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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to reshape images using the Puppet Warp in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, it is Puppet Warp time, where we're going to get the monster to dance, we're going to get him to scratch his belly, we'll distort text to fit other shapes. Then we'll take our new skills and we'll cut out this vine, we'll bend it around into a new shape, so that we can add a Background, add some Type, then get the type to interact with the vine. Thank you, Puppet Warp Tool, let's learn your magic. 

Let's get started with opening up the 'Puppet Warp 1', '2' and '3'. We'll start with Puppet Warp 1. Now what I've done in this one is that this is on a PNG, so this has a transparent background, everything up until now has been a JPEG, which is forced to be a white background. The nice thing about this is basically it's already masked out. And this would be true if you, say, drew this in Illustrator or got it from a stock library site. If you haven't, you're going to have to mask it out to get started. We'll do that in one of the other examples, but at the moment just know that it's on a transparent background, which is going to make it super easy. 

All we need to do is go up to 'Edit' and come down to 'Puppet Warp'. All we need to do now is we need to pin the monster here, in a few different places, you need at least two. So one on his hand, one on his armpit, do both armpits, both hands. Both feet, any other joints? He's got some hips there. I'm going to get them once in the hat. That will be it for the moment. This mesh here is kind of useful, I'm going to turn it off because I want to do this. 1, 2, 3, wow. Scratch his bum. It means that you can draw your characters in a kind of a starfish shape, then kind of readjust them depending on what you want to do. You can get him to dance, yes we can. And if you find that, say you're moving this around, let's say we move this one, the middle of them is moving, so it's not doing what you exactly want, you can add pins later on. 

One of them knows, so that I've got a bit more kind of control, say I want a bowtie there. So the more pins you have, the more you kind of force it to stay in different parts. Now let's say we want him scratching his belly. With that pin selected, by clicking on it, there is an option up here called Pin Depth. So I want to bring that up to the front, or send it backwards, so bring this one to the front. The other thing we might do is look at the rotation, so if I click on this, I can rotate it around by holding down the 'Option' key on a Mac, or 'Alt' key on a PC. I'm going to zoom in. So you can see, holding down 'Option' key on my Mac, 'Alt' key on a PC, I can rotate that one around, tippity-tap. This monster is a lover of Country and Western, you can tell. That's how you know my dad likes the song. He doesn't dance, he does a tippity-tap. 

You'll notice some weird stuff going on, don't worry, it's-- we're kind of like stuck in this middle ground of like Puppet Warp. You can't do other things, can you see it's all grayed out. When you finish you have to enter on your keyboard, or click this little tick up here. Then it goes and redraws it properly. So don't worry if things are a little artifact-ey, have a little look when it's finished. Now the weird thing about this, not the weird thing, but the thing to note is that, that is fused there forever, there's no way of pulling that off now. So if I was going to be doing this properly, I would make sure I've got a duplicate copy of this. So I've got two of them. And you can get all those different dance moves. Let's look at another use for the Puppet Warp Tool. Let's say we've got this heart here, we want to put some text in it.

So I'm going to grab the 'Type Tool', I'm going to click here. 'I Love You'. I'm going to select it all, I'm going to put in-- I'm not going to worry too much about it, I'm going to get it roughly the size I need it, because unfortunately what it does is that, just to kind of get it in here, but now what I want to do is actually just get a little bit more. Bit of the leading, dragging on these icons, to make it smaller. So we're close. Now I want to kind of force it into the corners like you saw at the beginning. Let's go to-- if I go to 'Edit' and go to 'Puppet Warp', it says, can't do it with type, no way, we have to rasterize type. Which means it's going to turn into pixels and we can't edit it later, unless-- I hit 'Cancel'. Right click it, and say, you are a Smart Object, please, sir. And then you can do it. 

Go to 'Puppet Warp'. How many pins we're going to need? Probably a lot. Trying to click and drag them. They tend to kind of move around. I'm going to start with these ones at the top here anyway. So this one here, I'm going to click and drag, you're going to come in there. Want you kind of up there. Add another pin, I want it to kind of bend around. You can do some fun stuff with Type. I think I'm liking this example less. It seemed like a good idea, I was playing around with it before and it seemed to come out okay. You get what I mean there, right? This is what we're doing. Rotation comes in handy, remember, holding down the 'Option' key on a Mac, 'Alt' key on a PC. I'm probably going to have to spend a lot more time forcing this in here, where I probably want to go to 'Edit', 'Transform', and then there's one in there called Warp. That will probably do better, we learned that in the Essentials course, but we're doing Advanced stuff now, so use Puppet Warp. You get what I mean. Once finished, click 'OK'. And now you my friend may also have some interesting looking Type. 

The cool thing about it is, because it's a Smart Object, you can turn the Smart Filter off and on. You can scale it up and down. It's going to temporary turn it off. Scale it up, hit 'Return', it's going to apply it back on. One thing you can't do is you can't go and edit the Type, and it take the form correctly. Mainly because it was really, specific shapes, remember we did this. If I do different text it's not going to quite work the same way, watch this. I double click to go inside of 'I Love You', and let's say it's, now I hate you, it's all over, I'm going to save this and close it. You'll notice that it doesn't, those things don't match up so you can have to redo it. The Puppet Pins are still there, you can go and edit it, go to Puppet Pin Tool. You can see, it's just created the mesh based on the words love. So hate kind of doesn't really fit in there anymore. 'Esc', undo until it’s looking half decent. 

Let's go into this third example here where we're going to kind of rearrange real life. You saw at the beginning, where we got it to grow through type, but you can do it for like, fabric that's flowing in the wind, you want to reshape it, or here, they're just kind of pointing in the wrong directions. So this is going to be a longer one. We're going to reuse the Puppet Tool features that we've already learned. So if you came here for the Puppet Warp Tool, you can leave now, but if you want to hang around we'll do a little project together. First thing is that this is kind of fused on to the background, so I need to mask it out. Looking at it, of all my masking tricks, I'm thinking a Channel Mask is going to be it. How do I know? Because before this video I kind of looked at it for a little bit longer, and went, "It's not going to work, it's not going to work," And that's the trouble I guess, when you've got this kind of new tools, new masking tools, knowing which one to pick really comes down to experience. 

So if you knew, you might end up wasting a bit of time trying Color Range, but Color Range is not going to work, because it's such a different color between this, this stalk, these leaves here. So let's do a Channel Mask which we've done in a previous video. So red, green, and blue. Blue has the really clear black versus white, so I'm going to duplicate that layer. If you can't remember a Channel Mask, you might have to jump back and test that one. We're going to go to 'Image', 'Adjustments', 'Levels'. I'm not using the one in the Adjustments Panel, because we're in this kind of like weird little channels world, we have to use the old school Levels Panel. 

What I'm looking to do is just make the blacks a little bit more black. You can see there, it's getting a pretty good mask already. There's these bits here, if I try and get these bits though I'm going to go too far and, these are potentially going to go way too black and wreck my mask. So I'm going to come back a little bit. Tweak up the whites. Don't really need to, let's click 'OK', so it's nearly there. There's a few parts though that are still see through. You could just use your black paintbrush like we did earlier, but another cool little trick is, if I zoom in, and my black paintbrush gets me part of the way there, so if I grab 'Paintbrush', make sure black is my foreground color, in terms of the brush size, something. Hardness at about 90. I'm going to have my Opacity at 100. I'm not going to paint out these veins, because I don't want those to be see-through. But let's say we get close to the edge and you're like, "Oh", you can get a really small brush and just work your way into the corners, but the cool trick is, using the same Brush Tool, but use this one called Overlay as the Brush Mode. 

Watch this, I can just kind of paint over the edge here. Turns kind of Mid Tones or grays into black. Leaving the white, so it means you can get really close to the edge, so what I tend to do, is just lower the opacity so it's not as vicious. Can you see, I just kind of painted a couple of times around the edges here. I want there to be a little see-through-ness along the edges, but not loads. You can see here, I can just keep painting these in. I don't have to worry too much about getting close to the sides. I can leave a little bit of transparency there. Cool tool, huh? Might use a slightly fuzzier brush. Slightly harder. Might be here for a while. I'm going to keep doing this, I'll get the editor to speed it up a bit. 

You're back. The one thing I did do is I switched back to normal Blend Mode, just to kind of fill in some of these veins here. Why am I not making it absolutely perfect? It is because you'll see in the final example, a little bit of see-through-ness, and the leaves is actually kind of nice. So we're going to load it as a Selection, go back to RGB, go to Layers, and if I add a Layer Mask it's going to be the wrong way around. So before I do that I'm going to go to 'Select', 'Inverse', and now I'm going to add a Layer Mask. I love Channel Masks. None of the automatic features work, remember, Select, Color Range, Focus Area, Subject. You have to revert back to the good old Channel Mask. 

Next thing I'll do is I'll just double check the mask against black, just to see how bad my selection was, on black, it's not too bad. And if it wasn't so good and I wasn't happy with it, I'd go around using this Brush Tool here, the Refine Brush Tool, and just kind of work the edges on any parts that need kind of fixing. I'm just wrecking that one. You might play with Shift Edge again. Decontaminate Colors, I'm happy with actually how it is, I'm going to 'Cancel'. What I want to do is I'm going to put a background color in. So, in a New Layer. What color? I'm going to use the Gradient Tool. I'm going to use our Radial Gradient. I'm going to use this first one here, which is, the mixture of foreground and background. So my foreground color here is going to be a, want kind of a warm brown. It's going to be kind of light-ish. And in the background color, which I click, same thing, one that's kind of brownie black. 

I find, if you use just a little bit of color, just not much, you can go the midnight black or the kind of warm black. It's kind of what I was going for. This is way against this background. I might right click the background and go light gray, just so I can see it a little easier. Awesome. So now I've got a kind of a cut-out. I want to add some type, I'll grab my 'Type Tool'. 'Grow'. Bit big. Select it all. Font color, white. Font size, click and drag that icon. Something like that. Often I just use my 'Command T' or 'Ctrl T' key, just to change the font size. Let's get it in there, a little bit smaller. So now the trick is to get it to weave in and out. 

So what I'm going to do first is I'm going to duplicate this fellow. So I've got a back-up if I need to go back to it. I'm going to turn it off. I'm going to make this thing a Smart Object. So my top one, right click it, Smart Object. So that now when I go use my Puppet Pin Tool or the Puppet Warp Tool, it's an effect that I can turn on and off and adjust. So what I'm looking to do now is I'm going to probably run a bunch of them, where I feel like the stalk goes, because I want to reorganize this thing here. The more of these you have, I guess, more control you have, but the less fluid it looks. I'm going to put one in each of the leaves. Humming while I'm working. 

Some weird stuff going down the bottom there. Weird thing there, wonder what's going to happen with him. Yours will look different because it will be a different mask. So what am I going to do now? I am going to probably leave this first chunk, it's these ones here that I really want to kind of, look like it's kind of coming out of that O. So I'm going to mess with it, lift this one up here. You can see now, the power of the Puppet Warp Tool. I'm just trying to position this in a way that it just looks nice with the text. I want that one to look like it's coming out between the W. This one here you can kind of come out that bit as well. Add another one, move it up here, and maybe these ones here are going to go around this edge here. Curl around-ish. You're coming up there. Remember Rotate? Just hold down the 'Option' key. Grab the corners, turn it around. Back to where it was. Hit 'Return' when you're finished. And now it's kind of the in-and-out part. 

How do we do that? The easiest way is to actually have-- ignore this thing here. This could be confusing. I'd leave it there but I want to make this crystal clear. When I'm teaching this it freaks everyone out. And I'm going to twirl that up there so that it just looks a little nicer. So what you do is you have one copy down here, we're going to name it, let's call this one 'Vine'. Let’s actually call it 'Vine 1'. I'm going to duplicate it by dragging it on to here. I'm going to have one above. This is going to be my 'Vine 2', should be below and above, but anyway. So I've got two of these now. This one's behind the text, and one is in front of the text. So with this one on top add a Layer Mask. And just paint-- this is the bit where it gets a bit weird. So add a Layer Mask, grab your Paintbrush, make sure you switch back to Normal mode. Make sure black is your foreground color, pick a size. 

Remember, I'm holding down the 'Ctrl' and 'Option' key on my keyboard, and dragging left and right. On a PC, hold down the 'Alt' key on your keyboard, then use your right mouse button, drag left and right, up and down. The last time I'm going to give you the shortcut, write it down. I'm going to go something, hardness about 90. And now you're going to paint out, say I want it coming in front of this but behind that. Can you see, I can get right to the edge there. Actually I could clip that vine there. Let's zoom in a bit. I'm going to undo a few times. So watch this, I can be really brutal with it. Can you see, I can kind of click over that whole thing, and because there's something behind it filling in that gap, it looks quite good. Same with this one, I want maybe that stalk going in front there, but not this leaf. Oh, missed a bit. Paint it back in. 

So remember, X key toggles the foreground and background colors. So if I accidentally clip that bit off, I'm like, "Oh." 'X' key, just paint it back in. X key to bring black back, then just kind of work your way around. Decide what you want in front and what you want out the back. Going for a little bit of a zigzag. Here we go. The genius at home, but at work. Can't even read, that's a G. 'X' key, want to paint that bit back in. Picked that bit out. 'G' key, and 'X' key again, and I'm going to need more of this down here, because it's just unreadable. This should be here probably. So guys, you all have to go underneath, maybe. All right, that looks like it's out. 

So probably what we're going to have to do as well, is there's a little bit of ghosting around the outside, so I'm going to jump back in to 'Select & Mask', and look at contracting the mask a little bit, or don't put yourself through the pain, and just have a white background with colored text. You don't have to worry about it at all. I'm going to 'Cancel', let's go back, turn it back on. 

And that my friends is the Puppet Warp Tool. If you enjoyed it, it is built into Adobe Illustrator as well, but it gets really exciting when we're working in something like Adobe After Effects. I got a course on that, you can go check it out. The real perk is, you get to animate it. So where we're going to bend this around, we hit 'Return', and it's kind of fused like that. After Effects allows you to kind of, in real time, wiggle it around, and have this vine kind of like moving, growing, and wriggling. If you've done that course, you'll remember this guy where we made him dance. All right, that's it for the Puppet Warp, I will see you in the next video.