Transforming Objects with Adobe Photoshop


Images can undergo several changes to adapt to the needs of the customer or user, adapt to correct details of any modification, alteration or change of shape while maintaining its identity. Adobe Photoshop can perform tasks as simple transformation scales, rotates, skews, stretches, or even more detailed and complex tasks such as warps of an image. In this article we will be explaining in detail what transformations can be achieved by using Puppet Warp.

First to enable a grid on the image, which can be transformed to add depth or another function, then the image will be transformed to give them another position or movement.

You can apply transformations to a selection, an entire layer, multiple layers, or a layer mask. You can also apply transformations to a path, a vector shape, a vector mask, a selection border, or an alpha channel. Transforming affects image quality only when you manipulate the pixels. Transforming a vector shape or path is always non-destructive because you’re only changing the mathematical calculations producing the object.

To make a transformation, first select an item to transform and then choose a transformation command. If necessary, adjust the reference point before manipulating the transformation. You can perform several manipulations in succession before applying the cumulative transformation. For example, you can choose Scale and drag a handle to scale, and then choose Distort and drag a handle to distort. Then press Enter or Return (if you’re using Mac) to apply both transformations.


Photoshop uses the interpolation method selected in the General area of the Preferences dialog box to calculate the color values of pixels that are added or deleted during transformations. This interpolation setting directly affects the speed and quality of the transformation. Bicubic interpolation, the default, is slowest but yields the best results.

To access free transformations you can use the shortcut CTRL + T, the same can be applied to the images rotate, scale, skews, Stretches.


The Warp command lets you drag control points to manipulate the shape of images, shapes, or paths, and so on. You can also warp using a shape in the Warp Style pop-up menu in the options bar. Shapes in the Warp Style pop-up menu are also malleable; drag their control points.

When using the control points to distort an item, choosing View > Extras shows or hides the warp mesh and control points.

Then using shown Warp:

  1. Select what you want to warp and copy as a new layer.


  1. Next go to:

Edit > Transform > Warp.


If you chose a different transform command or the Free Transform command (CTRL+T), click the “Switch Between Free Transform And Warp Modes” button in the options bar.

  1. Now remember this:

To warp using a specific shape, choose a warp style from the Warp pop-up menu in the options bar.




Dragging a control point to warp the mesh

To the manipulate the shape, drag the control points, a segment of the bounding box or mesh, or an area within the mesh. When adjusting a curve, use the control point handles. This is similar to adjusting the handles in the curved segment of a vector graphic.

To undo the last handle adjustment, choose Edit > Undo.


Manipulating the shape of a warp

To change the orientation of a warp style that you chose from the Warp menu, click the Change The Warp Orientation button in the options bar.

To change the reference point, click a square on the Reference point locator  in the options bar.

To specify the amount of warp using numeric values, enter the values in the Bend (set bend), X (set horizontal distortion) and Y (set vertical distortion) text boxes in the options bar. You can’t enter numeric values if you have chosen None or Custom from the Warp Style pop-up menu.

  1. Apply this:

Press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS), or click the Commit button  in the options bar.

To cancel the transformation, press Esc or click the Cancel button  in the options bar.

When you warp a bitmap image (versus a shape or path), the image becomes slightly less sharp each time you apply a transformation; therefore, performing multiple commands before applying the transformation is preferable to applying each transformation separately.


Puppet Warp provides a visual mesh that lets you drastically distort specific image areas, while leaving other areas intact. Applications range from subtle image retouching (such as shaping hair) to full-body transformations (such as repositioning arms or legs).

In addition to image layers, you can apply Puppet Warp to layer and vector masks.

  1. In the Layers panel, select the layer or mask you want to transform.


  1. Choose Edit > Puppet Warp.


  1. In the options bar, adjust the following mesh settings:
  • Mode: Determines the overall elasticity of the mesh. Choose Distort for a highly elastic mesh good for warping wide-angle images or texture maps.
  • Density: Determines the spacing of mesh points. More Points increases precision but requires more processing time; fewer Points does the opposite.
  • Expansion: Expands or contracts the outer edge of the mesh.
  • Show Mesh: Deselect to show only adjustment pins, providing a clearer preview of your transformations.

To temporarily hide adjustment pins, press the H key.


  1. In the image window, click to add pins to areas you want to transform and areas you want to anchor in place.


Move a pin on the puppet mesh. Adjoining pins keep nearby areas intact.

  1. To reposition or remove pins, do any of the following:

Drag pins to warp the mesh.

To reveal a mesh area you’ve overlapped with another, click the Pin Depth buttons in the options bar.

To remove selected pins, press Delete. To remove other individual pins, place the cursor directly over them, and press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS); when the scissors icon appears, click.

Click the Remove All Pins button  in the options bar.

To select multiple pins, Shift-click them or choose Select All Pins from the context menu.

  1. To rotate the mesh around a pin, select it, and then do either of the following:

To rotate the mesh a fixed number of degrees, press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS), and position the cursor near to, but not over the pins. When a circle appears, drag to visually rotate the mesh.



  1. When your transformation is complete, press Enter or Return.

Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) to rotate the mesh around a selected pin.


For the task warp an Item, it is highly recommended to first separate the elements of a layered image, and then switch to request each layer.

For the task of puppet warp, we recommend using high-resolution images with more details in changing movement or shape to be held. In the example several reference points were placed on the puppet to ensure that those sectors are affected by changing one.


  1. ADOBE (2013), ADOBE PHOTOSHOP Help and tutorials, link [] visited as of 2015-06-05.
  2. ADOBE (2014), Adobe® Photoshop® CC Help, link

[] visited as of 2015-06-05.

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