Puppet Warping

Puppet Warping
So now you can remove turn pictures into cartoons, so what next? Well, how about a trick called puppet warping?

Ever wanted to manipulate the Statue of Liberty, or the Eiffel Tower, or even a person? If so, you are in luck. That is the lesson this time.

More often than not, this tool is used for enjoyment. It can give you results similar to a funhouse mirror if you know how to use it.

For this lesson I will be using a picture of the Statue of Liberty.

The first step, as usual is to open the image in Photoshop. Once the image is opened you need to select the pen tool, shown below.

Once you have selected the pen tool, you task will be to select around the object you want to warp. When activated, the pen tool will leave a line behind and small squares in each point that you click on.

Another way you can select the object is to use the lasso tool, shown below. The lasso tool does the same thing as the pen tool, but is more for people who are good at simply tracing around the object.

Once you have selected your object of focus, your next task is to right click and when the menu appears, choose make selection. Once you choose make selection a window will open.

When the window opens, Feather Radius should be set to 0, check the anti-aliased box, and make sure that New Selection is selected under Operation. Then hit ok. You should see the ‘marching ants’ line appear around the selection. Then you will need to right click and choose refine edge from the menu.

By refining the edge of your selection, Photoshop will smooth out the edges and even remove a portion of the border if you tell it too. Another thing you can use refine edge for is to feather the edges.

(Feathering is when you make a part of the image go from completely there, to gone. The result is the edges looking as if they are fading inward.)

After refining the edge of your subject, you need to make a copy of it onto a new layer. To do this you could either go up to Edit and choose copy, or use the key command Ctrl C or Cmnd C (if you are using a Mac). Then you just need to paste it onto a new layer. In most cases, you can simply just hit Ctrl V or Cmnd V (Mac).

Once you have copied the object, you need to remove the original version. With the ‘marching ants’ still going around the object, right click on it and choose Fill. Another way to do it is to go to edit and then choose fill. A window will appear, like the one below.

The settings you should use are Use and select Content-aware, make sure mode is set to Normal, and that Opacity is set to 100. Once you have set the Content-aware, your subject should look as if it has disappeared. If not, check and see if you have the layer hidden or not. If it is hidden, you will see a blank square next to the layer, but if you see a symbol of an eye next to the layer.

If you do see your object and the eye is not visible, this just means that the layer containing the object has been hidden from sight.

Now that you have the subject separate from the background, you can begin to warp your object. To do this you need to make the object visible and the background hidden.

The next step is going to be to open the puppet warp feature. To open puppet warp, go to the top menu and select edit and then choose puppet warp.

When you open puppet warp you may see something similar to below. What you see is called show mesh and it shows you what part of the image you are trying to puppet warp.

The next step is more of a personal preference, but I am going to hide the mesh. To do this, look just under the top menu and you should see a checkbox with the label. Show Mesh. It is located next to expansion.

You will want to sent the density to normal as well as the mode. Your next step will be to place the warp pins. They will allow you to easily warp the image. All you need to do is click on the object being puppet warped and a yellow circle will appear as a marker.

Once you have placed the warp pins, all you have to do is drag them to where you want them to be. After that you can exit puppet warp and unhide the background.

If you are using something that is on a base, you will need to make sure that it lines up properly.

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