Make Mesh Envelope Distort work with linked images
Since Free distort doesn't support images at all, both linked or embedded.
I have to use envelope distortion each time I need to distort an image within AI.
But I have to break link with image for this, because Envelope works only with embedded images sadly.
+1. The fact that Envelope Distort doesn't work with linked images is a serious obstacle in many early design phases when you want to compare different ideas. With the current limitation, all distortion has to be (identically) remade for every changed linked object since it has to be embedded before distortion. Tedious.
The same goes for Free Distort, see https://illustrator.uservoice.com/forums/333657/suggestions/33628051
Often find myself needing to fit an image to a perspective view of a building or vehicle and can’t warp the image along with other grouped elements
Warp a linked image (psd, jpg, png) in illustrator as easily as you can in photoshop.
Make Free Distort work with images
Christopher Das commented
Please add the ability to warp linked files without having to embed them first. Basically, turn them into the equivalent of smart objects in photoshop.