Circles with Brushes, Blends & Transformations - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

Circles with Brushes, Blends & Transformations - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Circles with Brushes, Blends & Transformations - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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5 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Graphic Design for Lunch Going in Circles Intro

      0:59
    • 2. Going in Circles - Part 1

      5:45
    • 3. Going in Circles - Part 2

      5:53
    • 4. Going in Circles - Part 3

      4:20
    • 5. Going in Circles - Part 4

      7:54
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn a range of techniques for making concentric circles including making brushes, rotating shapes, using blends and using the transform effect. Each of these tools works differently to the other tools leading to different results. Learning these tools will enhance your knowledge of Illustrator and your skills in using it. 

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More in this series:

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10 Interface & Workflow tips for Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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20 Adobe Illustrator Color tips in 20 mins - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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20 Illustrator Gradient tips in 20 mins - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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3D Y Shape Pattern in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

4 Exotic Patterns in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

4 Handy Patterns in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

4 Illustrator Shading Techniques in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

5 Cool Text Effects in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

5 Hexagon Patterns in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Abstract Ombre Background in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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Color Schemes to Sell in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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Custom Organic Patterns in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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Cutout Text Effects in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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Designing with Spirals in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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Export File Sizes & Resolution in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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Flat & Dimensional drawing techniques in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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Wave Pattern in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

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Whimsical Diagonal Line Patterns in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Whimsical Scrapbook Paper Designs to Sell in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Whimsical Text Effects in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Whimsical Tree Design in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Wreaths & Floral Designs in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Zentangle® Inspired Pattern Brushes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Graphic Design for Lunch Going in Circles Intro: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch class, going in circles, creating circles with brushes and blends in Adobe Illustrator. Graphic Design for Lunch is a series of classes that teach a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and for working in applications, such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Today, we're going to be looking at creating concentric circles of circles. We're going to do things like create a scatter brush and a pattern brush. We're going to look at blends, we're going to look at strokes, and we're going to look at rotating shapes. I've got a grab bag of tools that you can use, and we're going to explore a solution to the problem of creating concentric circles of circles. You're going to learn some really interesting things about Illustrator in this class, and I really hope that you enjoy it. Let's get started making circles. 2. Going in Circles - Part 1: To look at some ways that we can create circles of circles, we're going to start by creating some brushes. I'm going to click the Ellipse Tool here, and I'm going to drag out a small circle. I want it to be filled with black, and to have no stroke at all. We'll start by creating a pattern brush. To do this, I'm going to click on the Selection Tool. I'm going to make sure that my shape is selected. I'll open the Brushes panel. If you don't have it visible here, you can open it by choosing ''Window'', and then ''Brushes''. I'm going to drag and drop my shape into the ''Brushes Panel" here, and I'm going to select ''Pattern brush'' and click "Okay". Earlier versions of Illustrator may not have these corner patterns in place, and we don't actually need them. But if you have a later version of Illustrator, and you want to make this brush to use it on, for example squares, then you can click here, and go down, and select "Auto Overlap", and that just completes the corner. But we don't need it for our purposes today. What we do need to do is to select Tints from this list because that allows us to then re-color the brush if we want to, and I'll click "Okay". Let's see how this brush actually works in practice; I'll click on the Ellipse tool, and hold Shift to drag out a circle here. I'm going to fill it with no fill at all, and just to make it a black stroke. With it selected, I'm going to apply my brush by clicking here. It looks at the moment as if we have a circle of circles, but looks can be a little deceiving. Let's go here, and click on this icon. It's options of selected object. It allows us to adjust the brush as it is applied to this object, but not adjust the original brush, so that's left the way it is. I'm going to increase the size of this brush, because when I do, the problem with this pattern brush becomes immediately apparent. These aren't circles. In fact, the pattern brush is distorting these shapes. At a small size, it might look as if they're circles, but at a larger size we're seeing very clearly that it is not a circle. At the moment the shapes are stretch to fit, but even clicking "Add Space to Fit" is not going to improve the overall shape of what should have been circles. Let's look and see what happens when we create it as a scatter brush. Again, I'll select the Selection Tool, select over my shape, and drop it into the brushes panel. This time, I'll select "Scatter Brush" and click "Okay". Now there are more options for the scatter brush, but essentially all we need to do is to just select "Tints", so we'll be able to recolor the brush if we wanted to later on. I'll click "Okay". Again, I'm going to create a circle to test out this brush. Hold the Shift key as I drag out an ellipse, no fill, and a black stroke. With the Ellipse selected, I'm going to click here because this is my scatter brush. So far so good; we have a series of dots around our circle. Let's test this out by clicking options of selected object. I can increase the size of my dots. I'll click "Preview" so we can see what's happening. It's a little difficult to see this right now, but let's increase the spacing. You can see that essentially what we've got is a series of dots. These are actually circles, and not misshapen shapes. But there is a problem here; if we want to make these look evenly spaced around the shape, we're going to need to adjust the spacing in a very fine way. There's a very small sweet spot, and it's not always particularly apparent when you've got everything lined up and when it's not quite lined up. You will need to make a very small adjustment to get it looking right. Before we leave these two shapes, let's have a look and see what happens when we try to copy and re-scale the shape. I'm going to select the Selection Tool, and select this shape here. I'll choose "Edit", "Copy", "Edit", "Paste in Place"; that places another one of these shapes, with the brush applied to it, immediately on top of this shape. I'll hold Shift and Alt, that's Option and Shift on the Mac. I'm just going to re-size it. Well, let's just take it down a little bit further. You can see that we're getting a nice resizing. We're getting less of the same size dots around our shape. Let's see what happens when we do this to this scatter brush. But before I do, I'm just going to add a few more dots. I'm going to do that by reducing the spacing. Again, I'll choose "Edit", "Copy" and then "Edit" "Paste in Place". I'll hold Shift and Alt, which is Shift Option on the Mac, and just re-scale the shape. Again, we get something similar, but not really quite the results that we got with the patent brush. We're getting the same size dots, but we do have a spacing problem. So if we wanted to make this look even, we'd need to come in here and select this shape and just sought out our spacing, just a little bit better. There is our attempt to creating a circle of circles first using a pattern brush, and secondly using a scatter brush. Of the two, we're getting the slightly better result with the scatter brush, but we'd really like something a little bit better than this. 3. Going in Circles - Part 2: To continue our exploration of creating a circle of circles, we're going to stroke a shape. For this, I'm going to create an ellipse. I'm going to click on the Ellipse Tool again, hold the Shift key as I create a circle. I have no fill and I have a black stroke. Now I want to start working with the stroke, so I'm going to click here on this stroke link because it opens up a dialogue. I'm going to start increasing the weight of my stroke. What I'm looking for here is to create a circle of circles about the size of this circle. The weight of the stroke here is going to be equivalent to the diameter of this circle, so I'm just eyeballing them here and they look pretty equivalent. This is a stroke of 22 points. I'm going to click here on the Round Cap because that's important for creating a dotted circle around our shape, and I'm going to click Dashed Line. I named my dash value to be zero, and if I want my dots to all be butted up against each other, I'm going to set a gap value that is the same as my weight. That's going to be 22 points. I'm going to make sure that this option here is selected because this aligns everything neatly. If I have this one selected, things may not be so neatly aligned around this point. With the weight and the gap exactly the same value, the dash 0 and this round cap selected, I have a circle of circles. If I increase the stroke white, you'll see that they start running into each other. If I want bigger circles, but I don't want them to be touching, then I'll need to set the gap to the same as the weight or little bit larger. That's 30 right now. If I increase the gap, then the dots are just pushed further away from each other. I'm going to look for a circle of dots that looks good to me and then just click away from the shape. Let's see how robust this shape is when we duplicate it. I'll choose Edit, Copy and then Edit, Paste in Place. Again with the Move Tool selected and Shift and Alt, Shift option on the Mac, I'm just going to move this in here. We're getting a really good representation here. Let's try that again, everything seems to be shrinking up really nicely. Edit, Copy, Edit, Paste in Place, and then let's just re-size this one down. This gives us a good range of circles in circles. While we're here, let's look at rotating a shape. If you've completed my Lets Go Steampunk class in my Illustrator for Lunch series, you'll know how to rotate a shape. But if you haven't, here's how to do it. We're going to choose View, and then Rulers, and then Show Rulers. I'm going to drag or click and drag from this ruler over here and just drop a guide into my document. Now a guide is just a shape, you'll see here in your last pallet that you have a guide because it's a shape. Now let's go and get our circle here. I'm just going to place it up here over my guide. I want them to be centered over each other, so I'm going to select both my circle and my guide. From these alignment options, I'm going to choose Horizontal Align Center. Now, just be aware that I had Align to Selection set off here so that these two shapes are just aligning to each other, not to the artboard as they would be if I selected Align to Artboard. Now I'm just going to select my circle because I don't want my guide to rotate, I just want my circle to rotate. I'll click here on the Rotate Tool. Before the dialogue appears, what I'm going to do is hold my mouse over the guide here, and Alt or Option click, because that will set the rotation point around which my circle is going to rotate. Now I'll make sure that Preview is set on, and now I'll set a rotation value. If for example, I want 12 dots around my circle, then I could type 360 divided by 12, and Illustrator will do the calculation required to calculate the angle. I'll click "Copy". Now, if I continue and click "Control D" Command D on the Mac, I'm just going to rotate this circle around. You can see in the last pallet that what I'm doing is duplicating the shape each time, so each of these dots is a complete shape. I don't need my guide any longer, so I'm just going to locate that here and I'm going to drop it onto the trash can just to get rid of it. I'm going to select over all of the shapes and for convenience, I'll choose Object Group. Now let's copy and re-size them to create a concentric sets of circles. Edit, Copy, Edit, Paste in Place, Shift, Alt, Shift option on the Mac. Now we're getting something a little bit different. I'm going to re-select this shape and do it again. Edit, Copy, Edit, Paste in Place. Again, Shift Alt. In this case, we're getting assets of concentric circles, but our circles are getting smaller each time. It's an interesting and quite appealing look. Of course it all depends on what you're looking for, but if this is the result you want, then this is the way to get it. By using Rotate a shape, we're getting the same number of circles on each of these circles, but they're diminishing in size as we do it. 4. Going in Circles - Part 3: The next process that we're going to look at for creating concentric circles is to use distort and transform. I have a circle here that I've created, I have it selected and I'll choose effect, distort and transform. I'm going to click on ''Preview'' and because I want 12 circles around here, I'm going to ask for 11 copies. I'm also going to set my angle to 360 divided by 12 so that illustrator will make the calculation of the angle for me. The problem is that right now all of my circles are rotating around the central point so they're actually all created on top of each other. I can change this by altering the horizontal value. I'm just going to start walking out the horizontal value. I'm taking it in a negative direction but you could take it in a positive direction with exactly the same result. What I'm looking for here is just a good-looking set of circles and I'll click ''OK''. So far we've got a very similar result to the one that we've had with our previous examples, but here we've got just one circle controlling all of the shape. I'm going to re-select it and let's see how we will create our concentric circles. We'll go back and choose effect and again distort and transform, transform. Now, we'll be warned that we already have a transformation effect. Well, the transformation effect that we have is the one that's creating this circle. We're told that if we wanted to alter that effect, we would need to go to the appearance panel and re-select it and alter that. What we're going to do is add a second effect and that's exactly what we want to do so click, ''Apply New Effect''. Now I'm going to click ''Preview on'' and because I want two sets of concentric circles in here, I'm going to type two as my copies. Now we have to find a way of bringing everything into the middle. Well, we're going to do that by reducing the horizontal and vertical scale of our shape. I'll type 75 and 75. Now, that's not quite enough so I'll decrease the value a little bit more. Let's try 50 and 50. Well, that's given me my concentric circles but I've perhaps gone a little bit too far. I can experiment with different values. I'm going to take it up to 60 percent. I want to use the same values for horizontal and vertical or also I'm going to distort my shapes but I'll click ''OK''. Distort and transform has given me one shape to control my entire circle but I've been able to create a circular effect that is somewhat similar to rotating a shape. Now, with this as with the others, I'll be able to change the color by selecting this single circle and choosing a different color for it. If we go back to our stroke shape, you'll remember that these dots here were created as a stroke. Here they are here. Well, to change their color, we're going to need to change the stroke color. I'm going to make them dark red. For rotating a shape, we've actually got a whole series of dots here. Each of these are groups and each of these can be recolored individually should we want to or we could recolor them to the exact same color as well. For our pattern brushes, we can change the color but it's going to be the color for the entire brush. I'll click on my stroke color because that's what's controlling it and let's set it to a color. The second path could be recolored the same color or a different one. I'll change it to a different color and the scatter brush is going to work the same way as the pattern brush. Each of these are paths and the color of the dots on the path is controlled by the stroke color and because we've got a brush that was set to tint, we can recolor it. If I change my stroke color here to green, the brush color is going to change and I can change the inside one to the same color or a different color. 5. Going in Circles - Part 4: In Illustrator, there's often more than one way to achieve an effect. So before we finish our look at creating concentric circles, let's have a look at blends and spines. I have one of my circular shapes here. Again, it has a fill but no stroke. I'm going to select it and I'm going to hold the Alt or Option key as I drag another shape away. Now these can be lined up with each other or not. That's not going to affect the final result. We're going to create a blend. What blends allow us to do is to morph one shape into another. It also morphs color. But in this case, we have two shapes that are identical. So the process of morphing is just going to create more shapes identical to these. With the Blend tool selected, I'm going to click on the first shape and then click on the second. An Illustrator creates a whole series of identical shapes. But we can adjust what we get here. I'm going to with the blend selected, double-click the blend option here, and this opens a blend options dialog. I'll click "Preview" so I can see what's going on. Now instead of smooth color, what I'm going to choose is specified steps. At the moment, we have 23 circles here, but we can vary that number, and as we do, you can say that the circles get further spread apart and they nice and evenly spread apart. So I'm going to select 14, that's 14 circles in the middle, plus 2 at either end, and I'll click "Okay". Now we have a series of circles along a line which is not quite the same as circles around a circle. So to create our circles around a circle, we're going to need an ellipse, a circle to put them around. I'll hold ''Shift'' as I drag out a shape here. Now it's black filled, I really want it to be a black stroke. So I'm just going to select no fill and a black stroke. Now what we want to do is we want to take this blend and put it around this circle. Illustrator has a command for that, and to apply that command, you need to first select the blend and the circle. You can do this in any order because Illustrator recognizes which is a blend and which is a path along which you want to place the blend. So with them selected, we'll choose Object, Blend, Replace Spine. What that means is that this spine here, the straight line is going to be replaced by this circular one. So I'll click "Replace Spine", and we've got a series of 16 circles, 3/4 of the way around our circle. The problem is we've got a big gap here. The solution to this gap is to cut the line. What we're going to do is just cut this circular path, and when we cut it, the circles are all going to line up perfectly. When you go to cut it, you need to determine if you want a dot at a particular point. So if I wanted there always to be a dot at this point, then I would cut the path here. If I always wanted a circle at this point, I would cut the path here. So I'm going to go and get my scissors, which share a toolbar position with the Eraser tool. I'm going to say, I want to a dot always at this point. So I'm going to hold my mouse pointer over the anchor point here and just click, and that's going to cut the shape. When I cut it, the circles all move evenly around it. Now this is still a blend. So if I double-click the Blend tool, I can reopen the Blend dialog, select "Preview", and if I wanted more dots, I could increase the number and click "Okay". So let's now see how a blend will respond when we copy and re-size it. I'm going to select the Selection tool, drag over the shape so I have everything selected here. I'll choose Edit, Copy, Edit, Paste in Place, and again, Alt Shift, Option Shift on the Mac. Well, we're getting a concentric circle and we're getting a smallest set of circles. Again, I'm going to make sure that this shape is selected. Edit, Copy, Edit, Paste in Place, and re-size it. I can do it again. So creating a blend has given us a similar result for our concentric circles as distort and transform and as using rotate a shape. The difference is going to be in re-coloring these because it's the circles at the beginning and end of the blends that are controlling the color. For this, it might be easier to go to the last palette and to open up the blends. So here inside this blend, we've got the two circles that are controlling the blend. I'm going to click and shift click on these two so that I select them, and this is going to control the entire inner circle here. I'll go to the color palette, well first of all make sure I select the "Fill Color" and then go to my swatches and select a color. You can see then that the entire circle of circles has been recolored. Let's go and get the next one, go to the last palette. I'm going to open up the blend and I'm going to select these. Now if for example we only selected one and not both, let's see what happens. I'm going to fill it with this orange color. What happens is what we get a blend from orange to black. So you can see that if you want to recolor a circle, you're going to need to go and get both circles that are controlling the blend and color them the same color if that's what you want. Again, let's go and get the next one. In the last palette, I'm making sure that I'm opening the blend. I'm clicking here on one of them to select it and then shift clicking on the second circle to select it. Now I can select a color to recolor them too. When they both recolor to the same color, the entire blend is made that color. So the process of re-coloring the dots from a blend is just a little different to the processes that we've been using so far. Your project for this class is simply going to be to experiment with these techniques. There are a lot of techniques here, every one of which can be valuable in varying circumstances. So go and make a pattern brush and then apply it to a circle, and then do it with a scatter brush. Stroke a shape, so you know how to create a set of dots around the shape, and then create a shape and rotate it. Have a go at using the Distort and Transform tool. I think you'll really like that one, it's probably one of my favorite tools to use. Then finish off by creating a blend and then wrap it around a circle, just remembering to cut your circle so that it fills it up. I hope that you've enjoyed this Illustrator class and learning a little bit about some of the techniques that you can use in Illustrator every day. If you think this class is valuable, please give it a thumbs up so that other people recognize that it's a class that they may want to take. My name is Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch, and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon.