Secrets of the Blend Tool in Adobe Illustrator | Andrew Brooks | Skillshare

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Secrets of the Blend Tool in Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar Andrew Brooks, Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. The Basics

    • 3. A Little More

    • 4. Colors

    • 5. Gradient + Blend Tool = Wow!

    • 6. The Magic

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About This Class

I’m going to teach you how to use the Blend Tool in Adobe Illustrator to make stunning visuals. While doing so, I want to help you by showing you some tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Andrew Brooks

Graphic Designer & Illustrator


Graphic Designer and Creative Arts Pastor

Instagram: @andrewbrooks05

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1. Intro: Hey, guys, I'm Andrew. I've been creating and designing graphics for around 12 years now, and I'm always looking for new tips and tricks to use in my work. Maybe you're just getting started or you're a seasoned professional, or maybe you're somewhere in between. But either way, we can always learn new tricks. In this short class, I'm going to teach you how to use the lentil in Adobe Illustrator While doing so. I want to help you by showing you some of the tips and tricks that I've learned along the way. Your project will be to create your own wallpaper for your phone or desktop. Create several half full in with this project. Most of all, I want you master the blend tool. I'll see you in class. 2. The Basics: Hey, guys, Thanks for joining me in this class. By the end of it, you're going to know how to do some pretty cool stuff with the blend tool. But But first I want to show you the basic. Just so you have Ah ah, basic understanding. So the blend tool, it's simply does it blends things together, so show what it does here with a circle with a circle in the square. Hold shift, select the square and then we'll go upto object, blend, make and you can see how it blends thes objects together. You see how it goes from a circle that starts to turn into a square. Okay, we do the same thing with lines down here. I'm going to select both of those object blend make you see how it blends together. It takes It's like an average. It takes an average, if you will. I don't know the math behind it, but this is how it works. So you can see it opens the door to some pretty cool stuff. That's the basics of the blend tool. You take two objects here on Do you take two objects for more objects? If you want object blend. Make. Let's do that again. Two objects object blend made. And you can see that it starts to blend two objects together and these are connected. Like you can't. You can't take these apart the way that they stand. Now, if you wanted to use these shapes, which you certainly can. Now you got to object again. Go to expand. Okay. And now you have these individual object all you have to group them command shift. G groups them. And now you have individual shapes that you can make from the blend tool. Same. Same here. It's the same applies object Expand. Okay. They were gonna group those command shift g, and now they're Groot. So you can see that you can get from a circle to a square here. And if you wanted something in between, you could certainly do that. Or if you knew that you wanted something in between these two sizes, you could blend and get there. Now the blend tool is rule. It's a lot better than that. That's just the basics. That's the basics of what it does. Now let's move into to a little bit more. It gets a lot more fun 3. A Little More: Okay, let's dive into the blend tool a little bit more in the blend. Two options. You'll see what's called Replace Spahn and that. All that means is that you have an object. Maybe with a stroked outline like this circle, you have an object like this that you want to replace it with something else. So in the blend tool, What that means is that anything that you've blended will replace the spine. So in this case, this circle is the spine, and this full circle will be what we replace it with. But first we have to blend it. So we're gonna make a copy of this circle here, coming up, option, shift, click and drag. And that's going to make a dupe duplicate. So we'll select those two. Will goto object? We'll go to blend, make perfect. Now we want to select both of these. We want to go back up to object, blend, replace spine and you see that now it replaces the spine, the circle, the the outlines, stroke circle. It replaces it with the blue circles that we blended. Now I don't know why, but always it leaves a space. Doesn't matter what shape you're doing. I have not figured out why it does that. I'm sure it's some math deep down in there somewhere. But I know how to fix that. If you want a toe, continue to wrap that around and make it what even you would take your sister's tool. You can press C on your keyboard that brings up your scissors tool, or you could find it in the toolbar and you click one of the anchor points in the circle. So I'm gonna click the top one and you see that it wraps it around. You can definitely add more circles in, and I'll show you how to do that here in just a few minutes. But I wanted to show you the simple way of what replaced Spahn means, because we're going to use that in a little bit. A little later. Teoh make some really cool artwork, but that's the basics of the replace Spahn 4. Colors: Okay, Now we get into one of my favorite things to do with the blend tool. I don't know if many people use it this way, but I love using it this way. If you find a better way, um, definitely show me. But honestly, I just I just like using it this way. This really isn't a secret, but it's just a nun conventional way to mess with colors that I don't think many people do . Um, so one thing I want to show you is when you go into your blend tool options go object. Blundell Blend options. So right now, we don't have anything selected. That's why, you know, make release, expand or place mine Divers find all of these other options are not available. Click into your blend options. Well, you can go specified step. That's how I haven't set right now. Mostly, that's what I use. I used steps, but you see smooth color specified distance, and if you wanted to get into it, more like if you want it up, distance between certain objects that be the case hardly ever used smooth color, but let me show you specified steps. So specified steps is how many in between the two objects, How many objects in between the two objects that we're going to have that it's going to blend? So right now it's set to five. Use that in the past, but let's set it to, uh, let's say, 12 hit. OK, so it does nothing right now because we don't have anything selected. But one thing that I love to do is I love to blend colors. So if I'm working on a project and I'm using a color palette, but I want, like a I won't like maybe just out lighter, darker shade of color or of two colors are mixed between two colors that I'm using. I'll go to the blend tool, and I'll get the exact color that I want. Instead of trying to guess I will select the two colors. I'm just, you know, draw a circle or square rectangle in this case will go up to object blend. No, I'm gonna do is make and you see that now I have this nice Grady int of colors from the one color that I chose or from the two colors that shows all the way to the middle and at any point, I can sample these colors. So, um, right here I have. Let's just throw some white in there any point. Aiken sample these colors. So I take my eyedropper tool and I can select there, and I can go any one of these colors I can sample. And then I could, you know, I could end up creating my own Swatch folder out of these. So the way that I did that, let's do it again. Let's say that you know what, Let's change this one to the background color. We'll select both of them. We'll go object, blend, make, and you can see now it just fades into it. So not only can you do some like, pretty cool Grady int stuff, it's like a false Grady in those air, all real colors in there. It's like a false opacity. It's not. Those were real colors there, and it's just blended in. That is one of my favorite ways to use the Blundell, and that's to get the exact color that I want. I did that through the blending options and specified steps 5. Gradient + Blend Tool = Wow!: Okay, I know that. I said colors. Blending colors is one of my favorite ways to use the blend tool. And it is probably the way that I use the most. But when you mix ingredients with the blend tool, you get something awesome. So I have this little white circle here, and I have this circle that's a Grady in. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna select the My little white circle. I'm gonna hit I on the keyboard to get my eyedropper tool. And I'm just gonna go over here and sample the great circle. That gives me two circles that have the same Grady in. Now, what I want to do is I want to blend these together so we'll go toe object. We're gonna blend. We're gonna make all right, so that's pretty cool. But that's that's not it. Hang with me. So let's go back in our specified steps. Blends will go to blend options and less crank up these this blend. Sorry. The specified steps, maybe, but I like 200. All right, then we can get a preview. Now you got something that looks pretty wild. All right, But it looks like I don't know. It just changed. Like you don't see much white in here, and it got to get the white at the end. But the white on this side kind of disappeared. Well, you can double click into this, Grady. In now you're in isolation mode. So you can you can still edit these objects as long as you don't expand everything out. You can still edit all of this. And this goes even back into the earlier videos that I just showed you. All of this is edit herbal within the blend tool as long as you go in isolation mode. So let's rotate this a little bit. So I'm just gonna click on that. And what a hold shift. Um, I don't have to hold shift. I'm just gonna rotate it. And then you can see that the great this great it is starting to change and starting a blend. This one's not changing. It's just blending and could come in here and flip that. Now look what you see. What's happening now it's blending this whole look at that and we're not even We're not even close to showing off what you can really do. So you get some pretty wild stuff going on with the Grady int and the blend tal. Now, as we move into this next phase, we're gonna we're gonna start putting, we're gonna start putting some stuff together and it's gonna get wild. And you're gonna You're gonna love what you can do with the simple things that I've showed you that that can spice up your artwork. I'll see you in the next video. 6. The Magic: All right, So now we get into the fun stuff. So take what we learn, and we're gonna use the Grady INTs and the color and the replacing spine, and we're gonna make some magic happen. So let's take this, Grady it. We're going to blend these e I just copied these radiance over. You can certainly do whatever you want to hear. Just copied the ingredients over from the last one. Good object. Blend, make. And you see you see what it's doing. It's making something pretty cool, but I want up. Go to the blend options on up to specified steps and I want to go. Let's say 200 again. Preview. Make sure that's working, right. Go 300 if you want. Good deal. All right. So now I got what I want here, and I want to replace this. I want I want this spine to be replaced with this, so select both of them. I'll go upto object, gonna blend, replace Spahn and check that out. Check out like just the shading on all of that. That is so cool. I love making these. They're just so cool. They look, I only look like we're tubes and streaks of light if you're doing, if you're doing it right, um now, look, I can go in here, remember, I can make these. I can edit him. Double click go in the isolation mode. So we have the object selected go in the isolation mode. I could make this bigger. I could make smaller. I can rotate it so you can Maybe maybe you want the highlights on top. Um, get those and get that dark Tyne on the bottom. Oh, yeah, that looks good. See? Like, it looks like this weird worm snake tube thing if you're into that kind of thing. So actually did another one Mother classes. I show you how to make text this way. I don't go into the blend tool as much, but I show you how to make text like three D tube text using this method, but I still use it. I love making these things. So there is one way that's pretty cool. Replace a spot. You can edit these things. You can even go in here and edit this grading if you want to and, um, do something crazy. Let's see. Maybe you want to change this changes to yellow folk. Nope. That didn't work. Because I don't have a selected right. I got I gotta pick the foreground to say we want See, Give yellow 10. You know, it goes from yellow White. You could do all kind of crazy stuff with it. So now I want to show you this. So we're going to, um I wonder too quick. So get this one out of the way. Let's use this guy duplicating. Turn him. This is gonna be our Spahn. So let's blend these two things together. So it's just a line. I went ahead and made some lines with the pin tool. It's just a curve. Lines. Want to select these two? You see, we got color. We got two different colors. We got green in this blue. We're gonna blend these together. Object blend made. That's cool. Maybe we wanted a few more in their go to blend options. Let's go upto 20 see what that does. Okay, that's pretty cool. I like that. That's it. Okay. We could always go back in there and change that later. And now we want to replace this spine. We'll see what happens. Object blend. Replace spine. Okay, that's weird. Now, don't necessarily like that, but you can go in here and you can change this spine around. Move it up. Have you want Oh, I'm going to go through here so you can go in and you can change any of this stuff. Maybe you don't like any of that, and you want to just keep it like that, which is totally fine. So I just showed you that you could replace the spot. Or you can leave it like this. Now, watch this. What's scale that up a little bit? Now, I can change any one of these. And look what starts to happen. You get some pretty crazy shapes and artwork that goes that starts coming out of this. It's pretty endless. What? You can do any one of these. You can move any one of the original lives like none of these are edible yet because they're just a blend. They're not live lines yet. And so what? I want to challenge you to do after after this is make your own phone background. I mean, how how cool is it toe to be able to go and show your friends like your own phone background. Pull your phone up. But I made that. I made what's back there. You can get some pretty cool stuff designed upon your phone. I want to see it Post it. I mean, you never know who might download it to put on their phone background. So I challenge you to do that. I really appreciate you taking this class. Look forward to seeing your projects. And please, if you could If this helped you in any way, please be kind enough to leave a review definitely helps. Um, I'll be posting another class soon. Guys have a going.