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Cartoon Yourself in Photoshop

How to Cartoon Yourself in Photoshop

by Waseem Abbas on Jul 4, 2019

Do you want to make a cartoon out of your photo? Sometimes you need a cartoon effect for a special project, or you just want to cartoon yourself for fun. In this article, we will show you how to cartoon yourself in Photoshop.

If you don’t have it yet, you can get Photoshop from Adobe’s site here.

Cartoon Yourself in Photoshop

First thing you need to do is open your portrait in Photoshop.

Now go to Filter » Filter Gallery and select the Artistic folder. Then select the Poster Edges option.

Poster Edges

Use the following settings:

Edge Thickness: 2
Edge Intensity: 1
Posterization: 6

This will enhance the edges around the face and body.

Before moving on to the next step, you’ll need to set the foreground and background color to default (black and white, respectively):

Set B/F color

Next, go to Filter » Filter Gallery and select Torn Edges from the dropdown.

Torn Edges

Then, use the following settings:

Image Balance: 20
Smoothness: 15
Contrast: 3

Torn Edges Settings

Now you can go ahead and select the entire image (Ctrl + A) and copy the selection (Ctrl + C).


Next, go to the Channels panel from the right-side of your Photoshop screen. Create a new channel (named Alpha 1 by default) from the bottom right corner.

Create Channel

Paste your selection (Ctrl + V). Then, invert the colors by going to Image » Adjustments » Invert.

Channel Alpha 1

Next, Ctrl + Click on the thumbnail for the Alpha 1 channel to select the white areas of the image.

Now go back to the Layers panel, and create a new layer (Layer » New » Layer). Use the paint bucket tool to fill it in with black (you can name this layer Black).

Black Layer

Then add another new layer, and fill it with white (you can name this layer White). Now we have separated the black and white colors in the image.

White Layer

Drag and drop the Black layer above the White layer so it is on top.

Layer Move

Now you’ll need to add three more layers to fill in the colors for the skin, clothes, and eyes/teeth.

Simply create three new layers (Layer » New » Layer) naming them Skin, Clothes and Eyes/Teeth, and drag these three layers below the Black layer.

Three Color Layers

For our photo, we decided to use the following colors:

Skin: #e7c5b3
Clothes: #d9142b & #425ad7
Eyes/Teeth: #ffffff

To apply the colors, select the Brush Tool from the toolbar. Then select the particular layer you want to edit, and carefully brush over your image. Repeat this process for each layer until all parts of your photo are colored in.

Brush Cartoon

Once you are satisfied with your colors, create a gradient background to make the cartoon really pop out.

To add the gradient, create another layer (name it Gradient), and select the Gradient Tool from the toolbar.

We added the two colors (#5d849a and #9cb5c3) at either end of our gradient.

Gradient Color

To fill the gradient, you need to click and hold the mouse starting at the bottom-left and drag to the top-right of the image. Then release the mouse. Drag and drop this Gradient layer directly above the White layer.

Set Gradient Layer Position

That’s all. Check out this before and after image below.

Cartoon Yourself in Photoshop

You can adjust the settings mentioned above when cartooning yourself using your own photo. However, the sequence of layers in the Layers panel is very important, so make sure you follow the steps in order.

We hope this article has helped you to learn how to cartoon yourself in Photoshop. You may also want to check out our guide on how to add a HDR effect to your images in Photoshop.

If you’re looking to create amazing galleries and help speed up your WordPress website, you should get Envira Gallery here and create your first gallery.

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  1. when trying to paste the image to alpha channel it won’t let me copy anything in from the filter gallery section? using photoshop in Mac OS

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