Since my interest in web and graphic design was re-ignited a few months back I have learnt a lot of really useful Photoshop techniques. I thought this blog would be a great place for me to share some of these techniques.
This entry focuses on how to create a cartoon effect from a photo using Photoshop CS3. To illustrate the effect we are aiming to achieve here is the original image beside the ‘Cartoon Effect’ image used for this walk through.
This effect is quite simple to achieve. There are only a few steps required. The steps being:
- Select a photo to apply the effect to and open it in Photoshop CS3.
- Duplicate the background layer (The effect is applied to this layer).
- Apply the ‘Poster Edges’ filter.
- Adjust the Brightness and Contrast of the image.
- Apply the ‘Cutout’ filter.
So without further adieu lets crack on…
To start with I picked out a photo of myself and a friend that I felt would suit this effect. Images where the face is darker or covered in shade did not lend themselves well to this effect. Here is the original image that I started with:
Duplicating the background layer enables us to apply filters and effects to the image. To do this from the menu select Layer > Duplicate Layer. In the dialogue box that appears rename the layer from ‘Background Copy’ to ‘Cartoon Effect’. Select OK. Photoshop will then create and select the duplicate layer.
To apply the ‘Poster Edges’ filter select Filter > Artistic > Poster Edges from the menu. This will open the filter dialog box with the ‘Poster Edges’ options selected. For this image I left the settings as I found them:
- Edge Thickness : 3
- Edge Intensity: 1
TIP: If your image is larger than the filter dialog preview window use the ‘Fit to View’ option to resize it
Select OK to apply the filter. The filter dialog will close and the image will have the filter applied.
Here is what my image looked like after applying the ‘Poster Edges’ filter:
Once the ‘Poster Edges’ filter is applied the image becomes a bit darker. Therefore before we apply the ‘Cutout’ filter we will brighten up the image and adjust the contrast.
To update these values ensure the ‘Cartoon Effect’ layer is selected. From the menu select Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast. The Brightness/Contrast dialog box will appear.
I used the following settings for this image:
- Brightness : 10
- Contrast : 30
Once the adjustment has been made this is how my image looked:
The final step in creating this effect is to apply the ‘Cutout’ filter.
To do this select Filter > Artistic > Cutout from the menu. This will launch the filter dialog again. This time the ‘Cutout’ options will be visible. Once again I left these settings as I found them.
The settings I used were:
- Number of Levels : 4
- Edge Simplicity : 4
- Edge Fidelity : 2
Select OK. The filter dialog will close and apply the filter to the image.
The result of applying the filter completes the cartoon effect:
You may wish to try different settings when applying the filters and adjustments I have mentioned above. Depending on the size and the original brightness/contrast of the image you will get differing results – experimenting can often result in a better result than if you use the defaults I have above.