Straighten shape

Imagine I have a circular path like this:

enter image description here

In reality it is much more complex, with hundred or so anchors (and it is more close to a circle). I want to straighten it in a way, that the form is preserved (inner contour points will get farther apart, outer will get closer). I tried with Puppet tool, it sorta works, but since I have to move all points myself, the whole thing gets quite distorted and uneven. I want to do something like Puppet tool does, but make it automatically place points along the circle and then automatically move them in a line keeping original distances between points. I hope it make sense. Any ideas?


One possibility would be to use a polar transform. Unfortunately there’s nothing in Illustrator that can do that as far as I know (unless there’s a script/plugin perhaps?), but it could be done in Photoshop. Then I suppose you could copy and paste the raster image back into Illustrator and auto trace it. Obviously I don’t know closely this will fit your particular requirements.

Here’s an example with a highly complex irregular circular shape, just for the sake of a rather extreme example. I filled it black to make the final image trace step easier.

enter image description here

I copied and pasted it as a raster image into Photoshop. Scaled it smaller into the middle of the canvas. Then I did Filters > Distort > Polar Transform, and selected the “Polar to Rectangular” option.

The result is somewhat distorted but I just squished it vertically

enter image description here

Finally I copied and pasted it back into Illustrator, and did an image trace

enter image description here

Finally I expanded the image trace, set a stroke and no fill

enter image description here

Source : Link , Question Author : Andrey , Answer Author : Billy Kerr

Leave a Comment