How to Create a Cartoon From a Photograph With Photoshop

Written by david weedmark Google
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Using the artistic filters in Photoshop, you can create a cartoon from just about any photograph. This is a two-stage process. First, use the Poster Edges filter to simplify the colours in the image and create the dark lines characteristic of cartoons. Second, use the Cut Out filter to smooth out the colours in the image even more. If the image you are using contains a lot of fine detail, you may need to use the Smudge Tool to ease away any spots or lines that can appear after using the Poster Edges filter.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Look through your images to find a photograph you would like to use to create a cartoon. Right-click it and select "Open With" and click on "Photoshop."

  2. 2

    Click the "Layer" menu and select "Duplicate Layer." Click "OK." This step is not mandatory, but it will make it easy to compare your cartoon to the original image by switching layers in the Layers panel. Also, if you do not like the effect you created the first time, you can simply delete the copy and start again.

  3. 3

    Click the "Filter" menu. Select "Artistic," then click "Poster Edges." The Poster Edges window will open.

  4. 4

    Set the Edge Thickness, Edge Intensity and Posterization at "1" by using the sliders on the right of the window. Click "OK."

  5. 5

    Examine the picture. If you are using a close-up of a person's face, you may see a lot of freckles and lines on the person's face that were not there before. Click on the "Smudge Tool." Adjust the size of the tool as needed by clicking on the "Brush" menu in the Option Bar. Use the "Normal" mode and a Strength of "50" in the Option Bar.

  6. 6

    Click the "Filter" menu, select "Artistic" and click "Cutout." The Cutout window opens.

  7. 7

    Set the Number of Levels at "8," Edge Simplicity at "0" and Edge Fidelity at "2" using the sliders on the right of the window. Click "OK."

  8. 8

    Save your image as a .jpg or .png file by clicking the "File" menu and selecting "Save For Web & Devices."

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