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How To Use Cartoon Effects in Photoshop

How To Use Cartoon Effects in Photoshop

If you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve most likely noticed the cartoon image trend. While you may tease your friends for constantly exchanging cartoon versions of themselves, you’re secretly wondering how you’d look as a comic book character. Whether you choose to flaunt your comic book persona on social media or keep it to yourself, here’s how to use cartoon effects in Photoshop. 

Step 1: Find a Good Picture

Choose a photograph with high resolution and good details. A photo with minimal shadows – especially on the face --- will be easier to convert than one with extreme contrasts. Once you’ve found the image you want, open it in Photoshop. 

Step 2: Duplicate Your Background Layer

To avoid accidentally overwriting the original photo file, right click in the Layers panel and duplicate your background. You can also use the following shortcut: Cmd/Ctrl+J. As much as you’re going to love the cartoon version of your photo, you probably don’t want it to replace the original one. 

Step 3: Smooth Your Image

Before you turn your photo into a drawing, you’ll want to smooth out our image. You can do this by selecting Filters > Blur > Smart Blur. Change the values to reduce skin texture and soften harsh lines. 

Step 4: Adjust Your Levels

To make your image convert more readily to a cartoon, quickly adjust your Levels. You can bring up the Levels panel by clicking Ctrl+L. In the Preset box, change to Custom and select your own input and output levels to push contrast. When you’re finished, your image should have recognizable features but flatter skin tones. 

Step 5: Duplicate the Layer

When you’re satisfied with your image, make a copy of the layer by right clicking, then choosing “Duplicate”. Make sure you copy the layer you just modified and not the original background layer. Once you’ve done this, select the copy and continue. 

Step 6: Adjust the Details

Go to Filter, then select Sketch > Photocopy. Use the sliders to adjust darkness and detail to make your image look the way you want. Use the brush or eraser to clean up any messy-looking lines around your face. 

Step 7: Use the Cutout Filter

Select your bottom copy layer, then use the cutout filter by selecting Filter > Artistic > Cutout. Adjust the sliders as needed to get the image detail you want. Once you’re satisfied with the cartoon version of your photo, save it. 

You now have a “cartoonified” version of yourself that you can use however you want. For even more unique pictures you can use for your Photoshop projects, take a look at the wide variety of royalty-free images Shutterstock offers. 
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