Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Blending a square gradient dot pattern

From: Designs dekeConstructed: Gradient Dot Patterns with Illustrator

Video: Blending a square gradient dot pattern

In this movie, we're going to take the three columns of squares that we

Blending a square gradient dot pattern

In this movie, we're going to take the three columns of squares that we have so far, and we are going to transform them into the final effect. And we are going to do so with a fairly terrifying degree of precision. So I'll go ahead and switch over to my documents so far, and I'll press Ctrl+A or Cmd+A on the Mac in order to select all three columns. Now bear in mind, each one of the columns is an independent group. That's very important. And as a result, it's very easy to create the intermediate dots by going up to the Object menu, choosing Blend, and then choosing Make.

And that's all it takes. And you end up getting this amazing effect right here. And you might think it's absolutely perfect, which is amazing because Illustrator rarely gets a blend right the first time. But let's check out if it's really done such a swell job. I'm going to press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac in order to hide my edges. Then I'm going to zoom on in to my squares here. Over on here on the left hand side, I'm pressing the Ctrl+spacebar keys, or Cmd+spacebar on a Mac, in order to get the zoom tool on the fly, and then clicking, of course.

But notice things are not entirely accurate. We have a larger vertical gap than we do a horizontal gap right here at this location. And to get a sense for what's going on, you want to go up to the Object menu, choose Blend, and then choose Blend Options. Now, that'll bring up this dialog box right here. And by default, the spacing value is set to Smooth Color. If you want to see exactly how many steps are involved, then go ahead and switch from Smooth Color to Specified Steps, and Illustrator will show you exactly what it's up to.

So it's creating 30 steps. Now when it says 30 steps, it means 30 steps from the left hand column to the middle column, and then another 30 steps from the middle column to the right hand column. And those are intermediate steps between the columns. This value is actually wrong. Now, if it's good enough for you, that's great. Just leave it the way it is and don't worry about it. Or, you could just nudge this value down in order to increase the size of this horizontal gap right there. We're not seeing the result though, because the Preview checkbox is turned off.

So I'll go ahead and turn it on. And notice that that makes thing better, and then if I press the down arrow key again in order to nudge the value down to 28, it makes things best. We now have exactly the results that we're looking for. The vertical gap and the horizontal gaps are exactly what they're supposed to be. Now, how do I know for certain that's accurate? Well, we'll go ahead and click OK. Some of you may not care about this. If so, then just go ahead and move on to the next movie. We know we have the right results, because we can see that on-screen.

But let me show you why that's right. And this involves, I'm afraid, a little bit of math. It's just minus signs. It's not terribly difficult math, but here's what it looks like. I'll go ahead and switch over to this file here. Recall that we originally had 59 squares wide. So remember how we had 39 squares tall by 50 squares wide. You want to take the wide value and subtract 3. Why 3? Because of the three columns, the three original columns. The left hand column, the middle one, and the right hand.

And that gives you 56. That's how many steps we need all together. But we need half of those steps on one side and half on the other, so you take 56 divide it by 2, and you get 28. And that's why having 28 steps between these various columns of squares ends up giving us the exact effect we're looking for. And now at this point, you can play with it if you'd like. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+H, or Cmd+H on the Mac, in order to bring back my selection edges. And I'll switch to the white arrow tool, which I can also get by pressing the A key.

And then I'll click off the shapes and deselect them. Then I'll Alt+click twice on this square right there, on the center of the square, in order to select that entire column independently from the rest of the blend. And now, if I drag it over to the right while pressing the Shift key, then I can loosen the blend over here on the left hand side and tighten it over here on the right hand side. So, that's one option available to you. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, or Cmd+Z on a Mac, to undo that change. Another thing you can do is adjust the color.

So for example, I can go up here to the fill swatch on the left side of the control panel and I can click on it, and I can change the color to let's say, this shade of red. That's sort of magenta right there. And I end up blending the colors as well. So you have a lot of options available to you thanks to the fact that you're dynamically blending between entire groups of shapes here inside Illustrator.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Designs dekeConstructed: Gradient Dot Patterns with Illustrator.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.