How to Make an Anime Character Look Like Yourself

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Photo Reference from S-A-M, Flickr
Photo Reference from S-A-M, Flickr

Anime is a popular form of cartoon originating from Japan. Many people love the whimsy of anime characters and try to create avatars that combine their photos with the traditional anime look, but can't find anything realistic. It's not difficult to create a life-like, one-of-a-kind anime character using your own photo.

Things You'll Need

  • Photo of yourself (preferably a portrait)
  • Computer
  • Adobe Photoshop

Open your photo in Photoshop. Go to "File" and click "Open."

Right click on the background layer in the layer box and select "Duplicate Layer." The reason you want a duplicate layer is to ensure that your original image stays untouched.

Take the Elliptical Marquee tool from the tool bar and circle around one eye. Go to "Layer" from the menu bar and select "New" then "Layer Via Copy" or press "Ctrl + J" on your keyboard. Return to the background copy layer and repeat the process with the other eye.

Return to background copy layer. Go to "Filter" on the menu bar, and select "Liquify" or press "Shift + Ctrl + X" on your keyboard.

Change the Density to 100 and then resize the lips with the "Pinch" tool. To resize with the pinch tool, hover over the lips with the brush and press and hold the mouse button until desired distortion. Press "Okay" to exit.

Holding the "Ctrl" key, click on "Layer 1." This will automatically select the eye. Go to "Edit" on the menu bar and select "Transform" then "Scale." Click on the lock button to maintain ratio aspect. Enlarge the eye, and remember the percentage. On this example, it's 185 percent Press "Ctrl + D" to deselect that eye.

Repeat the process with layer 2. Enter in 185 percent in the scale percentage.

Take the "Eraser" tool from the tool bar, or press "E" on your keyboard. Make sure that it's the soft brush. Start erasing the skin around each enlarged eye carefully to blend in with the face.

Create a new layer. Change the eye color. Select the "Elliptical Marquee" tool and draw a circle around the pupil.

Select the "Gradient" tool, and choose the "Radial Gradient" from the "Gradient" tool bar. Change the colors in the fore/back ground boxes to 814FA0 and 000000 (or black). Draw the gradient in the "Elliptical Marquee" from the center out. Change the layer opacity to 50 percent in the layer box. Right click on the layer and select "Blending Options" then "Color Overlay." Change the color to 0F22AD at 75 percent. Deselect the "Marquee" by pressing "Ctrl + D." Take the eraser and clean up the over painting.

Create a new layer. Use the brush and the foreground color of white, and paint highlights in the eyes.

Outline the eyes with a small black brush to create more depth. Go to Filters then select "Gaussian Blur" with a 5.0 pixel radius.

Hide the background layer by selecting its eye icon in the layer box. Go to Layer and select "Merge Visible" or press "Shift + Ctrl + E."

Return to "Liquify." Begin to bulge and pinch the face until its distorted to your satisfaction.

Select the shirt with the "Lasso tool," then make it into its own layer by pressing "Ctrl + J."

Go to "Gaussian Blur" again, and select 2.2 pixels blur. Then go to "Filter," select "Artistic" and then "Paint Daubs." Change the brush size to 5 and the sharpness to 15.

Save. You're done!

Tips & Warnings

  • Download Photoshop for a free trial. Or use Photoshop-like software, such as Aviary or Sumo Paint.
  • Save constantly to avoid the agonizing pain of a computer or software crash.
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