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Adobe Photoshop CC - Essentials Training

How to create the paper cut effect in Adobe Photoshop CC

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, this video is all about this Paper Cut effect. Super cool, super fun, the text is still editable. So we can type in anything we like here. You can move the Paper Cut effect around as well. It's all still kind of editable in there, along with the colors. If you hate my color choices like I do, you can go through and pick other more horrible ones. Let's jump in now and figure out how to do it. 
This is one of the few times when I'm actually opening a file. Photoshop is such the 'File', 'Open', and then start working on an image. We're going to start from 'File', 'New' document. I'm going to switch mine to inches, I'm going to use 10 x 10. If you're on centimeters, it's about that much, 25. Click to 'Inches'. We'll use a resolution of '300', and make sure it's set to 'RGB'. Let's click 'OK'. 'Create' even. 
So we need some colors to start with, you can just make them up as you go along. I'm going to go to 'Window', 'Extensions'. 'Adobe Color Themes'. Once it eventually loads I'm going to click on 'Explore'. And I'm going to pick this one. If you want to follow exactly like mine, you can type 'kopia av cool one' into search. It's one of the most popular this month. I'm going to click on this, and then click 'Add you Swatches'. Libraries’ going to pop in, go away. Pop that back in there. Now down the bottom here of my Swatches Panel, which you might not be able to see yet, go to 'Window', turn 'on' Swatches. In the bottom are those five colors there. 
First up we need to create a new layer. I'm going to put this little turned up page here. Double click it, I'm going to call this one 'Color 1'. Just make sure you double click the actual word 'Layer 1' to rename it. I want the blob that runs around the outside. There's a couple of ways of doing it. If you already know how to use the Pen Tool go ahead and use that. If you have no idea what any of these tools do use the Curvature Tool. Even if you are a hard core Pen Tool user, Curvature Tool might be the new best thing for you. I've totally converted over to it. I'm going to select on it. You need to make sure, at the top here you are set to 'Path'. I'm on this Color Layer here, and the Curvature Tool works like this. This is just a basic rundown. If you want to go through some more hard core Pen Tool and Curvature Tool, it's really the home of Adobe Illustrator. I've got a course on that, go check that one out, both in Advanced and Intro. 
So the Curvature Tool works like this, click once, nothing happens. Click again, nothing really happens, the third time though it tries to join all three up with a nice curve. It just draws really pretty curves. So I'm going to click lots of times to draw a random shape. You might have to play around with this a couple of times to get the, I guess the feeling of how this thing works. I'm going to keep clicking, you can see. Clearly, that's what I'll do. At least it's curved, it's not great. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. So once you get around and you've done your first wiggle, you can go through and click on these dots, and just kind of move them around a little bit to kind of, like-- it wasn't looking good. I'm not going to do that because you would be forever watching me, jiggle this around, but I like it, it's working for me. 
What we need to do now is do this option up here that says 'Make a Selection'. Click 'OK'. It turns that path we made into a selection. We're done with the Curvature Tool. Let's go back to the Move Tool, for no reason, just to finish using the Curvature Tool for the moment. At the moment if I fill this, it's going to fill the center. So it's not what I want, so I'm going to go back, and before I fill it I want to invert the selection. So go to 'Select', go to 'Inverse'. Now I have this outside bit selected. On my Color 1 layer I'm going to make sure, over here I pick my first color that I'm going to use. Now nothing really happens if I clicked on it. What it's done is it's loaded it over here in my foreground color. So that when I go to 'Edit, 'Fill'--
Yours is going to default to Content Aware. Just switch it up to Foreground Color. Click 'OK', and there you go. Let's go to 'Select', 'Deselect'. I'm going to turn the background eye on or off. So you can see there's a big hole in the middle here. Once we add some Drop Shadows and a bunch of other layers, it can look quite cool. So there is a lot of, kind of just going through. I'll do the next one with you, and then I'll speed it up. You can totally speed it up, all these videos here down the bottom right, you can either speed me up, or because I talk real fast you can slow me down. Hit that little cog in the bottom of the window, that you're watching right now. Speed or slow me down. 
So 'New Layer', this one is going to be called 'Color 2'. Grab back to my Curvature Tool, and now I'm going to go through and make a curve just on the inside of this. So you, you. I'm going to kind of follow it, kind of duck in and out, looks kind of cool doing it that way. Sometimes you love a few of these off, make their own little gang. I'll try and do it fast so you're not watching this forever. You should go around and adjust it now by just clicking and dragging on these, but I'm not going to. I'm going to load as a 'Selection', click 'OK'. I invert that selection. Pick my new color, it's the second one from the end, and then I go to 'Edit', 'Fill'. With Foreground color, click 'OK', and that's the next one. 
The only trouble is it's on the top, so I'm going to go to 'Select', 'Deselect'. I want Color 1 to be at the top, and Color 2. I'm going to keep building this up. What I'm going to do now is get the editor to speed this up a bit, because it's the same thing again, and we'll jump in when we start adding the Drop Shadows. 
You are back, and you're like, "So he's only done four colors, why hasn't he done five colors?" Because the background will actually-- see this last color which just fills the holes, we don't need to do a drawing for this. You can have twenty colors, you can just have two, I'm using five. So Background here, I'm going to pick the last color. Going to go to 'Edit', 'Fill', and I'm going to fill my background with that green. So it's looking okay, you might like it just here. It's not the Paper Cut effect but it's still kind of cool, right? So now we need to do two last things. We need to add the Drop Shadows and we need to get it inside a bit of text. So we'll work on this Color 1 first. 
So with 'Color 1' selected, let's go down to 'fx', and go to 'Drop Shadow.'. I like using two Drop Shadows. I'm getting a bit hard core, but one drop shadow is going to fill in this kind of first bit, so I'm using-- I want the Opacity up quite a bit. Distance is how far out it is. I'm going to have a nice small one here, this size, how fuzzy that is. I want to be quite thin for the first one. And then what you can do is, can you see this little + button here? I can make a second one. So there's two on top of each other that are exactly the same. So one of these, don't mind which one, I'm going to use the bottom one. I'm going to, instead of being quite shallow, I'm going to make the distance a bit bigger, but mainly the size a lot broader. And maybe I need to lower down the Opacity of the other one. 
It's going to kind of, I guess fill it out, want it to be a bit darker. So this top one here is maybe a bit too dark so I'm going to lower it down. Let's have a little look. This one here is the kind of hard shadow, and then this one here is the kind of filling it out one. Click 'OK'. You do not want to do that for every layer, I know. So what we're going to do is, we're going to right click the word 'Color 1', and we're going to go 'Copy Layer Style'. See this little arrow here, just kind of tucks it in, it's still there. Just a nice tidy way of keeping it. Then I can click on 'Color 2', I can hold 'Shift', grab 'Color 4'. And you're like, "Yep, it's that easy." Right click any one of them and say 'Paste Layer Style'. There's my cool little effect. Am I happy with the colors? I'm not anymore. 
Next thing, I'm just going to click all these, tidy and then click off. Now I need to put them inside a bit of text. So it's two things I need to do, one, I need to group all of these together. Because it's easier to put them all together, if they're all kind of smushed together. So with them all selected I've clicked on the top one. Hold down 'Shift' and grab the last one. I can right click them and be bad, and say 'Merge Layers', but we're going to be super non-destructive and go 'Convert to Smart Object'. It's going to take a little bit of time. Now they're all in one layer. And if you've watched these Smart Objects video earlier in the tutorial, you can double click on this to open them up in their own tab. To mess around with them later on again, so they're still in there, hiding away. 
What I want to do now is grab my Type Tool, I'm going to click once, and I'm going to type in 'X'. Now I'm using Museo Slab. You might find Roboto Slab, it's an easy one to find online, Google Fonts have them, Museo Slab, you can go to and you'll find Museo Slab in there. It's not thick enough for me, so I'm going to go the super Museo Slab 1000. You can use any font, I'm using my 'Command T', and holding 'Shift' to make it bigger. 
Get into position, and we did this earlier on. We had an image and we clipped it inside of an X. Do you remember how we did it? I bet you, you don't. So long into the tutorial, if you do, you get a big high five from me. I've taught this class loads, and by the end of this stage people are like-- so the rules are, to recap, the X needs to be underneath the image. You need to have the top image selected, and you go to 'Layer', 'Create Clipping Mask'. And they all get jammed inside. I'm liking the colors more now. Now they're all kind of clipped. What you can do is you can individually move these two layers, so 'Color Layer' selected, my 'Move Tool'. Just move them around to kind of get it how I want. That's kind of cool. You can also move the X around, selecting the 'X Layer'. 
What you'll notice is we don't have a background anymore. So I'm going to create a new layer. Put it all the way to the back, I'm going to call it 'Background'. Even though we spent the whole class removing that name. And we're going to go to 'Edit', 'Fill'. And you, my friend are going to be black, white, black. Let's go black. Looks better on black. And that my friends is the Paper Cut effect. We've done it with blobs, you can do it with spikes. We used the Curvature Tool, you could use the Pen Tool, you could use the Lasso Tool to get your selection. Real pointy edges, like that. 
Start with that kind of selection. I'll show the colors, I promised to show you the colors that I did before. I liked this one better, you might not. A little bit carried away with the blobs here, and the colors just aren't sitting right for me. Before we go, I know this is a long video already, I might just do-- just show you what I do if I don't like the colors. I got 'Color' selected, go to 'Adjustments'. I'm going to go to 'Hue and Saturation'. And I'm going to drag this left to right until I find a group of colors. I don't, actually. I might have to go back. These gala combinations aren't sitting well with me. I'm giving up, but you shouldn't. Pick any colors to start with. Don't end up here with pinks, and greens, and peaches. Let's get on to the next video.