How to Convert a Picture to an Anime Style

Written by paul kemp
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How to Convert a Picture to an Anime Style
Give your photographs an anime conversion with a vector editor. (Angry one image by AirMan from

Anime is a form of illustration and animation made popular in Japan in the 20th century that is now produced and consumed throughout the world. It often features characters that have outsize or undersized facial and other body features. You can create your own anime characters out of your photographs by converting them into vector files and using a vector-editing software program to manipulate real-life facial, head and other proportions into anime-like proportions.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Vector tracing and editing program

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  1. 1

    Use a Vector program such as Adobe Illustrator or Vector Magic, a free online tracing program, to upload the photograph you want to convert and use the trace or convert function to create a vector illustration version of your photograph, which can be edited in a vector editor. Save your file in a vector format, such as EPS, AI (Illustrator) or CDR (CorelDRAW).

  2. 2

    Open the vector version of your photograph in a vector-editing program such as CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator or's Draw, a free vector-editing program.

  3. 3

    Use your vector editor's selection, pen, Bezier or other line manipulation tools to add anime flourishes to your image. The conversion from photo to vector file created editable lines where the lines on your photograph would have been, and you can use these tools to stretch and move the lines to create oversized eyeballs, sharp chins, larger heads, spiky hair and other visual traits common to anime characters. Experiment with the editing tools and lines until you achieve an anime look for your photo subject.

  4. 4

    Create other anime effects on your artwork by using your vector editor's text tools and using selection tools to adjust colours as desired.

  5. 5

    Save your work. You can save in a vector format if you want to make further edits, and many vector-editing programs allow you to save in a raster format, which you will not be able to edit without converting again but will be able to share on image hosting sites and in photo-management programs.

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