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!