Releasing and Expanding Blends
If you select an existing blend and choose Object > Blend > Release, Illustrator removes the blend steps and returns the artwork to its original state (just the two original objects). If you choose Object > Blend > Expand, Illustrator applies the blend to the artwork itself, leaving the individual blend steps visible and available for editing.
Another method for releasing a blend is handy when you're creating frames for animations that will be exported directly from Illustrator as SWF (Flash) files or that will be imported into video software such as Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Apple Final Cut Pro. This method actually expands the blend into its individual steps and then places each step on its own layer. Follow these steps:
- Choose Window > Layers to open the Layers panel.
- In the Layers panel, click the blend object you want to release (see Figure 6).
Figure 6 The Release to Layers command is a feature of the Layers panel, so selecting the blend on the artboard won't help. You have to highlight the blend in the Layers panel.
- From the Layers panel menu (see Figure 7), choose Release to Layers (Sequence), or Release to Layers (Build). Use the Sequence option when you want each layer to contain only one step. Use the Build option when you want to produce layers that add steps cumulatively to each layer that's created.
Figure 7 You can release artwork to layers by using either the Sequence or Build method.