How to Use the Warp Tool in Photoshop

Twist and distort a cube using Photoshop's Warp options.
Image Credit: Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.

The Warp Tool is one of the most powerful options available in Photoshop CC's Transform options. Use the preset Warp options to twist, squeeze or inflate an object, or use the Custom option to contort it into any shape you want.

Step 1

Unlock the layer and select the object you want to warp.
Image Credit: Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.

Click the layer that you want to warp using the Layers panel. If the layer is locked, as it is on JPG and PNG images, click the Lock icon to unlock it, or drag the layer onto the New Layer icon to create a duplicate, editable layer.

Use one of the selection tools, such as the Lasso Tool or the Rectangular Marquee Tool in the Toolbox to select the area you want to warp. Otherwise, if you select nothing, everything in the layer warps.

Step 2

Select Warp.
Image Credit: Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.

Click the Edit menu and select Transform. From the drop-down menu that opens, select Warp. A grid with nine squares appears over the selected area.

Step 3

Drag a line intersection to warp the object.
Image Credit: Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.

Click and drag any intersection between lines to warp the image. Dragging a corner inside the outer borders allows you to warp the image without affecting the border. This can be handy when you want to warp an object in a photo, for example, without affecting objects around it.

Step 4

Drag a corner to warp the object.
Image Credit: Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.

Drag any of the square or round anchor points on the outside of the border to warp, twist and otherwise transform the image. Dragging a corner past the opposite corner reverses a part of the image, as if the object was printed on a two-sided piece of paper.

Step 5

Select a warp option.
Image Credit: Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.

Click the Warp menu in the Options bar to see a drop-down menu of preformatted warp options. Each selection includes an icon showing the effect you can expect.

Step 6

Use the Options bar to vary the effect as desired.
Image Credit: Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.

Increase or decrease the degree of warping by changing the Bend in the Options bar to any value between 0 and 100 percent. Changing the H and V options changes the amount of warp on the horizontal and vertical axes.

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