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One of the easiest ways to apply distortion effect to your artwork inside of Illustrator is using the live effect called Warp. Now warp is a very straightforward effect. I'll show you how it works. There are many different settings but most importantly, in order to get the most out of this effect, you will need to pay attention to have you build your artwork. So let me give you an example. I'm working in a file here called warp.ai. I'm going to click on this particular text object right here. Next, I'll go to the Effect menu and I'll choose Warp. You will see that 15 different options appear over here. It really doesn't make a difference which one of these you choose.
I am actually going to choose its Arc one and you will understand why in a moment. The Warp Options dialog box appears. With the Preview button, we can see basically what it looks like, but most importantly, where it says Style over here, I have a pop-up menu that gives me those same 15 options. So no matter which one I choose, I'm always being able to switch them up when I get here into this dialog box. I find it a little bit easier to choose them from here anyway because they are broken up into sections. Notice here you have four different sections based on the type of warp they actually apply. You'll notice in the left side here, there are these icons that really help you identify the type of distortion that's going to be applied with each of these effects.
For now, I'll just choose the Arc option right over here. You have the option to apply either Horizontal or Vertical distortions. You will also notice there is a slider here that allows you to specify how much of the distortion you want to apply. Now in reality, these Warp Options, they will be called canned effects. They are preset. You really can't go beyond the settings that appear inside of the dialog box here. If you want to have some kind of specific distortions, we'll see later there is another feature inside of Illustrator called Envelops. But for here, I can go ahead and choose these particular sliders here. Let me go back to Horizontal, to a Bend of around 30%. Then you can also choose for different distortions in that particular warp, for example Horizontal.
That just weights it more to one side. Notice over here, it kind of squeeze out this way. So I can choose to distort them horizontally and vertically as well. So you can also achieve some interesting effects by using these particular sliders that are here. I'm just going to reset these back to 0 and I'll click OK to apply it. Now remember one of the most important things about anything that appears as a live effect inside of Illustrator is the fact that they can be captured and saved as a graphic style. Maybe that you can basically apply those easily to multiple objects inside of Illustrator. But in this case, I applied that warp just to a simple text object.
Now let's take a look at something else. I actually have this badge here. If I go ahead and I highlight this whole thing right here, you can see it's made up of many different elements, but I have not grouped these elements. It remains in an ungrouped state. Now as we know when we apply a live effect to objects, the live effect gets applied to each object individually, unless I'm dealing with a group. In that case, my target becomes the group and Illustrator applies the effect that I'm trying to apply to the group and not to the objects inside of the group. Now because they don't have a group here, if I were to apply any kind of a warp effect right now, they would all get applied to the individual objects that are in my selection. So we'll see exactly how that works.
I am going to go over here, back to the Effect menu. I'm going to choose Warp and then I'll choose again just the Arc one. I always choose the first one just because I don't have to scroll down the rest of the list. Click on the Preview button and notice how the distortion is actually applied to each object individually. If I go ahead and I choose another one, for example, the Flag one, you can see that each of the objects are getting this distortion effect that being applied to it. If I just want this a little bit more dramatic here, you can really see how the text here is being distorted on its own, this text is being distorted on its own, the shapes certainly are being distorted on its own, as overall this entire shape as well.
So I'm not getting the effect that I'm really looking for. So I'm going to click on the Cancel button. When I'm working with multiple objects and I want to treat them as if they were one object, I need to group them together. So now I'll go to the Object menu and I'll choose Group. Now as a group, I can choose again the Effect and I'll go ahead and I'll choose Warp. Now you will notice that when I apply the warp setting, it does apply to the entire group as a whole, as if the entire group was one object. Let's go back to that Flag one, for example. Let's slide that back, so it's not that dramatic but let's say something like this. Click OK and now I have applied the distortion to this. Now remember, any time I apply a warp to any object inside of Illustrator, I'm applying it as a live effect. That means that I can always click on the object, in this case, the group, and open up my Appearance panel. I can see that warp effect and if I don't like it, I can either click on it to edit it, or I can simply drag it to the trash can to remove that particular effect.
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