How To Create Intricate Circular Patterns with the Blend Tool in Adobe Illustrator

July 31, 2019 posted by

everyone Chris here from Spoon Graphics back
with another video tutorial. Today we’re going to take a look at some nifty tricks in Adobe
Illustrator that can be used to create some extremely detailed patterns. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create
this complex circular pattern that consists of thousands of intricate paths that loop
and overlap each other to form a variety of bands that form the overall circle. It might look super complicated, but it’s
actually all done with Illustrator’s Blend Tool, so let’s get started and I’ll show you
have you can create one yourself. Begin by creating a new document in Adobe
Illustrator. Before we start, you might want to check your Illustrator preferences and
turn off Scale Strokes and Effects. This will allow you to resize your objects while keeping
the same stroke weight. Select the Ellipse tool and draw a small circle
on the artboard. Clear out the white fill by clicking the None icon at the bottom of
the toolbar. With the Selection tool active, hold the Alt
and Shift keys, then drag out a duplicate of the shape to the right. Draw a selection around both shapes, then
go to Object>Blend>Make. Grab the Ellipse tool again and draw a circle
at roughly the same size of your desired pattern. Draw a selection around both the Blend and
this circle, then go to Object>Blend>Replace Spine. You’ll notice that the circles don’t follow
the entire circumference of the circle. Instead they start and end three quarters of the way
around. To fix this, grab the Scissors tool and give the top point of the circle path
a snip. Head back to the Object>Blend>Blend Options
menu, then check the Preview button. Change the dropdown menu to Specified Steps, then
alter the number to produce a detailed pattern of ring shapes. Press CMD+C then CMD+F to Copy and Paste in
Front a duplicate of the first pattern. Scale it down while holding Shift and ALT. Because
of the Blend effect, the pattern doesn’t scale perfectly towards its centre. We could Expand
the shape, but then we would lose the ability to alter the blend settings. Instead, bring up the document Rulers with
the CMD+R shortcut and drag out two guides to form a cross. Zoom right into the document to make an accurate
adjustment, then grab and move each of the two shapes with the centre handle and line
them up manually with the guides. Select the Ellipse tool and draw another circle
as the basis of a new pattern, this time make it a little smaller. Add a black stroke with
no fill. Make a duplicate, then create a blend. When
drawing the replacement spine, hold the Alt and Shift keys and drag the circle out from
the centre of the guides so it will be nicely aligned to the main pattern. Select both the new circle and the new blend,
then head to Object>Blend>Replace Spine. Remember to snip the top point to allow the
blend to run all the way around the circle. Bring up the Blend Options and change the
setting to Specified Steps and alter the figure to create a different style of circular pattern. If you scale the pattern to line it up with
the other circles, remember to zoom in and correct the centre. Add another circular pattern towards the centre.
This time crank up the steps to produce a really detailed centre piece for the overall
design. Let’s try something a little different this
time. Grab the Ellipse tool, but instead of a circle, draw an oval shape. Create a blend, draw a new spine, replace
the spine and snip the anchor point. Bring up the Blend Options and set the mode to Specified
Steps. This oval shape requires one more setting.
Click the Orientation icon that aligns to path to point all the shapes towards the centre. Go ahead and adjust the steps to create a
slightly different type of pattern. It isn’t just ellipses that work with this
effect. Repeat the process with a square, following all the same steps, including the
option to change the orientation. Simply building up and aligning multiple bands
of these circular patterns results in a super intricate design. It’s up to you how big you
go! So I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial
for Adobe Illustrator. If you did, be sure to check out my channel for more. You can
also find written tutorials and free design resources over on my website at,
otherwise thank you very much for watching and I’ll catch you all later.


51 Replies to “How To Create Intricate Circular Patterns with the Blend Tool in Adobe Illustrator”

  1. Rodrigo Zenga says:

    Tks Sir !!! great video

  2. Andrzej C says:

    Great effect, thx for the tutorial

  3. streezedog says:

    A1 tutorial. Easy to follow. keep me coming!

  4. Guillaume Hirschler says:

    Cool ! 🙂

  5. masterhoneybunny says:

    Thanks a lot. I will definetly work with this interesting method!

  6. AhmedDizad says:

    great tuto !..

  7. Art Szabo says:

    Awesome way of using the blend tool and I had no idea of the replace spine command. thanks!

  8. Banglar Bagh says:

    Very easy tutorial,thanks for share

  9. Jo Spargo says:

    Another gem! Thanks.

  10. Gloworm Sparkle far says:


  11. Laurens Lefebure says:

    Your tutorials are among the best. I love the pace.

  12. Steve Miles says:

    Fantastic – thanks

  13. chan yee xuan says:

    Love your tutorial!

  14. Yasir Khan says:

    every time i apply blending option on my circles
    there is one circle remains straight top of the rings
    please help

  15. Eugene Sherbakov says:

    The square blend is nice to depict something like bicycle wheel or vintage car wheel)

  16. Arlene Chiqui Guerrero says:

    thank you!!

  17. karry ilagi says:

    I realy enjoy it. thanks

  18. Ellen Hunt says:

    I had to pause this about fifteen times to make sure I didn't miss anything, but this is so cool! I can't wait to incorporate these tips and tricks into my design!

  19. Tessa Lof says:

    You are a Hero!

  20. Nanka Rodriguez says:

    Damn!!! that is good tutorial. Thank you

  21. Tammy Morin says:

    What settings were your blend set to to get the initial circles set up?

  22. Joanne Mclernon says:

    Wow that was amazing thank you . I am going to give it a try right now!

  23. Khello Abdallah says:


  24. Ammara As says:

    thank you for this more informative video sharing with us…

  25. Nayabansarahmad nayab says:

    u should explain slowly plaza,

  26. tahmim sultan says:

    Thanks for this………
    i just finding this

  27. Bichout Zed says:

    nice job thank you

  28. DJ Pacis says:

    can you make your own designs then use this method to create the pattern like making a badass looking sun?

  29. Dracuss says:

    Awesome video, but didn't see the link to the template you spoke of toward the end. Can you please post or tell me how to download?

  30. Really creative says:

    This was truly a great tutorial. Thank you.

  31. Al-ameen A. Abdullateef says:

    awesome tutorial. nice pace . thanks

  32. Karla de la O Serrano says:

    Just loved your tutorial <3 ….Much appreciated!

  33. Astro Zone says:

    Hey it's great tutorial. Love it. I have one thing to know. can you help me? 🙂

  34. Anthony Genzale says:

    I just get a white circle at the top that covers the patterns from being continuous… why does illustrator never work the same way as in the tutorials?

  35. Gavesh Kumar H Jogani says:

    Brother I have an image. I'm unable to understand how to make it. Will you please help me?

  36. Jay says:

    super cool!! thanks!!!

  37. Spoon Graphics says:

    Join my mailing list at Spoon Graphics if you want to keep up with all my other content. Every subscriber gets a FREE design resources bundle! 📦

  38. pinl101 says:

    I used to just use the rotate tool for this… There must be an advantage to use this method instead.

  39. aaronlim95 says:

    nah too fast explain

  40. Sahadat Hossain says:


  41. Nayaab Ahmed says:

    Thanks for this video- I found it useful!

  42. NorCal Disc Golf says:

    That was dope. Only 4 minutes.

  43. Tonicwine999 says:

    Wonder why scaling affects the centre. Very strange.

  44. Arnaldo Donado says:

    for some reason my circle at 12 o'clock it sits on top and not blended like the rest, any suggestions

  45. Bunnada Nualkaewmanee says:

    Hello. I have some problem , when I blend it , it wasn't blend in the first circle center , maybe I call it wrong. I hope you will understand my problem and you can help me. Thank you.

  46. jayc gylsen says:

    Wow, great video, much quicker way to create a pattern 😊

  47. Pankaj Verma says:

    You videos are always great. Your awesome accent makes them much more beautiful.

  48. Robert Syrett says:

    This is a good pace for a tutorial. To the point but detailed enough to follow.

  49. jack moore says:

    i got a easy project and i am ready to pay a fair project, could you please send me an email to: [email protected], thanks!

  50. Cara O. says:

    Great tutorial!

  51. cobbiek says:

    can we make this in after effects?

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