If you’re a Photoshop wizard, this will be old news for you. If you’re not, well, join me over here on the couch. I have popcorn. I have cozy throw pillows. I have a new toy, and it’s name is Puppet Warp. It is an excellent tool for mixed media artists!
I discovered puppet warp when I was manipulating a vintage photo this past weekend. To see what it does, let’s start with this illustration of a hypnotist:
Cool, right? I love that illustration. To get ready to use puppet warp, first I need to use the magnetic lasso to liberate the hypnotist from the background, and then I need to choose Puppet Warp from the Edit menu.
Once I select Puppet Warp, my figure gets covered in a sort of web, as if Photoshop and Spiderman had merged in some sort of glorious union involving puppets.
The cursor, meanwhile, will start to look like a pushpin. Wherever I click on the web will become a point. To move this image like a puppet, I will first click on some joints, including the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle.
Now, just to be completely immature, I will puppet him straight into a pelvic thrust.
Now I’ll give him a big honking nose and a pot belly with his hands in a different pose.
I could go on all day like this, but just to show that this can be useful beyond the simple entertainment dimension, I will use the Puppet Warp feature to transform the original scene into something quite different. Click on the picture if you can’t read the print:
Now I can take the same illustration and use it in two very different mixed media pieces!
This, incidentally, is what I can do with Puppet Warp after 13.2 seconds of experimentation and very little Photoshop knowledge. Imagine what you could do in 15.4 seconds with some notion of what you’re doing!