I have a photo of a blank exhibition stand and I wanted to add some content to it to show how it might look. The stand is curved and the photograph is taken at an angle. I hoped I might be able to:

  1. Draw around the outline of the exhibition stand
  2. Convert the outline to a mesh
  3. Add text and bitmaps that automatically warp to fit the mesh, so they look like they're actually on the exhibition stand.

I’ve played about with all the warp/perspective/gradient mesh/3D tools in Illustrator and Photoshop but can’t find anything suitable. Illustrator’s perspective tool works for straightforward perspectives, but doesn’t appear to work with irregular shapes such as mine.

I can‘t find anyone else wanting to do this – perhaps I’m approaching it the wrong way? How do I go about it? enter image description here

1 Answer 1


You will want to use smart objects.

First create a square shape that is around the edges of the graphic. Then right click on that shape layer and convert to a smart object.

I then edit -> transform -> warp to shape the square layer we created (It is easier to warp the shape if you first lower the opacity to see where to warp).

booth using warp tool

Then double click on the smart object layer (I think you will be asked to save when you do this). This will open a new document. Place your graphic in there and save.

This is what my smart object document looks like

smart object layer


end result

for more complex shapes for warping the base shape layer, you will need to use the puppet warp tool. But for simple warps the warp tool works fine.

Depending on the shape you are covering you might want to use the other transform options as well(Skew, distort, etc).

  • Wonderful, thanks! For anyone else trying this: just make sure you convert to a Shape Layer before you do the warp, as Andrew stated. To convert, right-click on the name of the layer in the Layers panel or use the Layer menu.
    – user535673
    Aug 16, 2015 at 20:36

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