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Using the Blend Tool in Illustrator

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Experience Level: Beginner
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In this tutorial viewers will learn how to create blended and gradiated shapes in Illustrator using the blend tool

Video Steps

1. Draw two shapes, one of them in a different color

2. Select both and create a blend by going to Object > Blend > Make

3. Blends can also be created by using the Blend tool (the icon with a square, rounded rectangle, and circle) and clicking on one shape, then the other, but this is less precise

4. Adjust the blend's appearance by going to Object > Blend > Blend Options

5. Smooth color creates a gradient of smoothly shifting colors between the two objects

6. Specified steps creates a series of intermediary shapes between the two objects. If the user types in 10, there will be ten shapes between the objects, each showing a progression in color

7. To apply a blend as the stroke of a path, draw a path, then select both the path and the shape then go to Object > Blend > Replace Spine

8. To create a line of graduated image "steps", set the objects further apart and select the Blending Options to "Specified Distance". The objects in the line will be spaced apart by the defined distance; there will be as many objects as needed to fill the space

9. Blends can also be created between two objects of different sizes, but the object that is on top will appear to be the "front" of the blend

10. Use the pen tool to adjust the curve of any blend

11. Blends can also be used to apply shading to objects. A smaller shape in a lighter color, blended into a larger shape of a darker color, will produce a highlighted effect that can't be achieved with normal gradients

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