When blending a copied Group of Objects (copied by Alt-Shift-click-drag) in the Specified Steps mode, the original spine constructed by the blending operation is a straight line passing through the centers of all of my groups. How to change that?

I do not want the spine to link the centers of my groups! I want it to pass through the middle-bottom points of my groups (or custom points), because when I replace that straight spine later with a curved path that represents a surface of a ground, my objects get half-way buried underground, instead of sitting on top of the ground.

What I have tried already, unsuccessfully:

  • Selecting the middle-bottom reference-point before making my group.
  • Selecting the middle-bottom reference-point when making the blend
  • Adding anchor points with the Pen Tool to the middle-bottoms of my groups and clicking on these anchor points with the Blend-Tool (the Blend Tool turns to a little black square when it is over these anchor points).

3 Answers 3


I don't believe what you want is possible via blends.

Blends in Illustrator follow the spine and always center the objects upon that spine.

Depending upon the nature of the blend, you might find that the Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform menu item with a set number of Copies may work for you. It's difficult to say without seeing the objects being blended.

If the nature of the blend is to "morph" objects, the Effect isn't going to do that. If the nature of the blend is merely to create iterations, the effect may work.

  • "Blends in Illustrator follow the spine and always center the objects upon that spine" - that a serious limitation! I think, I will have to artificially enlarge my group with invisible objects, so the "center" of that artificial group comes out at the middle-bottom point of the visible object group. What an ugly hack! Jul 12, 2019 at 20:45
  • I agree. There's always.. Blend, expand, reposition iterations.
    – Scott
    Jul 12, 2019 at 20:53
  • Do you know of any other vector-drawing applications that don't always center the objects upon the blending spine? i.e. where the reference-point for the blending operation can be arbitrarily defined... Jul 12, 2019 at 21:07
  • No. Sorry off-hand I don't.
    – Scott
    Jul 12, 2019 at 21:10
  • @GeorgeRobinson you could script this or make your own plugin. Anyway i wanted to say that no matter what you do you will end up hitting limitations of your tools. Or if you are not then most likely you feel overwhelmed by your tool.
    – joojaa
    Jul 14, 2019 at 19:15

You can try a workaround. This one is elementary.

enter image description here

Let's assume the blue shape is wanted to be copied several times along the spine curve and the bottom corners must be on the curve.

Make a copy of the spine. You will need it later. Make a group which contains the shape and a flipped copy of it exactly placed to the bottom corner.

enter image description here

Duplicate the group and make a straight blend to get the needed copies:

enter image description here

NOTE: The shapes must stay in their original positions. This fails if you select "Align to Path".

Change the spine curve:

enter image description here

You can in this phase, if needed, change the the copies to be aligned to the curve:

enter image description here

Finally expand the blend, ungroup twice, delete the bottom half and insert the copy of the spine.

enter image description here

  • To speed up things, you could do what George already stated --- Create a simple "hollow" bounding box where the center of the box is the bottom center of the object being blended. This would achieve blending based on the bottom center of visible objects and wouldn't require any expanding to remove anything.
    – Scott
    Jul 13, 2019 at 21:50

This can be done in CorelDRAW. It has an option to map one point to another when blending two (or more) objects.

  • Well quite you can also do this in illustrator but thst not where the spine is.
    – joojaa
    Apr 8, 2021 at 13:48

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