The Warp Tool has always been useful for both retouching and compositing, allowing us to quickly adjust the shape and volume of objects in a photo. In Photoshop 2020, Adobe has taken the Warp Tool to a whole new level of precision and customization. Learn about the new Split Warp options and how they can help you make changes to shape without affecting the image as a whole!
The Warp Tool has always been useful, but the biggest downside has been that it’s difficult to use without affecting an entire Layer or image. If you were to activate the Warp Tool and then click and drag in the top left corner of an image, pixels from every other corner of the photo will be pushed and pulled along with it. It’s great when you need to completely reshape an entire Layer, but much less useful when you just want to change a small area of a larger image.
The new Split Warp options in Photoshop 2020 allow us to make those smaller changes, adding a whole new level of precision to this classic tool.
Tranform & Warp
To access the new Warp Tool options, select the Layer you wish to adjust, hit CTRL or CMD + T to toggle the Transform Tool, then right-click anywhere on the image and select Warp. Once the Warp Tool is activated, right-click on the image again and the new Split options are available.
The new Split Warp options are:
Split Warp Horizontally
Split Warp Vertically
Split Warp Crosswise
Remove Warp Split
These options allow you to add (and remove) lines which will divide an image up into subsections. Each subsection can then be Warped while having a minimal effect on the other subsections.
In our dress image example, we want to add volume to the subject’s dress using the Warp Tool, but we don’t want to affect the top half of the image where the subject’s head and arms are. By adding a horizontal split, we can now Warp the bottom portion of the image while barely affecting the top half.
The most powerful thing about the new Warp options is that you can add any number of splits you want–you can even create your own custom splits by holding ALT or OPTN with the Warp Tool activated. This allows you to achieve a new level of control with the Warp Tool that didn’t exist before.
There’s a lot of people saying that the new Warp Tool options are their favorite part of the new Photoshop 2020 update, and for good reason. Whether you’re into retouching, compositing, or you’re just editing vacation photos, we recommend you add the new Warp Tool to your editing tool kit!