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Best Tutorials for the Puppet Warp Tool, Extractions, and other Reality Distortion Techniques in Photoshop CS5

Best Tutorials for the Puppet Warp Tool, Extractions, and other Reality Distortion Techniques in Photoshop CS5

One of the new, mind-blowing features in Photoshop CS5 is the Puppet Warp Tool. It gives you the ability to manipulate an image in incredible new ways and has many different applications, from deftly alterting the shape of an object in a photo to moving an object to another location in an image and much more.

Now that designers have had some time to experiment with the tool, we’re starting to see a lot of really interesting applications. This roundup of Puppet Warp tutorials covers the basics and includes some tutorials you can walk through for unique visual tips, too. But you can’t just jump right into the Puppet Warp Tool without some other tools in your toolbox. Often the feature works best after you have extracted your image from the background, as an example. So we found some great tuts for extraction techniques and other handy skills, just in case the Puppet Warp Tool doesn’t work for your specified task.

Puppet Warp Tool Tutorials

Puppet Warp Tool Basics

Who better than the infamous Russell Brown to provide a thorough walk-thru of the Puppet Warp Tool? This exhaustive video tutorial shows you just about everything you could want to know about the Puppet Warp Tool.

Rope Text Effect

This tutorial walks you through a unique use of the Puppet Warp Tool by creating a wrapping, rope effect. Easy to follow and a stunning final piece.

Using the Puppet Warp Tool for Extreme Manipulation

We’ve all been there and needed to make a major change in a photo. Sometimes you need to remove something from the background, but it’s tough to move things from the foreground. Check out this tutorial as they show you how to make major changes to an image without destroying your point of focus, too.

Photoshop CS5 Top 5: Puppet Warp

Get a great overview of the best ways to use the Puppet Warp Tool. This excellent video is easy to follow and provides some interesting new ideas for using this tool.

Tweaking Images with Puppet Warp

If you just need a quick tip for how to use the Puppet Warp tool, try this helpful tutorial. You will quickly learn how to make small changes to objects within images.

Moving Body Parts in a Photo

Need a fun tutorial for more Puppet Tool practice? This one takes you through how to take the image of a sitting girl and turn her into a crazy gymnast by moving her leg behind her head.

Remodeling a Figure in Photoshop

This incredible in-depth tutorial teaches you how to remodel an object using the Puppet Warp tool. You also learn other warp and transform techniques for editing figures.

Creating Cinemagraphs

You’ve seen those still images with slight, subtle movements, right? They’re becoming more and more popular. The Puppet Warp Tool is an ideal way to create a cinemagraph from a still image. This tutorial walks you through how to create a cinemagraph using the Puppet Warp Tool, and provides an excellent breakdown of the complete process.

Beyond the Puppet Warp Tool

Finally, the Puppet Warp Tool is just one tool in your design arsenal, so don’t get too fixated on its abilities. In this tutorial you can see how the tool is used in context of a broader design goal. While the tutorial is high-level, it’s important to see the tool used alongside other features that allow dramatic image manipulation.

Extraction Tutorials and More

Extracting Images in Photoshop CS5

So you have this great idea, but you’ve noticed that the Puppet Warp Tool can only go so far. Backgrounds get warped, no matter how many @#!& pins you put in there. A great way to easily fix that problem is to extract the foreground image you want to manipulate later. Here’s a great tutorial for covering how to use the Quick Selection Tool to extract a background. The tutorial also covers some of the new content aware editing tools in CS5.

How to Extract and Cut Out Hair from a Photo

Extracting hair from a background to use on another background can be much more difficult than cutting out smooth edges. This tutorial deftly shows you how best to cut out hair from a photo.

Photoshop CS5 Extracting Images

Another great image extracting tutorial, this one shows how to use layer masks. Quick and easy, this is a great one to review if you need some review or are a beginner.

Photoshop Advanced Background Extraction Technique

This tutorial is second in a series, so it’s a little more advanced. It quickly shows how to use the Extraction Tool to extract a background and then goes on to show how to blend objects to perfection.

Warping Images

Perfect for beginners, this tutorial shows how to warp your images, known as the warp or envelope distortion technique. Learn how to use handles on the bounding box and apply layers.

Plastic Surgery Using the Liquify Tool

The Liquify Tool in Photoshop is perfect for when you need to make subtle to extreme changes to the shape of an object. This tutorial takes you through the steps to making subtle changes to a model’s shape while still maintaining the shape of the water in the background.

Anthony Turano Photoshop Tutorials: Liquify Tool

Learn from the famous speed retouching master how to use the Liquify Tool to make subtle changes to a model. Turano shows how to pre-highlight areas for changes as well as gives some very helpful hints as to how to better use the Liquify Tool.

Photoshop Liquify Tool

This tutorial gives more unique hints for using the Liquify Tool, such as the pros and cons of different brush sizes. The “work-arounds” and “best techniques” given in this video are definitely worth reviewing.

Photoshop CS5: Refine Edge

In Photoshop CS5, refining edges in a selection is much easier than before. In this tutorial, you will learn how to use Edge Detection to make your selection much cleaner.

Remove From a Photo Using Content Aware

The new Content Aware feature in Photoshop CS5 makes removing objects much easier than in previous versions. This tutorial shows just how quick and easy this new feature is to learn.

Favorite Feature: Content-Aware-Fill

Learn all of the great features that come with Content Aware in Photoshop CS5. This video takes you through three different handy ways that you can use Content Aware for editing images.

So how are you using the Puppet Warp Tool? Are you using it for dramatic changes, cinemagraphs, or just simple changes that can now be done much more quickly?

About the Author:

Tara Hornor has a degree in English and writes about marketing, advertising, branding, graphic design, and desktop publishing. She works for, an online printing company that offers postcards, posters, brochure printing, postcard printing, and more printed marketing media. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

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  1. Tom says:

    A great first article Tara, welcome to the site! :) These video tutorials were actually incredibly well explained and useful, even though I’ve had experiences with these tools before. It’s always great to get a reminder!

    • Tara Hornor says:

      Thanks, Tom! I’m glad to be a part of this awesome site and hope that my contributions are a helpful resource for fellow designers.

  2. Phil says:

    Great collection of useful tutorials – thanks for sharing!

  3. Chris says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial list Tara! I had never used content aware, but will definitely be using it a lot now!

  4. Adrian says:

    Most of the blogs just contain some technical words regarding photo editing. This one is not one of those. This explains the art of editing a photo is details along with illustrations which give a thorough idea of the subject. It is really a helpful blog especially for amateur photo editors like me. I like it!

  5. Su Hall says:

    Wow! Great list and article! I had been trying to make chain and found the puppet-warp video tip above and it turned out better than I hoped. Good timing! LOL Thank you very much!


  6. sm iqbal says:

    what kind of version is stubble for using puppet warp. is it possible cs5.8 version ?

  7. Tapan says:

    Very nice tutorials to learn. I have just learn the photoshop but some of the features they haven’t teach us. So here i have learn about Panorama & Content Aware feature. Thank u…

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