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Creating Spirographs with Adobe Illustrator


November 23rd 2005
February 25th 2009

Here's how you can make a spirograph in Adobe Illustrator:

  1. Create a new document in Illustrator and draw any shape. For this tutorial, I selected the Ellipse tool (keyboard shortcut L) and drew a longish oval as you can see in Figure 1.

    Figure 1: Oval shape drawn

  2. Press the / key on your keyboard to make sure that the oval has no fill attributes.

  3. Make sure your oval is selected, and them click on the Rotate tool (or activate it with the keyboard shortcut R) from the tool bar. Now click outside the oval area to set an anchor point as you can see in Figure 2.

    Figure 2: Set an anchor point for oval shape

  4. Once this anchor point has been determined, select the oval and Alt-drag it to create a duplicate. Since we want to create a spirograph densely populated with lines, drag it very close to the first oval, as shown in Figure 3.

    Figure 3: Duplicate the oval shape

  5. Keep pressing Clrl+D to add more overlapping copies to complete your spirograph. Figure 4 shows the completed spirograph.

    Figure 4: Spirograph created

  6. Save your spirograph to a file.


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