How to Work with Blended Objects in Adobe Illustrator

Learn how to work with blended objects in Adobe Illustrator from expert Will "Focus" Dubois in this Howcast video.


This is how to work with blended objects in Adobe Illustrator. So, sometimes on our art board, we have two objects, three objects, multiple objects. And we want to actually blend the objects. Now, the blend could be from one shape to another, or one color to another, or a combination of both.

So, right now what I want to do is, I want to create a blend that has both. So we're going to blend from a yellow circle to a green square. So, the first thing we can do is, we can select our blend tool, which is the keyboard shortcut W. And in your tools panel, it's almost to the bottom, you hover over it, it'll say Blend Tool. You can tell it's the blend tool because there are about three different shapes that are stacked over each other as a symbol for this tool. So, you click it. And what you do is you click the first object and then you click the second object. And then you'll notice that it blends between objects. As you see, it will evenly distribute the color and the actual shape so it looks like it's transformed. Now, that's one way of doing it. The other way of doing it is to select both objects. Go to your Object menu and then to Blend, and you click Make. Now, when you do that, it does the exact same thing. But by doing it through that panel, you can then go back to Object, Blend and Blend Options.

When you do Blend Options, your Dialog box comes up and it has several options. For spacing you have the option of specified steps, smooth color or specified distance. Let's turn on our preview. And then we'll look. Right now specified steps means there are only two steps in between our start color and our finish color. So, if we were to increase that, you'll notice it adds more steps. So it'll be a smoother transition. More steps, smoother transition. Less steps, the more blocky the transition, and abrupt. Now, if we were to click Smooth Color, it gives you the direct, most transitions you could have, in terms of steps in between, so that the color looks like a smooth grading. If we go Specify Distance we can then judge it, instead of steps, we can judge it on the distance that's between the objects equally. And then, let's go back to Specified Steps.

Let's increase this a bit. You can change the orientation to follow a path or not follow a path. Now this goes according to the direct line that's used when making your blend. So we've clicked OK to make this an official blend. And we're going to double-click our blend to get in there. If you notice, in the middle of the blend there's a line. This line essentially is telling your blend which direction you want it to go in. So, we're going to actually add a point to the line, and you can do that by selecting the + button on your keyboard, or go into your Pen tool and actually clicking and holding down and clicking the Add Anchor point tool. And then, we're going to convert that anchor point using the Convert Anchor Point tool, which is Shift-C on your keyboard.

And we're going to make it curved. And then you'll notice when we do that, it then alters the shape of the blend. And then we'll go to our object, blend, blend options and then we'll go according to orientation. And you look at the preview and you'll notice that each of them maintains their orientation accordingly. And that's how you work with blends in Adobe Illustrator.

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