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? May 14, 2014 at 14:15
  • The top object shape? No, it's just a single path.
    – Jay
    May 14, 2014 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


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, 2014 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, 2014 at 4:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.