Illustrator sunburst tutorial

I have been getting a lot of questions about how to create a sunburst in Illustrator.

Here is the easiest method I know of to create a perfectly proportioned Illustrator sunburst.

  1. Using the Polygon Tool, double click on the Polygon Tool icon and enter the settings shown:
  2. Now you have a equilateral triangle.
  3. Go to 'Object > Transform > Scale' and use the following settings. You should end up with the triangle shown.
  4. This step is not mandatory, but it does make things easier. Go to 'View > Snap to Point.' Now whenever you click somewhere on the screen, the click will end up right on top of the nearest point in the image.
  5. Now select the Rotation Tool and click at the top point of the triangle. Since you chose "Snap to Point" it will line up perfectly. This is the point at which the triangle will now rotate around when you use the Rotation Tool. I now gave the triangle a light blue fill and no stroke.
  6. While holding shift+alt, click a little below the bottom of your triangle and drag over to the area shown below. Holding alt will make a copy of your triangle. Since you are also holding shift, the triangle will rotate in increments of 45 degrees (1/8 of a circle). Now you should have 2 triangles as shown:
  7. Use the ctrl+d shortcut to duplicate your last action. To do this, press ctrl+d 6 times to make 6 more copies of the triangle, each rotated 45 degrees, and complete the sunburst look.

    Use the Selection Tool (black filled arrow) to drag a selection rectangle around all of the triangles. Go to 'Object > Group' to put all of the triangles together as one group. Now use the Selection Tool again to click your sunburst group, then grab one of the corner handles that appears, hold shift+alt, and drag it outward to expand the sunburst. In this step, I also added a black background.
  8. With the sunburst group selected, open up the Symbol window ('Window > Symbol') and click the 'New Symbol' icon.
  9. Click the button in the top right corner of the Symbol Window and go to 'Save Symbol Library.' Give your new library a name, and now your symbol will be accessible in any future document.
  10. Repeat all of these steps with alternate settings to make sunbursts with different looks. This one uses a scale setting of "Horizontal: 100%, Vertical: 600%" and a rotation angle of 20 degrees. To get an angle of 20 degrees, I brought up the Info Window ('Window > Info') and instead of holding shift while rotating the 1st triangle, I looked at the Info window and rotated it approximately 20 degrees. Make sure you use a multiple of 360 for the rotation angle (i.e. 20, 30, 45, etc.):
  11. The final result:


Strange, this article is

Strange, this article is very similar to

It's an obvious rip-off -

It's an obvious rip-off - thanks for pointing this out. You can see right here that the imitation was created on 11/2007: My tutorial was created on 8/2007, as indicated by the date of the first comment. Every single step, except for one of them, is exactly the same. How sad...but what really bothers me is that it was only rated 2/5 stars. :)


I didn't know how to do this and the tutorial was clear and easy. I am going to use it for my production music website.


CS3 Difference

In CS3 double clicking the polygon tool doesn't work, instead you have to click once on the stage with the the tool and you'll get the same dialog ;)

This is such a simple

This is such a simple effect. It amazes me that people actually need a tutorial for this!!??!!

My Comment

Thx for sharing, very useful thing

Very nice....if someone

Very nice....if someone didn't understand that, then they probably didn't read through it very well.

Helped bunches...thanks.

good tutorial for someone

good tutorial for someone getting back to basics like me haven't touched illustrator for 5 yrs and just getting back in the groove


could not do step #6, so I just "copy", then "edit/paste in front", the rotate the copy, by 1st changing pivot point, then SHIFT rotate

This just doesn't work!!!

This just doesn't work!!! Thanks for a waste of time!!!


It totally works!

thanks for sharing

steps are non delivery of clear message



Simple e útil

Esse é um dos mais simples e fáceis objetos à serem construídos no Adobe Illustrator,
porém é muito útil se ulitlizado de forma moderada e ambientada..
Muchíssimas gracias!!!!!!!!!!!!

thanx for sharing.

thanx for sharing.

Perfectly!! thanxx

Perfectly!! thanxx


Does anyone know where I can get a lot of free downloadable swatches for design in illustrator?


Sunburst has no need for a triangle common'...

sunburst tutorial

This saved me a lot of time!!!!


nice tutorial, thanks..


this is not a gud graphic

hey dat is really a very gud

hey dat is really a very gud tut man....... :-)



Good Tutorial.....

Today morning I came in office and opened your site just to find this simple and good tutorial. Indeed useful one!! Thanks. Hope to get more from you in future. Take care.

You show the most difficult

You show the most difficult way to do this. Not very "slick"

Then show us the easier way

Then show us the easier way

He's right, there's another / easier way

I got this from another tutorial website. I like this one a lot:

"I normally create a hour glass shape instead of a triangle (because I'm too lazy to change the center point ).

Double click on the Rotate tool to bring up the dialogue box.
Enter the amount of rotation, click Copy.

Use the shortcut keys of Ctrl + D (Cmd + D for Mac) to repeat.
Just keep going until you get all the way around."

This is a better

This is a better way...thanks for sharing.

Thats how I do it, except I

Thats how I do it, except I just draw the triangle by hand.

Nice effect! Yeah, I've been

Nice effect! Yeah, I've been drawing my starbursts by hand, but it's nice to know that there's a way to make one in perfect porportion. Thanks for the tut!

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