In Illustrator, is there a way to use the blend tool but in more of a 'gradual' fashion?

On the left of this image, you can see a graphic I created with the blend tool, which means all of the lines being distributed in more of a uniform fashion. But what I'd like to achieve is one more like the right (which I created manually):

enter image description here

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    No but you can do this with gradient meshes – joojaa Apr 14 at 10:56

If the start and stop shapes have no other difference than size you can make repeated scalings. It will generate exponential growth. An example:

enter image description here

The ellipse has no fill color. In the right it's selected, Object > Transform > Scale is applied with 115% scaling + Copy + Scale strokes =ON and Ctrl+D is pressed several times to repeat.

Inkscape has wider possibilities to make non-uniform blends. For one familiar with Illustrator starting in Inkscape can be a pain due its irregularity which is caused by the distributed development. But it's free, so zero reasons to complain. Here's an example with its Path Interpolating Extension:

enter image description here

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  • Great idea RE: repeated scalings! also interesting about Inkscape... I've always avoided that as I prefer to stick to the industry standard, but may be worth investigating – pealo86 Apr 14 at 13:58

Contrary to popular belief, blends can contain more 'key' objects than just a start and an end. Adding new objects to an existing blend might allow you to achieve the effect you are looking for:

  1. Make a blend as you are used to. For the example, I used a red and a yellow circle and specified 3 steps.

enter image description here

  1. Double-click the blend with the Move tool to enter its isolation mode.
  2. Add a third shape to have the second shape blend into the third using the same settings as the first. I used a cyan circle in the example.

enter image description here

  1. If necessary, add a fourth shape and so on. I used a magenta square in the example.

enter image description here

Shapes will blend into each other in top to bottom order, as seen in the Layers palette. If you drag them around there to change the order, the blend will update.

The example shows specified steps, but you can also use this with 'smooth color' to achieve smooth gradients at different paces. For the situation you desire, I'd imagine having a few circles of different sizes (much like your right image) as shapes and a smooth color blend between them.

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No, there is no existing feature for a blend with uneven spacing.

Unless you're willing to learn scripting, which may work with your purpose, you're already using what is available: an automated blend with equal distribution, then manual adjustments.

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  • There is. Enter the blend by double-clicking, and use the Blend spine's curvature/Bézier handles to give it 'direction' parallel with its own orientation. This doesn't change the spine's shape, but it will make instances be farther apart near the anchor with the handle. This does, however require a blend with a spine. – Vincent Apr 16 at 13:38

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