Photoshop CS5 Top 5: Puppet Warp

Photoshop is famous, if not downright notorious, for its ability to distort reality. Which is ironic given that most of us whose job it is to distort reality are frustrated by Photoshop’s meager collection of reality-distortion tools. I mean, there’s Liquify, there’s the Warp command . . . there’s Liquify. I ask you, where are all the fabulously terrifying distortion tools?

Well, in CS5, the folks who wring their hand about Photoshop’s world-warping powers finally have something to wring their hands about. And it goes by the name Puppet Warp. Take the subject of an image, jump it to a new layer, choose Edit > Puppet Warp, add a few pins, and drag those pins anywhere you like. Photoshop stretches and twists and bends the image any way you want it to go. Even behind itself. Which, I gotta tell you, is truly weird.

But, hey: Puppet Warp is fun to use, it’s funny to watch, and it’s extremely powerful. If you thought you couldn’t see your eyes before, just wait until you see the puppet warp.

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  • Thanks….

    All the CS5 examples online show how to use puppet warp with people but I had not seen it used with text as well.  Very informative thanks.

  • Really cool

    Really cool demo, I never thought of using Puppet Warp on text!
    By the way, one has to wonder why Puppet Warp can work with text inside a Smart Object but Repousse just can’t. We have to rasterize it and lose the ability to edit it afterward (it was one of my top feature requests since I tried it for the first time. Maybe on CS6…).

    zero/27 Design

  • I can’t wait to get my hands

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this, what a great update Adobe.

  • Once again, you are the Ubermeister of Instruction!

    Deke - thanx for bringing all these graphics features (photoshop, indesign, etc) down to Earth!  When o’ when I get CS5 this is going to be an awesomely useful feature, and yes even for straight out photography editing; I’m imagining the possibilities of fine tuning features in a photo, text etc (zooming in and out) .. too much!


  • Love it..

    Tnx deke for that wonderful tutorial, you explained it very well.

  • Puppet warp in Illustrator

    Great tutorial. I watched the whole series on - superb stuff thanks Deke.

    Is there an equivalent way to warp objects in Illustrator?

  • No puppet warp in Illustrator

    Although you do have the Liquify tools, which permit you to apply free-form distortions, work directly on the artboard, are in many ways more useful.

    You also have Envelope-style distortions, sadly missing from Photoshop.

    Check out Chapter 25 of my Illustrator One-on-One: Mastery course at for more info.

  • I can’t wait to get

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this, what a great update Adobe.

    Name:  laurenaanaya Website: hebergement web

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