Blend Option Setting in Adobe CS5 Illustrator - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

In Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator you can change the way a blend appears by using the Blend Options dialog box: Choose Object→Blend→Blend Options. From the Spacing drop-down list, change the blend to one of these options:

  • Smooth Color: Blend steps are calculated to provide the optimum number of steps for a smooth transition.

  • Specified Steps: Determine the number of steps in a blend by typing a number in the text field to the right of the drop-down list.

  • Specified Distance: Control the distance between steps in the blend by typing a number in the text field to the right of the drop-down list.

You can also choose between two orientation options:

  • Align to Page: Orients the blend perpendicular to the x-axis of the page.

  • Align to Path: Orients the blend perpendicular to the path. You probably won’t see a difference when changing orientation unless you’ve edited the blend path.

You can easily access the Blend tool options by selecting a blended object and double-clicking the Blend tool in the Tools panel.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try changing a smooth blend into a logarithmic blend. In the Blend Options dialog box, choose Specified Steps from the Spacing drop-down list and change the value to 5. This change creates the blend in 5 steps rather than in the more than 200 steps that may have been necessary to create the smooth blend.

Here are a few more tips to help you become more comfortable using blends. You can

  • Blend between an unlimited number of objects, colors, opacities, or gradients.

  • Edit blends directly with tools, such as Selection, Rotate, or Scale.

  • Switch to the Direct Selection tool and edit the blend path by dragging anchor points. A straight path is created between blended objects when the blend is first applied.

  • Edit blends that you created by moving, resizing, deleting, or adding objects. After you make editing changes, the artwork is blended again automatically.