Puppet Warp

Puppet Warp

Photoshop CS6 Tutorial


How to Use Puppet Warp in Photoshop



Puppet Warp opens the doors for reshaping objects in Photoshop. It can be used to alter facial expressions, reshape human and animal arms and legs and bend shapes in ways that are hard to imagine.

To grasp the concepts of Puppet Warp, we'll apply it to a shape object.

To apply Puppet Warp to an image, you must first mask the object and place it on it's own layer. The original background layer must then be patched to remove the original object, person or animal. For this process you may want to use Content Aware Fill. For more information, see topic, Content Aware Fill.


Step One

Open a new 1,024 pixel x 1,024 pixel document with a white background in Photoshop (File > New).

Step Two

Click the Custom Shape tool and choose Shape for type, then set a Fill and Stroke color. Select a custom shape from the Options bar pull-down menu.

Step Three

Click-drag while pressing the Shift key to add a shape to the workspace.

Step Four

Right-click the shape in the Layers panel and choose Rasterize Layer. The shape is now very similar to a rasterized image in a document.

Step Five

With the Shape layer active, choose Edit > Puppet Warp. A mesh is applied to the shape.

Step Six

In the tool options, you can increase or decrease the mesh Density.

Step Seven

To add a series of pins, click the shape multiple times. The pins are used to either move that section of the object or pin it in place.

Step Eight

Whenever you select a pin, a small white circle appears in the center of the pin. You can select multiple pins by clicking one, then Shift clicking the rest.

Step Nine

To move the portions of the mesh, click-drag the selected pin or pins.

Step Ten

You can also move the pins with the nudge keys. Press the Shift key while nudging to move the pins in ten pixel increments.

Step Eleven

To rotate around a specific pin press and hold the Option key (PC - Alt key). Once the circle appears, drag the circle to set the angle.

Step Twelve

As you move the pins, you may notice that the stacking order is wrong and part of the object becomes hidden. To change the order, select the pin and click the Forward or Backward Pin Depth icons.

Step Thirteen

To accept your changes, click the Commit icon or press the Enter key.

Removing a Pin

To remove an unwanted pin, Option-click (PC - Alt-click) a pin and it disappears.

Hiding the Mesh

To temporarily hide the mesh, click the Show Mesh checkbox in the tool options.