the option selection box might have been and can direct me back to it?

Thus, I have:

Problem #1:  (A)

On the same layer: I couldn't get the block of color to act as if it is at the back under the photo, so the photo on top isn't affected by the swatch of color. InDeseign seems to indicate that the blue sky swatch is in the back, since when I use either the selection tool or the direct selection tool, go to Object/Arrange/; then only Move to Front is showing. So if when I highlight it, I can't move it to the back, right? Thus, I already did move it to the back, right? Then why does when the color block moves at all over/or under the roof photo, it alters the color of the photo at the roofline, if the color swatch it is supposed to be in the back, thus not merging, so to speak with the photo, thus affecting the color darkness. By moving the segments, I've gotten rid of the overlap to a minimum, but on the screen shot, can you see how one roof line is a bit on the top darker, where I haven't removed the  few pixels of overlap?  It's only a few pixels but it shows. I shouldn't be having to do this, is what I thought the use of Pen and Paste Into was for, for masking.

 

Problem #1 (B)

I also tried to use two layers, one for the sky blue color swatch, and one for the houses photo. Again, the color of the photo was affected, even with block of color in a layer under the photo.  

 

The temporary solution is to minutely move the segment lines of the two different sections to match as exactly as I can. So I'm getting close to that, using full zoom in, with both segements right next to eachother, but getting the direct selection tool to find each segment anchor isn't as easy as the Adobe Tutorial indicates. I'll quote the tutorial:

  • If you can see the points, you can click them with the Direct Selection tool 
     
    to select them. Shift-click to select multiple points.
  • Select the Direct Selection tool and drag a boundary around the anchor points. Shift-drag around additional anchor points to select them.
  • You can select anchor points from selected or unselected paths. Move the Direct Selection tool over the anchor point until the pointer displays a hollow square for unselected and filled square for selected paths in a magnified state, and then click the anchor point. Shift-click additional anchor points to select them.

 

Well,  the direct selection tool often selects the whole frame, not just the one tiny segment anchor. After I move the whole frame, I have to undo it and try again, and again. I just keep retrying until it gives me the hollow square for me to move just the one anchor that I want to move. I suppose I'm unselecting the frame as a whole, and the segment, then getting the hollow square, but, I'm not really sure what I'm doing.  It's only by sheer luck  that I'm getting the correct anchor. This will work, if nothing else will. But what am I doing wrong in selecting one anchor point? As the tutorial instruction indicates in the first bullet point that if I can see the anchor and I click it with the direct selection tool, I should get only that one anchor, and not select the whole frame. The instructions, further, seem to be contradicting, as the third bullet point then mentions getting a "hollow square" to select the anchor, which isn't even mentioned in the first bullet point. What's it going to be, Adobe? These instructions are, frankly, not clear enough to follow without some confusion, at least to my reading. What am I missing, misunderstanding,  or isn't being stated?  Doesn't bullet point three contradict bullet point one? So I keep clicking, then undoing, then reclicking, and eventually, I've been able to luck into selecting the one single anchor whereby it moves, and doesn't move the whole frame.  

Correct answer by RonKoz59 | Community Beginner

Hi Troy

Not exactly sure what you're attempting but it sounds like this.  You have a photo (row of houses) that you want to have a different sky above and text over top of.  You have used the pen tool to trace the roof-tops to create a mask effect removing the original sky.  The image needs to be knocked back so the text can be read overtop but when you make the image transparent the new sky background shows through.

Sounds like you need the background of the photo box to be not transparent which can be achieved by "direct selecting" the photo inside the masked shape-box and setting the opacity to 40% (note that the box needs to have a solid white fill in order to mask out the background. If you cannot make the masked photo box have a solid background with transparent image inset, then try duplicating the pictre box shape in place, remove the photo from the bottom image and then set the top one to be transparent (with no background fill) and have the bottom one be solid white 100%.  Hope that helps.

 

Ron

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InDesign: Does opacity affect masking?

New Here ,
Oct 06, 2020

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This is all in InDesign. It's for a book cover. I'm doing something fundamentally wrong, (and I've tried the forums, Adobe tutorial and the web to find out what) but I'm at a loss. By carefully moving the line segments on full zoom, I've managed to get very close to the effect I need (as the book needs this cover soon for publishing) but I still have a little time, if the community could help me understand my mistakes. See the screen shot at maximum zoom in.  I have a photo of a row of houses from Adobe Stock on the bottom and a block of a color swatch above (not a photo) to be the skyblue color.  The goal is to separate them by the roof line, with no overlap. I used Pen and Paste Into so as to create the two blocks. I need the sky color for the background of the book title text, and if I stretch the regular photo to try for this extra blue space, the homes distort too much. 

 

Maybe what is causing this problem is that the photo is at at 40% opacity, which is required for the text to show up properly for this book cover. The color swatch is at 30% opacity.  I could lighter color swatch without using opacity, so would that do the job? But I thought something in the back wasn't supposed to affect something in the front, regardless of opacity levels of either item. Isn't that right? The photo of houses needs to be lighter, so to get this effect, so don't I have to use the opacity function on the photo of the homes to get it to the correct lightnness? At one time I got an option setting box on a right click option or something or other, which asked me for a setting selection and (I think) it related to the opacity selection affecting the other elements of the document, but I can't find that setting box again to recheck it or change it. Does anyone recognize what the option selection box might have been and can direct me back to it?

Thus, I have:

Problem #1:  (A)

On the same layer: I couldn't get the block of color to act as if it is at the back under the photo, so the photo on top isn't affected by the swatch of color. InDeseign seems to indicate that the blue sky swatch is in the back, since when I use either the selection tool or the direct selection tool, go to Object/Arrange/; then only Move to Front is showing. So if when I highlight it, I can't move it to the back, right? Thus, I already did move it to the back, right? Then why does when the color block moves at all over/or under the roof photo, it alters the color of the photo at the roofline, if the color swatch it is supposed to be in the back, thus not merging, so to speak with the photo, thus affecting the color darkness. By moving the segments, I've gotten rid of the overlap to a minimum, but on the screen shot, can you see how one roof line is a bit on the top darker, where I haven't removed the  few pixels of overlap?  It's only a few pixels but it shows. I shouldn't be having to do this, is what I thought the use of Pen and Paste Into was for, for masking.

 

Problem #1 (B)

I also tried to use two layers, one for the sky blue color swatch, and one for the houses photo. Again, the color of the photo was affected, even with block of color in a layer under the photo.  

 

The temporary solution is to minutely move the segment lines of the two different sections to match as exactly as I can. So I'm getting close to that, using full zoom in, with both segements right next to eachother, but getting the direct selection tool to find each segment anchor isn't as easy as the Adobe Tutorial indicates. I'll quote the tutorial:

  • If you can see the points, you can click them with the Direct Selection tool 
     
    to select them. Shift-click to select multiple points.
  • Select the Direct Selection tool and drag a boundary around the anchor points. Shift-drag around additional anchor points to select them.
  • You can select anchor points from selected or unselected paths. Move the Direct Selection tool over the anchor point until the pointer displays a hollow square for unselected and filled square for selected paths in a magnified state, and then click the anchor point. Shift-click additional anchor points to select them.

 

Well,  the direct selection tool often selects the whole frame, not just the one tiny segment anchor. After I move the whole frame, I have to undo it and try again, and again. I just keep retrying until it gives me the hollow square for me to move just the one anchor that I want to move. I suppose I'm unselecting the frame as a whole, and the segment, then getting the hollow square, but, I'm not really sure what I'm doing.  It's only by sheer luck  that I'm getting the correct anchor. This will work, if nothing else will. But what am I doing wrong in selecting one anchor point? As the tutorial instruction indicates in the first bullet point that if I can see the anchor and I click it with the direct selection tool, I should get only that one anchor, and not select the whole frame. The instructions, further, seem to be contradicting, as the third bullet point then mentions getting a "hollow square" to select the anchor, which isn't even mentioned in the first bullet point. What's it going to be, Adobe? These instructions are, frankly, not clear enough to follow without some confusion, at least to my reading. What am I missing, misunderstanding,  or isn't being stated?  Doesn't bullet point three contradict bullet point one? So I keep clicking, then undoing, then reclicking, and eventually, I've been able to luck into selecting the one single anchor whereby it moves, and doesn't move the whole frame.  

Correct answer by RonKoz59 | Community Beginner

Hi Troy

Not exactly sure what you're attempting but it sounds like this.  You have a photo (row of houses) that you want to have a different sky above and text over top of.  You have used the pen tool to trace the roof-tops to create a mask effect removing the original sky.  The image needs to be knocked back so the text can be read overtop but when you make the image transparent the new sky background shows through.

Sounds like you need the background of the photo box to be not transparent which can be achieved by "direct selecting" the photo inside the masked shape-box and setting the opacity to 40% (note that the box needs to have a solid white fill in order to mask out the background. If you cannot make the masked photo box have a solid background with transparent image inset, then try duplicating the pictre box shape in place, remove the photo from the bottom image and then set the top one to be transparent (with no background fill) and have the bottom one be solid white 100%.  Hope that helps.

 

Ron

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 07, 2020

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Hi Troy

Not exactly sure what you're attempting but it sounds like this.  You have a photo (row of houses) that you want to have a different sky above and text over top of.  You have used the pen tool to trace the roof-tops to create a mask effect removing the original sky.  The image needs to be knocked back so the text can be read overtop but when you make the image transparent the new sky background shows through.

Sounds like you need the background of the photo box to be not transparent which can be achieved by "direct selecting" the photo inside the masked shape-box and setting the opacity to 40% (note that the box needs to have a solid white fill in order to mask out the background. If you cannot make the masked photo box have a solid background with transparent image inset, then try duplicating the pictre box shape in place, remove the photo from the bottom image and then set the top one to be transparent (with no background fill) and have the bottom one be solid white 100%.  Hope that helps.

 

Ron

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