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How to make an anime character look like yourself

Updated March 23, 2017

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 lifelike, one-of-a-kind anime character using your own photo.

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 per cent Press "Ctrl + D" to deselect that eye.

Repeat the process with layer 2. Enter in 185 per cent 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 colour. 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 colours in the fore/back ground boxes to 814FA0 and 000000 (or black). Draw the gradient in the "Elliptical Marquee" from the centre out. Change the layer opacity to 50 per cent in the layer box. Right click on the layer and select "Blending Options" then "Color Overlay." Change the colour to 0F22AD at 75 per cent. 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 colour 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!

Tip

Download Photoshop for a free trial. Or use Photoshop-like software, such as Aviary or Sumo Paint.

Warning

Save constantly to avoid the agonising pain of a computer or software crash.

Things You'll Need

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

Jacqueline Thomas is an award-winning writer and poet. She studied creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and has written critically acclaimed pieces for over 20 years. Thomas is published in both traditional and online press, and has articles that reached the Digg Front Page.