Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

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Cartoon effects can come in handy for special events and projects. In addition, cartoon portraits can actually make great social media profile pictures to help you build your personal brand. You can use Photoshop to create cartoon images from your pictures. While some photos will work better than others will, it is possible to turn just about any photo into a “cartoon” image with cool line art and bright, smooth colors. In this tutorial, I will take you systematically to learn about turning your portrait into a carton effect. However, before going through this tutorial I will begin by explaining some filters and tools that I am going to use.

Poster Edges filter

Reduces the number of colors in an image (posterizes it) according to the posterization option you set, and finds the edges of the image and draws black lines on them. Large broad areas have simple shading, and fine dark detail is distributed throughout the image.

Posterization occurs when an image’s apparent bit of depth has been decreased so much that it has a visual impact. The term posterization is used because it can influence your photo similar to how the colors may look in a mass-produced poster, where the print process uses a limited number of color inks. This effect ranges from subtle to quite pronounced, although one’s tolerance for posterization may vary.

You can access the poster edges filter by

Filter > filter Gallery > Artistic > Poster Edges

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

The Threshold adjustment tool

The Threshold adjustment tool converts grayscale or color images into high-contrast, black-and-white images. You can specify a certain level as a threshold. All pixels lighter than the threshold are converted to white; and all pixels darker are converted to black. The Threshold command is useful for determining the lightest and darkest areas of an image.

You can access the threshold filter by:

Image > Adjustments > Threshold

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

Oil Paint filter

The oil paint filter creates the effect of painting with a brush. The Oil Paint filter in Adobe Photoshop is very well known, as it also creates the Bevel effect along with the brush strokes (adds a glow and a shadow to the sides of a stroke).

You can access the Oil Painting filter by:

Filter > Stylize > Oil paint

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

Level adjustment

Levels is a tool in Photoshop and other image editing programs that can move and stretch the brightness levels of an image histogram. It has the power to adjust brightness, contrast, and tonal range by specifying the location of complete black, complete white, and mid-tones in a histogram.

You can access the level tool by:

Image > Adjustments > Level

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

Hue/Saturation adjustment

Hue/Saturation lets you adjust the hue, saturation, and lightness of a specific range of colors in an image or simultaneously adjust all the colors in an image.

Choose Master to adjust all colors at once. Choose one of the other preset colors ranges listed for the color you want to adjust

Enter a value or drag the Saturation slider to the right to increase the saturation or to the left to decrease it. Values can range from ‑100 (percentage of desaturation, duller colors) to +100 (percentage of saturation increase).

You can access the Hue/Saturation adjustment tool by:

Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

Using Smart Objects

Smart Objects are layers that contain image data from raster or vector images, such as Photoshop or Illustrator files. Smart Objects preserve an image’s source content with all its original characteristics, enabling you to perform nondestructive editing to the layer.

With Smart Objects, you can:

  • Perform nondestructive transforms. You can scale, rotate, skew, distort, perspective transform, or warp a layer without losing original image data or quality because the transforms don’t affect the original data.
  • Perform non-destructive filtering. You can edit filters applied to Smart Objects at any time.


 

Step by step to Turn Photo into Cartoon

This way of creating a carton photo from an existing portrait photo depends on creating two duplicate layers of the original; I call them Main and color layers. I will apply a multiple of filters and tools (Poster Edge filter, Threshold tool, and Oil paint filter) on the Main layer while applying other filters on the color layer (Poster Edge filter, Level tool, and hue/saturation).

Then I will change the blending mode of the main layer to multiply to get the final carton photo as described below:

Step 1

Open photo in Photoshop

Step 2

Unlock the layer by clicking on the lock symbol

Step 3

Change the size of the photo such that, one of its dimension should be between 1500 to 2000 pixels (this will help in getting the best results when using filters)

Image > Image Size or use the shortcut ALT + Ctrl + I

Step 4

Duplicate the original layer and name it Main. By right-clicking on the layer and choose the Duplicate layer.

Step 5

Change the Main layer into a Smart layer. By right-clicking on the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Step 6

Apply the Poster Edge filter to the main layer by:

Filter > filter Gallery > Artistic > Poster Edges and choose the following setting:

Edge Thickness:10

Edge Intensity: 10

Posterization: 6

Step 7

Turn the main layer image into a black outline image by using the Threshold tool

Image > Adjustments > Threshold

Move the slider towards the left

Step 8

Apply the Oil Paint filter to the main layer by:

Filter > Stylize > Oil paint and choose the following setting:

Stylization: 5

Cleanness: 10

The image will look like the following

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

Step 9

Duplicate the original layer and name it color. By right-clicking on the layer and choose the Duplicate layer. In addition, Change the color layer into a Smart layer. By right-clicking on the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Step 10

Apply the Poster Edge filter to the color layer by:

Filter > filter Gallery > Artistic > Poster Edges and choose the following setting:

Edge Thickness: 0

Edge Intensity: 0

Posterization: 1

Step 11

Use the Level tool to adjust the histogram of the color layer by:

Image > Adjustments > Level then move the left slider to the right and move the right slider to the left

Step 12

Increase the saturation of the color layer by:

Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation then move the saturation slider to the right.

Step 13

Change the blend mode of the main layer to Multiply

After and before photos are shown below

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

Photo by Ehab Amin

More examples

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

Photo by Ehab Amin

Photo by Italo Melo from Pexels

 

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

Image by Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay

Add fun to your carton image

You may want to add some fun to your carton image, use the Liquify filter to change a person’s face

Face-Aware Liquify filter in Photoshop automatically detects facial features and helps you adjust them to change a portrait or add creative character to a fun shot, by just moving sliders.

You can get access to the filter by:

Filter > Liquify

The following pop up menu will appear.

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

You can change the following features of your portrait; remember to click the link between the two sliders to make changes to both right and left eyes.

I use a Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

  • Eye size
  • Eye height
  • Eye width
  • Eye tilt
  • Eye distance

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

  • Nose height
  • Nose width

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

  • Smile
  • Upper, lower lip
  • Mouth width, height

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

  • Forehead
  • Chin height
  • Jawline
  • Face width

Turn Photo into Cartoon Using Photoshop

 


Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the article if you have any questions just post below & I will be happy to answer you.

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