How to Turn a Photograph Into a Cartoon Effect

Above is the result of this tutorial.

Here is a photograph of some flowers I took in my backyard:

The first thing I’ll do is go to Filter / Sketch / Photocopy:

When the Photocopy dialog box comes up, I’ll make the image viewable at 25% by clicking on the (-) at the left hand bottom part of the dialog box. This way I’ll be able to see the whole photo, not just part of it:

In this dialog box, I’ll take the Detail slider all the way to the right, which is 24, and I’ll bring the Darkness slider to about 20. Then I’ll click OK:

The next thing I’ll do is hit CTRL+J on my keyboard to make a duplicate copy of my background layer. I’ll name it “Flowers”. In the History palette I’ll also check the history marker next to the “Open” stage in the history palette.

This is what the palettes should look like at this point:

Next I’ll pick the history brush from the tool bar:

I’ll go to the menu bar at the top of the screen and change the mode from Normal to Multiply:

Using the history brush, I’ll start painting back the color of the flowers at 100% opacity. I’ll put the green background on another layer so that I can change the opacity separately. Using the multiply brush brings out any color cast that might be in the image, and exaggerates it. So, in the layers palette, I lower the opacity to 74%.

Here’s the image so far:

If you need to clean up any edges, you can use the eraser tool in the tool bar:

Here, I show the opacity lowered to 74%. Here’s the finished layers palette:

The good thing about being in multiply mode, is that with every paint stroke you can make the colors richer. I recommend using a soft brush when using this mode.

Here’s the “before” and “after” shots:

 

Try this out and experiment with different modes. They all do something unique.

Have fun!

4 thoughts on “How to Turn a Photograph Into a Cartoon Effect”

  1. This is a great tutorial, it’s so well explained and I can’t wait to try this with the zillion photos of flowers I have taken! Thank you so much for taking the time to write these for us novices!

  2. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on the work that you do, it’s just so beautiful. I have only just discovered your page and intend trying some of the creative ideas that you offer.
    Many thanks,
    Kind regards
    Judy

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