Adobe Illustrator Puppet Warp Tool

Adobe Illustrator has introduced the Puppet Warp tool that has previously been seen in Adobe Photoshop but its arguably a much more useful tool in Adobe Illustrator!

To use the Puppet warp tool in Adobe Illustrator is actually very simple but highly effective particularly if you are an Illustrator  creating character animations or a Graphic Designer wanting to manipulate text.

To get started with the Puppet Warp Tool you need to select all of the artwork that you want to manipulate using your main selection tool.

Adobe Illustrator Select your Artwork

Then in your main tool bar select the Puppet Warp tool (Looks like a drawing pin) it is situated with the free transform tool.

Adobe Illustrator Tool bar with puppet warp tool

You can now click on the selected Adobe Illustrator Artwork which will convert the artwork in to a mesh that you can start to add pins in to which will act as joints where the artwork will be pinned to the artboard.

Add pins to artwork for the Adobe Illustrator Puppet Warp

With these pins now in position you can click and drag them around to re position the limbs of the character, you will notice it all moves in sync, if you have put too many pins just select the ones you don’t want and press delete, also if the artwork is moving in places you dont want it too you can add a few more pins if required.


There is also a dotted circle that appears around the pin which will enable you to rotate the pin and change the artwork in a completely different manor.

Adobe Illustrator Puppet Warp moving pins around

When you are happy with the adjustments you can change back to your Adobe Illustrator Main selection Tool to commit to the changes. I would recommend that you duplicate the original artwork before you start to add pins and manipulate it as the only way to go backwards is Edit > Undo, which is fine but once you close and open the document again you loose this ability.

Another great way that the Adobe Illustrator Puppet Warp Tool can be used is with text, simply create your text, select it with your main selection tool then click on the text with your Puppet Warp Tool. When you see the mesh Adobe Illustrator has actually outlined your text so it is no longer editable text that you will be able to change the font of etc. So again I would recommend duplicating your text before making any changes with the Adobe Illustrator Puppet Warp Tool

Adobe Illustrator Puppet Warp Tool with Text

Manipulating text with the Adobe Illustrator Puppet Warp Tool works in exactly the same way as it did with the character, just add your pins and start dragging and rotating to create some really bespoke typography!

I would just like to thank Mair Perkins Animation & Illustration for the use of her artwork in this tutorial its far better than anything I would have drawn myself!



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