Blend objects

  1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
      3. Illustrator system requirements
      4. Illustrator for Apple silicon
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Create documents
      3. Tools Default keyboard shortcuts | Illustrator
      4. Tool galleries
      5. Customize keyboard shortcuts
      6. Artboards
      7. Customize the workspace
      8. Properties panel
      9. Set preferences
      10. Touch Workspace
      11. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      12. Recovery, undo, and automation
      13. Rotate view
      14. Rulers, grids, and guides
      15. Accessibility in Illustrator
      16. Safe Mode
      17. View artwork
      18. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      19. Files and templates
      20. Synchronize settings using Adobe Creative Cloud
    3. Tools in Illustrator
      1. Selection
        1. Overview
        2. Selection
        3. Direct Selection
        4. Group Selection
        5. Lasso
        6. Magic Wand
      2. Navigation
        1. Overview
        2. Zoom
        3. Rotate View
      3. Paint
        1. Overview
        2. Gradient
        3. Shape Builder
      4. Type
        1. Overview
        2. Type
        3. Type on path
  3. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
      2. Illustrator on the iPad FAQs
      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
      2. Touch shortcuts and gestures
      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
      2. Blend objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Vectorize raster images
    8. Color
      1. Apply colors and gradients
  4. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      4. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  5. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Image Trace
      7. Simplify a path
      8. Define perspective grids
      9. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      10. Adjust path segments
      11. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      12. Perspective drawing
      13. Symbols
      14. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
    2. 3D effects and Adobe Substance materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Create 3D objects
      4. Create 3D Text
    3. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    4. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
      9. Meshes
      10. Patterns
    5. Select and arrange objects
      1. Select objects
      2. Layers
      3. Group and expand objects
      4. Move, align, and distribute objects
      5. Stack objects    
      6. Lock, hide, and delete objects
      7. Duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
    6. Reshape objects
      1. Crop images
      2. Transform objects
      3. Combine objects
      4. Cut, divide, and trim objects
      5. Puppet Warp
      6. Scale, shear, and distort objects
      7. Blend objects
      8. Reshape using envelopes
      9. Reshape objects with effects
      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    7. Type
      1. Create text
      2. Fonts and typography
      3. Format type
      4. Import and export text
      5. Format paragraphs
      6. Special characters
      7. Create type on a path
      8. Character and paragraph styles
      9. Tabs
      10. Text and type
      11. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      12. Update text from Illustrator 10
      13. Arabic and Hebrew type
      14. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      15. Create 3D text effect
      16. Creative typography designs
      17. Scale and rotate type
      18. Line and character spacing
      19. Hyphenation and line breaks
      20. Text enhancements
      21. Spelling and language dictionaries
      22. Format Asian characters
      23. Composers for Asian scripts
      24. Create text designs with blend objects
      25. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Create a drop shadow
      4. Appearance attributes
      5. Create sketches and mosaics
      6. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      7. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Create animations
      5. Slices and image maps
  6. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Import artwork files
      2. Import bitmap images
      3. Import artwork from Photoshop
      4. Place multiple files | Illustrator CC
      5. Unembed images
      6. Import Adobe PDF files
      7. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
      8. Links information
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Use Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
      2. Export artwork
      3. Collect assets and export in batches
      4. Package files
      5. Create Adobe PDF files
      6. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      7. Adobe PDF options
      8. File information and metadata
  7. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  8. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  9. Troubleshooting 
    1. Crash on launch issues
    2. Recover files after crash
    3. File issues
    4. GPU device driver issues
    5. Wacom device issues
    6. DLL file issues
    7. Memory issues
    8. Preferences file issues
    9. Font issues
    10. Printer issues
    11. Share crash report with Adobe

About blended objects

You can blend objects to create and distribute shapes evenly between two objects. You can also blend between two open paths to create a smooth transition between objects, or you can combine blends of colors and objects to create color transitions in the shape of a particular object.

Note:

Blending objects is not the same as applying blending modes or transparency to objects. For information on blending modes and transparency, see About blending modes.

Once you create a blend, the blended objects are treated as one object. If you move one of the original objects, or edit the original object’s anchor points, the blend changes accordingly. In addition, the new objects blended between the original objects don’t have their own anchor points. You can expand the blend in order to divide the blend into distinct objects.

Example of using a blend to distribute shapes evenly between two objects
Example of using a blend to distribute shapes evenly between two objects

Example of using a blend to distribute color smoothly between two objects
Example of using a blend to distribute color smoothly between two objects

The following rules apply to blended objects and their associated colors:

  • You cannot blend between mesh objects.

  • If you blend between one object painted with a process color and another object painted with a spot color, the blended shapes are painted with a blended process color. If you blend between two different spot colors, process colors are used to paint the intermediate steps. If, however, you blend between tints of the same spot color, the steps are all painted with percentages of the spot color.

  • If you blend between two patterned objects, the blended steps will only use the fill of the object on the topmost layer.

  • If you blend between objects that have blending modes specified with the Transparency panel, the blended steps will only use the blending mode of the top object.

  • If you blend between objects with multiple appearance attributes (effects, fills, or strokes), Illustrator attempts to blend the options.

  • If you blend between two instances of the same symbol, blended steps will be instances of that symbol. If, however, you blend between two instances of different symbols, the blended steps will not be symbol instances.

  • By default, blends are created as knockout transparency groups, so that if any of the steps consist of overlapping transparent objects, these objects will not show through each other. You can change this setting by selecting the blend and deselecting Knockout Group in the Transparency panel.

Create blends

The Blend tool and Make Blend command let you create blends, which are a series of intermediate objects and colors between two or more selected objects.

Create a blend with the Blend tool

  1. Select the Blend tool  .
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To blend in sequential order with no rotation, click anywhere on each object, but avoid anchor points.

    • To blend to a specific anchor point on an object, click the anchor point with the Blend tool. When the pointer is over an anchor point, the pointer changes from a white square to transparent with a black dot in its center.

    • To blend open paths, select an endpoint on each path.

  3. When you are finished adding objects to the blend, click the Blend tool again.
    Note:

    By default, Illustrator calculates the optimum number of steps to create a smooth color transition. To control the number of steps or distance between steps, set blending options. (See Blend options.)

Create a blend with the Make Blend command

  1. Select the objects you want to blend.
  2. Choose Object > Blend > Make.
    Note:

    By default, Illustrator calculates the optimum number of steps to create a smooth color transition. To control the number of steps or distance between steps, set blending options.

Blend options

You can change the blend options for an existing blend. To do this, select the blended object and do one of the following:

  • Double-click the Blend tool  
  • Choose Object > Blend > Blend Options.
  • In the Properties panel, click the Blend Options button in the Quick Actions section. 

The Blend Options dialog box appears, in which you can set the following blend options:

Spacing

Determines how many steps are added to the blend.

Smooth Color

Lets Illustrator auto-calculate the number of steps for the blends. If objects are filled or stroked with different colors, the steps are calculated to provide the optimum number of steps for a smooth color transition. If the objects contain identical colors, or if they contain gradients or patterns, the number of steps is based on the longest distance between the bounding box edges of the two objects.

Specified Steps

Controls the number of steps between the start and end of the blend.

Specified Distance

Controls the distance between the steps in the blend. The distance specified is measured from the edge of one object to the corresponding edge on the next object (for example, from the rightmost edge of one object to the rightmost edge of the next).

Orientation

Determines the orientation of blended objects.

Align to Page 

Orients the blend perpendicular to the x axis of the page.

Align to Path 

Orients the blend perpendicular to the path.

Align to Page option applied to a blend
Align to Page option applied to a blend

Align to Path option applied to a blend
Align to Path option applied to a blend

Change the spine of a blended object

The spine is the path along which the steps in a blended object are aligned. By default, the spine forms a straight line.

  • To adjust the shape of the spine, drag the anchor points and path segments on the spine with the Direct Selection tool.
  • To replace the spine with a different path, draw an object to use as the new spine. Select the spine object and the blended object, and choose Object > Blend > Replace Spine.
  • To reverse the order of a blend on its spine, select the blended object and choose Object > Blend > Reverse Spine.

Reverse the stacking order in a blended object

  1. Select the blended object.
  2. Choose Object > Blend > Reverse Front To Back.
    Original stacking order (top) compared to applying Reverse Front To Back command (bottom)
    Original stacking order (top) compared to applying Reverse Front To Back command (bottom)

Release or expand a blended object

Releasing a blended object removes the new objects and restores the original objects. Expanding a blended object divides the blend into distinct objects, which you can edit individually like any object.

  1. Select the blended object.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Object > Blend > Release.

    • Choose Object > Blend > Expand.

Adobe logo

Sign in to your account