39 Replies Latest reply on Aug 21, 2009 2:37 PM by Skullmaker

    Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points

    saysf1 Level 1

      Hello,

      Here is what I've done with my object:

       

      Illustrator CS3

      Object

      Envelope Distort

      Make with Mesh (1 row, 1 column)

       

      Now what I would like to do is convert the 4 points (the corners of the bounding box) from "curve points" (which contain bezier curve points) to "corner points" (which do not contain bezier curve points). I have tried using the "convert anchor point tool", and tried every other option possible, but I can't get rid of the bezier curves! This is very frustrating! Help!

       

      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Meshes are always Béziers. That's how they are supposed to work. in your case I don't see the problem - you could jsut as wel luse a simple box and then use Object --> Envelope --> Create with Top Object.

           

          Mylenium

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
            saysf1 Level 1

            Thanks Mylenium, for your support. However, I still have a problem.... If I try to do a "Create with top object", the lines of my object become "curved". I've attached a "before" and "after" to show you what I mean. I would like the lines of my original object to maintain their "straightness".

             

            • 3. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
              Steve Fairbairn Level 5

              I've had this same problem with curved lines too.

              Is there any way to somehow manage the corners of a warp frame to get the same sort of straight line behaviour as Transform/Distort in Photoshop?

              Often one has to distort artwork to fit onto perspective cubes and things that have straight edges. Envelope distort can be very tricky to deal with when the corners of the warp frame have active beziers. I often have to resort to Photoshop for making dummies of 3D packaging because Illy seems to make things unnecessarily difficult.

              • 4. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                Either use the Free Distort tool or if you want to keep it ive use the Effect>distort and Transform>Free Distort.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                  saysf1 Level 1

                  Thanks Wade...The Free Distort tool and the Transform Free Distort feature are nice, but they are not very precise. You have to rely on "eyeballing" to get something close.

                   

                  Is there a tool in illustrator, which works just like the photoshop transform tool?

                   

                  Do you suppose that it would be difficult for the programmers to allow a "curve mesh point" to be converted to a "corner mesh point" ??

                  • 6. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                    Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                    Try Object>Transform see if you have what you wan there. Or 

                    Effect>Distort and Transform>Transform

                    • 7. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                      saysf1 Level 1

                      Wade, thank again. But those don't accomplish my objective either.

                       

                      If Effect>Distort>Free Distort had a larger window; and if I could see objects which are beneath the object which I am distorting (like a template); and if I could "snap" the corners to points...then that would work. But those are a lot of "if's" : )

                      • 8. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                        [scott] Level 6

                        The Convert Anchor Point Tool

                         

                        convert.gif

                         

                        It works on mesh points the same way it works on other points except with internal mesh points you can pull out four handles rather than two. Select the Convert Anchor Point Tool, click the mesh point and drag. You then have handles you can move.

                        • 9. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                          saysf1 Level 1

                          Scott, thanks. Actually, I want to get rid of the "handles". Every time I click on a corner of the envelope and try to drag it, it turns into a "curve" point with bezier handles. The bezier handles won't go away.

                          • 10. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                            [scott] Level 6

                            Ahh.. okay, you really can't.

                             

                            Easiest way to handle moving a point when that happens is to use the Direct Selection Tool or the Lasso Tool and drag to select the point (you might need to switch to View > Outline Mode in order to click-drag to make a point selection).

                            • 11. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                              saysf1 Level 1

                              Thanks...but still doesn't get rid of the beziers, though.

                              • 12. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                [scott] Level 6

                                You can't get rid of bezier handles on mesh points. You simply can't.

                                • 13. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                  Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                  But you can fake it by DirectSelecting each Anchor Point and then drag each handle into the it, possibly holding down Shift.

                                  • 14. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                    saysf1 Level 1

                                    Thanks Jacob...but I just tried that, and it doesn't work. It wildly distorts the object with curved lines.

                                    • 15. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                      Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                      saysf1 wrote:

                                       

                                      Thanks Jacob...but I just tried that, and it doesn't work. It wildly distorts the object with curved lines.

                                       

                                      I also tried it, following the rule of playing it before saying it.

                                       

                                      You have to hit the actual Anchor Point precisely when letting go; otherwise you do get wild distortions.

                                       

                                      Hopefully, it is possible to obtain the same accuracy in CS3 as in my good old 10.

                                      • 16. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                        saysf1 Level 1

                                        Thanks, Jacob...but I did select the Anchor Point precisely as you mentioned. It is just that even though I have moved the bezier handles into the "corner" anchor points, they still create an object with curved lines...I need straight, undistorted lines.

                                        • 17. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                          Steve Fairbairn Level 5

                                          Free Distort is totally spastic because, as you say, (A) the window is far too small and (B) you can´t see underlying objects. The old Linotype warp frames worked excellently in this respect, so I can't see why Adobe can't address the problem. An update is long overdue.

                                          • 18. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                            Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                            says,

                                             

                                            saysf1 wrote:

                                             

                                            Thanks, Jacob...but I did select the Anchor Point precisely as you mentioned. It is just that even though I have moved the bezier handles into the "corner" anchor points, they still create an object with curved lines...I need straight, undistorted lines.

                                             

                                            For straight lines you have to move the handles into the other Anchor Points, too. Otherwise they determine the curved shape, just as you get a curved two point path if you ClickDrag either Anchor Point (in a direction differing from the straight line between them) and just Click the other one.

                                            • 19. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                              saysf1 Level 1

                                              Thanks for trying to help Jacob...but I moved all of the bezier handles into all of the corner anchor points. It produces a strangely shaped warped image and the lines are curved. I need the lines to maintain their straightness. It appears that there is no direct solution...just work-arounds, such as doing it in photoshop.

                                              • 20. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                saysf1 wrote:

                                                 

                                                Thanks for trying to help Jacob...but I moved all of the bezier handles into all of the corner anchor points. It produces a strangely shaped warped image and the lines are curved. I need the lines to maintain their straightness. It appears that there is no direct solution...just work-arounds, such as doing it in photoshop.

                                                 

                                                Now, this is really strange. I just tried my suggestion on the file linked to in the OP, and it was quite easy to straighten out the curved parts by handle retracting. When I opened the document, there was no mesh, possibly owing to my still having being with 10, but it worked even after my Object>Creating Gradient Mesh; there is a Mesh Point to be moved in place to the upper left.

                                                 

                                                Maybe this is the way to go: to create the mesh as an independent step after the envelope distort part. When I do that, after straightening the lines, everything stays straight.

                                                • 21. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                  Steve Fairbairn Level 5

                                                  I tried retracting all the corner handles on a 1-row, 1 column mesh frame but there doesnt seem to be any way of doing it accurately, not even with smart guides turned on. And not with guides snapped to the corners of the frame either. The handles just won't go accurately all the way to the corners Using the Convert Anchor Point tool on the corners doesn't work for that sort of anchor points.

                                                  This all results in strange curves when the corners are dragged - sometimes not very noticeable but they're there all the same. Must be a way around this but I'll be darned if I can find it.

                                                  • 22. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                    saysf1 Level 1

                                                    Wade had suggested earlier using the Free Distort tool. It isn't that accurate, but at least I can get close to what I'm after. I draw a box around my shape and group the box and shape together; then I use the Free Distort tool and drag the bounding box corners to fit the shape that I'm after. It is just eyeballing, so it's not a precise solution. (using the free distort tool, you'll need to start dragging an anchor point of the bounding box, then as you are dragging hold down the command key (mac) in order to distort the box)

                                                    • 23. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                      Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                      Steve and saysf1,

                                                       

                                                      Have you tried doing it in an older version like 10, where I can easily do it? Old tools should not be better, but who knows?

                                                      • 24. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                        saysf1 Level 1

                                                        I tried it in 10.0.3, and it doesn't work for me in there either.

                                                        • 25. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                          JETalmage Level 6
                                                          Now what I would like to do is convert the 4 points (the corners of the bounding box) from "curve points" (which contain bezier curve points) to "corner points" (which do not contain bezier curve points). I have tried using the "convert anchor point tool", and tried every other option possible, but I can't get rid of the bezier curves! This is very frustrating! Help!

                                                           

                                                          First, some terminology: All paths in Illustrator are Bezier curves. Even straight paths with all curve handles retracted are still Bezier curves.

                                                          A Corner Point can have its curve handle either extended or retraced,  just as a Smooth Point can. Whether the handles are extended or retracted is not what determines whether a given AnchorPoint is a Corner Point or a Smooth Point; it's whether the two handles are independent of each other in terms of angle. Smooth Point handles are always separated by 108 degrees (they together form a straight line, so if you move one you necessarily move the other (unless it is retracted).

                                                           

                                                          What you are struggling with is the debilitating nature of Illustrator's Envelopes (including Mesh Envelopes), which I have been trying to explain here in this forum since they first appeared. The problem is that when an Envelope is first created or applied, its anchorPoint handles are extended. So, for example, you:

                                                           

                                                          1. Select a raster image.

                                                          2. Apply a 1-cell Envelope to it (one Row; one Column).

                                                           

                                                          The Envelope initially appears with its anchorPoint handles all extended (even though the sides are straight, and even though the anchorPoints are Corner Points). Therefore, the image is not yet distorted, but the handles are already extended.

                                                           

                                                          You can retract the handles into their points either by tediously trying to drag and snap them back into their points, or by directSelecting an anchorPoint and scaling it to zero. But doing so distorts the content.

                                                           

                                                          Thus, Illustrator doesn't let you have undistorted content in a simple rectangular Envelope with retracted handles--arguably the most common need.

                                                           

                                                          This is one of many cases in which Illustrator feigns "sophistication" by providing an unnecssary plethora of similar-function tools, none of which measure up to what other programs have been doing for many years prior.

                                                           

                                                          Other programs give you a choice. This is why I still consider FreeHand's Envelope implementation fundamentally superior to Illustrator's. In FreeHand, if you draw an ordinary rectangle, with all its anchorPoint handles retracted, and then apply that path to something else as an envelope...that's what you get: a rectangular envelope with all its handles retracted. You can then perform the very same kind of distortion you are aluding to as in Photoshop. On the other hand, in FreeHand, you can pre-extend the handles of the path you are going to use as an Envelope, apply it, and the content is still undistorted when the Envelope is initially applied. So FreeHand's simple interface for Envelopes provides you your choice as to whether the initial undistorted content is wrapped in retracted handles or extended ones.

                                                           

                                                          Illustrator's FreeDistort Tool and FreeDistort Effect also fail to satisfy in this because, although they leave the "envelope's" handles retracted, they snap back to the contents' bounding box after the first anchorPoint move--usually foiling attempts at the kind of straightforward, commonly-needed quadrilateral distortion you describe, and turning it into a tedious process of trial-and-error.

                                                           

                                                          Illustrator's pre-set Envelopes (Make With Warp) also fail to provide this kind of frequently-needed Envelope.

                                                           

                                                          The closest you can come to the desired result is to:

                                                           

                                                          1. Draw a rectangle.

                                                          2. Move its four anchorPoints into desired distortion shape.

                                                          3. Add the target content to the selection and use EnvelopeDistort>MakeWithTopObject.

                                                           

                                                          Again, this workaround can give you the desired result--so long as you don't want to edit it thereafter. Why? Because again Illustrator insists on extending the handles of the path when first applying it as an Envelope.

                                                           

                                                          JET

                                                          • 26. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                            Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                            108 degrees > 180 degrees, proofreading.

                                                            • 27. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                              Steve Fairbairn Level 5

                                                              Yep, Envelope Distort>Make With Top Object seems to work pretty well as long as you dont want to retrace your steps afterwards.

                                                              At least you get rid of unwanted curves. Probably best to do it on a copy so that you don't permanently mess up your original drawing.

                                                              • 28. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                saysf1 Level 1

                                                                Thanks Steve and JET for your replies. However the method that you suggest still results in a final shape that has curved lines. I need straight lines only. The third post of this thread, I attached a document showing the results of the "Make with Top Object" technique...you will see that the resultant lines are curved...my desire is that they would maintain their "straightness".

                                                                • 29. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                  Steve Fairbairn Level 5

                                                                  Here's a shot of a top object warp.

                                                                  Two squares with a distorted top object. Original is on the right

                                                                  Seems to work fine, no visible curves.

                                                                   

                                                                  TopObject1.jpg

                                                                  • 30. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                    saysf1 Level 1

                                                                    Steve thanks. But if you try it with any angled lines (not 90 degree square boxes), you will see what I mean...some of the lines become curved.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                      Steve Fairbairn Level 5

                                                                      See what you mean.

                                                                      As long as you're dealing with simple rectangles presumably you can expand the warp and then doctor the corners of the rectangles with the Convert Anchor Point tool. It's not a very good solution though. Photoshop does it better.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                        Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                        That is why I suggest your applying the mesh after straightening out, says.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                          saysf1 Level 1

                                                                          I'm not really following this...

                                                                          • 34. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                            Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                            saysf1 wrote:

                                                                             

                                                                            I'm not really following this...

                                                                            I am referring to my observations and suggestions in post #20, especially the last paragraph:

                                                                             

                                                                            Maybe this is the way to go: to create the mesh as an independent step after the envelope distort part. When I do that, after straightening the lines, everything stays straight.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                              saysf1 Level 1

                                                                              Jacob, thanks. I'm still not following.

                                                                              • 36. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                                Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                                say,

                                                                                 

                                                                                This is what I see when I:

                                                                                 

                                                                                Import/start (no mesh)

                                                                                Straighten the shape (still no mesh

                                                                                Create Mesh:

                                                                                 

                                                                                • 37. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                                  Skullmaker Level 3

                                                                                  Hello Saysf1,

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I think the step you are missing is "Expand".

                                                                                   

                                                                                  This is what I did. I started with a graphic and used the Envelope Distortion:

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Saysf1-01.jpg

                                                                                   

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Then I used the "Expand" feature:

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Saysf1-02.jpg

                                                                                   

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Then I used the "Convert Anchor Point Tool" to click on each anchor point to delete the curves

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Saysf1-03.jpg

                                                                                  Saysf1-04.jpg

                                                                                  Saysf1-05.jpg

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I hope this helps!

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                                    saysf1 Level 1

                                                                                    Skullmaker, thanks for you effort. I'm kind of lost now with all the feedback...my mind is spinning in circles and turning to mush! lol

                                                                                    In your first step, you said that you used "Envelope Distortion"....which feature did you use? Make with Mesh?

                                                                                    I think I need to step away from this issue for a while...maybe for a couple of years! lol

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Envelope Mesh Curve Points to Corner Points
                                                                                      saysf1 Level 1

                                                                                      My brain is in "shut-down" mode. Thanks for all of your effort, but I'm not getting it. I think I'll think about this again sometime...maybe next year! lol

                                                                                      Thanks again.