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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Community Beginner ,
Nov 17, 2014 Nov 17, 2014

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imagecollection said it right: "read before posting"

In comes close to infuriating me that Adobe has let the slide for yeeeeaaars. This is NOT some tiny feature request that would be slightly nice in just a small number of cases. It is a fundamental flaw in not allowing one to manipulate vector art in a predictable, useful way. The fact that Photoshop can do this PERFECTLY and Illustrator cannot is ridiculous. Photoshop also benefits by allowing art to be turned into a Smart Object, then Free-Distorted to line up with other objects, and you can always go back and mess with a)  the pre-distorted art, and b) the 'distorting' itself. It works perfectly. Illustrator is a complete FAILURE in this regard. It should've been an "Oops!" after Version 1, and fixed by Version 2. It boggles my mind that it has gone on this long. They come up with all these cute little frilly 'features' and complete neglect the substantial ones. Very disappointing. Very.

And people like you (Homebound) make matters worse. You have ZERO clue what you are talking about, and you post a "Solution" that'll only make large groups of people ignore the reality of the problem by making others think that we are stupid and overlooked the obvious. That couldn't be further from the truth. Ev-er-y single new version of Illustrator that would come out would always have me on the edge of my seat in anticipation of this being fixed. Version after version would leave me disappointed anew. Now with the CC scheme, where we get upgrades 'all the time' only means I'm likely to be disappointed 'all the time.' I hope to be proved wrong any year now.

I would LOVE to speak with somebody who can actually address the problem. Not the endless supply of Homebound-type people with the naively wrong 'fixes' that are worth nothing.

—Paul

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Engaged ,
Nov 17, 2014 Nov 17, 2014

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As I mentioned in an earlier post in this thread, if we all submit (multiple) bug reports regarding this, then maybe - just maybe - Adobe might possibly consider thinking about briefly mentioning this in a meeting about stuff they might one day get around to possibly thinking about taking a look at. Almost certainly not, but it's worth a try, don't you think?

Bug report: Adobe - Feature Request/Bug Report Form

I'm sure either Adobe never look at this forum, or they're all so ashamed of the steaming turd that is the awful embarrassment of Illustrator, that nobody dares speak up and claim responsibility for its creation. Hello, Adobe? Anyone? If there's no reply from any Adobe people, we'll just assume that I'm right.

But how about my theory that Illustrator is about 5 years overdue for a complete replacement, and we should be looking forward to that? How about they call it...Adobe Freehand? Presumably the programming code for its "Envelope Distort" (introduced in 2000) is still on a floppy disk gathering dust somewhere in Adobe's archives?

In case anyone's interested, this is how proper distortion used to be done, before Adobe bolloxed it all up: Perspectiva vectorial con Freehand on Vimeo

...Or will Adobe just continue to flog the dead Illustrator horse for a few more years?

- Paul

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Contributor ,
Feb 10, 2016 Feb 10, 2016

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Adding my vote to this issue... Come on Adobe how hard can it be!?

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Contributor ,
Apr 02, 2016 Apr 02, 2016

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Good news... The Stylism plugin by Astute Graphics appears to do this!

Stylism - Astute Graphics

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Engaged ,
Apr 17, 2016 Apr 17, 2016

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Cool plugin that simplifies effects. Barwo.

Illustrator is a fantastic tool for the effects palette apperance.

In my experience it radically changed by (simplified and accelerated)

It's a shame that Adobe lacked the imagination to develop this great idea.

Instead, we have a strange new tool for the job, which is interesting, but fit to work like a fist to the eye.

In my opinion it is worth to make the thick line in the project Adobe Illustrator and create a new illustrator for today's working people who collate and organize the way you work Illustrator® with the mentality of handling 1990.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv3xl2B6yUs

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New Here ,
Apr 17, 2016 Apr 17, 2016

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I use Flash for this, the only problem is that you have to merge all your objects into one single vector, it doesnt work as well as photoshop but it will do the trick. Flash is a very helpful tool for vector projects, it have many features that illustrator dont.

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Participant ,
Jul 06, 2016 Jul 06, 2016

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Just launched the stupidly-named Illustrator 2015.3

The free distort tool is still just as useless as it was two years ago, so I retract my stated view that the Illustrator team were receptive and understanding.

Instead, it's becoming increasingly apparent that the people who write this software don't actually use it themselves for any actual design work. There's just too many horrendous bugs, gross inaccuracies in the way objects are drawn and rendered, and fundamentally broken tools (of which the free distort tool is just one example) for any other explanation to make sense.

Dreadful, dreadful piece of software.

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Engaged ,
Jul 06, 2016 Jul 06, 2016

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Couldn't agree more. Just take a look at After Effects and Photoshop to see how Adobe CAN develop software that is intuitive, useful and a joy to use. It really is time for Adobe to ditch Illustrator and create something new from scratch. What is going on at Adobe? Why the massive divide between these departments?

<rant>

How long does it take the average user between firing up Illustrator and their first fit of swearing at the godforsaken program? It's generally about 3 minutes for me.

I mean...just look at this, FFS:

Capture.PNG

Has this changed AT ALL since Illustrator v.1? Is this a screenshot from 1990? NO! It's 2016!

This is just one of the many, many, reasons why Illustrator is a piece of hideous junk. Shame on you, Adobe, for abusing your monopoly since the tragic demise of FreeHand. I also HATE the way that Adobe continues to add new, pointless features to Illustrator when the underlying program is fundamentally a decrepit, senile pile of stinking crap.

</rant>

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Participant ,
Jul 06, 2016 Jul 06, 2016

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I've also posted this as a feature request in the Illustrator prerelease section when I discovered that it's still the same in the 2017 dev builds, but here's the visual illustration for others' reference.

0gE3tA3.gif

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 03, 2016 Nov 03, 2016

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Hi mave1969,

For transforming shape from anchors , we have a tool named "Direct Selection Tool".

"Free transform" tool ( Shortcut : E) is to change the geometry of the shape using bounding box.

If we want to change the shape from corner points instead bounding box, we should use Direct Selection Tool ( shortcut : A)

Regards

Ashutosh Gupta

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Engaged ,
Nov 03, 2016 Nov 03, 2016

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Ashutosh,

Please re-read this thread - the Direct Selection tool is not the answer here, and is not at all helpful.

- Paul

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Participant ,
Nov 03, 2016 Nov 03, 2016

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Ashutosh, as hellopaul4 said, you appear to have just skimmed the thread without grasping the actual issue at hand. Please re-read.

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Explorer ,
Jul 21, 2016 Jul 21, 2016

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I've just found this thread and it seems Illustrator isn't cappable of distorting objects like Photoshop and Flash/Animate have been done for years...

I can't afford for this Stylism plugin.

Has someone found an alternative solution?

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Engaged ,
Jul 21, 2016 Jul 21, 2016

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You could try submitting multiple bug reports to Adobe. Other than that, ranting on this forum seems to help me.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2016 Jul 21, 2016

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You could try submitting multiple bug reports to Adobe.

Good one!

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 20, 2017 Nov 20, 2017

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CS 2018, problem is still there, bounding box resets on each transform. It seems the dev team are out of touch with what users are actually having issues with, Like others have said here, that's not acceptable for an expensive, so-called market-leading piece of software.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 15, 2018 Feb 15, 2018

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This is my biggest gripe with illustrator and I guarantee this is not the first time the request has been made. I've actually imported paths into photoshop, distorted them and then exported them back into illustrator. Process that for a second—I imported vector paths into a bitmapping program, manipulated them in the bitmap program and then exported them back into the vector program. Why they haven't fixed this glaring omission from the program already is mind-boggling.

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2018 Feb 20, 2018

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I type up lengthy tomes each time I get the Feedback requests from Adobe each month on this very topic. I have made it explicitly clear how pathetic they are to have over looked this for so long. Clearly they don't have any of their developers actually use these tools to see if they actually works. Nor can I believe that they have real, live artists/designers/etc. use these to get feedback from them. The three different "tools" that are provided are all so deficient that it is insulting.

I've offered to fly to their headquarters to speak in person with whomever needs to be shown, and all 100% at my won expense. I'm so serious about that.

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Engaged ,
Feb 20, 2018 Feb 20, 2018

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I absolutely agree. It seems that Adobe has pretty much abandoned Illustrator, and has shipped all its development to India rather than at its US offices where the more serious work gets done. If you ever want to make an Adobe worker shut up and go away, just mention this distort tool. I have made requests, complaints, bug reports, and feature requests in numerous online Adobe-centric forums (including Adobe's pre-release forum), and the response from Adobe is ALWAYS instant silence. It is actually quite spooky. They're always going on about new, pointless "features" being added; it's like they're giving an elderly patient a spiffing new hat and shiny shoes, and ignoring the fact that they're incontinent and riddled with cancer.

The ONE and ONLY reason I use this god-awful abomination that is Illustrator is that it's tossed in for free with my Creative Cloud subscription, like some crappy free toy that's been kicking around in the back a filthy van for months that you might win at a nasty fairground - a cheap, toxic knock-off of Buzz Lightyear or something. Illustrator is that cheap, old, toxic knock-off of Affinity Designer (Affinity - Professional creative software ). It's great that, after years in a post-Aldus-FreeHand era, once again there is some competition to knock this senile old Illustrator off its wobbly walker and into the grave where it belongs.

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Participant ,
Mar 08, 2018 Mar 08, 2018

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I'm as vocal about Illustrator's shortcomings in this area as anyone, but there's no need for thinly veiled racism on this. Acrobat is developed in the US and it's a far worse piece of software, IMO.

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Engaged ,
Mar 08, 2018 Mar 08, 2018

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There was no racism intended at all - veiled or otherwise. I just know that the Photoshop and After Effects teams are US-based and the Illustrator teams are based in India. Hence my conclusion that Adobe is pushing the less desirable Illustrator work overseas. If I was Adobe, I'd try to put as much distance between myself and Illustrator as possible.

But I totally agree that Acrobat is dismal, hideous piece of junk. Maybe Adobe will be basing its Acrobat developers on Mars in a few years...

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New Here ,
Aug 17, 2018 Aug 17, 2018

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I've wanted this feature since I started with Illustrator in 1999... how is this possibly still not a thing??? 20 years later

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Explorer ,
Jul 24, 2020 Jul 24, 2020

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This thread has been open for 9 years !! ... Nothing has changed

ALL Illustrator users want this easy and efficient manual warping tool. What's the deal with that ??

Please, Illustrator developers, heed essential user requests instead of "innovating" with unnecessary stuff ("New great pencil tool" is a disaster)

A little game for the challenge and for proof of the absurdity of the situation: who will be able to deform this shape on the white rectangle in an efficient and fast way in Illustrator (V1 or v2020... same)? Go !

not_funny_game.jpg

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2020 Jul 24, 2020

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Take a look at the updated Free distort tool. Your shape will be pretty easy with it: https://helpx.adobe.com/in/illustrator/using/whats-new/2020-1.html

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Explorer ,
Jul 24, 2020 Jul 24, 2020

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OK, thank you Monika. It's a revolution !

I'd should write "who will be able to deform this shape on the white rectangle in an efficient and fast way in Illustrator (V1 or v2019... same)?

Well.. I will update my 2019 Illlustrator version to test that new soooooo expected option for many years.

 

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