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Does anyone know how to get objects to follow a path in illustrator symmetrically? For example (and what I am trying to emulate), the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign.

enter image description here

I figured out the basics of the blend tool and how to duplicate my "lights" to have them follow a path, but I can never get them to go all the way around, nor can I get them to look symmetric.

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The web link doesn't work. Please correct. –  TehMacDawg Nov 19 '12 at 20:34
    
Sorry about that. I have corrected the image. –  Louis Stephens Nov 19 '12 at 20:48
    
Side note, but please sort out your character spacing in "LAS V E G A S"! –  e100 Nov 20 '12 at 12:52
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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Pattern brush.

  • Draw 1 light and create a rectangle around it with no fill and no stroke. Move the rectangle behind the light artwork.

bulb

  • Drag all that to the Symbols Panel to create a symbol of it. (This step just makes editing the light easier later, and is not mandatory. To edit the light later, just double-click the Symbol in the Symbol Panel.).

  • Now that the light is a symbol... drag it from the artboard to the Brush Panel and choose Pattern Brush...

brush

  • Now just draw a path and click the brush in the Brush Panel.

Brush

  • You may need to double-click the brush in the Brush Panel and adjust some settings....

flip and aprox

Be aware, this brush is not set up with corner artwork. For this reason any sharp corners will not have lights on them, You'll want to use rounded corners to get the light pattern to appear. A brush with corners can be configured. However, creating corner artwork can be a very time-consuming and detailed processes and is not as easily described in a single post. If you need corners, I'd suggest a Google search for "Illustrator Pattern brush Corners tutorial". You'll find much more information than I can provide here regarding corners.

Additionally....

If you set the Colorization method to Hue Shift and then designate the color of your bulb as the Key Color....

shift

You can then change the color of the lights by simply changing the color of the stroke on your path.....

red

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Thank you @Scott. I really appreciate the quick answer! –  Louis Stephens Nov 20 '12 at 12:19
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What you really need is a pattern brush. There are options for how the objects are distributed around the path, whether they are true to the measurements or scaled to fit.

You can read about it in Adobe's Help file or there are plenty of good tutorials available:

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