Home / Articles / Adobe InDesign / Creating Animations in Adobe InDesign CC: Growth and Rotation

Creating Animations in Adobe InDesign CC: Growth and Rotation

The first thought most people have for animating objects is moving things across a page. But objects don’t need an actual motion path to move. When things grow in size or spin around, that’s a type of motion, even though there may not be any obvious motion path associated with the animation.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to apply the animation presets that make objects grow or shrink as well as rotate. You’ll also see how to apply rotation and scale properties without any presets. You’ll see how changing the default transformation point can customize the path of a rotation. You’ll discover a trick using invisible objects to make scaling and rotation look more natural. Finally, you’ll learn how to force InDesign to display an animation proxy shadow for objects that only scale or rotate.

Exercise-4-1 Applying the Grow preset


It’s really quite easy to make things grow or shrink in InDesign with some very impressive results. For this exercise, you’ll see how a simple Grow preset can create an eye-popping effect. You’ll also learn how to set the preset so objects grow into a specific position.

The finished file for this exercise is Exercise-4-1-finished.indd.

  • Open the file Exercise-4-1-start.indt. This file shows a face with glasses, nose, and mustache (A). We want to scale the glasses from small to large.

  1. Using the Selection tool, select the Glasses group. Apply the Grow preset at the default settings (B). Use the EIP panel to preview the animation. The glasses grow larger. That’s not the effect we want.


    If it’s not already open, look in the Properties area of the Animation panel. The Grow preset scales the object up 200%. That’s made the glasses larger than the nose and mustache (C). We want them to start small and then grow into the original size.

    Since the preset scales the objects up 200%, we can fix the effect by setting the glasses to half their size and then using the preset.

  2. Select the Glasses group on the page and use the Control panel Scale X and Scale Y fields to scale it to 50%. Make sure the glasses are positioned correctly over the nose (D).

  3. The Grow preset is still applied to the group. Use the EIP panel to preview the animation. The glasses scale up to the original size. But you might not be sure about their position.

    Scaling the glasses down 50% and then using the preset to animate them up 200% works for this simple exercise. But in many instances, it’s too complicated to do the math and position the objects correctly.

    Fortunately, there’s an easier way that we’ll cover in the next exercise.

2. Exercise-4-2 Growing into the current appearance | Next Section