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Crystallize Tool in Adobe Illustrator Tutorial, How To Warp Artwork Beginner's Guide

By Andrew Buckle, Video Tutorial Creator / Designer

Updated : 2021


The crystallize tool can be found below the width tool in the tool panels. It works on standard paths and not type (unless expanded) and other objects. It can be used to great effect with blends as well as meshes and warps and repeat and more. You can use crystallize in most recent versions of Illustrator. It is a path distorting / warping / points generating / tangling / shaping tool for all kinds of amazing artworks.



Access the crystallize tool and work on the path or paths or selected paths by applying as a brush stroke and applied over different areas of the path or paths. The points will shift and points will be added depending on the detail / complexity settings. The paths will move inwards or outwards depending on the tangent / anchor settings as well as the direction of brush stroke and intensity and width / height of the Illustrator crystallize tool.



Access the different settings for the crystallize tool by double clicking the tool or pressing return. You can then change the width and height of the brush, they can be 300 and 300 or 10 and 600 etc and if the width and height are different then the angle of the brush can be changed. Once you have changed the settings and left the panel then you can apply the brush / tool and distort the points etc of the path or paths.



You can increase the detail and complexity and add a lot more points, it is an interesting effect and creates some intense line designs but it can mean your path has 100s of additional points and can cause the application to slow down in a serious way.



You can also change the crystallize tool to only work with anchors or only work with tangents (in and out) which will change the end result of the shaping.


You can apply the tool multiple times or one. You can change the intensity and apply it with subtle settings of 10% etc or you can set to 100% and distort the paths in all kinds of ways.


You can also use the Illustrator crystallize tool with many other features of the application such as using it with gradient meshes and create beautiful painter like effects. You can also use it with the new repeat feature but it has to be done during the isolation mode where any change to the path is reflected in all the other repeat paths.



You can use the crystallize tool with open paths as well as closed paths, paths without fills, paths with multiple fills etc



You can also use the crystallize with the powerful repeat feature found in the object menu and repeat and radial. You can use it before you enter the repeat or use it within the repeat and you can combine the effect across multiple instances of any object modified by the crtstallize tool in Illustrator.