Blend Tool and Envelope/Distort Combination Tutorial Bonanza

Ok so I have you expected to see a tutorial and that’s precisely what’s on the platter. First thing I’ll mention is, this is the longest tutorial I made so far and I hope you can still managed to understand and complete these long series of steps. Second,  this tutorial will be hard if you don’t pay attention to the steps and the pictures(check the bottom) will help big time.

Requirements: Adobe Illustrator CS3/4       Knowledge of Blend Tool+Envelope/Distort+working on layers      Tutorial File(download via BOX if you want to work on it)


  1. Let’s start out with drawing a simple gradient background.
  2. Draw a small white circle in the corner and make sure it’s small.
  3. Option Drag(Alt Drag) the circle so a small gap is formed between the original circle and the other circle. Use the shortcuts Cmd+D(Ctrl+D) to duplicate the transformation again and again so more and more circles form at equal alignment. After first pushing Cmd+D, you only need to click D again and again. Make sure you’re going down or in the right direction.
  4. Now draw a square between one of the gaps between two circles and copy to its right side if your made your circles go down a line (see picture 2 ). This square will help you so you can get the same gap going into the other direction when your option dragging your circle to that direction.
  5. Now keep copying your circles so all of the square is filled. Now group all of the circles.
  6. Copy and Paste in Front (Cmd+F/Ctrl+F) the circles, then resize one while holding (option/alt) so you resize from the center. Also make the circle group black so you can distinguish it from the other circle group.
  7. Send the black circle group to the back.
  8. Now click the blend tool and blend the white circle group to the black circle group.
  9. Draw a circle from the center and add a radial gradient(the center of gradient should touch a point on the circle while the other end of the gradient touches another point on the other end of the circle)…see picture 9. Note: It is advised you work on layers so you can tell what’s what.
  10. Copy and Paste in Front the gradient circle you made. Then select both the blend and the gradient circle(make sure this one is on top of everything else).
  11. Now go to Object>Envelope Distort>Make with Top Object(Opt+Cmd+C/Alt+Ctrl+C). Now increase the size of this envelope by holding Opt/Alt to resize from the circle. Note: This should be the top most layer.
  12. Now copy this envelope and resize it so it’s smaller than the original circle. Now release the envelope by going to Object>Envelope Distort>Release.
  13. Double one of the smaller circles so you can only select that group (see picture 13) and make its opacity zero. Then drag it to the corner making sure the two corner circles(big and small one)touch…see picture 14.
  14. Now make the big outside circles-of the blend-black so it’ll have a shadow effect (see picture 15).
  15. Now select the blend and the big white circle and use envelope/distort (Opt+Cmd+C/Alt+Ctrl+C). Note: It is advised you set the whole envelope’s opacity to zero.
  16. Now make a new layer, send this envelope to that layer, and place the layer so it’s under the other envelope that has white circles. Also make sure to resize it so the shadows touch the bottom circles of white circle blend(see picture 18).
  17. Now you should get something as close as you see in picture 18.

I hope you followed this tutorial well and I will make a suggestion page so you guys can tell me what you’d like to see on my websites or whatever kinds of tutorial you guys want(please keep it about Illustrator as of now).

Pictures: 1st Picture=Picture 1, 2nd picture=Picture 2, etc.


About Fadi G.

I am a digital artist and I hope to push the bounds of creativity. I will produce videos, illustrations, animations, and more interesting things.

Posted on April 29, 2010, in Blend Tool, Envelope Distort, Illustrations, Tutorials and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Anyone tried it yet or is liking this tutorial?

  2. I like the pretty pictures!!!!! 🙂

    This tutorial is sooooo cool! I haven’t done it yet, but I REALLY like the final product.

  3. Whooo! 51 views today. Now 55. 60 views, that’s as high as it gets for today.

  4. I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!! It took me about ten minutes and I had a few problems along the way, but the end result looks just like yours! Very cool and very useful.

  5. What do you mean you didn’t think I would do it!!!!!!! It’s too cool not to try!

    And besides, you are an Illustrator god, so people should take every opportunity to learn from you.

    Very cool, keep it up!

    I would suggest trying screen capture though.

  6. All from me reloading this page over and over again.

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