I'm trying to recreate the following image from Yoshua Bengio's slides: Manifold interpretation of denoising autoencoders

So far, I've made the flat rectangle object, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to "distort it" in Inkscape. The path tool lets me do this for individual paths drawn with the pen tool, but I can't figure out how to do it for the entire object. Flat Rectangle

  • 2
    looking at the original image, it seems it was done manually (i.e. it's a 2D drawing with no 3D transformations, and the objects were deformed individually)
    – Luciano
    Mar 29, 2016 at 9:37
  • Yes, I am aware. I wanted to make a cleaner version of it.
    – peteykun
    Mar 29, 2016 at 18:20
  • I've no time now to write a decent answer, but you can combine your objects in a path and add an effect: Envelope deformation. It should help. Mar 30, 2016 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


You can use the Envelope deformation effect, but you need to convert to path each object, because the Envelope deformation tools works only on paths or group of paths.

In the following example I've converted to path rectangles, circles and text just by grouping all the objects and using Path...Object to path. With the group selected, you need to show the Path effects dialog (Path...Path effects or Ctrl+Shift+7):

the dialog

Clicking the "+" button, you can add the Envelope deformation effect:

add path effect

Now you need to perform some manual work. The effect allows to apply a deformation to each side of your object.

You can start with the top side, by clicking the related Edit on-canvas icon:

edit on-canvas

Dragging the nodes you can see immediately the deformation, e.g.:


And so on:

similar but not perfect

With a little tweaking you can achieve a result similar to the desired one.

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