Blend In Illustrator | Illustrator – Blend Tool 101 – Make And Expand Blends In Adobe Illustrator

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Helen Bradley

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Illustrator - Blend Tool 101 - Make And Expand Blends In Adobe Illustrator

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Hello, and welcome to this video tutorial today we’re looking at using the blender tool in Illustrator, and this is a very basic video, The reason why I’m making it is because there’s not a really good one on Youtube, so I thought that we might just do one today, so what I’m doing is just selecting a color here to use and I’m going to make a shape. It doesn’t matter what shape you make now. The shapes that you use for the blend tool can be exactly the same, or they can be totally different, so having made this one shape. Let’s go and make a star and I’m going to color it a different color, because then you’ll see the full power of the blend tool as we work for this. I’m going to make a star, so I’m just going to drag out a star over here and let’s just move it down. So it’s roughly in alignment with the square now to use the blend tool. You’re going to select over your shapes, so just grab both of these shapes and then choose object, blend and then make, and this makes a blend between the two shapes and what you see here may not be exactly what I see. It depends on whether you’ve used the blend tool previously or not because you might have it set to something different to see the settings you’ll select over the blend, so it’s selected and go here to the blend tool. Click on it once to open the blend options dialog, and you’ll need to turn preview on so you can see what you’re doing. At the moment we’ve got smooth color, so we’ve got a smooth transition from the blue to the yellow. You can see, it’s a smooth color here, and we’ve also transitioned from being a square to a star, so let’s just select from this Drop-down list specified steps and let’s wind our steps back to say 6 because then it’s going to be clear what’s happening here? What illustrator is doing is blending these shapes into each other. It’s sort of morphing them as it goes, so it’s morphing the shape as well as the color. Let me just click. OK, because if you’re here to learn about the blend tool, then the next step is something else that you need to be able to get these shapes out of the blend. You’re going to have to expand it. Let’s have a look here in the layer’s palette. If you have a look in the layer’s palette, you’ll see that you’ve got a bind in the layer’s palette and the actual shapes aren’t actually shapes. Yet you’ve got a star and the square, and you’ve got the path along which the star and where are being blended and so if you want these individual shapes, you’re gonna have to do something about that to expand your blend. You’re going to choose object and then blend and then go down here to expand, and that just expands the blend into the individual shapes, So you end up with one shape for each of these objects. If that’s all, you came here to learn, then you’re off and on your way, but what I’m going to continue on with is showing how you can blend around a shape, so we’re going to start again with our star shape, but let’s make it a different color this time. Make it a sort of pink and I’ll drag out a small star now. I need my second object. I’m actually just going to blend from one star to the other, so we’re going to settle for two pink stars. I’ll select over them object blend and then make you can see this time. Things aren’t joining up the same way that they did. Last time with our blend selected. We’ll go back to the blend tool double. Click on it to get the blend options. It’s set to smooth color. We can do specified steps. If we crank up the number of steps, you’ll see that things sort of blend into each other. This would probably be more apparent if we were transitioning from, say a pink star to a blue star. Let’s just reduce the number of steps that we’ve got on our blend, so let’s just take it down to six. It’s important to note that when you have specified six steps, you’re actually going to have eight stars, so we’ve got one on either end, and you’ve got six in the middle, so I’m just going to click OK now. I want to put these stars around a circle. So the way you do that is you? Draw then your circle. So let’s go to the ellipse tool and I’m just going to drag out a circle of obviously holding the shift key as I do that so that I’m making a perfect circle for this. Let’s just go and apply the color as a stroke rather than a fill, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need a stroke. You don’t need anything in this circle. You just need the circle to be made. Then you’re going to select both the blend and the circle. It doesn’t matter what order they were created in illustrators going to recognize which ones are blend and which ones are circle and we’re going to play, see stars around the circle object blend and then we’re going to do something called replacing spine. Let’s just have a quick look of what these spines are about. When I click on this blend, you’ll see that there’s a line through it. That’s the spine and what we’re saying to illustrator is. We know you’ve got a spine here, but we’d like to replace this with the one we’ve got here, so that’s what this replaced spine bits all about select both shapes, object, blend, replace spine. And what happens is that the stars are then placed around the circle, but it seems like we’re sort of missing a bit. We’re missing a star over here. Well, however, many stars we put in this blend. If we increase the number of stars, it’s not going to work, so let’s just have a look at that. I’m selecting my blend with its new spine. I can go back to the blend tool here and I can turn preview on, and I can increase or decrease my stars, and you can see that increasing and decreasing the stars is just making more stars, but it’s not actually filling in the gap if we want to fill a gap on a closed shape, whether it be a circle, a square or triangle, whatever you’re putting your blend around, you have to do. What is called cutting this shape? You have to cut it and then it’s going to work perfectly, so we’re going over here to the scissors tool so? I’m just going to click on the scissors tool. I’m going to find this anchor point here that on a circle, there’ll be an anchor point at the top and the bottom and either side there, the anchor points that you need to make a circle, so I’m just going to locate this one up here and we’re just going to click to cut it. And as soon as I cut it, you can see that these stars, the blend is now going all the way around the shape, and, of course, this is still a blend. If we go to the layer’s palette, we’re going to see that it is still a blend here. We’ve got two stars and our spine this time instead of being aligned as fine as a circle. But this is a blend. These are not individual shapes, so they’re also editable. Still, so this is one pink style. Let’s go and get the other star and let’s change the color of it. And now we’ll get a transition from the original pink star all the way around to a blue star, so we’re getting that sort of color change. We can also double-click on the options here. The blending options and we can go back to specified steps and we can add more or less steps. And you can see that this is a live effect. These stars are changing color as they’re being added to the design. Once you’re ready to sort of settle to your design once you’re ready to bake this in and get individual stars. Then, of course, you’re going to do exactly as we did before you’re going to select your blend and your choose object and then blend and expand and so now we have individual stars grouped in the layer’s panel, but each one of these is an individual star that you can then do other things with now. This has been a very brief introduction to the blend tool. I just hope it helps. You understand how to use the blend tool how to make edits to the blend that you have created how to replace a spine and, really importantly, how to break the objects out of a blend if you want to be able to deal with them independently before we finish up this video? I want to introduce you to my other illustrator training. I have more illustrator training at Skillshare comm. When you sign up for school, sure you get access to thousands of classes there, including over 250 of mine in the description below as a skill share coupon for you, which is at least as good as the current skill share offer and typically, mine will be better. I also have Illustrator training at Udemy Calm and there’s a referral link for every one of those courses in the description below, Please feel free to share these with family and co-workers. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video. If you did, please give it a thumbs up, hit the subscribe button and that notification Bell. So you’ll be alerted when new videos are released until next time, my names. Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me here on my Youtube channel.