Friday, April 19, 2024

Puppet Warp in Photoshop

In this Photoshop Lesson, we’ll learn about ‘Puppet Warp in Photoshop‘. Puppet Warp command is found under Edit menu in Photoshop.

My name is Lalit Adhikari and we are at LTY. Let’s begin!

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What is Puppet Warp

Puppet Warp, as defined by Adobe, provides a visual mesh that lets us drastically distort specific image areas while leaving other areas intact.

Puppet Warp’s applications range from subtle image retouching (such as shaping hair) to total transformations (such as repositioning arms or legs).

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How to apply Puppet Warp

Puppet Warp could be used on image layers, layer and vector masks. To non-destructively distort images, we should use Smart Objects.

  • In the layers panel, select the layer or mask.
  • Go to Edit > Puppet Warp
Puppet Warp command under Edit menu in Photoshop
Puppet Warp under Edit menu

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Tutorial Images

I’ve selected following two images randomly, just to show the working of Puppet Warp.

Puppet Warp Options

The following different settings can be adjusted for the Puppet Warp from the option bar.

Options for Puppet Warp in Photoshop
Options for Puppet Warp in Photoshop
  • Mode: This option determines the stretchiness or elasticity of the mesh created.
  • Density: This option determines the spacing of mesh points. If we’ve fewer points, it gives us less precise control. While having more points increases precision but requires more processing time.
  • Expansion: This option expands or contracts the edge of the mesh.
  • Show Mesh: If needed, we can deselect this option to show only adjustment pins, making our adjustments easier to notice.

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Applying Puppet Warp

I’ve created a document of size 1920 by 1080 pixels. After that I’ve placed the background image and Spider man PNG above it as shown below along with four guide lines.

images open in photoshop
Images open in Photoshop

Go to Edit > Puppet Warp

Puppet Warp applied to image in Photoshop
Puppet Warp applied to image in photoshop

I’ve placed few pins at the following points as shown below.

Pins placed using puppet warp in photoshop
Pins placed using Puppet Warp

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Mode options in Puppet Warp in Photoshop
Mode option in Puppet Warp

As already discussed, Mode determines the elasticity of our mesh. The three types of mode in Puppet Warp are Rigid, Normal and Distort.

  • By default, it’s set to Normal where we can easily manipulate the position and pose of the subject. Distortion of Head with Mode set to Normal.
puppet warp with mode set to normal
Mode set to Normal
  • Rigid: It has lesser elasticity than Normal. Although it wouldn’t feel as much of difference here.
Mode set to Rigid in Puppet Warp
Mode set to Rigid
  • Distort: In this mode, the perspective and scale is changed around the pinned area.
Mode set to Distort for Puppet Warp
Mode set to Distort

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Density options in puppet warp in photoshop
Density Option in Puppet Warp

It can have one of three values Fewer Points, Normal and More Points. These are self-explanatory by their names.

Density comparison in Puppet warp
Density Comparison in Puppet Warp

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Expansion option in Puppet Warp in photoshop
Expansion option in Puppet Warp

Expansion is used to have some extra space outside the pixels of the layer. In this case, I’ve used 10 pixel value for easy visibility. This value could also be placed in negative for contraction.

Expansion option in Puppet Warp in Photoshop
Expansion option in Puppet Warp

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Show Mesh

Show Mesh check box is a toggle to turn the mesh on or off. We’ve seen above it’s effect with this option checked. Below I’ve shown it’s effect with it turned off.

Show mesh option in Puppet Warp in Photoshop
Show Mesh option Puppet Warp

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Pin Depth

Pin Depth option in Puppet Warp in Photoshop
Pin Depth option Puppet Warp

It is used in case, we have our subject’s body parts overlapping one another after distorting the image. Using these icons we can bring the pins controlling those parts on top or bottom of the overlap.


Rotate option in Puppet Warp in Photoshop
Rotate option in Puppet Warp

Whenever we move a pin, other pins surround it will rotate according to adjust the distortion. By default it is set to Auto and if their any rotation, it’s numerical value will be shown in the following box.

In order to manually rotate a pin, select the pin then press and hold Alt key. It’ll show the rotation circle to rotate the selected pin.

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If we right-click on any pin, we will get the following additional options.

Additional pin options for puppet warp
Right-click options for pin

Almost all the options, in this menu are self-explanatory.

  • Delete Pin: To delete selected pin.
  • Set Auto Rotation: If the selected pin’s rotation is not set to Auto. It’ll be set to auto.
  • Reset Depth: To reset the selected pin’s depth to it’s original value.
  • Bring Forward: To bring the selected pin forward.
  • Send Backward: To send the selected pin backward.
  • Remove All Pins: To remove all the pins.
  • Select All Pins: To select all the pins.
  • Hide Mesh: To hide mesh of the Puppet Warp.

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Lalit Adhikari
Lalit Adhikari
Lalit Adhikari is the Main Author and Admin at Learn That Yourself. He has work experience of more than 10 years in the field of Multimedia and teaching experience of more than 5 years.

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