Puppet Warp, Part 1

September 4, 2015

One of my very favorite tools in Photoshop is Puppet Warp.  It was introduced in CS5, and was the sole reason I upgraded from CS3 to CS5 back in 2010. Let’s take a look at this little known tool and see how useful it can be!

The Puppet Warp tool is located in the Edit menu in the top menu bar.  Edit > Puppet Warp. I am using CC2015, but I believe the path is the same in both CS5 and 6.

When we activate Puppet Warp, Photoshop places a mesh over the selected image. We then are able to place pins where we would like the image to remain in place, and use other pins to control slight movements on the image. We can use Puppet Warp on shapes, text, Smart Objects, and vector masks.    Here’s an example:

This beautiful layout was created by Kabra, a member of my Creative Team, using Chart Your Course. The orange circle is not part of the layout; I put it there to bring your attention to the tail of the bow. Let’s use Puppet Warp to change that just a bit.

1. Click on the bow layer to make it active.

2. Edit > Puppet Warp.  A mesh will be placed over the bow.

3. When you move your cursor over your document, it will turn into the image of a “push pin” with a small plus sign to the right. Click down on any part of the bow that you want to remain stationary. For your visual reference, I have drawn orange circles around the places that I have pinned.

4. Next, I placed a pin near the end of the left bow “tail,” and pulled it slightly to the right.

5.  Once I was happy with the positioning, I clicked the check mark in the top menu bar to commit the change. By clicking on the Pin Depth Up the bow will appear above the pixels of the text.

Puppet Warp is a very versatile too! Next week we’ll look at another way to use it!

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on the  Karen Schulz Designs You Tube Channel


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  1. Carol

    Thank you SO much for giving us the PDF and the videos. Having them is so helpful. It makes me know you really want to help us learn.

  2. DeLoris Musick

    Oh WOW! I have to go play with this! Thank you for the video! Hugs, DeLoris


  1. Puppet Warp, Part 2 | Karen Schulz - […] week we took a very quick look at the Puppet Warp tool in Photoshop. Puppet Warp, Part 1.  Today…

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