Circular Vector Halftone Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

It’s time for another halftone tutorial with the blend tool. In case you missed the first one, you can check it out here.

This tutorial requires a lot of aligning of objects, so you may want to brush up on the align palette and the smart guides.

I start out with a 300pt x 300pt square. You can set the size of your square by clicking once on your work area while the rectangle tool is selected.

Next, I make a 300pt x 300pt circle. I center align the circle and square vertically and horizontally using the Align palette. This circle and square will be used as guidelines.

I draw another circle roughly 35pt x 35pt. and center align this as well.

After that, I create a smaller circle approximately 5pt x 5pt. I center align this and align it to the top of the square.

Next, I’m going to Blend the 2 circle shapes, but first I need to set the blend steps. Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options.

A dialogue box will pop up. Select Specified Steps and insert 10. You can choose a different number of steps if you want.

Now, select the 2 small circles and go to Object > Blend > Make.

You should have several circles in between the two.

You’ll need to change your blended object back into shapes. With the blended object selected, go to Object > Flatten Transparency.

A dialogue box will appear. Set the Raster/Vector Balance to 100 and click OK.

Now, ungroup the circles and make 2 copies of the smallest one. Align one at the top left corner and the other should be left and center aligned.

Select the two small circles you just created and make another blend like you did before. Use the same number of steps and flatten transparency again.

Ungroup your new circles. Now, you want to blend your new circles with the old ones. Start with the top row. Select the small circle on the top left and the small circle at the top middle. Again, make a blend like you did before. Use the same number of steps and flatten transparency when you finish.

Repeat with the next row until you have finished with all the rows.

Next, group all your circles together and use the Reflect tool on the toolbar to make a flipped copy (Vertical Axis). Align the new copy at the top right of the square.

Now, grab your original group and the copied group and make a flipped copy of both. These should be along the Horizontal Axis. Align your new copies along the bottom.

Your pattern is basically finished. You can keep your pattern like it Is and delete the guideline shapes or you can delete all the small circles outside of the circle guideline.

Here’s my finished pattern.

This post was written on Content copyright 2008 Cory Thoman.

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  1. 08/07/02

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article , but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  2. Cory

    As with any tutorial on this site, feel free to ask specific questions and I’ll try to answer them.

  3. Rod

    Nice, maybe too complicated.
    Wouldn’t be easier making a circular gradient gradient>Raster>Pixelize>Halftone and finally live paint

  4. Cory

    I’ve seen a few tutorials that do that Rod. The problem for me doing it that way is you get distorted circles with LiveTrace. Using the Blend tool takes a little longer, but the circles are perfectly round. Also, you can use other shapes that aren’t circles (maybe halftone hearts or shamrocks).

  5. 08/07/23

    Thats pretty sweet

  6. rainbow brite

    woooo that was so easy! thanks!

  7. Arthur tendwa kenya

    Im proud it can be done in a record time wonderful trick!

  8. placebo

    I’ve seen this effect many times; now I know how to make it! Thanks.

  9. 08/08/15

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  10. Neil

    thank you very much!@!!

  11. 08/11/10

    Hey Cory – shot dude – thats a win!

  12. alex

    Can I do the same in Corel?

    Could somebody help me with that?

  13. Cory

    I’m not too familiar with Corel and I couldn’t find anything similar on Google. You might try They have an active forum there.

  14. 09/01/20

    great! thanx!
    now i wanna try and use it

  15. Pharhaan

    WOW!!!…that’s the great trick of half tone patterns…that i can make in any vector application…actually i made it in corel draw 12 and it worked perfectly…

  16. BUBOY

    its great! thanx

  17. 09/02/19

    Thanks a lot, Cory!
    Just what I was looking for. I was able to do it in Corel Draw, no problem.
    Great tip! Thanks!

  18. 09/04/03

    Great website. Good start on the translation. Keep up the good work

  19. 09/05/07

    I think i can use this for my next design

  20. Tim

    Fantastic tutorial. Takes a little time but well worth the results. Many thanks

  21. 09/06/08

    great! thanx!

  22. hmd

    you can do it with gradient mesh and halftone effect tools. you don’t need to force yourself it’s too much effort

  23. Cory

    Thanks for the tip hmd. I actually discussed my reasons for doing it this way instead of some of the other ways in the comments above.

  24. Natasha

    Great tutorial. It took me forever to find a good quality tutorial like this. I absolutely do not understand why people are using the gradient>halftone>live trace method. It’s a messy method.

  25. T Rav

    I created the pattern no sweat, but I’ve got brain lock on how to remove just the two frames from around it so as to leave the circle pattern remaining.

  26. Cory

    You should be able to select them with Select or Direct Select tools (the little arrows on the tool bar). Then press delete.

  27. T Rav

    Thx Cory, but I figured it out and started using the pattern immediately.Nice tut and thx fo the response.

  28. sahar

    thanks a lot 🙂

  29. Yanou

    It is just me or your circles on your tutorial are smaller than the size you suggested?

  30. Deepali

    this is really cool tutorial…! I love this effect 🙂

  31. arqivt


    How can i rasterize this image into perfect circles?

    i want to do a vinyl print of a similar image


  32. Don B

    A good complement to the other halftone tutorials. Thanks again!

  33. lenin


  34. lenin


  35. 11/02/25

    thanks cory, i also did it in corel draw. so many times i have surf the internet to find this tutorial. now i found it. thank u so much! this is so useful…

  36. Austin

    is there any possible way to do this effect but replacing the circles with a circular design/image?
    can you get the image to work as an object????? please help

  37. Cory


    You can make them with any shape. I have stars here:

  38. Rotesbeats

    What Rod says is true and what you says is also true but i think the part where not all circles are perfect wen you live trace it is pretty cool.