1 2 Previous Next 45 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2014 2:48 AM by edds RSS

    Allow Free Distort like Photoshop

    Kris_Hunt Community Member

      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!

        • 1. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
          John Stanowski Community Member

          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.)

          • 2. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
            Kris_Hunt Community Member

            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.

            • 3. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
              hellopaul3

              Absolutely agree.

               

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

              • 4. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                c.pfaffenbichler Community Member

                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.

                • 5. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                  Kris_Hunt Community Member

                  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.

                  • 6. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                    John Stanowski Community Member

                    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?

                    • 7. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                      Kris_Hunt Community Member

                      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.

                      • 8. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                        c.pfaffenbichler Community Member
                        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.

                        • 9. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                          Kris_Hunt Community Member

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

                          • 10. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                            saridout

                            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.

                            • 12. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                              gschreiber73 Community Member

                              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.

                              • 13. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                KrisHunt Community Member

                                I know, right?

                                • 14. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                  V Paul Smith Jr

                                  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!

                                  • 15. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                    Imworkinghere Community Member

                                    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".

                                    • 16. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                      David_Entwistle Community Member

                                      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.

                                      • 17. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                        imagenesis media Community Member

                                        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 ********.

                                        • 18. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                          ribik Community Member

                                          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?

                                          • 19. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                            adamdougt Community Member

                                            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

                                            • 20. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                              KrisHunt Community Member

                                              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.

                                              • 21. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                c.pfaffenbichler Community Member

                                                What a regrettable move on Adobe’s part.

                                                • 22. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                  美味しい Community Member

                                                  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.

                                                  • 23. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                    cacoonradt3M

                                                    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#WS714a382cdf7d304e7e07d0100196cbc5f-6479a

                                                     

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

                                                    • 24. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                      KrisHunt Community Member

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

                                                      • 25. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                        V Paul Smith Jr Community Member

                                                        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.

                                                        • 26. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                          MarioMari Community Member

                                                          Yes! Yes! Yes!

                                                          • 27. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                            MarioMari Community Member

                                                            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

                                                            • 28. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                              mave1969

                                                              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?

                                                              • 29. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                c.pfaffenbichler Community Member

                                                                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

                                                                • 30. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                  mave1969 Community Member

                                                                  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.

                                                                  • 31. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                    jszetho

                                                                    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

                                                                    • 32. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                      c.pfaffenbichler Community Member
                                                                      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.

                                                                      • 33. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                        KrisHunt Community Member
                                                                        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.

                                                                        • 34. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                          hellopaul4 Community Member

                                                                          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.

                                                                          • 35. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                            mave1969 Community Member

                                                                            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!?

                                                                            • 36. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                              hellopaul4 Community Member

                                                                              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.

                                                                              • 37. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                                MarioMari Community Member

                                                                                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. ;(

                                                                                • 38. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                                  chasyuen

                                                                                  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).

                                                                                  • 39. Re: Allow Free Distort like Photoshop
                                                                                    c.pfaffenbichler Community Member
                                                                                    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.

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