I am trying to make an illustration of a hot air balloon in Adobe Illustrator CS6 by following this video tutorial.

I am at the initial stage of the tutorial where the circle and triangle shapes are joined together using the Shape Builder Tool (between 0-41 seconds of the video).

I have the following:

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When I try to use the Shape Builder Tool I get the following:

enter image description here

However, in the video tutorial, using the Shape Builder Tool gives the following:

enter image description here

Only one segment of the triangle is highlighted.

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I am not sure why I am not getting the same result as the tutorial when I try to use the Shape Builder Tool. Any insights are appreciated.

2 Answers 2


(did not watch video)

Your circle does not overlap the edges of the triangle. There's a gap between the edge of the triangle and the edge of the circle.

You need to ensure the edge of the circle is at the same point as the edge of the triangle, or that the circle overlaps the triangle edges.

It may be helpful to switch to Outline Mode (View > Outline) to see edges and align them properly.


There's another way this could be done more accurately to make sure the lines touch the circle at a tangent, without trying to eyeball it.

Make sure Smart Guides are switched on for this.

Draw a circle, and a longer line above the circle, make sure they intersect at the top of the circle and middle of the line.

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Select all, and click Object > Transform > Rotate, then set the angle to 120°

Hit Copy

Press Ctrl+D to duplicate the transform

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There are now three copies of the circle on top of each other. Select and delete two of the circles.

Now you can use the Shape Builder tool

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