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Live Warping in Adobe Illustrator 10

Tips for getting started with Illustrator's new Envelope function By DMN Staff Writer
[Editor's note: Here's another in our series on Adobe Illustrator 10 from the folks who ought to know it best--Adobe themselves. Last time we ran a tutorial from Adobe, the response was extremely positive, so we're going to go ahead and continue with several more over the next few weeks. Also, by popular request, we now have a printer-friendly PDF version of this tutorial for your use, which you can download here. Remember, if you like (or dislike) what you see, be sure to drop me a line. --Dave Nagel]

Stretch your creativity with the new enveloping feature in Adobe Illustrator 10. You can distort text or artwork at will, and then edit the envelope easily if you want to fine-tune the effect or revise the contents. Follow along to learn how to create an envelope, how to apply it to an object, and how to manipulate the shape of the envelope or edit the object inside.




1. Create an envelope. Draw a path to use as an envelope. You can use any Illustrator path as an envelope to reshape graphics, text, or placed bitmap images. For our example, we used a fish shape as our envelope.



2. Use the envelope to reshape another object. Place the envelope path on top of the object you want to distort. With the selection tool, Shift-click to select the envelope and the other object, and choose Objects> Envelope Distort > Make with Top Object.



Enveloping is a quick way to create logotypes, develop complex designs, or simulate 3D effects such as labels on bottles and cans. In the next steps, we'll show you another approach to enveloping to make type match the shape of an object on an underlying layer.

3. Use a preset warp shape as an envelope. Select the object you want to distort, and choose Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Warp. Then select a warp shape from the Style menu in the Warp Options dialog box.



When you select the Preview option, you can use the Bend or Distortion sliders interactively to get precisely the effect you want. We applied the Arc style with a 20% horizontal bend.


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