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I have square layer, containing a circular image surrounded by white, and I need to envelope distort just the circle into a polygon shape. When I do Envelope Distort > Make with Top Object, however, the whole square shape of the image -- including the white "corners" -- is included in the distort.

Before and after (actual result):

Before and after (actual result)

How can I specify that I only want a circular portion of an image layer to be distorted to the edges of the polygon?

Before and after (desired result):

Before and after (desired result)

  • is your shape a compound shape? can you post a screen-shot of your layers? – Evan Oswald May 14 '14 at 14:15
  • The top object shape? No, it's just a single path. – Jay May 14 '14 at 14:19
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It always distorts the (square) bounding box, rather than the underlying shape (circle).

For precision envelope distorts of non-rectangular shapes - which are almost always a lot more complex in reality than it seems they "should" be when you imagine them - it's usually best to use a mesh then sculpt them into shape by hand by pulling parts of the mesh around:

enter image description here

Tip for symmetrical editing of mesh corners: grab opposite corners all at once, hit s to switch to the Scale tool, hold shift and drag to pull or push them all the same distance from the centre.

  • Thanks. I'm still incredulous that tediously pushing pixels around till you get close to the shape you want is the only way this can be done; it seems like it ought to be trivial for a computer to do programmatically, and such a common task that someone ought to have written the software to do it. But oh well. – Jay May 14 '14 at 16:53
  • @Jay its only trivial if thats how the gui was implemented. There is millions of trivial things that become nontrivial because of Adobe policy. – joojaa May 15 '14 at 4:43

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