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Illustrator Tutorial: Wire Fence


Learn how to create a wire fence pattern from scratch using the line tool.

1. Drawing the Zig Zag Fence

First, select the Line Tool from the Tool Palette and draw a long straight vertical line. This will determine the fence height. Go Effect>Distort & Transform>Zig Zag to apply the zig zag effect. Adjust Ridges and Size to set the fence mesh shape. Make sure the Points is set to Corner.

Now we will round the corners. Go Effect>Stylize>Round Corners and enter the radius to round out the sharp corners. Next, set the Weight of the Stroke to 5pt and set it to dark grey color.

Select the line and press Ctrl/Command+C to copy it and Ctrl/Command+F to paste a duplicate infront. Set the duplicated line weight to 1pt and change the stroke color to light grey.

2. Blending the Wire Fence

We will now proceed to blend both lines to give a 3D look. Go Object>Expand Appearance to expand the effects. Then go Object>Expand to expand the strokes. The stroke will now turn into shapes. With both shapes still selected, go Object>Blend>Make to blend both shapes. Next, go Object>Blend>Blend Options and set the Specified Steps to 3 for Blend Options. Finally, we will need to expand the blend before diving it in the next step. Go Object>Expand to expand the wire.

3. Dividing the corners

Now, select the line tool and draw straight lines over the corners of the wire. We will need to break it into individual segments so that we can achieve the wire twisting effect. Select everything and go to Window>Pathfinder and select Divide. Press Ctrl/Command+Shift+G to ungroup it.

Select each individual segments and group it by pressing Ctrl/Command+G. Do this for all the segements.

4. Creating the Fence Pattern

Select all and press Alt/Option as you drag a new instance beside it. Offset it until the edges touches the next wire as shown on the left. Select all and press Alt/Option while holding Shift to create a duplicate beisde it. Press Ctrl/Command+D to repeat the steps to generate a row of wire fence.

We notice that the wires are stacking on top of each other. To create the twist effect, we will need to send some segments of the wire below each other. Starting from the top, select a row of segments you want to send down and press Ctrl+Shift+{ / Command+shift+{ to send it to the bottom. Repeat from the top to the bottom, until you achieve the twist effect for the fence.

5. Final Wire Fence

Here is the final wire fence. Hope you find this trick useful for creating repeated patterns.

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About The Author: Tony Soh

Hi. I'm the founder of Vector Diary. Illustrator is my passion and I have written numerous tutorials on illustrator helping people learn illustrator. My most popular tutorial on learn illustrator has been a hit. It makes learning illustrator so easy and has benefited more than 20,000 people worldwide. Also, I've revealed some of my secret techniques in the premium tutorials. So don't forget to check it out!

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+Add Comment29 Comments

  1. Gravtar for guillermo
    guillermo September 19th

    me parece super bacano, lastima que este en ingles

  2. Gravtar for vania
    vania September 26th

    Hi, I’m stuck @ no.3 – dividing the corners. I can’t seem to divide the wires. I keep getting this message “The filter produced no results. Please select one or more filled paths.”

    Can anyone advise me on how to overcome this? Has anyone else encountered the same problem?

  3. Gravtar for Korta
    Korta September 28th

    I’m having the same problem as vania

  4. Gravtar for Vectordiary
    Vectordiary September 28th

    Hi Vania, I miss out the Object>Expand for the blended wire before you divide the corners. I have updated the tutorial.

  5. Gravtar for Korta
    Korta September 28th

    Ah it works now, great tutorial. My desktop is just a fence now :P

  6. Gravtar for vania
    vania October 3rd

    Thank you so much! :) It works now. Awesome tutorial!~

  7. Gravtar for Douglas
    Douglas October 4th

    Brilliant tut! I almost feel like an artist.

  8. Gravtar for b-rad
    b-rad October 4th

    it still wont work for me, when i blend it i get these wierd abstract designs. i followed the tutorial every word tho its wierd, i always have different effects when i use the blend option. and on dividing the chain when i click divide it still doesnt seperate that individual part from the fence i dunno….il keep at it tho anyone have any suggestions get at me
    unrecited@aol.com

  9. Gravtar for Jesse
    Jesse November 6th

    If you are making a larger fence:
    In step 4 if you group together the pieces you are going to be sending down, before you duplicate everything it makes things alot easier.

  10. Gravtar for Joe Rockhead
    Joe Rockhead December 16th

    Very cool tu…been looking for something like this for a while!

    Thanks a lot!

  11. Gravtar for Astrodesigner
    Astrodesigner December 30th

    Awesome.
    It is very useful for me.
    Thanks

  12. Gravtar for chandrashekar
    chandrashekar December 31st

    it was really good, i liked it a lot and it is really usefull to me

  13. Gravtar for Rodney Morton
    Rodney Morton March 21st

    I cant seem to get the twist to work. It’s not really doing anything. Not sure what Im not doing.

  14. Gravtar for Darwin
    Darwin April 15th

    WOW! Great work! Thanks for tutorial! ^_^

  15. Gravtar for dixon poulose
    dixon poulose May 31st

    very nice……

  16. Gravtar for dixon poulose
    dixon poulose May 31st

    wow………! great….
    thanks, thnkyou very much…

  17. Gravtar for gavinfla
    gavinfla October 10th

    I really loved the link fence tut and technique very useful thanks for teaching me that. The blending, using the divide in order to do the twist… excellent tut.

  18. Gravtar for doc
    doc November 25th

    Nice job!

  19. Gravtar for Timothy
    Timothy February 5th

    Okay, I have tried everything to get the divide done,. Here is the only way I could do it: First, after the blend, is to >expand then >ungroup, >path>outline stroke and finally divide. Make sense? I am using CS4.

  20. Gravtar for Ram
    Ram February 8th

    nice.. tutorial…. i really admire… with ur step by step tutorial.. good keep rocking

  21. Gravtar for david
    david July 4th

    nice tut.

    I don’t seem to get that twisted look, even though I ‘send to back’. I even selected the correct group left to right(behind).

    Otherwise I got it all done!

    One note: ungroup CAN’T have the same shortcut as group! you have ungroup: ctrl/cmd+g and group:ctrl/cmd+g
    should read ungroup: ctrl/cmd+alt/option+g

  22. Gravtar for Tony Soh
    Tony Soh July 4th

    I made a mistake on the ungroup command. It should be Ctrl/Command+Shift+G. I have updated the tutorial.

  23. Gravtar for MichaelV
    MichaelV November 29th

    Love it….how do you work out what to put in your tutorials? Do you see an object and say “Gee, I wonder if I can do that?” – and then go ahead and re-create it? If you do then your talents are incredible.

  24. Gravtar for Ameila Grove
    Ameila Grove February 28th

    This all sucked: I couldn’t even find the stupid ” Line Tool from the Tool Palette” on the 1st step. I read all of the other steps and they all need a LOT of editing. I had no idea what they were talking about.

  25. Gravtar for Tony Soh
    Tony Soh February 28th

    Hi Ameila, I suggest you start with the basic 30 days training for newbies before you attempt this tutorial. Would be easier this way.

  26. Gravtar for Affordable Website Design
    Affordable Website Design June 28th

    Some time i really get wonder that how people write something so informative like the above details, i am really thanks full of you guys for sharing.Thanks Alot

  27. Gravtar for JB Design
    JB Design July 13th

    fantastic tutorial! I dont understand this part though, It wont divide for me, it keeps saying, please select one or more filled paths?

  28. Gravtar for ML
    ML April 8th

    Great tut :)

    I just had to select all and then press Expand before Divide in step 3, used Transform Each in step 4 and in 5 – I rather did Expand + Divide + Deleting of single segments to get the graphic as shown (for some reason even Arrange>Send to Back didn’t give the wanted result).

    I’m a newb myself so I recomend 3 things – patience, some exploring of Illustrator and experimenting.

    P.S: If you can’t find a certain tool click Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts

  29. Gravtar for Ricus
    Ricus June 23rd

    Hi whether line tool must 0px?because I found a gap, if more than 0px

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