Day 17: Blending Shapes & Colors

Illustrator Blend Tool does the trick of creating smooth transition between objects. You can blend open paths to create line effects and blend shapes to create realistic shadings. There are many creative things you can do with the Blend Tool and you will definitely be using it a lot in your illustrations.

Blend Effects

Here are some quick interesting stuff you can do with blending.

Realistic Shadings

With smooth blends you can create realistic shading which cannot be done with gradient.

Line Effects

You can create nice abstract blending line waves using Blend Tool. This is done by blending a dark to a light blue line.

Distributing Objects

With blend tools you can quickly align objects with specified steps.

Understanding How Blend Works

This is a quick diagram of how a blend looks. A blend needs at least 2 objects to blend. The start object will blend to the end object with the amount of steps you specified for the blend. In this case, I set it to 3 steps. A spine will also be automatically created. This spine determines the path the in between objects take.

Blending Objects

Method 1: Using Blend Function

To quickly make a quick smooth blend. Select the 2 objects you want to blend and go Object>Blend>Make. A smooth blend with be created.

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15 thoughts on “Day 17: Blending Shapes & Colors”

  1. I think I’ve done something wrong with my settings– when I used “blend–>make” the object goes from dark to white instead of what you’re example shows. The star example gave me three deformed stars in between my start and end points.

  2. Hi LadyUranus, make sure the 2 objects are same shape. Then blend using Blend>Make. Alt/Option click on the blend to change settings to see how you can edit the blend options.

  3. Keep the fill for both circles with the desired color. Change the stroke to None, box with red line through it, for both circles. Then try using the blend> make!

  4. xavier izaguirre

    Derek is right. You have to remove strokes or its colours would eb the ones blending!!!!

    Awesome tutorial

  5. xavier izaguirre

    What I am not able to do though is to distribute objects keeping the size. The shapes in the middle are always smaller and bigger than the starting and end ones.

  6. Raymond Avilez

    Same here…how do you keep the size of the object consistent? Also having a little trouble with the line effects…how is it done?

  7. ok, so, under Method 2: Using the blend tool, I follow directions, blend options window pops-up, I click 3 and OK, and nothing happens. Is it supposed to have 5 stars like in illustration, or is it simply supposed to blend color of the first star? Mine doesn’t seem to do anything? I can’t seem to find where the spine is- mine only has one object. Thanks for the help.

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