20 Replies Latest reply: Nov 18, 2009 6:14 AM by Jacob Bugge RSS

    Distort images in Illustrator?

    salochin48 Community Member

      Mac OS 10.4.11 - Illustrator CS4.  Is it possible to distort an imported image, I have tried using the Free Transform Tool and applying the keys Alt/Apple to change the corner point to what seems like a distortion point. It gives a ghosted line that appears to distort albeit more of a 'shear' effect than individual corner distortion but on release reverts to the squared format it originally was. Without going into unnecessary client particulars I am building children's cubes and I would rather do this in Illustrator rather than Photoshop.

        • 1. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
          Doug Katz Community Member

          What does "import" mean? It's not in the Illustrator vernacular. I promise I'm not being fussy.

           

          You most certainly can distort an "imported" image. Not with the free transform tool but with either any of the warp effects or an envelope. Go ahead. Try.

          • 2. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
            salochin48 Community Member

            Sorry Doug, I should have written 'place' but general working in several programs has a habit of making me blur the terms. All of what you recommend will allow me to distort an image to a predetermined form but I need to 'manually' distort the image to suit my purpose - see attachment. I will need to distort multiple images onto multiple cubes on different planes, all a little bit different from each other, so manual tugging of points are much better then co-ordinates.

            Picture 3.gif

            • 3. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
              Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

              salochin,

               

              If I understand you in the right way, you may select the image and the chosen face of the cube (which must be placed higher in the stacking order, if not pecking order), and Object>Envelope Distort>Make with Top Object; you may move the image to the bottom by Ctrl/Cmd+X+B.

               

              What does she say to her being distorted?

              • 4. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                salochin48 Community Member

                Thanks Jacob - does what you say and so solved my cube dilemma.

                • 5. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                  Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                  You are welcome, salochin. But what does she say; or does she just do what you say?

                  • 6. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                    salochin48 Community Member

                    Eventually she will say (firstly in magazine adverts) how easy it is to have a wonderful smile - its for a dental practice specialising in implants.

                    • 7. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                      Larry G. Schneider CommunityMVP

                      You can also make the image a symbol and use the 3D to make the cube and then map the symbol to a face.

                      • 8. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                        RotoRouter Community Member

                        Jacob

                        When I try the Distort>Make with Top Object, I get an error message telling me "The selection contains objects which cannot be distorted"?!

                        In fact none of the distort options work.

                        What am I doing wrong?

                        TIA

                        Chris

                        • 9. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                          salochin48 Community Member

                          Chris, I think you have to embed the image before it will work

                          • 10. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                            Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                            So do I.

                            • 11. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                              Doug Katz Community Member

                              Exactly. You must embed.

                               

                              So forgive my fussiness, but this is what I meant about the word "import." And "place," by itself, is no better. The useful operatives are "link-place" and "embed-place" or some other construction that communicates this distinction.

                               

                              Imagine how uselessly long this thread could have become if I said, "Sure you can distort an imported image" and someone else said "No you can't distort an imported image." We'd then be trashing preferences, reinstalling Illustrator, looking for font corruption and on and on... all because of the imprecision of the words, not some corruption or defect or goblin.

                              • 12. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                                RotoRouter Community Member

                                Thanks Salochin, Jacob & Doug,

                                Embedding was the problem.

                                Cheers,

                                Chris

                                • 13. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                                  salochin48 Community Member

                                  I thought I was home and dry with this one but I have a problem with edge fidelity - see attached image. Using Object>Envelope Distort>Make with Top Object - the shape I want to bring my image into is a sheared square with rounded corners (real rounded corners with points) but the edge is showing white bits. I have tried using high resolution and low resolution images and every combination in the Envelope Options but it only reduces the problem rather than solving it.

                                  Picture 1.png

                                  • 14. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                                    Doug Katz Community Member

                                    As someone (Larry?) said above, now that I see what you're after I'd recommend the image be embedded, converted to a symbol, then mapped to a 3D-generated cube. The finished artwork you want is likely to benefit from AI's 3D advantages and suffer none of its imperfections.

                                    • 15. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                                      salochin48 Community Member

                                      Doug - The 3D cube with images symbol does not have enough fine control for my purposes. I have decided this is going to have to be a Illustrator/Photoshop effort, building cubes in Illustrator and pasting into Photoshop where the images would be positioned. The attachment (until the client passes it, still with the iStock sample images) shows the sort of control I require. Not a wasted discussion though, as I have leant a lot which I am sure to use in the future.

                                      CUBE A.jpg

                                      • 16. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                                        Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                                        salochin,

                                         

                                        I thought I was home and dry with this one but I have a problem with edge fidelity - see attached image. Using Object>Envelope Distort>Make with Top Object - the shape I want to bring my image into is a sheared square with rounded corners (real rounded corners with points) but the edge is showing white bits. I have tried using high resolution and low resolution images and every combination in the Envelope Options but it only reduces the problem rather than solving it.

                                        Picture 1.png

                                         

                                        You should be able to do it, or at least fake it, if you add a step, using the (distorted) (sharp cornered) square that is the basis for the cube and underlying the (distorted) rounded square:

                                         

                                        1) Select the image (below) and the (distorted) (sharp cornered) square above, and Object>Envelope Distort>Make With Top Object;

                                        2) Select the envelope (below) and the (distorted) rounded square above, and Object>Clipping Mask>Make.

                                         

                                        That should ensure sharp and crisp fitting.

                                        • 17. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                                          salochin48 Community Member

                                          Jacob - I may be misinterpreting your instructions by selecting the embedded image and the radiused distorted panel and Object>Envelope Distort>Make With Top Object; Then select the radiused distorted panel with the now attached image and Object>Clipping Mask>Make - which is greyed out.

                                           

                                          Or do you mean by making an additional and slightly smaller radiused distorted panel and overlaying the above Distorted Envelope image and then Object>Clipping Mask>Make  - which worked, was this what you intended.

                                          • 18. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                                            Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                                            salochin,

                                             

                                            Or do you mean by making an additional and slightly smaller radiused distorted panel and overlaying the above Distorted Envelope image and then Object>Clipping Mask>Make  - which worked, was this what you intended.

                                             

                                            It was, only I was presuming your creating the cube using distorted squares with sharp/single corners, and then adding slightly smaller rounded ones on top to create the actual faces; this would also fill the gaps between the rounded corners where the faces meet, but would obviously require your getting rid of the outer corners, which could be done using the Round Any Corner script here: http://park12.wakwak.com/~shp/lc/et/en_aics_script.html

                                             

                                            You could still add such a full square underneath each rounded square to contain a photo in step 1) and use the original rounded square as Clipping Mask in step 2).

                                             

                                            Or you could copy the rounded  square below, and Object>Path>Offset Path with a small positive value, just sufficient to hide the fringes, and use that in step 1).

                                             

                                            The former uses the full photo, but the latter is simpler to make.

                                            • 19. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                                              salochin48 Community Member

                                              Thanks Jacob - the sharp cornered panel masked with the radiused panel is the way I will go.

                                              • 20. Re: Distort images in Illustrator?
                                                Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                                                You are welcome, salochin.