See how to create some effects such as rotations and a transparency heart effect in Illustrator. This is Part 2 of the videos on halftone hearts.

Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. In this tutorial we’re going to take a step further from our halftone hearts tutorial and have a look and see what we can do with the halftones that we create. In this video we’re going to go one step further than the last video.

Click Here for Part 1

In this video we’re going to create this sort of circular effect from the string of hearts that we created using the Blend tool in Illustrator. And then I’m going to show you how you can use a transparency mask to create this sort of effect in Illustrator as well.

We’re going to start with a brand new file. And I have some of the elements left over from the first video here that we’re going to use. And we’re going to bring in this heart shape. And I also have a spare set of this string of hearts that we created so I’m going to bring that in. That just saves us having to recreate those. Now I want two sets of this so I’m just going to drag a second set away from the first.

Let’s have a look first at how we would create that sort of spiral. I’m going to size the hearts down in proportion so I have a small set because I’m going to rotate these around to create the full rotation. To do that I’m going to choose Effect and then Distort and Transform and I’ll select Transform. I’m going to click Preview so I can see what’s happening, and I’m going to rotate these around at this bottom point. So this is the very bottom point of this chain of hearts and I’m going to rotate them 10 degrees. Now I haven’t got Copy set so this individual string is going to be rotated 10 degrees but I want enough rotations that I can go all the way around a circle. And if I rotate something 10 degrees in 10 degree increments I need 36 of those to go around the circle because a circle has 360 degrees. And that’s all I need to go to create this shape so I’ll click Ok.

And now that shape is created but of course it is still really just a string of heart. And to make it into the individual shapes we’ll choose Object and then Expand Appearance. And now it is those little heart shapes individually. The other thing I want to do is to create a set of halftone hearts that we can use as a transparency mask for this particular heart.

First of all I’m going to switch the foreground and background colors here so that we have a pink heart. And I need to create a box, a sort of rectangle of these hearts. So again I’m going to shrink these down so they’re about the same size or height as this heart is because they’re going to be used for a transparency mask for that. I’m going to select these and again I’m going to do is the transform so I’m going to choose Effect, Distort and Transform and then Transform. This time I’m going to create about 20 copies. And I want to move these so I’m going move these in a horizontal direction about 7 or 8 pixels, let’s say 8 pixels here, and just click Ok.

I just want a block of hearts big enough for me to put my heart on top of that. So they just need to be that size. I’m going to expand the appearance of this halftone effect so I’ll choose Object and then Expand Appearance. And then I want to copy it to the Windows clipboard so I’ll select it all and choose Edit and then Copy. So it’s now in the Windows clipboard and I can just tuck it outside out of the way because we don’t need it anymore.

With the heart shape selected I’m going to use the Transparency palette which we can get to by choosing Window and then Transparency. And I’m going to click to make a mask. And because I want this mask to be clipped to the heart shape I’ll click Clip. I’m going to select on the mask here and I’ll just choose Edit and then Paste. And here is the halftone heart shape. And I’m just going to position it into position here. And I want the little hearts to be pretty much up around the top curve of the heart so it’s really quite well defined. So I’m thinking that’s probably going to be about the right position. And then to go back to working with my heart I’ll click on the heart in the Transparency palette. And that’s how the final effect looks.

What I did when I showed it to you earlier was I created a filled, a red filled square that was over the top of the heart. I’m just going to create my square. And this needs to be sent behind so I’m going to send it to the back. And the heart itself instead of being filled with pink was filled with black so I’ll just click the fill color and we’ll fill it with black. Now if the mask is not in exactly the right place we can also just select back on the heart, reselect the mask and perhaps adjust the positioning of the mask by a pixel or two, reselect the heart and we’re back working with the heart itself.

So there are some effects that you can create using this sort of halftone effect which we created this time using halftone hearts rather than halftone dots in Adobe Illustrator.

I’m Helen Bradley. Thank you for joining me for this video tutorial. Look out on this YouTube channel for more of my video tutorials and go to my website at for more tutorials, tips and tricks on Illustrator, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom and more.

Helen Bradley