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I have a rectangular image which I'd like to distort so that it fits into a shape. I can almost do it using "Distort", but I need to move more than just the corners, which is all I can seem to do using distort. The midpoints just scale along that direction.

This is approximatly what I want to achieve: What I want

There'd probably be more distortion, but I painted this by hand... I can use either Photoshop or Illustrator, if either one is more suited.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is easily achieved in Illustrator using Envelope Distort:

  1. Draw your pattern/shape/whatever to be warped

    Pattern to warp

  2. Draw the shape to guide the warping

    Guide shape

  3. Select both object (with guide shape on top) and use ToolsEnvelope DistortMake With Top Object (keyboard shortcut Alt + Ctrl + C)

    Warped!

The default options may make the edges too smooth for your taste. Check ObjectEnvelope DistortEnvelope Options. Higher fidelity = sharper corners.

You can do a lot o' cool stuff with Envelope Distort... GD Flag

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No question about it. The PS distort would be a nightmare for this. (You could get there using Vanishing Point, I think, but it would be tricky, not to mention tedious.) –  Alan Gilbertson Jul 9 '11 at 22:41
    
Brilliant, thank you! –  carlpett Jul 10 '11 at 15:33
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