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How can I distort a shape so that it looks like it's drawn on the side of a cylinder? I.e. vertical lines should stay the same (just moving up or down depending on the location), and horizontal lines should become ellipse arcs.

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@Dominic Thanks, but sketchup is not "free like Inkscape". If you're talking about 3D editors, Blender is "free like Inkscape" - available for Linux, open-source, and doesn't require filling some kind of registration form before downloading. Also, I would need an isometric/dimetric projection, and the result should be a 2D vector shape. –  aditsu Sep 11 '13 at 1:40
    
In that case I'd say it completely depends on the shape, so maybe you should provide an example. –  Mr E. Upvoter Sep 11 '13 at 1:42
    
@Dominic Right now the shape I need is a triangle, like the one on a play button. –  aditsu Sep 11 '13 at 1:45
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I found a solution at http://screencasters.heathenx.org/episode-088/ , using the Bezier Envelope extension by Gerrit Karius. I made an envelope with some beziers that approximate ellipse arcs, intersected with a rectangle, and after some fiddling, I managed to fit the shape to it using the extension.

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Has this solution worked for you? If so, please mark this as the accepted answer. –  Bart Arondson Nov 10 '13 at 22:22
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