How to Create Transform Distort Effects and Warp an Object in Adobe Illustrator

Although Adobe Illustrator is a well-known application in the field of graphic design, you do not need to be a professional to use this software.

This program has a wide variety of tools, some of them allow you to apply raster effects to objects , you can make an object look metallic, among others. Here you will learn how to use some of the many tools that Adobe Illustrator has. You will see step by step how to create distortion, transformation and deformation effects of objects. If you don’t have this application yet, you can download it here with a free trial period from the official internet site.

How to create Distortion effects?

This effect is very useful when creating shadows . By distorting it, it can be tilted on its own horizontal or vertical axis, or on another angle you have chosen relative to one of the objects. You can even choose to distort one object or several at once. There are at least two ways to create this distortion effect, and you’ll learn about them here.

Distort objects with the Distort tool

First you must select the object (s) and then the “Distortion” tool . If what you want is to distort the object in relation to its center, you just have to drag it in any direction.

If you want to distort it based on another reference point, press anywhere on the artboard to move the reference point. Then move the pointer away from the reference point and drag the object until it takes the slope you want.

To distort the object about its own vertical axis you just have to drag it anywhere in the window up or down. Press the letter “Shift” to restore the original width of the object.

And to distort the object about its horizontal axis, you must also drag it to the right or left and to reset it, press “Shift”.

Distort objects (shear) with the Distort command

Start by selecting the object. To distort it using its same center point, select “Object”, “Transform” and “Distort.”

If you want to distort the object with another reference point, select the option “Distortion” and press “Alt” and then click on the place you want to choose as the reference point.

In the “Distortion” window , enter an angle from -359 to 359. This will mark the tilt of the object in a clockwise direction.

Then select the axis on which the object is to be tilted. If the object has a pattern fill, select “Pattern” to move the object. And if you don’t want the object to move but only the motif, deselect “Objects”. It would only be left to click on “OK” or “Copy” depending on what you want to do.

How to create Distortion effects with the transform tool?

For this you must select the objects and then go to the “Transform” panel . Once there, enter a figure in the “Distortion” section . If you want to change the reference point earlier, just press the white square button on the reference point indicator.

Distort objects with the Free Transform tool

Once again, choose the object (s) you are going to work with. Then select the “Free Transform” tool. Then, drag a corner handle of the bounding box. You can hold down the “Ctrl” key until you get the distortion level you want. Or you can hold down the “Shift + Alt + Ctrl” keys to distort the object in perspective.

How to distort an object with the Warp tool?

This free position warp tool allows parts of the object to be distorted to give it a more natural look. Distortions can be rotated, added, and moved to make warping work easier.

Start by selecting the illustration. Then click on the “Free Position Warp” tool . By default, the application shows you the best positioned areas to deform, but if you prefer to do it manually, you can deactivate that option by going to “Edition”, “Preferences”, “General” and then deselect the option “Activate default values ​​according to the content”.

Then select a point you want to work on and drag it in any direction. To warp, select a point and position the cursor near the location. When a dotted circle appears, drag it until you get the result you want.

If you want to learn how to Draw Freehand with the pencil and brush tool in Adobe Illustrator you can read this article.


by Abdullah Sam
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