Monday, 11 September 2017

Using the NEW Popup Creator in Silhouette Studio v4.1 (Designer edition) - Pop Up Digger Card

Hello, Janet here sharing a children's card using the new Popup Creator feature in version 4.1 of the Silhouette® Studio software (DE and above). I'm hoping that by my experience of making a card with this feature for the first time it will help you when you try it out.

Recently a friend asked me if I could make a digger card for her grandson and it seemed the ideal opportunity to try out the new popup feature.  I used the Construction Tractor (#113473) file by Studio Ilustrado from the Silhouette® Design Store as my popup image.

Step 1: Preparing the Image

If you haven't chosen a simple shape for your popup on you may need to simplify it a little.  Make a duplicate of the image, using one to make the popup panel, and the original to make a paper-pieced topper. The modifications I made to the popup image are shown in the picture below (grey = original, black = changes, red = final image). I'd recommend considering these adjustments:
  • Removing smaller apertures (e.g. grills)
  • Removing overhanging parts (e.g. cab roof edges)
  • Removing small details (e.g. top of chimney)
  • Weld rectangles onto lower design areas to increase contact with the base (below tyres and scoop).

Step 2: Opening the Popup Panel

The popup feature is available to those with Silhouette® Studio Designer Edition and above (not available in the regular version).

Step 3: Making the Popup Panel

(a) Resize the modified image to approximately the required size together with the original file and all its parts.  Select the modified image and click "Convert Selected Shapes to Popup'.

(b) Adjust the 'Base Width' until the lowest dotted lines match the width of the bottom pieces (tyre and scoop blocks).

(c) Adjust the 'Min. Strut Width' to be (1) large enough to remove any very thin struts and (2) small enough to match the main features (these can be fine-tuned later).

(d) Change the 'Dash Pitch' (the size and spacing of the fold /dotted lines) to suit, larger is stronger, but maybe more difficult to fold if you are going to use a thicker card.

(e) Enlarge the centre fold line (the one with a red dot at either end) to span the width of your card by grabbing and moving each red dot in turn.

(f) Click and drag the oval with the plus signs on it to increase/decrease the extent of the popup.

HINT: Leave a space at least as big as the popup from the top of the popup to the top edge of your panel. Otherwise the popup will stick out of the top of your card when it is folded. Guess how I know!

(g) When you are happy with the design you can release all the parts and carry out some fine-tuning (Click on 'Release Popup'). It is a good idea to make a copy first in case you need to make any major changes later.

(h) Display the nodes and zoom in to see if there are double cuts, or other oddities. Delete any unnecessary cuts remembering that your topper will cover this image.

(i) Move the dashed lines sideways so that they are within the cut lines. Ungroup and delete individual dashes, or make small size adjustments to the whole if they overhang the edges of the struts.

(j) Finally regroup the whole thing and move it on to your base panel. Match up the centre fold line of the popup with the fold line on the card panel. You can test your design by cutting it out from scrap paper to see if further changes are needed.

Step 4: Making the card

Make a card base and a panel to cut the popup from. I made mine to fit a UK size C6 Envelope. I designed the base card (finished folded card size of 155mm x 110mm, open size of 155mm x 220mm) and then made the popup panel 10mm smaller all around (internal offset of 20mm). 

(optional) I made some interior panels from brick patterned paper and the top part of the starburst card (#36170) by cutting the popup panel in half and by substituting the dashed lines for plain cut lines.

The popup panel is then adhered to the card base, avoiding the image base and the popup extensions.

Then adhere the panels.

Add the topper and other decorative parts. I added some acetate to the window with a space so that a photo could be added.

Finally decorate the front of the card.

This was such a fun card to make but not the easiest. I made a few mistakes along the way. Hopefully by reading this you won't need to repeat them.  Do share your popup makes on the Silhouette UK Facebook page.

Bye for now,

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  1. Thank you for this. I have a free afternoon so I am going to give it a try to see if
    I can understand the principles of the pop up creator.

  2. Great tutorial Janet, thank you

  3. Thank you for the detailed tutorial, Janet. It was very thorough and now I need to find some time to play!

    1. I hope you find the time - you're sure to make something wonderful ;)

  4. SUPER tutorial and a STUPENDOUS card, Great work.

  5. Thank you Janet, this tutorial encouraged me to download the latest version software and I'm plugging away. I'll share a pic when completed. A million thanks.