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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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".
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.
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 ********.
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.