Its sort of like the sunburst but I need even whitespace between each fin, I dont need them to go completely around the circle just half. Ive tried stroke but did not give me the result I wanted or I was doing it wrong. Going thru and moving the objects with the select tool and rotating is becoming a massive headache. Even in my demo image its not even. Whats the best practice method to do this?


2 Answers 2


First, reconfigure the artwork.

Use guides to determine the center of the circle and place one polygon at the vertical center.


This step is a bit difficult to show in screenshots. With the pen tool click just once at the circle's center to place an anchor point there. All you want is the anchor point, not a shape or path. With that anchor point still selected, shift-click to select the Polygon as well and group the polygon with that single anchor point.

Now choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform

First, of course, tick the preview option. Then click the bottom center point for the 9-point origin box enter a number greater the 0 in the Copies field, and then enter an angle value until you get the offset you are looking for. Click OK.


The polygon should still be selected, choose Object > Expand Appearance. This will create independent shapes for the effect you just applied. You can now use the Direct Selection Tool (white arrow) to click and delete any polygons you do not want. You can also delete all the duplicate single anchor points in the center of the circle.


  • Why not just place the starter shape where you want it and create only the number of dupes you need. Then you won't have to expand and delete. You can also use a zero fill/stroke rectangle in place of the single point. Easier to manage. Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 21:57
  • Because you can't get precisely, evenly, spaced duplicates with any other method. And the Transform Effect only allows alignment of the origin point to specific places at 90° or 45° angles. It's 30000% faster to delete polygons rather than trying to space them evenly. And no, you don't want a rectangle. The dimensions of the rectangle will be used in the transform effect. The anchor point has no dimension so it rotates around itself. I encourage you to try this very technique with any shape at the center of the circle. It won't align properly.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 22:01
  • Actually, the only way a shape at the center will work is if the bottom edge of the shape rests on the circle's center. (If the origin point is at the bottom center - left side for origin right, etc.) It's easier to place a single anchor at the center than to draw a shape and align an edge to the circle center. In addition, Object > Path > Clean up... can remove the single anchor points in one fell swoop.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 22:10
  • Very cool. Much easier than I anticipated.
    – dynamo
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 22:48

Skaught is right on target. I would follow the same basic principle but with, imho, a critical adjustment.

Preserve effects whenever possible

Effects are there to save time, so I never expand them unless I must to achieve the end result (or pass art on for production). With that in mind, here's how I would alter Skaught's approach.

The machine I'm on at the moment has an old copy of Illustrator. The panel looks a little different in newer versions, but the approach is the same.

If you already know that you want a certain number of radiating objects and you know roughly where you want them, start there.

  1. Position the first of the radiating objects and one uncolored rectangle to act as the center of rotation for the remaining copies.

    enter image description here

  2. Use the lower right corner of the uncolored rectangle as the axis to create the duplicates. Because of the way you're rotating this object, you can get away with a rectangle instead of Skaught's single point suggestion: it's just easier to work with.

    enter image description here

  3. Since the effect doesn't need to be expanded, you can continue to tweak the original shape and watch the auto-generated dupes follow in kind. You could tweak to your heart's content and exploit other possibilities within the effect.

    enter image description here enter image description here

  • I simply don't think you can always work non-destructively with Vector objects. 99% of my illustrations can't be completed if all effects are left in tact. This effect is so easily applied, removing the "live" aspect of it is minor in my opinion. But to each his/her own :)
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 0:11
  • It's not always possible to leave effects intact but there's no reason to expand them if you don't have to. Besides, this way is a little bit faster too. Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 0:31

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