In Illustrator I'm trying to create quite a simple shape but I don't know the simplest way of going about it.

I have created a Sine wave using the Sine Curve script by Sato Hiroyuki.

I have doubled it and flipped it to create this "wave band" image and I want to know how I cant get it (if possible) to follow the path of a circle:

enter image description here

Is there something similar to the Type on a Path tool but for shapes? or is this going to be a case of painstakingly "free-handing" the curves?

  • What program are you attempting this in?
    – ckpepper02
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 14:50
  • @ckpepper02 apologies! I will add that.
    – SaturnsEye
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 14:51
  • I'm to lazy start Illustrator, but I think it's called 'pattern brush'.
    – allcaps
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 14:52
  • There is a +1 button 'hidden' in front of the comment.
    – allcaps
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 14:54
  • I think your question is a duplicate. I've seen something similar. See if this question helps: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/q/19246/12189
    – ckpepper02
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 14:54

3 Answers 3


Pattern Brush? Why not use an Effect!

Pattern brush is a lot of work to create a sine wave. The pattern brush technique is also compounded by the complexity of generating a pattern brush suitable for wrapping around the radius of the circle. Otherwise the zero crossings (point that crosses the perimeter of the shape) will not be smooth. The elegance will be lost. Adobe Illustrator already has a tool for creating sinusoidal waves on arbitrary paths.

Step 1: Make a shape

A circle, created in Adobe Illustrator

Step 2: Apply Effect

Use the "Zig Zag" effect from the "Distort and Transform" submenu of the "Effect" menu. "Effect" menu, Sub element: "Distort and Transform", Sub element: "Zig Zag"

The "Smooth" radio button will create a sinusoid. Select some options, make sure to use "Smooth"

Step 3: Rotate and Copy

First measure the angle between ridges. 90 degrees (top) - 70 degrees gives a 20 degree spacing. Half which is our rotation angle. Measure angle between ridges. Final effect.

Finish Up

The effect can be expanded to create actual paths, or left as-is for flexibility. The zig zag tool is very flexible and can be used in a wide variety of situations.

This image shows a straight line with the zig zag effect applied three times. No other changes were made. This shape would have been difficult to create otherwise! A straight line with 3 zig zag effects applied.


With the help of Pattern Brush you can do this in Adobe Illustrator.

  1. Select the sine waves you had made
  2. Drag these sine waves to Brush palette
  3. Select Pattern Brush and press OK
  4. Select Circle
  5. Click on sine waves pattern brush you just made

I'd create pattern brush:

enter image description here

you create a basic shape, drag it to brushes and apply to any path you want

  • Not quite a sine wave :p You need to cut off the "join" at the halfway point on either side. Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 15:53
  • 2
    Principle is better than an example
    – Ilan
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 16:16

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