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How to Use the Warp Tool in Illustrator

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4 min read

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Warp Tool in Illustrator. The Warp Tool is great for distorting your shapes to fit a particular shape or for creating the illusion of motion and fluidity. 

Do you prefer video tutorials? Then check out this new video from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You'll Learn in This Warp Tool Illustrator Tutorial

In this tutorial, I'll teach you the basics of the Adobe Illustrator Warp Tool. Topics we cover will include:

  • How to warp objects in Illustrator
  • How to warp an image in Illustrator
  • How to warp text in Illustrator

You can also check out this tutorial to learn more about this useful tool:

How to Warp in Illustrator

Step 1

Now let's learn how to warp objects in Illustrator! Select the object that you want to make changes to using the Selection Tool (V). Then go to Effect > Warp to see a selection of warp options to choose from.

select effect and then warpselect effect and then warpselect effect and then warp

Step 2

Once you've chosen a warp style, you can then customise it to your liking using the warp options available. Make sure to select the Preview option so that you can see the changes you make in real time.

warp optionswarp optionswarp options

Step 3

For a more freestyle effect, you'll want to use the Warp Tool (Shift-R) using the mouse or tablet. The warp Illustrator tool is located in a popup menu in the left toolbar.

warp toolwarp toolwarp tool

Step 4

When using the Warp Tool in Illustrator, simply click and drag across your shape in the direction you want it to move.

use warp tooluse warp tooluse warp tool

Step 5

These techniques can also be applied to imported images and photos. Let's learn how to warp an image in Illustrator. Simply select the shape(s) that you want to warp and use a tool like the Warp Tool to modify it.

warp imagewarp imagewarp image

Step 6

For photographic images or imported files like JPEGs, you will need to first convert the image into vectors. This can be done by selecting the image and then using Image Trace (High Fidelity Photo).

image traceimage traceimage trace

Step 7

Once you've done that, you can use the Free Transform Tool (E) to distort the perspective, as well as using the other warp tools mentioned.

free transform toolfree transform toolfree transform tool

Step 8

Use the same technique for text as well! In order to warp text, you will need to first convert it into vector shapes. This can be done by going to Object > Expand.

object expandobject expandobject expand

Step 9

Once the text has been converted, use the Warp Tool to modify it to your liking.

warp toolwarp toolwarp tool

Awesome! You're Finished!

Congratulations! And that's how you can use the Adobe Illustrator Warp Tool. I hope you found this tutorial helpful and that you've learned some new tips and tricks that you can use for your own projects. See you next time!

warp toolwarp toolwarp tool

Top 5 Items From Envato Elements

The Warp Tool works best when working on vector images and illustrations. Practise the techniques on other images by heading to Envato Elements, where you can download many different illustrations and designs. Here are five of my favourites.

Pumpkin Skull With Slime: Illustration (AIEPS, JPGPNG)

Pumpkin Skull With Slime - IllustrationPumpkin Skull With Slime - IllustrationPumpkin Skull With Slime - Illustration

Here's the featured graphic that we used for this tutorial. This spooky illustration is the perfect file for you to edit using the Warp Tool. This file contains several different file formats including EPS, AI, JPEG, and PNG. The pumpkin skull with a slime illustration is perfect for logos, branding, posters, and more.

Honey: Editable Text Effect, Font Style (AI, EPS)

Honey - Editable Text Effect, Font StyleHoney - Editable Text Effect, Font StyleHoney - Editable Text Effect, Font Style

If you're looking for something more text-based, here's a gooey text effect that you can use. Just type in the words, and the honey effect will be applied. This text effect is easy to customise, including resizing, colours, and rotation.

Stinky Slime: Dripping Halloween Font (OTF, TTF)

Stinky Slime - Dripping Halloween FontStinky Slime - Dripping Halloween FontStinky Slime - Dripping Halloween Font

If you're looking for a font instead, here's a slimy one that you can use. This font features both uppercase and lowercase characters and is great for logotypes, book covers, posters, packaging, and more.

Pastel Liquids (AI, EPS, JPG)

Pastel LiquidsPastel LiquidsPastel Liquids

This package is great for the warp effect and includes a seamless pattern design that you can easily edit and use for your packaging, branding, and graphic design projects.

Warped Liquid Backgrounds (JPG)

Warped - Liquid BackgroundsWarped - Liquid BackgroundsWarped - Liquid Backgrounds

For more warped backgrounds, why not try this package, which contains 15 high-quality liquid backgrounds? Each background is completely unique and is 6000 x 4000. 

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial on how to use the Warp Tool in Illustrator. If you'd like to learn more cool Illustrator or Photoshop skills, we've got more tutorials for you:

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