I'm testing a laser cutter and need to make a "graduated" line consisting of tiny dots that goes from 0 or 1 PPI(DPI) to 1000 PPI(DPI) - breaking a line into gradually smaller pieces with same-size room between them will also do the job. The idea is to get a line that goes from visibly "dotted" to "solid".

Any suggestions on how to do this? Preferably in vector graphics and in Illustrator. If it is easier to do in Photoshop, that's also an option.

  • 2
    Thou shalt use scripting. – joojaa May 5 '17 at 18:13

Well, without math.. this might work, but I'm guessing. This is admittedly nothing which would strictly adhere to any sort of specific PPI consistency. It merely provides a general representation of paths which start from a single point to a series of points the same size equally spaced. In short.. this is visual, not mathematical....

  • Draw a 1pt long path with a 1pt stroke.
  • Draw a 1000pt long path with a 1pt stroke

    Use the Line Tool to draw a line.
    Then in the Control Bar, across the top of the screen, set the width to 1pt/1000pt.
    ![enter image description here

  • For the long path, adjust the Stroke via the Stroke Panel to create a dotted path with 1pt dots....
    ![enter image description here
    Yes. For a 1000pt long path, this means there are only 500 visible dashes (and 500 gaps). So if you really want 1000 dashes, you need a 2000pt long path. For the sake of image posting here, I didn't bother with this. A 2000pt long path would further reduce the screenshots below.

  • So a general setup like so...
    enter image description here
    (Right-click the image and choose "Open Image in New Tab/Window" to see it larger)

  • Choose Object > Blend > Make from the menu
  • Choose Object > Blend > Blend Options from the menu. Here you can change the number of steps between the blend iterations to your liking.
    ![enter image description here
    (Right-click the image and choose "Open Image in New Tab/Window" to see it larger)
    Decreasing the number of steps would make the gaps between the dots increase at a more rapid rate, until they reach the 1pt distance of the bottom path.
  • Zoomed in view of the top of the blend....
    enter image description here
  • Zoomed in view of the bottom of the blend....
    [1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/bo

This is by no means mathematically accurate. However, it will provide a series of strokes that slowly expand into dots.

If you are seeking the reverse - a single dot that slowly becomes a solid line - then this method is absolutely not going to work. And scripting would likely be the best option.


Just make one dotted path, and one solid parallell to eachother, then use the blend tool, specify how many steps inbetween you want it to be. done

  • This was already mentioned in another (more complete) answer, please don't necrobump old questions with repeated information. Check How to Answer if you want to know more. – Luciano Nov 13 '19 at 10:51

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