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Envelope Distortions

Among the most powerful features of Illustrator is envelope distortions. This capability is somewhat of a cross between transformations and effects, with a family history that probably includes the Gradient Mesh tool. Like transformations, an object's shape changes. Like effects, the change can be modified or removed. In the manner of gradient meshes, it can be accomplished using mesh lines.

Illustrator offers predefined shapes (called warps) that you can use to bend an object, or you can create extremely precise distortions using a mesh or another path. (The 15 preset warps are also available in the Effects menu.) The submenu Object, Envelope Distort contains the seven commands shown in Figure 28.28.


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