I’ve recently made the shift from my old FreeHand 11 to Illustrator 2020. I’m trying to duplicate a process I used to do in FH in order to create a bumpy outline for a forest area on a map.
In FreeHand, this is what I would do:
- Draw 2 circles and blend them.
- Draw a closed path surrounding the forest area.
- Select the path and the blend and “attach blend to path”.
- This results in evenly-spaced circles on the path.
- Modify the number of steps in the blend until there is a slight overlap between each circle.
- Apply an Ungroup command.
- With the objects still selected, Combine>Union (same as Shape Builder in AI)
- Delete the “hole” in the middle, and bob’s your uncle.
How do we do this in AI? I’ve found how to attach the blended circles to the path, but unlike FreeHand, the ungroup function doesn’t work at this stage.
Or is there a simpler, leaner way to create this bumpy outline? After all, the method is more than 20 years old. Suggestions? Thanks!
Simple half-circle Pattern Brush.
Then if you want the actual path,
Object > Expand Appearance. This will leave all the individual semi-circles. If you want a single path, select them and choose
Object > Path > Join.
This is quick and dirty using AI CS6. However, it shows the methodology and procedure, which is the same for pretty much any version of AI since AI8.
The benefit to the brush is that, once created, it can be applied to any shape at any point, there’s no need to constantly recreate blends and expand things if you have multiple shapes or a shape changes.