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I am looking to "lay" a flag on an animal. How do I make it look realistic so that the flag bends over the animals back and appears natural?
entirely depends whet the graphic looks like. From converting the flag into a custom art brush to convoluted procedures with envelope warps, gradient meshes or re-drawing the flag from scratch with the perspective baked in this could be anything, including further work to add actual shadows and shading. You have to provide at least a screenshot of your artwork along with some info on how you want to wrap it around/ flow.
You can try if you can create this using an envelope.
Be prepared for a lot of work.
I did alter the flag in envelope distort already to give it more of a rippled effect and that's been great. However, now laying it on the animal is a different story. I just looks like an object place on top. need to try to "bend" the flag over the object.
That won't work with the default envelopes, but you can edit the envelope to make it work. Won't be done in 5 minutes probably.
@defaultfgvk5b7c7rol In Photoshop, I'd try puppet warp or transform>skew. In Illustrator, maybe some combination of scale, shear and distort would work? How to scale, shear, and distort objects in Illustrator (adobe.com)