Halftone dot pattern in Illustrator – turn a gradient filled shape into fading dots

hello I'm Helen Bradley welcome to this video tutorial in this tutorial I'm going to show you how you can create a circular halftone effect in Illustrator before we start with this video tutorial let's look and see what we're going to do in it I'm going to show you how you can create a halftone pattern that you can recolor as desired in Illustrator now the layout of these two half-tones is a little bit different this one's sort of on an angle and this is more upright I'm going to show you how you can achieve both those results to create a halftone effect in Illustrator I'm going to create a Documents I'm just going to choose file new now I want to show you two different ways of doing this so I'm actually going to make my document 500 points wide but only 200 high make sure I'm using RGB and click OK now I want to drag out two circles here so I'm going to hold the shift key as I drag out one circle the moment it's white filled with a black stroke now I'm going to fill this with a gradient so I'm just going to click on gradient here and I don't want a stroke so I'm just going to focus on the gradient and up here is my gradient tab if you don't have it visible choose window and then gradient to set now this is a standard black to white gradient I just want to make it radial and I want it black in the middle and white on the outside so I'm going to click here to reverse the gradient so it is now black in the middle white on the outside now I can make it a little bit whiter at the edge by taking this gradient slider here at the top and just moving it towards the black what that does is it pegs the halfway point between black and white to be a little bit closer to the black then to the white and it just gives it a longer tail if you like of lighter stuff at the edge so if I'm happy with that I'm just going to click away and I want two of these so I'm going to hold the Alt key as I click with this on the move tool and just drag a wire second copy I just want to show you something slightly different when we're creating this halftone affair so let's start with this one first of all we're going to choose effect and then pixelate and then color halftone now this is the dialogue now it's not at its default settings and I can't get it back to its default settings but we're just going to talk about what you should set this to maximum radius is going to be the size of the largest dot here so around 20 for a document that's 200 pixels high 200 points high is really a good setting the screen angles you want these to be identical because you don't want the channels to be pulled away from each other you want them to be over the top of each other so you want to set these values all to the same value now I'm going to start with this one at 90 degrees so I'm just typing 90 in all of these values and click OK and that gives me this halftone look let's go to this one and this time let's change that angle value effect pixelate color halftone I'm still going to set my radius here to 20 but this time I'm going to set my channel angles to 45 degrees and we're going to get a little bit of a different look in our halftone pattern you can see that it is a different look so if you like this look better than this then set your angles to 45 degrees having done this we may now want to be able to do something with our pattern so I'm going to select this one I'm going to choose object expand appearance then we're going to layers panel to see what that actually gave us so this is this one here and this is this one here so I'm just going to turn that one off for the moment so what we've got here is a bitmap image you can see that it is just an image if we want to make this into a vector shape we're going to have to trace it first of all I'm going to select it and then choose object image trace make now with this tracing we may not be getting the perfect trace so let's open the image trace panel and have a look and see what that is giving us in the way of options well whenever you get this image trace panel open is probably the only panel in Illustrator that actually opens with preview turned on and it's also probably the one that you least want preview turned on for because any change that you make in any of these sliders is immediately going to kick illustrator into retracing it so if you want to change more than one slider you want to turn the preview off so that you can make your slider changes and then go and do the actual trace so I'm taking my paths and corners up really high because I want these to be pretty well traced and I want noise to be quite low I'm going to ignore white and then I'm going to go ahead and trace this by clicking trace when the tracing is complete and coming up here to the toolbar I'm going to click expand because that's going to expand the appearance now we can have a look in the layers palette and see what we've got well we've got a group of shapes here and I'm just making sure that I don't have any white areas here so none of these are white filled which means that white has been ignored if you had a white path you could just delete it at this point this is now a vector shape or it's a series of vector shapes here so if I select the group I can now recolor it as desired I just need to click on a fill color and the entire group of shapes is converted to that fill color so there's a way of creating halftone patterns inside illustrator and you're just doing it using the color halftone filter of course that produces a bitmap result so to make it a vector result you're going to need to trace it I'm Helen Bradley thank you for joining me for this video tutorial look out for more video tutorials here on my youtube channel and consider subscribing to my channel and you'll be alerted when new videos are released and visit my website a project when komm we will find more tips tricks and tutorials on a range of applications including Photoshop Lightroom illustrator and a whole lot more

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