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Creating Dotted Tunnel in Illustrator

Creating Dotted Tunnel in Illustrator

Jayhan Sim

I remember that I first saw the dotted tunnel in one picture posted in which spared my idea on creating this tutorial. The graphic effect is kind of cool so I decided to try replicate the look and found out that it’s simple to do. The main tools used for this tutorial are the Pen Tool, Transform Tool and Blend Tool.

Making dotted pattern brush

At first we need to create a dotted line to make it a Pattern Brush show in step 1 below. The step by step creation can be seen here. After creating, select the pattern and drag it into the Brushes palette. A New Brush window prompts. Select “New Pattern Brush” and click OK. Then, you can name the brush or leave it as it is. The most important thing is to change Colorization method to Tint. With this, you can change the color of the pattern. Click OK to finish.

Dotted Tunnel – Scaling method

The new Pattern Brush should appears in the Brush palette. Now, select the Ellipse Tool and press Shift to create a perfect circle. Select the stroke of the circle and apply the dotted brush stroke that we just created to it. Change the stroke size to adjust the size of the dot.

There are two methods to create the dotted tunnel. The first is by using the Scale transform tool. Select the circle, now go to Object > Transform > Scale… to open up the Scale window. Key in the amount of uniform scale for example 110% like picture below, and then click Copy. Hit Ctrl+D to duplicate more and more copies until it forms a tunnel.

By using this method, you can achieve two kinds of dotted tunnels shown in picture below. On the left is with the “Scale Strokes and Effects” option enabled at the Scale window while on the right it is not enabled.

Dotted Tunnel – Blending method

The scaling method is easier however it does not give flexibility to editing it because it’s pretty much fixed. The second method, using Blending tool allows us to create more creative types of tunnels and editing flexibility.

Create one dotted stroke circle and duplicate it to a larger one. Then select both of them and go to Object > Blend > Make. Then, in the same path, open up the Blending Options window to modify the blend mode. I’m using Specified Distance. Woot! a simple dotted tunnel was formed.

You can achieve different kinds of dotted tunnels by making a few changes. First, modify the stroke by using the Stroke Options found in Brush palette. Here I scaled the stroke size to 300% and notice how the blending changes. You can also change the color of the tunnel too, because you maked the stroke available for Colorization.

Next, you can also a achieve 3D-ish dotted tunnel by changing the circle position. Look cool isn’t it? Besides that, you can expand the appearance of the blending and delete some of the dots to make other interesting graphics like fan shown in picture below.

So this is the end of the tutorial. It’s a very basic and simple tutorial, I hope you can learned something from this. Thank you very much.

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