Stretching a Photo in Illustrator

dekePod Episode 004: Photoshop, Photoshop, Photoshop. Don't you sometimes get sick of Photoshop? Me neither, but still, it's time for a change. In this episode, we stop obsessing about Photoshop (uh, kinda) and start obsessing about Illustrator. Why Illustrator? Well, first, the program rocks. Second, it provides something Photoshop doesn't: An expertly rendered envelope-style distortion function that lets you--get this--transform a horizontal photograph into a vertical one without harming the foreground image. Here's the official marketing description:

Have you ever wanted to stretch a photo's background but leave the foreground unchanged? Or turn a horizontal photo into a vertical one without making a mess of it? You can't do it in Photoshop CS3, but you can in its companion program, Adobe Illustrator. Deke shows you how in a way that'll make you so happy, you'll think you're on drugs. And wait till you see the new look! Deke is dreamy.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the new look. In this latest dekePod, I could pass for a real human being. (Just effects, of course. I'm still a wooden puppet.) If you're interested in downloading this delightful humanizing, pro-happy video, try one of these links:

  • For a high-quality QuickTime movie, right-click here and choose Save Target or Download Link or the equivalent.
  • For an M4V file that you can play on an iPod, right-click here and choose one of those same commands.
  • Or you can subscribe to dekePod via RSS or iTunes.

You can also check out the page at my book publisher O'Reilly Media.

This is a fairly elaborate technique. Which is why I promise to share more in my weekly dekeStuff column, coming at you next Monday, every Mondays, and sometimes more frequently than that. (Or less.) Take care, and don't let the vectors stretch you!

. Tagged with:


Transform Selection

excuse me if I missed something, but why couldn't I just transform a selection inside of photoshop instead of sending the photo to illustrator?

I want to be like Deke

Deke, I just posted my first video on my website: It's from the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk last week. I tried to think, what would Deke do? OK, I don't really have the budget for a high class movie. I think my next one will be, "Finding Deke in Vegas." Sounds better than finding Deke at Photoshop World. Thanks for the great work. Robert

Stretching a Photo in Illustrator

Stretching a Photo in Illustrator (and Elsewhere). The things you see here in dekeStuff are accessible only to registered users. Sign up for a free account. ...Wii Fit


Good read, thanx for posting

Nice work!

These are the first images I've seen from any of the walks. (Been kinda in a bubble here.) We don't have the budget for high class movies, either. My guys are just magicians. ;-)

Love it!

I started out with Illustrator, and am only really getting into photoshop now, so it's good to see some illustrator stuff that PS can't do. I've attempted to mess with some text in PS using the warp text function, and I longed for a little envelope filter. It's good to see that there isn't one, because I just assumed I didn't know where the heck it was. Love the podcast, definitely lots of stuff going on there. I'm guessing your not a right-winger ha ha. Keep 'em coming! -Stuart

Who needs drugs?

Honestly, Deke, who needs drugs when I've got you? Your videos are whacked-out, entertaining, and educational. And your command of language is impressive. Thanks for all the great info you have provided me through the years. Your Sharpening in Photoshop CS3 video techniques have made my pictures immeasurably better. So, do you really talk like that in your daily life? Must be interesting for the wife and kids. Kinda reminds me of Robin Williams back in the coked-up, early days of his career. LOL Gotta go take a Xanax now—I just finished watching your latest DekePOD. Cheers, Karl-Franz

Sadly, that dekePod guy

Is nothing like me. In real life, I sport a pencil-thin mustache, I have tape on my glasses (even tho they're not broken), my thorax is emerald in color and engorged with larvae, and I have a pumpkin for a head. But you'll recognize me b/c I'm the one pushing a grocery cart full of Adobe products down Sunset Blvd. Look for me. I have a cup. (This thing is a money pit.)

I prefer control myself, and

I prefer control myself, and it's definitely a worthy trick to know especially if you don't have access to Photoshop CS4. That's kind of funny that CS4 released content aware scaling just the day after you filmed this tutorial. Anyway nice tut, as well as entertaining. I learned something that I'll surely find a use for even if there's a different way of doing it. ----------- film izle Oyun

I like the description

I like Deke's description of himself - is that after you have used photoshop to alter what you look like? :)



Need little trick.... great podcast.. thanks for the laugh.

Thnx for the Integration Goodness

Now that is cool. I appreciate the integration stuff.... lookin forward to all the gory details on Monday. If I may add to the " Illustrator can do what Photoshop can't " list, I like to use Illustrator to process and unlock the power of Open Type font text used in Photoshop (because of the marvelous Open Type pallettes/panels found within Illustrator). I wonder how much can be added to such a list. Keep on keeping on :-) Thomas Thomas Benner Austin, Texas p.s. I found no discussion of Open Type in your terrific Photoshop CS3 1 on 1 book (checked the Index and Lesson 10 and, yes, I see you used Adobe Caslon Pro). I am curious as to whether it appears in the new Illustrator 1 on 1 book similar to what you did in lesson 3 of your InDesign CS3 1 on 1... there's lotsa Open Type goodness there..... guess I'll have to wait and see.

no singing?!?!

Great stuff! I actually had a suggestion regarding what can you (or anyone) do with a photo in Illustrator in my comment that received the "Self-imposed censorship" cut. Some of it's on my blog here so I guess it's not totally gone. You're way ahead of me on the whole Illustrator can do something Photoshop can't creative-turn-the-world upside-down thinking. I missing the rap singing from Pilot #2. You talk so damn fast that you should just sing rap this stuff anyway. Photoshop tips mixed with a bunch of other crap must be hard-cross-wired in your head. One question, did I miss the joke that related to Rush Limbaugh's picture or are you making a political statement? I think it was a oxycontin reference? Or viagra? Roger Head Camp Counselor Camp Photoshop

Oh, I have a list...

You know me -- forever standing up for Illustrator. Start reading here.... and then read here.... Mordy Golding

The RL photo

Was a gag that the Flying Moose guys threw in at the last minute that made me laugh water out my nose. Rush wasn't busted on anti-depressants or uppers or anything that quite fit the logic I had constructed, so after cleaning up my screen, I vacillated on whether it made good humorous sense. There's the obvious hypocrisy of him railing against illegally acquired drugs, and then developing an addiction and acquiring drugs illegally, and then returning to railing against illegally acquired drugs. And in that regard he's a kind of self-appointed pro-drug/anti-drug poster boy. Then I thought, he's a self-appointed expert as well, so there's an nice layer of me mocking myself for being a self-appointed expert, right after setting myself up as being a pro-drug and anti-drug poster boy. Then I decided the image made me laugh water out my nose and I should stop overthinking it. So there he is.

water out of the nose ...

OK, water out of the nose ... that's a good reason. Roger Head Camp Counselor Camp Photoshop

I can see clearly....

I can see clearly now, but unfortunately not all the colors come through. The monitor battle goes on. I need your help, gang. Which is the best monitor for serious color correcting, a CRT or LCD? We have both in our studio, and I have to be honest: the Apple Cinema is a thing of beauty, as far at the extra workspace goes, and the ease of eyestrain. But trying to get it to display certain colors (most notably F5F5F5), even after calibrating to within an inch of its life, is an exercise in futility. Maybe it's just me, but my outdated, energy sucking, eye straining, multiple resolutions, clunky old LaCie ElectronBlue IV is still one of the best displays for the money. Geez, do I sound bias or what? Has anybody out there found a LCD comparable to the color display on a CRT? Thanks, steve_zimmer


Watching these great videos is my own pro happy pill. Great job Deke.

Ich bin ein Deke-Onliner

Achtung! Again a wunderbar film, Deke. I like the speed and the high density of gags in your videos. Great work! Cheers from Germany

I was afraid

A native-speaking German would catch on to my bad use of German. I cut "ein" because "Ich bin dekeOnliner" better matched the cadence of "Ich bin ein Berliner." (See, "ein" becomes "deke" and "Berliner" becomes "Onliner." Which automatically makes me president.) Of course, it's wrong without "ein," but such is the price of art. Which is my way of saying, danke shane to the 2,393 German visitors and the 1,357 direct referrals from (I know, it's fairly Big Brotherian how much you can deduce. I should do a podcast on the many ways our lives are enhanced by obsessively gleaning meaningless data about each other in the digital don't-really-know-you realm. Only, I don't actually believe that.) Fortunately, I'm a benign overlord. (I don't have time to be otherwise.) Keep visiting.

Another winner!

Must be the new undergarments. Going on a date? Did Collene burn your previous outfit because of its smell? Oh yeah, about those folks in the Uruguay and east spending the most time on the site....that's just plain scary.

So Much to Learn So Little Time

I just started getting into CS2 and wish I had illustrator. These vids really spark my imagination. Thanks Deke

I love it.

I just bought Illustrator so I'll take all the tips you can give! Thanks. P.S. Great ragweed!