How to make the paper cut effect in Illustrator – Illustrator Advanced Training [40/53]

How to make the paper cut effect in Illustrator – Illustrator Advanced Training [40/53]

Hi YouTube, this is a free extract
from my larger Illustrator Advanced Course. You can check that out on Also, there’s a link in the description
for the exercise files. Those are free to download,
so go and download those. All right, enjoy the video. Hi there, in this video we’re going to
make this paper cut effect… using Adobe Illustrator. All right, let’s jump in and do it. To start making this effect,
we are going to use a bit of Type. One thing also, we’re going to use
some colors that are from the 80s. You saw it at the beginning there… so just make sure your Document Setup
or Document Color Mode is ‘RGB’. You just can’t reach those colors
with CMYK. So grab the ‘Type Tool’,
create a letter. I’m just going to just use the letter X,
like you saw. And I’m going to use a nice,
big thick font. I’m going to use ‘Museo Slab’. It’s part of TypeKit, you can download that
for free as part of your license. If you don’t have Museo, you can just
go into here, and go to ‘Slab Serif’… and just see what slabs you have in here. I feel like I have more than that,
but anyway– I’m going to turn– I’m going to
give it a Fill like– Let’s go super chunky. Even chunkier, 1000,
make it nice and big. And I’m going to go and outline it. You need to outline the font eventually,
I’m going to make a copy over here. You’ve opened it, you’ve outlined it,
and you can’t remember what it was. So this guy here is going to be outlined,
so ‘Type’, ‘Create Outlines’. And now we’re going to do some drawing. Up to you, you can be super precise
with the Curvature or Pen Tool. I am not, I’m going to use
the Pencil Tool… but just make sure I’ve double clicked
the ‘Pencil Tool’… the Smoothing is at really high,
and you’ve unselected, keep selected. That just causes a pain
while you’re drawing. One thing I wish though,
I wish I had my Wacom tablet with me. Again, I’m stuck inside
with a snow storm. So we’re filling from home, no Wacom,
but that’s okay. Now when I’m drawing, I’m going to– It doesn’t really matter what
colors you picked now… but it needs no Fill, any Stroke. I’m going to do three Strokes,
so I’m going to do… yellow, green, and Cyan
for my three levels. Now when you’re drawing there’s
nothing to it, it’s– I’m going to start from the outside end,
it’s totally up to you… but we’re going to draw all the
way around, I’ll show you what I mean. I’m going to kind of draw around here. I’ve got some loopy things,
it’s going to come in and out. There’s a lot of work that goes into… kind of guessing what it’s
going to look at the end. We can do some adjustments later on. You want to come back to the beginning. I shouldn’t probably loop back on itself,
but I’m trying to make it look fine. And you can see, with the Pencil Tool
up and smoothing… it made me look like I’m pretty good
with my mouse here. So that’s the first level,
I’m going to draw another one. That is the green. And this one here is just going to– So this is going to be like peeking in
around this guy, in and out a little bit… but he’s kind of the next level down… that we saw in that Intro video. We’re going to leave enough room for,
I guess, whatever you decide… how many levels you’re going to do. We did three in this case. Three plus the background equals four. Now I’m just coming back
to the beginning. We’ll speed this next bit up,
I’m just going to use blue. So let’s go speedy version. We’re back, so that scribbly mess is– that’s the reason I picked colors, I guess. Now we’re going to choose a set of colors
to use for it. I’m going to go ‘Window’, ‘Color Themes’,
just to pick awesome colors. ‘Color Themes’. If you go from ‘Create’ to ‘Explore’
you get a bunch of colors. Mine’s on Most Popular this month,
‘Zoo’ is the one I’m going to use. If you can’t find it,
and you want to use it… just type in ‘zoom’ and search,
and you should be able to find it. What we need now is four squares
for our four different levels. The three kind of scribbles,
plus the background. So draw a rectangle above
the thing you want to– just needs to be bigger, doesn’t really
matter how much bigger. We need to decide on our levels,
so I’m going to start with orange. I’m going to drag it up holding ‘Alt’,
then hit ‘Command D’. So I’ve got one, two, three, four.
Zoom out. All right, so orange… blue… green… and pink. So I’ve got these guys, now I’m going to
lay these guys out on top of it. Just giving them some sort of order. I’ll do this top one here. I’ll bring him to front so I can see him. Who is next? Green is next. ‘Arrange’, ‘Bring to Front’. You can right click them to bring them
to the front. And that guy just kind of
fills in the background. So I’ve got these three, now all I need
to do is make them a Compound Path. You can go to ‘Object’,
‘Compound Path’, ‘Make’… or select them both, and go ‘Command 8’,
or ‘Control 8’ on a PC. So I’ve got my bits and pieces, now I want
to stack them on top of each other. This can be a bit of a pain,
like, I want to put this guy up the top. This guy should be right down the back. So just keep playing with
your Layer order… until you get something working. You really didn’t know
what to stick to that. One more line, perfect,
and that guy is at the back. So one, two, three, four. So to get the 3D kind of effect… what we’re going to do is,
have it selected, all of them… and we’re going to go to ‘Effects’… and we’re going to apply ‘Stylize’,
and it’s just a ‘Drop Shadow’. Because it’s a Compound Shapes,
there’s a hole in it. Drop Shadow is quite cool. Let’s go pretty– you can do any glow… and change the mode to ‘Normal’,
and use black. But I want this kind of 3D effect. In here, it’s just a matter of
playing around, right? I’ve kind of played around with it already,
and I was kind of happy with… how it looked here, maybe change
this down a bit. So just a matter of playing around. Make sure your Preview is on
so you can kind of see. It’s got it’s 3Dness. Click ‘OK’. Now another thing I like to do,
when I was playing around… is I liked it when it had
a second Drop Shadow… that was just a little bit smaller,
I’ll show you what I mean. You can leave it like this totally… because this next bit
gets a little confusing. I want to add a second Drop Shadow. I’m going to close down Appearance Panel,
what I meant to do is go to ‘Effects’… and let’s go to ‘Stylize’,
and add ‘Drop Shadow’. And this is going to apply
a second one. I’m going to click it on,
and it’s going to freak out a bit. That’s okay. We have to
play around with the Shadow order. Just take it from me at the moment,
just leave it at 60. I’m going to do 1 x 1 x– I might turn this preview off,
it’s freaking out. 1 x 1 x 2. Just kind of a really thin offset,
and not much blur. Reasonably strong, I might
have to change that. Click ‘OK’. Trying to apply the shadow,
and it just doesn’t work. It’s applying a shadow on top
of another shadow, which is– Let’s go to the Appearance panel here,
so there’s two of them applied. Now what we need to do is just
change the Layer order… so I can just drag this one underneath. This is where sometimes,
it doesn’t want to do it, right? So we have to do it individually… because they’re all mixed appearances,
so this is why– Yes, if you want to do it. So what I’m going to do is go to
‘Wireframe Mode’, which is way up, ‘View’. And this top one here, ‘Command Y’,
or ‘Control Y’ on a PC. I’m going to click on ‘Direct Selection’
tool, click on this guy. I’ll drag him underneath. What is the next line? That one there, drag him underneath. These are joined individually. Not too hard, right? So that should be it, let’s go back
up to Wireframe Mode. ‘GPU Preview’. It’s kind of what I was looking to do. I might have to change that setting. It’s maybe a bit too dark around here. Let’s click on it, and– you can adjust them now,
so it’s the bottom one we want. No, the top one we want. Dan, get on with it. It’s the Opacity I’m going to turn down. Click ‘OK’. It’s kind of what I was looking for. Maybe the Blur’s too big. I’m not going to go and change it
because we want to carry on. All you need to do now
is clip it inside this. So I’m going to grab my ‘Black Arrow’,
select this guy. I’ll keep a version up there. Drag it kind of roughly how we want,
make sure it’s at the back of the X. Get it kind of lined up. Then select them all… then hit ‘Command 7’. If you’re on a PC, ‘Control 7’. The long way,
‘Clipping Mask’, ‘Make’, and… ready, 3D, 80 is in. I think there’s too much
black on that shadow… but I’m going to fix it afterwards. I’m not going to keep you any longer. Now we’ve done it with curves,
you can do it with spikes… you can do with anything. It’s just kind of basically Compound Shapes
with the Drop Shadow. Gives you that kind of paper cut look. Now it’s time for class exercise. And it’s going to be just doing
a different letter… with different blobs,
with different colors. You can use the same colors. I’d love to see it,
because it’s such a cool– Pretty simple doing it, kind of long… but quite creative, I feel. I’d love to see it, if you can
post it to us… social media wise,
Instagram, it’s bringyourownlaptop… and Twitter, it’s danlovesadobe. Stick it on this site as well,
as a project. So, take a screenshot, show me,
I’d love to see it. Let’s see what everybody makes. Cool, huh? All right, next video. Hey there, I hope you liked it. If you did, give me a thumbs up,
it really helps out what I do. I’ve got lots of other stuff
here on YouTube, so consider subscribing. Also, I want to see what you made. You’re obviously doing
something, don’t be shy… I’d love to see what it is. If you put it up on Instagram,
I’d love to– If you were to mention me,
I’m bringyourownlaptop on Instagram. And on Twitter, I’m danlovesadobe. Also, if you like my teaching style… and you want more advanced
Illustrator stuff… there’s the full course,
it’s on There’ll be a link in the description. Also on bringyourownlaptop… there’s a Resources tab,
there’s a free Cheat Sheet in there. Free, totally downloadable. It has all the, kind of– we did the keyboard shortcuts,
and stuff for Illustrator… It’s a PDF, you print it off,
stick it next to your computer. It’s awesome. All right, continue on. Bye now.

24 thoughts on “How to make the paper cut effect in Illustrator – Illustrator Advanced Training [40/53]

  1. Sir, I am looking for a difficult to find tutorial about building white plates (5th plate primer coats for chrome or clear strata) in Illustrator art with embedded psd images. I am very fluent in clipping paths and such, but am always looking for better and best practices. Unfortunately, the vast majority of vids I find cover only small parts of the overall process. Do you know of any tutorials that go through the process of building the mixed (.ai & PS (TIFF, EPS, PSD, PDF, …)) white plates?

  2. When i select clipping mask and click mask…
    Its showing that 'must contain atleast two connected anchor points' .
    What should i do???
    I need help

  3. Love the way you did everything and the whole tutorial,i tried doing the same thing and it does work however i have a problem when i try to add multiple letters at the same time it doesn't work,only the last letter gets the clipping mask,any advice ?

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