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Fun with Puppet Warp in Photoshop CS5


  1. Creating a New Selection and Layer
  2. Fill Transparent Areas with Realistic Content
  3. Warping the Subject
  4. Final Thoughts

Article Description

One of the more entertaining (and powerful) new features in Photoshop CS5 is the Puppet Warp command. This feature provides the ability to apply a warping mesh to any selected object in your scene, and then bend and twist that object around in different ways. Dan Moughamian, author of Adobe Digital Imaging How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques for Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 3, and Camera Raw 6, shows you how to combine both Puppet Warp and the new Content-Aware Fill command to apply a snowman effect to a lighthouse.
Fill Transparent Areas with Realistic Content

Fill Transparent Areas with Realistic Content

Before warping any new layer, you should fill the transparent areas behind that layer with realistic-looking content. This ensures that as you warp the edges of the layer, there is a believable background behind it. For this example, I needed to fill the areas along the side of the lighthouse with sky and cloud textures because I intended to warp the lighthouse inward.

To accomplish this, I turned off the lighthouse layer’s visibility, selected the original layer, then made a rough selection around the transparency and choose Edit > Fill > Contents Use: Content-Aware, as seen in Figure 3.

Figure 3 The Content-Aware option inside the Fill dialog is a great way to fill the gaps behind your warp layer.

The result of using Content-Aware Fill doesn’t necessarily need to cover the entire transparent area, only those spots that will reveal transparent background pixels when warped. Figure 4 provides an example of this.

Figure 4 After using Content-Aware Fill to create a background for the warp regions, the remaining transparent areas will be covered by the new layer.

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