It couldn’t be easier to make smooth adjustments to parts of your vector drawings in Adobe Illustrator. Simply place pins with the Puppet Warp tool, and then manipulate specific areas of your artwork while keeping other areas unchanged.

Note: You’ll need the latest version of Illustrator to use this feature.

Add pins to your drawing

With the Selection tool in the Tools panel, drag a selection marquee around your artwork. Select the Puppet Warp tool and add at least three pins by clicking in an area you wish to transform, and also in areas you wish to anchor in place. You can use the mesh overlay as a guide to help you place pins.

Tip: You can turn off the mesh if you find it distracting — uncheck Show Mesh in the Properties panel, or in the Control panel.

Start modifying your artwork

Move a pin to elongate, rotate, and reposition parts of your drawing. You can add more pins to anchor additional areas as you sculpt your artwork.

Tip: Be sure to use at least three pins for better control over fine adjustments.

Start afresh

It’s easy to remove all pins in one go. With the Puppet Warp tool selected, click Select All Pins under Quick Actions in the Properties panel and press Delete.

View some other examples:

Make digital puppets

Easily pose a character. When repositioning the limbs of a character, add extra pins where the limb meets the body at a joint. You can use the Expand mesh option in the Properties panel (or in the Control panel) to increase the affected area. This is helpful when there are gaps in your artwork.

Create expressive typography

Sculpt, elongate, and distort text shapes. The Puppet Warp tool automatically outlines the text so you can edit the shapes organically rather than using anchor points.

Tip: For best results, manipulate each letter individually.

Hope you had fun. See Puppet Warp to learn more about this tool in Illustrator.


Artist: Gleb Guralnyk

Artist: Jing Wei