I created a circle (using the shape tool and while holding down shift), and turned it into a pattern brush. Then I applied that pattern brush to another circle with the intent of getting a circle of circles, but it doesn't work like that. I tried adjusting the stroke, pattern scale, and pattern spacing, but to no avail. What am I missing?

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3 Answers 3


Use a scatter brush if you want to conform to the object, use a pattern brush to conform to the path.

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    – Vincent
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 13:56

you can use the BLEND function to do this;

  1. Create a blend between 2 circles : Object > Blend > Make
  2. Set the blend options to set distance etc. : Object > Blend > Blend Options
  3. Create the shape you want the blend to follow (in your example a bigger circle)
  4. select your blended path and the shape you want the blend to be applied to and REPLACE SPINE : Object > Blend > Replace Spine.

Simply put.... Pattern Brushes will always distort a bit to fit a shape if they need to. This is how Pattern Brushes work.

Pattern tiles will not overlap, therefore if your base path is too small to allow full, and square, pattern tiles, the tiles are distorted to fit side-by-side. In your case, they create a rhomboid tile due to the curvature of the path.

Pattern brushes aren't designed to keep all tiles un-transformed. There is no way to stop this transformation in a pattern brush.

You may find a Scatter Brush works better for that particular use, although based upon the sample, I don't think I'd use any brush.

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