Recently I have been trying to warp an image using Adobe Illustrator CC2017, but I'm experiencing some problems. Using the distort command (cmd alt c) I can't perform the distortion. Illustrator says it can´t perform the function on embedded images.

An additional issue is that we use many spot colors in our Photoshop file and when we embed the image in Illustrator,then warp or distort it to a certain object, the spot colors get merged to a CMYK file and that totally ruins my work of color separation for screen-printing.

Is there a way to warp or distort embedded images, or a workaround for the automatic merge of spot colors?

mug design
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  • If your file is made in Photoshop why don't you warp it there? Apr 13, 2017 at 12:58
  • Thanks ! The thing is that i'm not warping with normal warp tool. I'm destroying image to a specific object (mold). I tried to do the same in photoshop but can´t find it. Apr 13, 2017 at 13:04
  • Photoshop and Illustrator have the same algorithms for distortion so what you can do in Il you should be able to do in PS. Also Photoshop have Puppet tool that can be used for more precise transformation. They are all available in the Edit menu. Apr 13, 2017 at 13:11
  • Maybe I'm missing something here but aren't you going to lose the spot colors however you do this (i.e. by exporting to an image)?
    – Cai
    Apr 13, 2017 at 13:28
  • ZCZERO KEY : I was searching for a faster way to do it and the distort to an object in Ai is really cool and fast too. But only embedded files won't do. I will try to find that in PS. Thanks Apr 13, 2017 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


for a quick fix separate your spot image into 4 separate greyscale.psd images then place in illustrator and apply the spot colour to each grayscale image. Then embed them and warp to your top object.

  • 1
    Hello Ian. Welcome to GDSE and thank you for your answer. Could you perhaps substantiate your answer a bit, illustrate why this works, maybe add some screenshots as an example? Thanks for your time and effort! Your contributions make this site work.
    – PieBie
    Apr 19, 2017 at 7:31
  • If Illustrator is converting the spot versions to CMYK, it will probably do the same to warped grayscale images. You would just need to warp them before applying spot colors, then be sure convert them back to true grayscale afterward so the spot colors could be applied.
    – 13ruce
    Jan 18, 2019 at 20:39

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