How can I create this pattern? I need the white lines to be paths.

Pattern I want to recreate

Using Illustrator, I created the wave, duplicated it and then use the blend tool to create this. Then I duplicate the pattern.

And then I rotated the whole thing to get this:

My attempt

But I want the spacings to be consistent like the original image I've posted. Any idea how to go about doing that?

  • 1
    Hi Yanjie, thanks for your question. Could you tell us what you tried that didn't work? Always good to show some effort, and your chances for a good answer increase. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Jul 11, 2016 at 10:37
  • Hi @Vincent , I've added in descriptions of what I've done. Could you put this question back to live? Thank you!
    – Yanjie
    Jul 12, 2016 at 4:36
  • Your question has automatically entered a queue to be reopened. With a bit of patience, you'll be back in the game. good edit!
    – Vincent
    Jul 12, 2016 at 6:20

3 Answers 3

  1. Use the Rectangular Grid Tool to create a grid.

Rectangular Grid Tool

  1. Create a mesh envelope (Object → Envelope Distort → Make with Mesh...) with an even and equal number of rows and columns.

Envelope Mesh

  1. Select alternating columns of mesh anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and offset their position.

Offset alternating mesh columns

  1. Do the same with alternating rows of mesh points.

Offset alternating mesh rows

  1. Create a pattern (Object → Pattern → Make) and adjust the height and width of the pattern to that of your original grid to align the pattern.

Create a pattern

Finished pattern:

Finished Pattern

This was a quick example so it's not perfect. Some of the lines don't align perfectly but that can easily be fixed with a bit more time and effort.

  • This is a fantastic example of how to achieve this!
    – Galaxy
    Dec 12, 2016 at 5:38

It's not a Moire pattern. That name is reserved for intermodulation result of 2 layered repeating patterns which have close enough repeating frequencies on the plane.

But it is a curve family. It could as well be an image of a 3D surface which has equally spaced U and V coordinate lines drawn on the surface for example because a rectangular grid is mapped onto the surface.

In Illustrator we can easily construct with Blending a tileable pattern element.We use blending to repeat full cycles of sine curves to get this tileable pattern element:

enter image description here

To build it we need a full cycle of sine curve. There's no need to have pure sine, a resembling Bezier curve is enough. It must have horizontal ends at the same Y-altitude. A good enough one can be made as follows:

enter image description here

  1. Draw a square (brown), make a copy and place them side by side. Draw a diagonal line to the combined rectangle

In this phase make sure you have Smart Guides and Snap to Point ON, no other snaps! Practice to place pieces exactly by selecting an item, hold Ctrl to get the White arrow temporarily into use and drag a node of the selected item to snap onto another node in another item. The rest of the dragged shape follows. This project will go bust if you drag items inaccurately.

  1. Switch to the Anchor Type tool (it's in the Pen group) and drag handles out of the ends of the line. Hold Shift to get exactly horizontal handles. A good enough handle length is 65...75% of the side of the square. Keep the squares, you need them later.

  2. Make an absolutely symmetric sine (approximation) cycle by making a reflected copy of the black curve and by joining it to the original.

Create at first the black curves in the pattern element:

enter image description here

  1. Make a 90 degrees rotated copy (=red) of the black sine curve. Place it to the endpoint of the black sine. Scale it vertically to about 70%. Good enough measure is 3 brown squares tiled.

  2. Make spare copies of the black and red curves. Place a copy of the black sine to the free end of the red copy.

  3. Blend the black sines with 16 intermediate steps.

  4. Change the spine of the blend to the red sine (select all, apply Object > Blend > Replace Spine)

We do not try to make well scaled reflected copy of the result nr. 7, it's more accurate and faster to make the same blending and spine replacement horizontally for 2 copies of the red sine:

enter image description here

The black sine is the new spine.

For SVG exports and for edits, like changing line types or colors, it's useful to expand the blendings. Before it try tiling:

enter image description here

If there's no errors the tiling should be seamless. As a 3D surface it looks like its vieved from more tilted directiom and there could be more intermediate steps in the blendings. The direction can be fixed by having longer red sine curve.

Your example has black background and white stroke color:

enter image description here


You have to make a square, and fill it with the graphics that will be the pattern.

Later select your square and drag n drop to the color palette, use it to fill objects with you pattern.

To modify your pattern, double click it!

  • I think OP is asking how to actually create the pattern itself (like the lines) rather than convert the existing image into a pattern.
    – Hanna
    Jul 11, 2016 at 11:20
  • ok, so you can do a simple grid (6x6) and later you can modify them with the plot tool (the tool have the same image of what you want to do) Jul 11, 2016 at 12:26
  • Thanks. But what's the plot tool? Do you mean the mesh tool?
    – Yanjie
    Jul 12, 2016 at 3:47
  • Yes, sorry i have Illustrator in Italian, i had search for the english translation.. Jul 12, 2016 at 7:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.