Allow Free Distort like Photoshop

Contributor ,
Jul 07, 2011 Jul 07, 2011

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

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!

Views

44.6K

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Oct 13, 2013 Oct 13, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I found this thread looking for answers as to why the distortion in Illustrator is basically unuseable. I'm very disappointed to see that it isn't something I'm doing wrong but I am glad to see everyone agrees that it's such a sorry state of affairs at least. The pathetic mini 'preview' you are forced to use to try and make a vague guess about distortion effects is archaic and unacceptable - it's so small and you can't zoom in, you can't use guides to help, you can't constrain any proportions there's no undo/step back available to tweak it and you can't even reference your artboard to see how it's going to look. I simply can't believe that the industry-standard program for precise vector manipulation continually fails to match up to Photoshop's ways of doing things in many areas when common-sense would suggest that it would be completely the other way around! Doesn't make any sense at all. It's about time Adobe pulled their finger out and radically revised Illustrator.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Dec 12, 2013 Dec 12, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Kris_Hunt wrote:

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!

There is a free distort tool in illustrator.

The free transform tool can be used to distort (without using the Effects menu) - http://help.adobe.com/en_US/illustrator/cs/using/WS714a382cdf7d304e7e07d0100196cbc5f-647aa.html#WS71...

Scroll down to the portion that says Distort and read the whole thing. It takes a second to understand, but it works really well!!!

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Mentor ,
Dec 12, 2013 Dec 12, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

No, it's not the same thing. Illustrator's distort is not like Photoshop's distort. You should read the entire post.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Dec 12, 2013 Dec 12, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Yes, like KrisHunt said: Not the same thing…read the entire post.

This is one of the lamest shortcomings in Illutrator. It's frustrated me for yeeeeeeaars.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Engaged ,
Jan 18, 2014 Jan 18, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Engaged ,
Jan 18, 2014 Jan 18, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The behavior of this tool do not you just surprising. It reminds Paint program than a program for graphics work.

GIF ANIM:

Ai-freetransform.gif

  Perhaps, it is worth adding to the options icon Mesh Tool?

Then you could use the existing options for WRAP needed distortion, provided that you add a new option to wrap "straight lines". need for such distortion or something similar?

Ai-freetransform-wrap.jpg

Generally tools illustrator often resemble running the maze, or something similar....

and nothing has changed over the years. with the exception of 17.1

http://forums.adobe.com/message/3024857#3024857

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Participant ,
Apr 02, 2014 Apr 02, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

This thread's been open for nearly 3 years and not once has anyone from Adobe so much has acknowledged it. Really makes you want to fork over £50 a month for this crap, doesn't it?

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 02, 2014 Apr 02, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The Illustrator team members do not seem to consider participation in these user-to-user Fora beneficial, I guess.

This thread is but a Feature Request, when it comes to ignoring Bug Reports and maintaining a bug for seven versions … well, doesn’t that almost seem something of an achievement?

http://forums.adobe.com/message/1255376#1255376

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Participant ,
Apr 03, 2014 Apr 03, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

It's almost as good as Illustrator's continuing inability to draw a live artwork update while resizing an object beyond the bounds of the window so that it causes a scroll action. Instead we just get the edge-most 50 pixels or so endlessly repeated until the drag is complete.

On a piece of professional software with a price tag to match, I don't think I'm overreacting when I say it's a f*cking disgrace.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jun 05, 2014 Jun 05, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

You can simply do this by using the transform tool while holding 'command' for a mac. This allows you to drag the corners of a shape individually, effectively the same function as the free distort tool in illustrator. Hope this helps

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2014 Jun 05, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

You can simply do this by using the transform tool while holding 'command' for a mac. This allows you to drag the corners of a shape individually, effectively the same function as the free distort tool in illustrator.

I think you don’t understand the issue.

It’s not Illustrator’s inferior transformation behaviour that is desired in Photoshop but Photoshop’s Free Transform behaviour that is being desired for Illustrator.

Illustrator’s »Free Distort« is, in my opinion, close to useless because of the lacking preview or integration.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Mentor ,
Jun 06, 2014 Jun 06, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

You can simply do this by using the transform tool while holding 'command' for a mac. This allows you to drag the corners of a shape individually, effectively the same function as the free distort tool in illustrator.

Wrong. Every time you move a corner point, the entire bounding box resets to another rectangle. That is the fundamental problem in Illustrator's distort feature.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Engaged ,
Jul 17, 2014 Jul 17, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

OK....so it's three years on from that original post (and the problem was around for years before that). We have seen all kinds of silly unnecessary fluff appear in the versions of Illustrator since then, but this fundamental bug still remains. It's such an important part of any workflow, and is so well implemented by the Adobe folks at Photoshop and After Effects. If anyone who programs Illustrator is reading this, please PLEASE admit that you're really not very good - just go Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort to see what I mean (look at that interface! Where's the Preview? Is this chunk of code from the 1980s?). Please swallow your misplaced pride, and ask one of the AE or PS people to do your job for you - properly. They'd probably fix the problem in 5 minutes. Admit it to yourself, your 'O' level in BASIC programming from 1979 just won't cut it any more.

We all know that AI is a piece of junk - old bits of hastily cobbled-together code from various vintages, so please concentrate on just making it NOT SUCK, before you try to add a veneer of shiny new features to distract people from the underlying problems this piece of bloatware has. It really needs re-writing from the ground up, just not in COBOL or FORTRAN.

....not that this will go anywhere...what am I going to do? Use FreeHand instead?! Ugh. The joys of a monopoly.

If EVERYONE who faces this problem in Illustrator submits a bug report (because it IS a bug - surely this is not "as designed"?!), maybe someone might take notice, and in another 3 years' time, the problem might get fixed. We can live in hope.....

I haven't ploughed through every post in this thread, so it might have been mentioned already...but there is a kind-of (not very good) workaround, using Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh (and set the mesh to 1x1). The corners have stupid Bezier handles, which won't go away, even using the Anchor Point Tool, so it will try to warp/bend the thing all over the place. But with some careful faffing around, and assuming you don't mind the artwork ending up a bit bent, you can get almost acceptable results.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Participant ,
Sep 02, 2014 Sep 02, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Ok, so Illustrator CC2014 finally has an integrated free distort tool. Except... we still have the problem of the bounding rectangle being reset after every drag operation. Seriously, how hard is it to understand how people want to use this feature? Illustrator has only just gained the ability to remember the rotated angle of an object so you can go back and alter it after clicking off it, so I guess I shouldn't hold my breath for this!?

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Engaged ,
Sep 02, 2014 Sep 02, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I agree. It is mind-boggling how crap this distort is, when other Adobe apps (After Effects, Photoshop) do it perfectly. Just copy & paste the code, Adobe!!

My only glimmer of hope is that Adobe will surprise us all with a completely new replacement for Illustrator - a brand new program without any of the clunky old problems that Illustrator has. Illustrator really does not fit in with Adobe's lovely new CC apps - it feels like some old fart with a faint whiff off piss trying to "hang with the kids" - the young, fresh apps tolerate him out of kindness, but would be much happier if he'd just sod off.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Engaged ,
Sep 02, 2014 Sep 02, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Illustrator 2014 for me is a breath of freshness, but I agree. According to me the problem is primarily the interface and logic tools. Working techniques are inconsistent even annoying. ;(

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Oct 16, 2014 Oct 16, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I've had some success by going to Envelop Distort > Make with Mesh, changing the defaults to 1 cell each. This is the key to simulating photoshop's free distort, 1 grid cell only. Using the direct select tool on the corners allows distortion "similar" to photoshop. Further, the corner points will have "handles" which allow control over the curvature of the vectors connecting corner points (which can actually be better than ps's controls).

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2014 Oct 16, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Further, the corner points will have "handles" which allow control over the curvature of the vectors connecting corner points (which can actually be better than ps's controls).

Photoshop’s Warp does provides those.

But unlike Envelope Distort one can not change the number of rows/columns.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Jan 17, 2016 Jan 17, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

can't you export it to photoshop as Smart Object then distort it and then import again to illustrator?

I know that that if this works, it's also a crap doing that export and import stuff 😕

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Jan 17, 2016 Jan 17, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

But I had the same issue, trying to do a simple distortion, this is so basic problem, I don't know why they doesn't work on this...

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 17, 2016 Jan 17, 2016

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

can't you export it to photoshop as Smart Object then distort it and then import again to illustrator?

Smart Object instances are pixels within the containing document.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Participant ,
Nov 02, 2014 Nov 02, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Well I had a very interesting conference call with some of the Illustrator engineering team in India this week, and while there's obviously no guarantee that any of my feedback will result in feature changes, the issue of how the free distort tool behaves was covered in some detail - along with a bunch of other things - and they were very receptive and understanding, so I'm hopeful we may see movement on this in the not-too-distant future

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Dec 05, 2014 Dec 05, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Oh the lament and disgust on this topic.  Yeah, I'm here to bitch too.  I'm flogging Adobe products all day, almost exclusively AI and this distortion issue is #1 on my list of things to distort real objects over @ $50/month (meaning I break things in anger when no one else is around).

Sure sure "E" is sort of a solution but similar to a different kind of E, it seems to leave one in a pool of heavy withdrawal and disappointment.  If you're using it with text that has been converted to objects, you may not want everything to squish to one side or the other. It might do the trick if that annoying 'perspective bending' function could toggle on/off or be metered with a percentage.      


The traditional distort tool is archaic.  Might as well be a game of frogger in that pathetic white window.  I cannot believe how many years we've all been squinting at, approximating and generally suffering that nonsense. 

So yes, I sincerely hope your concerns were heeded and we can expect a robust update in the near.  Come on Adobe, you're already snagging 600 of my hard-earned a year.  Let's sex it up, shall we?  I suppose I can bug report it as well.  Why the hell not.

I hope my little tiff here was as counterproductive as all the others. 

-Evan

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Nov 16, 2014 Nov 16, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Adobe Illustrator CS6 Free Distort is very much a thing, if you will.

Select the object.
Up at the top of the program, click the Effect tab.
Within the Effect tab under Illustrator Effects, click Distort and Transform.
Within Distort and Transform hit Free Distort and there you go.

Adobe Illustrator CS6>Effect>Distort & Transform>Free Transform

If this helped, then that's great! If not I'm not sure how else to help.

-Tyler MacLeod
     homeboundcreative@gmail.com

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Guide ,
Nov 16, 2014 Nov 16, 2014

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Homebound, you need to read before posting.

The Free Transform in Effects has been there forever and is not very useful.

it gives you an outline view of only the selection, in a Tiny little window.

how are you meant to get a relation ship to any other object in your art?

and in such a small window how can you do very fine transformations.

I suggest you try the "Free Transform Tool"... Short cut is "E".

this is much better and nearly useful.

but still it does not have the flexibility of the equivalent tool in photoshop.

I use the free transform tool, to get ruffly what I want.

Then use Envelope Distort -> Make with Mesh to finish off.

main issue is it can distort some things in completely undesirable ways.

some times I find the Only way is to rasterize , distort to what I want and redraw.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines