Creating dotted tunnel in Illustrator

Create dotted tunnel in Illustrator

I remember that I first saw the dotted tunnel in one picture posted in Fubiz which sparks 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 will be Pen Tool, Transform Tool and Blend Tool.

Making dotted pattern brush

At first we need to create the 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 prompted. Select “New Pattern Brush” and click OK. Then, you can name the brush or leave it as it is. The most important thing is change Colorization method to Tint. With this, you can change the color of the pattern. Click OK to finish.

Step 1

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 created just now to it. Change the stroke size to adjust the size of the dot.

There is two method 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.

Step 2

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

Step 3

Dotted Tunnel – Blending method

The scaling method is easier however it does not gives us flexibility on editing it because it’s pretty much fixed. The second method which is using Blending tool allows us to create more creative types of tunnel 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 we open up the Blending Options window to modify the blend mode. I’m using Specified Distance. Woot, a simple dotted tunnel was formed.

Step 4

We can achieve different kinds of dotted tunnel by making some changes. First, we can modify the stroke by using the Stroke Options found in Brush palette. Here I scale the stroke size to 300% and notice how the blending change. We can also change the color of the tunnel too, because we make the stroke available for Colorization.

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

Step 5

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

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  • vladimir

    Thank You for the awesome tutorial! šŸ™‚

  • jayhan

    you are welcome, vladimir šŸ˜€

  • strategie roulette online

    Thank you, friends, for your sharing your ideas

  • Eunice

    thank YOU jayhan!
    i really have a love hate relationship with photoshop. i grew up using paint shop pro and its so hard to make the switch! armed with this tutorial, i’m going to try…yet again! =D

  • Saawan

    This tutorial reminded me of the new Thomson Reuters logo.


  • jayhan

    This is Illustrator tutorial Eunice šŸ˜‰ and thanks for the support

    that’s cool logo there Saawan šŸ˜€

  • iStockdiary

    Great tutorial, but I have a better way to do the dotted lines. See this dotted lines trick:

  • Eunice

    hee, m’bad. maybe i’ll like illustrator more. or,’ll like me šŸ˜‰

  • Sam

    Nice tutorial Jayhan!

  • LMF

    thanks! and i love japan too

  • jayhan

    You are welcome LMF šŸ˜‰

  • achmadbiz

    Wow … very useful tutorial .. :), Thanks Jay …

  • raj

    Nice one.

    However, I found it better in making the pattern brush by just adding 1 circle. In the brush settings set the spacing to 50%. I preferred this method cos when i apply the pattern mentioned in this tutorial, i end up getting half circles for any other path than a circled one. Hope it helps……

  • jayhan

    You are welcome achmadbiz. And raj, thanks for that useful trick, i learned something šŸ˜€

  • Tendouji

    OMG, dude, ur the man!

  • jayhan

    thanks again, Tendouji šŸ˜€

  • Vanessa An Lim

    My goodness, thank you! I was searching for a good tutorial on how to make basic dotted lines on illustrator for like 2 hours (i could not find pre made brushes), then I found your thorough tutorial! And it is perfect!

  • jayhan

    You are welcome Venessa šŸ˜€

  • Junaid Ahmed

    It has been year, I have not even open Illustrator, But I think I should Re-Install it, Excellent Tutorial

  • Jose

    Great work jayhan. thanks for sharing

  • illustrator

    thanks for sharing.. nice tutorials..

  • livka

    thank you very much, Im trying to learn how to use illustrator and this really helps me

  • Maeve

    How exactly do you apply that lovely gradient colour ? fig.11 above?