Bezier envelope warp tools (for text)

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.

Illustrated:

  • 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?

Can you get your hands on an older version of inkscape? Might be able to use the older version with the extension possibly.

Interesting, but not surprising. I tried the T and it came out like yours (on the right) but if I turned off the left and right bends, it was different, but the vertical was deformed.

The netflix one came out as I would expect (2nd down) but when I turned off left and right bends, it deformed the N and X.

image

I don’t know if this is what you are looking for but here is another way to distort text in Inkscape without a plugin.

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You might post this on the Affinity Designer support forum. I can do some of this in ADmon my iPad but I’ve not tried something multi warped.

This is my new word of the week…reminds me of the ex… :laughing:

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I think I might need to use it as well. Although there is no ex…

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I think a lot of us here are multiwarped. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Where’s @evansd2? I bet he’ll know if Inscape can multiwarp. :slight_smile:

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I haven’t ever tried it, but I doubt warping is how Netflix did it, that looks bespoke to me.

I mean on the surface of it, making a warped T should be pretty easy.

This took all of 3 minutes. If you need to do it a lot then yeah, I can see how you’d want some easier way to warp it, but as a one off, this was as simple as it gets using lines and stroke to path and whatnot.

You know what does have good mesh shearing? Gimp and photoshop. I might rasterize this text at huge resolution (like 600 dpi or more) and then go warp it in one of those, then get it back into Inkscape and trace it.

PS:

I also got bezier envelope to work just fine on inkscape 92x. It’s different from the live path effect… not perfect, but different.

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If you have a raster you can use IWarp in Gimp to get it as weird as you wish and then trace in Inkscape as you would care to do.

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