Rotating Shapes in Illustrator

    ●  Create a series of Oval Shapes using Filters in the Appearance Panel.

Learn About:

Distort and Transform Filter Appearance Panel Zig Zag

  •   This tutorial is part of the Free Trade and Picture Perfect Projects.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.


Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR CURRENT PROJECT in Illustrator




… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …



… make a New Layer, and lock lock your other layers.

Step #2: Colors ~

Set the Fill Color to and the Stroke to black.

Step #3: Ellipse Tool ~

Get the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …

… and draw a perfect circle by holding Shift (⇧)shift key while you drag.

Step #4: Appearance ~

Click the Appearance icon appearance-icon-small.png or go to: Window > Appearance

… and click on the Stroke layer.

Step #5: Stroke ~

Make a copy of the Stroke layer by clicking on the icon

… make sure you keep the LOWER Duplicated layer selected.

Step #6: Transform Effect ~

Go to: Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform

… and lower the Scale to 97% for both Horizontal and Vertical.

This makes a duplicate stroke slightly smaller than the outer one.





You can see the new Transform effect in the Appearance panel.


Step #7: Make a 3rd Duplicate Layer ~

Make a 3rd Duplicate layer …

… and apply another Transform effect by going to: Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform, which gives an error message telling you that you are about to apply the new effect on top of the old one, and that's OK. Just hit Apply.

Now apply 10% Horizontal and 100% Vertical scale …

… and you get this:

Step #8: Rotate Angle ~

Go to: Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform again and apply another effect to the shape, only this time, set Horizontal and Vertical back to 100% …

… change the rotate angle to 9 degrees, and copies to 1:

Now all you have to do hit the UP arrow.





Make sure the Preview button is clicked.


Step #9: Make ANOTHER New Layer ~

Create another New Layer, and lock lock your other layers …

new layer




… (Remember: Each shape should be on it's own layer …


… set your Stroke AND Fill bother to Black …


… and drag another circular shape from the center using Alt(⌥)+Shift

Step #10: Zig Zag ~

Then go to: Effect > Distort and Transform > Zig Zag

… adjust the settings to get scalloped edges. Depending the size of your composition you will have to do your own experimentation.

Step #11: Appearance Panel ~

Now open Appearance again and drag the Fill layer to the trash.

Step #12: Rotate 1 More Time ~

Go to: Effect > Distort and Transform > Transform again, set copies to 1 and adjust the Angle…

… so the two zig-zag's are evenly interspersed.

Step #14: Blending Modes ~ 

With all the shapes selected, click Transparency or go to: Window > Transparency

… and change the Blending Mode until you get something you like.

Also, experiment with lowering the Transparency (if necessary …)

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Save your work as -]

Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:

  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.

  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.

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