I have a couple of projects in mind where I want to conform some text to a curved shape. Not text that flows along a path, but text whose normally rectangular bounds are curved — some letters get taller or shorter, and their shapes follow the curved edge. (For example, the Netflix logo with its concave curve on the bottom.)
I know of some tools where you can apply this sort of transformation to any path, and it’s called something like Envelope Distort or Bezier Envelope. I don’t have (or particularly want) Adobe Illustrator, though, so I’m looking for an alternative (on Mac or iPad).
Inkscape looks promising, but:
The best I found in a web search is an article/tutorial/video that describes exactly what I want, but comes with an extension that doesn’t work. (Old code, no longer runs in Inkscape 1.0 betas. My hamfisted attempt to fix all the deprecated calls therein without fully understanding the code didn’t really work out, either.)
The built-in Path Effects has an Envelope Deformation that acts… weird. I’d expect results like those from the above article/video — e.g. if you curve only the top edge of the envelope, the distortion should modify the affected paths in only the vertical direction. Instead there’s this strange effect where it’s like you’re pulling on a rubber sheet, a vertical stretch causes a horizontal squish, and concave envelopes cause parts of the shape to flip over on itself instead of shrinking.
- top left is the shape I want to modify
- middle (blue) is the envelope I want to fit it in
- top right is a by-hand approximation of the expected effect
- bottom right is a result from the Inkscape Envelope Deformation effect
- bottom left is another Inkscape Envelope Deformation example, failing to match a well-known example of the intended effect
Anyone found a good alternative for this kind of thing?