How to Make a Photo Look Like a Cartoon in Photoshop

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Adobe Photoshop is a robust graphics package that provides a way for both novice photographers and experienced designers and artists to enhance and augment their images. If you’re playing around with a picture for a social messaging board avatar or are transferring photos to 2-D artwork for a comics panel, Photoshop can assist you in your efforts to render the images into cartoons.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Digital image
  • Open Photoshop and select “File” then “Open” and browse to where your photo is located. Double-click the image so it appears on your workspace.

  • Click the “Image” menu at the top and select “Adjust,” then choose “Hue/Saturation.” Move the “Saturation” slider bar toward the right, which adds a cartoon brightness to your image.

  • Move the “Hue” slider bar to the left, which adds more red colors to the image, or to the right, which colors the image greener. Click “OK” when you are satisfied.

  • Click the “Filter” menu at the top and select “Stylize,” then choose “Glowing Edges.” Move the “Edge Width” slider bar to the left for the most defined cartoon look; moving it to the right will make edges blend together more.

  • Move the “Smoothness” bar to the right for a fluid distinction between areas on the image. Move the “Edge Brightness” bar to the right for the brightest lines; move it to the left for duller, less distinct lines.

  • Click the “OK” button and the image will change to a brightly-lit, cartoon cutout version of the picture.

Tips & Warnings

  • Because each photo will have different amounts of dark, light and colors, you’ll need to play around with the slider bars on the “Hue/Saturation” menu until you find the perfect cartoon-rendering combination for each picture.
  • You can always undo an action in Photoshop by clicking the “Edit” menu and selecting “Undo” or “Step Backwards.” This removes the last action you’ve conducted on the screen; you can repeat these steps to go back in time, or just close the image without saving it, then start again from scratch.

References

  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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