Allow Free Distort like Photoshop

Contributor ,
Jul 07, 2011 Jul 07, 2011

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In Photoshop, you can pull an image's control handles around to your heart's content, and fine tune the distortion to line up with a perspective grid. In Illustrator, you can only distort the bounding box of the whole shape, so once you move a single control handle, you lose control of one or more corners of the image, making precise distortions almost impossible. The best we have right now is the Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort tool, but there's no preview, so again, you can't line up the shape with a perspective grid.

Please make Illustrator's Free Distort tool like Photoshop's!

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Engaged ,
Jul 07, 2011 Jul 07, 2011

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I second that. It's a glaring omission from the program.  (And, no, the new Perspective Tool is not a solution... that's just overkill.)

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Contributor ,
Jul 07, 2011 Jul 07, 2011

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Oh yeah, there is that, too. But like you say, there's so much overhead in setting up the perspective grid, I never use it.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 20, 2011 Jul 20, 2011

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Absolutely agree.

Can't Adobe's Photoshop team spend a few months working on Illustrator and make it more Photoshoppy?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 16, 2011 Aug 16, 2011

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I concur.

And if the Illustrator team ever get around to evaluating their basic Path functionalities they might also drop the current stupid (yes, that adjective is provocative, but in my opinion justified) path-closing behaviour of eliminating the first point’s backward bezier handle.

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Contributor ,
Aug 16, 2011 Aug 16, 2011

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I'm not aware of any stupid path-closing behavior in Illustrator... are you sure you don't mean InDesign? In InDesign, you have to pull the closing bezier handle backwards.

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Engaged ,
Aug 16, 2011 Aug 16, 2011

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I'm aware of it. I always have to adjust my first segment all over again if I close the path. Are you saying there's a way around it?

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Contributor ,
Aug 16, 2011 Aug 16, 2011

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I'm away from my computer for the next several days, so I can't look at the path closing behavior of Illustrator right now. But I don't think I've ever noticed anything odd about it, save for the annoying way it doesn't constrain the final bezier handle to the same angle of the first.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 17, 2011 Aug 17, 2011

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save for the annoying way it doesn't constrain the final bezier handle to the same angle of the first.

I think what you describe might pretty much is what I meant; when one starts a path with a curve point that point’s backward handle is destroyed on closing the path and one has to drag out the complete handles for that point anew if one wants it to stay a curve point.

Jeff Talmage has provided a Script for closing a path with maintaining the first point’s handle, but the Illustrator team really should just make that standard behaviour in my opinion.

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Contributor ,
Aug 17, 2011 Aug 17, 2011

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Oh, I see what you mean. You're identifying that handle as the "backward handle", not describing the handle as backward.

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New Here ,
Oct 25, 2011 Oct 25, 2011

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There is a tedious but effective workaround: Copy and paste the object into Photoshop as a path, use the superior distortion tools there, and then export it back into Illustrator.

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Explorer ,
Jan 02, 2012 Jan 02, 2012

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+1

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New Here ,
Feb 09, 2012 Feb 09, 2012

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How is it that the Illustrator team didn't make this possible? The free transform tool is virtually useless, and the perspective tool is too much of a hassle. It's a simple function. Take a stroll over to your friends in the Photoshop department and get them to walk you through it.

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Mentor ,
Feb 09, 2012 Feb 09, 2012

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I know, right?

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 08, 2012 Aug 08, 2012

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To me this is a very infuriating problem. Not only is it something that is commonly needed, and would be extremely useful, but it is something that should've been a basic function since Illustrator Version 1. And when it was included there, it easily should've been FIXED in Version 2, etc. This should've been worked on long before adding symbols, and advanced gradient options, and so on. I love those things, but seriously guys: Basic path manipulation is first and foremost what Illustrator is about. And there is ZERO excuse for not having it. You can't say the technology or know how doesn't exist. As countless others have stated—to deaf ears, apparently—Photoshop's had this feature for years. And Photoshop isn't even a vector editor, and they do it right.

Everytime a new version of Illustrator comes out I get my hopes up thinking this will be fixed, only to be let down. It's really disappointing.

So please, stop the stupid bounding box from resetting after every adjustment!

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 13, 2012 Aug 13, 2012

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There are hundreds of things that should've been in Illustrator since version 1. There are also hundreds of things that should've been fixed in Illustrator version 2, 3, 4 and all the next. But it's too much of a hassle to spend time and resources to make your product better if people will still buy it no matter how awful and broken it is. Because there are no real alternatives anyway. Monopoly in all its "glory".

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 25, 2022 Feb 25, 2022

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I used to use CorelDraw in the 90s; and they HAD SUCH FEATURE BACK THEN! it's shocking to see Illustrator in 2022 and not have such feature; not sure if I should laugh or cry.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 25, 2022 Feb 25, 2022

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LATEST

Hold back your tears. The Free Distort tool was updated in the 2020 version.

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Explorer ,
Aug 16, 2012 Aug 16, 2012

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I've had my head down working with Illustrator for so long that I had no idea that Photoshop had better vector transformation tools than its supposedly vector-centric teammate!

A long time ago I worked on the development of the product LetraStudio and the Illustrator plug-in Envelopes. (My - thoroughly microscopic - claim to fame is that I introduced the now-widespread word 'envelope' in a distortion context.) LetraStudio pioneered free distortion of vectors, and as a I recall both it and Envelopes had features which we have yet to see in Illustrator. Nonetheless I was delighted when Illustrator adopted 'enveloping' - imitation, sincere flattery and so on.

To find, after all this time, that Illustrator has to look to its bitmap stablemate for a better implementation of LetraStudio's idea is frankly shocking. I imagine most of the development teams in Adobe, perhaps especially Illustrator's, must be tired of seeing the bulk of interest and resources disappear in the direction of Photoshop. Of course Photoshop is an important product (the only software product name to have become a verb?). But the next release of Illustrator will be time to correct this embarrassing and shameful imbalance.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 22, 2012 Dec 22, 2012

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Bump.

Same product since CS1 reskinned every year.

Considering that the future of graphics design is 100% vector considering the wide range of resolutions for which support is required (TVs, tablets, retina vs standard) this is utter bullshit.

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Guest
May 02, 2016 May 02, 2016

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i have illustrator cs5. i just found a copy of letrastudio 2.0 and wonder if there is anything in it that illustrator doesn't already have or do – like letrastudio distortion envelopes?

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Explorer ,
Apr 10, 2013 Apr 10, 2013

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This is a huge omission.  are there any third party plugins that will make this all the distortion tools available in photoshop to be available in Illustrator?

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New Here ,
Jun 08, 2013 Jun 08, 2013

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Joining the chorus of laments - I really really need this particular feature, and implore Adobe to revamp Illustrator's free distortion to work as effectively as Photoshop's

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Mentor ,
Jun 08, 2013 Jun 08, 2013

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The sad thing is, even if they do fix it, you'll have to pay $50/month to be able to use it. No new features coming to Creative Suite apps without a subscription to Creative Cloud.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2013 Jun 09, 2013

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What a regrettable move on Adobe’s part.

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