How to use the llustrator wrinkle tool tutorial

Wrinkle tool / brush in Illustrator tutorial in CC 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc to deform paths. Warp and distort in seconds.

Wrinkle tool Illustrator

wrinkle tool in Illustrator how to use learn tutorial
  1. Go to the width tool in Illustrator toolbar ( wrinkle tool is at the bottom of the group)

  2. Select the wrinkle tool in that group

  3. Select a path in artboard (can be used with paths, closed and open, strokes, lines, type and much more).

  4. You can double click the wrinkle tool icon in the toolbar to display the options to be applied to the selected path.

  5. Apply the wrinkle tool to the selected path

Video tutorial about the subject by (youtube)


You can apply the tool without changing the default settings but personally the default setting is fairly limited. The tool has a vast range of amazing features but to get a variety of amazing distortions from the tool you have to go through some of the settings.


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Modifiers : toolbarThe only modifier of note is the alt / option key and that allows for an interactive resize of the brush size, none of the other options are available via the modifiers.


Settings : dialogTo see all the settings, double click the tool icon or press return while it is selected. There are a lot of options with the tool.


Any number of possible manipulations of paths can be achieved simply by tweaking these settings.











Brush affects anchor

Brush affects anchor in tangent

Brush affects anchor out tangent



Random : verticalThere is a lot of randomness with the tool so if the setting is set to 100% you probably won't get 100% but perhaps something close (be nice if it was more like the brush tools with a range of settings and not just a setting.


On the right, most of the settings have been set to emphasis vertical so you can see no warp in the horizontal.


Lots of points added : pointsSelect a path or paths and then apply the tool to them and the distortions will be added but the key thing to remember is that in many cases, a lot of points will be added especially if you set the complexity high (great for a scribble like effect) and also detail (great for just adding a lot of points especially to a localized area)


If you want to clear down the results you may wish to use the smooth tool or perhaps smart remove brush (vectorscribe)


Vertical distortion : vertical intenseTo apply a vertical effect then select the tool and double click the icon and

Horizontal = 0%

Vertical = 100%

Complexity = 1

Detail = 2

In and out tangent handles to ON

Intensity = 100%

and then use the tool on the path


The tool allows for you to add the effect either vertically or horizontal or a little in one direction and a lot in another (again, this is random for creating some interesting curved and wrinkled designs - odd that there appears to be no corner and smooth feature with this tool).


Subtle warping : subtleYou can also control the overall intensity of the brush effect via the size as well as intensity and for serious settings set it to 100% (though I wish the tool would allow the setting to be extended). If you wish to create only a subtle change with the tool then set the settings a lot lower and then re-apply the tool multiple times. I often prefer to re-apply effects multiple times instead of one single hi-impact application.


width and height = 500px

intensity = 10% (for subtle warps)

detail high to add more points or low to have less points

complexity higher for more points (or lower for less)

vertical to 100%

horizontal to 100%

Apply the tool with the settings


Re-apply the tool multiple times to warp the design.


Add points only : pointsIf you want to use the tool just to add points without any actual movement then set the wrinkle to 0 and set the complexity and detail to a little higher (5 and 2 etc to add a lot of points and complexity).


The tool does need the settings to be all set correctly for it to work so you may find that if you have no horizontal setting and all the lines are vertical then nothing much will happen.


The image on the right shows a lot of points and they have been then moved using the direct selection tool by selecting the individual points and then dragging them


lots of pointsSet horizontal = 0%

Vertical = 0%

Detail = 5

set all anchor = ON

tangents = OFF

apply to the segments of the path.


You will now see a number of points have been added but no visible warping. To move the points, use direct selection tool


Anchor / tangents : sketchAnother great feature of the settings is that you can modify the anchor and tangent or anchor or tangent and so you can keep the lines or paths in the same place but the shape will radically change but all the anchors will be stuck in the same location.


The tangent can be set to off and the anchors can be made to move.


You can use this feature to create interesting sketch like drawings using grayscale colors for the stroke and no fill and using width profiles


Angle : extreme angleYou can also use the 'angle' to change the angle of the anchors etc as well as the tangents (depending on the settings) to create lines going off approximately in 60 degrees or 30 degrees etc depending on the setting. It should be noted that sometimes the randomness will appear and sometimes it will not.


The image on the right used the angle set to 60 degrees and horizontal set to 100% and vertical 0% and brush affects anchor points only - the tool then generates an intense angled brush work with a basic path (in this example, a square)


Create a path and goto the tool. You need to change the settings.

Set the horizontal = 100%

vertical = 0%.

Set angle = 60

Set anchor points ON only.

Set complexity = 10.

Hold tool over segments and keep holding for a while to generate the intense effect. Move to other parts of the path and repeat


Closed / open paths : open linesThe tool can modify paths (closed or open) in many extreme ways to create some truly unusual shapes even from a basic path such as a circle or square and can also be used to warp converted type as well as expanded symbols. It is much like the tweak filter but it comes with many additional features and it can be used like a transform tool as well.


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