Creating a paper cut out look in illustrator can produce great effects. This simple method of creating a gradient with a drop shadow and inner glow will give you this look.
Create a rectangle and fill it with 10% gray.
Create a small rectangle for the ground. Fill it with white.
Use the Corner Widgets to round the ends of the rectangle.
Apply an Inner Glow Effect with the Mode set to Multiply, color set to 75% gray, Opacity at 65%, Blur of 3mm.
COPY the shape and add a gradient that goes from 20% gray to white.
On the gradient filled shape, add a Drop Show Effect. Set the Mode to Multiply, Opacity of 45%, X offset at 7mm, Y offset at 6mm, Blur at 4mm and color is black.
To save these fill and glow/ drop shadow attributes, drag the shape with the Inner Glow applied to it, into the Graphic Styles panel and name it. Do the same with the shape that has the gradient and drop shadow.
Create a rain drop by starting with a circle. Click on the Graphic Style to apply the gradient with the drop shadow.
Use the Direct Selection Tool to move the top point up.
In the Properties Panel click on the Convert Point to convert it from a smooth to a corner point.
Copy the rain drop and apply the graphic style with the Inner Glow to one rain drop and the gradient and drop shadow to the other.
Place the inner glow behind the and the gradient with the drop shadow in front. Rotate the rain drops and create smaller and larger groups.
Place the rain drops in the setting.
Create clouds by putting several circles together. Select all the circles.
Use the Pathfinder Unite mode to make them one complete shape.
Draw a rectangle over the bottom of the clouds, select the cloud and the rectangle and use the Pathfinder Minus Front Mode.
Apply the inner glow style to the clouds. Duplicate the clouds and apply the gradient/drop shadow and place it in front of the other clouds.
Create a butterfly by starting with an oval, rotate it at 45°.
Copy the oval, reduce the size and rotate it to -45°.
Flip the set of wings to create the butterfly. Select all the shapes in the butterfly.
Use the Pathfinder Unite mode to create a complete shape.
For the antenna, start with a circle, no fill, 8 pt stroke.
Use the Direct Selection Tool to select and remove one corner section. Hot Dog the ends in the Stroke Panel.
With the Pencil Tool, draw a straight line from the open circle.
Duplicate and flip the antenna.
Select both antenna and choose Object>Path>Outline Path. Make these a compound path, choose Object> Compound Path>Make.
Apply the inner glow graphic style to the butterfly, duplicate the butterfly and apply the gradient/drop shadow style.
Draw a line with the Pencil Tool to create the path of the butterfly. Apply a 7pt stroke in 20% gray to the line. Click on the dashed line, set dash to 12, gap to 24 and hot dog the end caps.
Select the path and choose Object>Path>Outline Stroke. Apply the gradient/drop shadow effect to the line.
The drop shadow/inner glow may be too big on the small line. To edit the effect, open the Appearance Panel and click on the Effect to reduce the amount of drop shadow or inner glow
Duplicate the line and apply the inner glow to the line and place it behind the gradient/drop shadow line. Now anything you create can have the paper cut out look!
Creating a comic book type creation is all about the Appearance panel. This is one set of type with fills and strokes all applied to the same artwork. It is amazing!
Set some type, a bolder face will work better.
Turn the type into outlines under Type>Create Outlines.
Open the Appearance Panel from the Window Menu. Select the type and turn it into a Compound Path under Object>Compound Path>Make.
Apply a white 6pt stroke to the text. Apply and orange fill.
This is what it looks like. Keep the type selected.
Add a stroke to the text by clicking on the add stroke icon in the lower left corner of the Appearance Panel. If necessary, drag the new stroke ABOVE the white stroke. Make it a green stroke and 6 pt weight.
Apply a Transform Effect from the Effect menu or from the fx icon at the bottom of the Appearance Panel on the green stroke. Set the Move to be .1mm both horizontal and vertical. Set the number of copies to 25 to create a slip shadow look. Click OK.
If the Transform Effect is not in the right location, drag it to the Green Stroke.
This is what the Transform Move / Copy effect looks like.
Click on the new fill at the lower left of the Appearance Panel. Add a new fill in brown to the text.
Add a Transform effect to the new brown fill. .5mm Move both horizontal and vertical and 20 copies. Click OK.
If the Transform Effect is not in the right location, drag it to the brown Fill.
Apply a Blur Effect to the brown Fill. 10 pixels of blur.
This is what the brown blur looks like.
If the Blur Effect is not in the right location, drag it under Transform under the brown Fill.
Replace the orange fill with a gradient fill.
This is what the gradient fill looks like.
Select the white stroke in the Appearance Panel and add a Drop Shadow Effect. Set the mode to Multiply, opacity at 75%, 2mm offset and 1 mm blur.
If the Drop Shadow Effect is not in the right location, drag it under White stroke.
This is what the Drop shadow on the white stroke looks like.
Select the Gradient fill in the Appearance Panel, add a Color Halftone Effect.
If the Color Halftone Effect is not in the right location, drag it under Gradient Fill.
This is what the Color Halftone on the fill looks like.
Add a Warp effect to the overall appearance.
This is what the Warp Squeeze Effect looks like.
If the Warp is not in the right location, drag it to the top of the list of items.
To create a Graphic Style out of the effects applied to the text, open the Graphic Styles Panel from the window menu. Drag the text into the Graphic Styles Panel, an arrow with a + will appear. Name the style and click OK. You can apply this style to anything you create.
Ready for your space travel? Create this space ship with a radar beam as it flies through space.
Start with 2 circles, place them half over each other and select both.
Use the Pathfinder Intersect mode to create the space ship body.
Draw a large oval over of the body, having the oval touch the tips pf the body.
Use the Pathfinder Divide mode to create two shapes. Ungroup the shapes. Add a lighter color to the bottom, darker color on the top.
Add lines with round ends using the Stroke panel and choosing the arrow heads & tails sections to choose a rounded end. Scale the end to fit the look of the line. Put the lines under the body for legs.
Create the glass pod on top of the shape ship by stating with a rectangle filled with light blue.
Use the Direct Selection Tool to select the upper two corners and pull the Corner Widgets into the center of the rectangle.
Place the pod on the space ship. Use the Curvature tool to select the center of the bottom edge and pull down to create a curve.
Duplicate the pod two more times and overlap the shapes with a slight offset. Select both shapes and use the Pathfinder minus front mode.
This will leave a sliver to use as a highlight.
Set the pod to an opacity of 40% and the highlight to an opacity of 60%.
To create the clouds, create several circles randomly overlapping.
Select all the circles and use the Pathfinder Unite mode or use the Shape Builder Tool and join them all together as one shape.
Place the clouds behind the space ship. Object> Arrange> Send to Back.
Add stars using the star tool.
To create the radar beam, create an oval and duplicate it, set is further away and make it a different size from the first oval.
Select both ovals and set the Blend Options under Object>Blend. Set it to Specified steps and insert eh number of rings you want between the first and last ring.
Select Object> Blend> Make to create the rings in between the original two rings.
Place the rings. Add a moon by create two offset circles and the Pathfinder Minus front Mode.
Add some circles to the space.
Add a few shooting starts by using the Arc tool to create arc, round the ends (hot dog them) in the stroke panel. Use the Width Shape tool to pull one end wider to create the look of a shooting star.
Scan, photograph or create some rough texture. I create this in Photoshop using one of the random brushes to create texture.
Place the image into Illustrator (File> Place) and open the Image Trace Panel under Window. Set the Mode to B&W. Click the preview in the lower left. Open the Advanced settings section at bottom of the panel and click on the ignore white (very important). Adjust the sliders to get the right look of the texture. Click on the EXPAND button in the control bar or in the Properties Panel to get the image to render as a vector.
Select the clouds, Click on the Draw Inside Mode at the bottom of the Tool Bar. Paste the texture into the shape, Adjust the size, fill the texture with a color close to the could color, Adjust the opacity of the texture to make it blend into the clouds a bit. Click on the Draw Normal mode when done.
Using the Pencil Tool, draw a few free form lines around the objects. Set the line color to white. Used the Dashed line feature in the Stroke Panel and set the DASH length to ZERO and GAP to 12. Set the end caps of the line to rounded (hot dog the ends). This method will create dots.
I added a small alien eye in the pod for fun. Now you are ready for your space journey.
So simple, so magical and so much fun. This rabbit in a hat is a trick you can do in illustrator with these simple steps.
Start the hat with an oval.
Duplicate the oval and make it smaller and a darker fill.
Duplicate the inside oval and make it the same color as the outer part of the hat.
Duplicate the oval so there are two.
Draw a rectangle between the two ovals, making sure the corners of the rectangle touch the ends of the ovals.
Use the Shape Builder Tool to add the the bottom oval and the rectangle together. Use the OPTION key with the Shape Builder Tool to delete the top half of the oval. Copy the final shape and create 2 copies. One for the next step, one for later.
Select the shape and click the Draw Inside Mode at the bottom of the Tool Bar. Paste the shape inside and fill it with a different color. Move the shape up towards the top of the shape. Click on the Draw Normal Mode.
Place the shape under the hat rim.
To create the rabbit, draw a circle.
Draw a line with rounded (hot dogged) ends.
Use the Width Shape Tool to widen the top of the line for the ear.
Choose Object>Expand Appearance to convert the stroke to a shape.
Use the Offset Path to create a smaller shape inside the ear, fill it with pink.
Duplicate the ears and place them on the head.
Use circles for eyes and draw a triangle and use the Corner Widget to rounded corners of the nose. Group all the shapes together.
Select the shape you created 2 copies of, no fill, no stroke.
Place the shape at the top of the hat, then click the Draw Inside. CUT the rabbit head and paste it inside the shape. Click on the Draw Normal mode.
Now the rabbit is peeking out of the hat.
Add a few circles to create magic above the rabbit.
Create a spiral and add a stroke the same color as the inner ears.
Create a dotted line along the spiral by clicking on the Stroke Panel, click on the Dashed Line, set the Cap end to rounded (or you won't get dots) the set the dash length to ZERO and the gap to 12.
Place the spiral under the hat and scale it to fit. The magic is done.
Create this tasty waffle with delicious drips of syrup.
Create a grid by using the Grid Tool in the Line drawing section of the Tool Bar. White drawing us the up/down arrows to add/remove rows and the left/right arrows to add/remove columns.
Apply a color to the strokes of the grid.
Draw a rectangle for the interior of the waffle.
Draw two lines, rotated at 45° and place then so they are centered on the squares and the lines run to the corners. Select the lines and the square and use the Divide function in the Pathfinder. Ungroup the results.
Draw another square on top of the first square
Select each section of the first square and apply colors in varying shades to give the appearance of a bevel. Fill the center with the lightest color.
Select all the shapes and move them behind the grid.
Select the grid and choose Object>Path>Outline Stroke. Select all grid and use the Pathfinder Unite mode to make the grid one shape.
Apply a gradient to the outlined grid structure.
Apply a slight gradient to the inside squares of the waffle
Group the inside section together.
Duplicate the interior shapes behind the grid to complete the waffle look.
For the syrup, create a rectangle them duplicate it several times with no space between the shapes.
Stagger the length of the lines.
Use the Pathfinder Unite mode to make all the shapes on shape.
Select all the lowest sections with the Direct Selection Tool and pull in the corner widgets.
Select all the inside sections with the Direct Selection Tool and pull in the corner widgets.
Select the shape and choose Object>Path>Offset Path. Set the path to be inside the first. Path. Repeat this with the second path and you will have 3 paths total.
Set each path with a slightly darker fill. Select all 3 paths.
Choose Object>Blend>Blend Options and choose Specified Steps and set the value to 25. Then choose Object>Blend>Make to blend the 3 shapes together.
Set the newly blended shapes to Multiply in the Opacity panel.
For the highlight, create a rectangle and Corner Widget one end.
Use the Direct Selection Tool to remove half of the lines. Set the strroke color to while and the opacity of the line to 50%.
Apply the highlights to the syrup dripping over the waffle. Tasty!