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I have a project where I am taking 6 different images and placing them on a circle. All of the images have duplicates (anywhere between 3 of the same image to 24). In total, I need the circle to have 75 "shapes/images" that are equally spaced out.

I have tried to use the rotate tool and rotate the images 4.8 degrees (360/75=4.8) but I can never seem to get them to line up perfectly even all the way around.

I have also tried making lines as guides that are rotated on the circle to get the 75 points, but they also don't land evenly.

I am using Illustrator CS5

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3 Answers

So you've got lots of different shapes that need to loop round in a circle in an arbitrary pattern? (not a circle made of lots of copies of the same shape?)

I'd get all the shapes in a line, space them with the align tools, turn them into an art brush, then apply that to the circle. Steps look like this:

Starting with an assortment of objects, groups, etc...

enter image description here

...first use the Align window to line them up vertically...

enter image description here

...then evenly distribute the space horizontally...

enter image description here

...then select it all and create an art brush (New Brush from menu in Brushes window, tick "Scale proportionally"). Then create a circle and apply that brush to the circle.

enter image description here

Done. Tip: keep the original set of shapes (off the artboard somewhere), so you can change them and re-create the art brush any time it needs adjusting.

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It's worth mentioning there's a little bit of curling on the shapes in this method (e.g. look at the squares). When I've needed it in the past, that's been desirable - it might not be in your case. –  user568458 May 19 '12 at 0:40
    
nice technique. –  Ryan May 19 '12 at 0:41
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If they're not lining up properly, it's likely because you are using a circle with a radius that does not extend past the outer edges of your images. Try using Rotate but including a circle that is larger than the bounds of all of your images. This will keep the center of the group in the same position.

example

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I know this is old, but this is a great answer! Solved my problem of aligning 7 circles on a circle evenly. Thanks! –  ftntravis Dec 5 '13 at 6:28
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The challenge in offering any concrete advise is not know what "shape" these things you're aligning are and how much they vary. But what I would do is:

  1. Create a small circle approximately the size of your largest shape.
  2. Copy it anywhere else on the page.
  3. Blend with specified steps for the total number - so if you have 75 you would need 73 steps
  4. Now draw a very large circle big enough for all the smaller ones to fit around with space between them.
  5. Select your Blend and your large circle then do Object > Blend > Replace Spine
  6. Now do Blend > Expand
  7. Pick circle 1 and shape 1
  8. Align to Key Object > click on circle 1
  9. Align Horizontal Center
  10. Align Vertical Center
  11. Back to step 7 for next pairing.
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Nice. Though instead of "place each of your ojects as close to center of the circles as possible", which sounds like tedious work, I'd use the Align window: set it to "align to key object" in bottom right, send all the circles to front, then for each circle-object pair, select both then click "horizontal align centre" then "vertical align centre" in the align window. This will put each object perfectly in the centre of the circle, with two clicks per pair. –  user568458 May 19 '12 at 0:46
    
Ya I just didn't add that part, figured people knew but you're right. Amending my answer to reflect that. p.s. Got to expand the blend first :) –  Ryan May 19 '12 at 1:01
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