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Photoshop is famous if not downright infamous for its ability to distort reality which is ironic given that most of us whose job it is to distort reality are frustrated by Photoshop's dearth of reality distortion tools. I mean Photoshop's toolbox offers something like 60 tools, 60, and you know how many of them distort reality? The Crop tool, but only because of the perspective check box. I mean, the Crop tool! So thankfully, there are two commands that help Photoshop maintain its reality distortion cred; Puppet Warp and Liquify.
Puppet Warp is new to Photoshop CS5, and it works nondestructively on a Smart Object, and it operates just like a tool. Once you choose the command, all tools in the toolbox become deselected because Puppet Warp is now your tool. You lay down pins right there in the Image window and drag them around to expand, contract and move selected details. It all happens live so what you see is what you get. By Contrast, Liquify has been around since the 1990s.
It operates directly on pixels. So, destructively, and it works independently of Photoshop in its own dedicated window. Good news - it lets you paint in distortions using a variety of tools, and you can save the results of your edits in case you need to revisit them later. Two very different approaches, one common goal: To make you, as an advanced Photoshop user, look like a million bucks.
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