How to create a circle made of rings

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by nicrose, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. nicrose macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I'm trying to figure out how to make a circle that is made up of smaller circles that have holes in them (rings).

    I've tried making a circle and using a pattern brush to add rings along the circle's circumference. But that doesn't work because the rings get distorted. They have to be perfect circular rings.

    I've tried using the rotate tool to apply rings around the circumference and then just Command D'ing to copy / paste the circles at the right angle. That doesn't work either, because the last circle is never even with the others.

    And I've tried to do some math, too. I used Circumference=Pi x Diameter and also used 360 degrees / the number of rings I need. This was a dead end for me too, because I'm not sure how to account for the size of the rings or the space in between each of them.

    I really don't know what to do. Please help me if you have any ideas. It seems like it involves some pretty tricky math. Or maybe it's a lot simpler than that. I'm using Illustrator CS2.
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Perhaps if you simply replace the large circle with a regular polygon with the right number of sides things will become easier...

  3. OwlsAndApples macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2006
    Could you...
    On a piece of paper, using a compass, draw the big circle faintly. work out 360 / number of circles, and using a protractor, mark out a dot along the faint line for the centre of each circle (the intervals being in degrees what you've just calculated). Scan it in to Illustrator, and make a circle centred around each dot, copy and pasting them and positioning them to the centre-dots as you go.

    Undoubtedly there are better ways, this was what popped into my head first though :)
  4. klymr macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2007
    I assume you are looking for something like this? Let me know how big and how many rings, etc. and I can crank something out for ya in no time flat. I drew a circle in a CAD program at work, moved it from the origin and did a circular array with 45 rings. Then I exported it as a .dwg file and opened it in AI. Tada! I may be WAY off, but let me know.

    Attached Files:

  5. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    If what the person above is what you want, you can create a brush with circle and apply it to the stroke of larger circle. Just tweak the size of the stroke. Just depends how many, and if you need to edit them later outline it.
  6. nicrose thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I need a circle with rings around it. And those rings have to have spaces between each circle.
  7. creator2456 macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2007
    Can you upload a quick sketch of what you are looking for so we aren't guessing about how it needs to look exactly.
  8. mbrellisford macrumors member

    May 29, 2007
    If you are doing it in Illustrator, you can set the anchor point to the center of your desired circle size, then do a rotate+duplicate and then just keep doing that using the repeat last step.
  9. Cjanssen macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2007
    Smart Guides are your friend

    First turn on smart guides: apple U (or under the view menu)

    draw your large circle and your small circle

    mouse over to the small circle and with the help of the smart guides find and click and drag on the top anchor.

    continue draging the circle till (using the smart guides to help) you find the top anchor of the circle. Release the mouse so that the circles are now aligned perfectly at their top points. (the small circle should be on the inside of the circle

    Select both the large and small circle together


    Click preview and then select a value that goes into 360 (ie. 7.5, 15, 30, etc.) and creates correct amount to create the amount of space you want between circles. Click COPY.

    You will now have an extra big circle. Click it then delete. Select the new small circle.

    Click CTRL+D until you create enough circles to complete the effect.

    select the large circle and resize it so that it fit/lines up inside the smaller circles or delete it depending on your intent

    It should create this:

    Attached Files:

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