Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Little Known Tricks: The Warp Tool in Photoshop

Today I want to share a very brief overview of the Warp tool in Photoshop.  I'm working with Photoshop CS4 and I know that in more current versions there's a tool called Puppet Warp that is way more powerful.  We're going to use the warp tool to apply a pattern to the curves of clothing.

For today's lesson, open an image in Photoshop.

My image has a doll and two dresses. The outlines are on one layer and the colors are on another.  We're going to add a pattern to a new layer between the outlines and the color layers.

On the new layer, I use the rectangular select tool & draw out a box.  The box should be bigger than the area you're going to cover. Use the paint bucket set to pattern and fill it with a pattern.  I went with stripes.

Now we're going to warp the stripes.  Go to Edit>Transform>Warp to find the warp tool.  Warp has some presets that are similar to Illustrator. You can created arches and a flag wave, etc, with these built-in settings.  What we're going to do is a free form warp.

When you apply the warp tool you'll see a grid.  There are handles in the four corners and a grid between those.  We can move the handles at the four corners and push & pull the grid.

Like this.  It's not a perfect match to the curves of the dress but it's better than straight stripes.  In the top section of the image, you can see the white ends of the handles, and in the bottom section they show up as black.  Photoshop adjust to the image, making it easier to see.

I like to use a lot of layers with Photoshop.  Keeping everything separate makes it easier to work with.  In this case, I go to the Outlines layer, select outside of the dress, then click on my stripe layer, hit Delete and poof! The extra lines are gone.  Next, set the layer to Multiply and tweak the opacity.

Warp isn't a perfect tool but it can help make things like patterns a little more organic.  I discovered this while working on a new paper doll.  The costume is a cowboy with a handkerchief tied around his neck & I wanted to have a subtle white pattern curve around it.  Warp did the trick.

I'm going to continue to play around with it.  Now that I'm aware of the warp tool I'll probably find more uses for it.  I hope you'll try it out, too.

I should be back on track for a lesson Monday and a new doll on Friday!

No comments:

Post a Comment